Cloudy Bay may have put a certain white wine and a region on the map but Australian expertise started the trend. Despite being shunned by wine buffs and recalcitrant writers such as myself, sauvignon blanc remains the world's most popular white grape variety and has been for more than a decade, dismissing any notion it is a passing trend. While ... read more >
The Idyllic Villa Picelle, Azienda Agricole Fontodi A hankering for the flavors of Chianti has Curtis Marsh planning a trip. In the meantime, he makes do in Wellington Street. The best laid plans. Everything was set for the archetypal autumn holiday in Italy, two weeks in the heart of Tuscany luxuriating in the 18th-century Villa Pecille, in an idyllic vineyard panorama on the Chianti Azienda (estate) Fontodi, ... read more >
The recent revival of the most noble of white grapes brings back memories of sticky situations. Cast your mind back 30 years or more, if you are old enough, when it was de rigueur to order a glass of Hock in a pub or wine bar in England. Ostensibly riesling, the trend subsequently permeated around the globe. It was Queen ... read more >
Dean Hewitson, Barossa Valley, Australia At the other end of the discounted and oversupplied wine market are undiscovered bargains made from old vines. Having written on the subject of inexpensive wines in this column recently, I highlighted that price-to-quality rapport will always be subjective. There are many facets and arguments to what determines good value, although for most consumers discounts strongly influence the sense of ... read more >
People visiting Ata Rangi vineyard, New Zealand Vine cuttings can be matched to various soils and regional characteristics of other countries, enhancing the complexity and finish of a wine. With practically every significant pinot noir producer in New Zealand available in Hong Kong, my advice is to be adventurous in your selection, as you will not come across a bad wine, with quality high across the board. ... read more >
Rose Champagne bubbles Rose champagne is enjoying high demand and not just because of Valentine's Day. Rose Champagne, or Pink Champagne as it is more commonly known, if not a little mincing, has become increasingly vogue over the last few years. Indications are that its popularity is becoming more entrenched and it is easy to see why, with an appealing bouquet of fresh ... read more >
Leonard and Olivier Humbrecht on Biodynamic One of France's finest winemakers explains the philosophy behind his art to a fascinated Curtis Marsh. I recently attended an enlightening symposium on riesling and pinot gris held by the ardent winegrowers of Nelson, New Zealand. Situated in the very north of south island, Nelson is somewhat over-shadowed by its commercially heavyweight neighbor Marlborough. However, as clearly evident in the ... read more >
Chester Osborn d'Arenberg Winemaker, Australia South Australian grenache is all you need on a winter's evening. The only way to better it is to fly to Adelaide and drink it with an excellent meal. With the shortest day of the year past and the winter monsoon bringing its unwelcome message from Siberia, the drinking mood has changed to cuddly reds. ... read more >
Cheap Wines Cheap wines doesn't necessarily mean cheesy in the world of reds. Internationally relegated to quaffing status, the wine world is finally starting to give grenache the respect it deserves. I doubt that grenache devotees are that concerned. Sometimes it's best not to say anything about a bargain. Whether you are a serious wine buff or just enjoy the odd glass, ... read more >
Champagne, Bubbly Beauties It's time to put some fizz into the holidays - without flattening your bank account. Why do bubbles captivate us so much? Watching my daughter gleefully chasing soapy bubbles, I wonder if this is where the fascination begins. The tiny bubbles scrambling into a fine bead in a Champagne flute share the allure and sparkle of diamonds. ... read more >