• Put these five under-rated Australian wine regions on your radar

    Wine lovers can be fairly set in their ways when it comes to choosing what to drink. If you enjoy a big red, the search typically starts (and often ends) at the Barossa or McLaren. If chardonnay is your thing, the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula will usually sit high on your list. They're ...

    POSTED 5 Feb, 2019 5 Comments

  • The business traveller's guide to sake

    Almost every business traveller who visits Japan will end up sampling sake. It's part of the experience of Japan, and especially of socialising with Japanese colleagues and clients. Want to impress your hosts? Start by dropping the fact that  Australia is now the second fastest growing expo...

    POSTED 31 Jan, 2019 3 Comments

  • Inside the House of Taittinger

    The famed house of Taittinger is a family-owned Champagne producer founded in the aftermath of the First World War, and which has now expanded to own 288 hectares of vineyards in the Champagne region. This land provides it with half of its grape needs, the remaining 50 percent coming from long-te...

    POSTED 18 Jan, 2019 1 Comment

  • How to travel with wine in your checked luggage

    Opening a bottle of fine wine or spirits sourced on holiday evokes memories of your travels that can transcend enjoyment of the wine itself. As such, I scarcely return home from overseas travel without a few bottles of some unique and special drops. Most often that's Pinot Noir – I've rec...

    POSTED 23 Dec, 2018 11 Comments

  • Best Champagne for Christmas and the New Year? Try these six top drops

    Champagne and sparkling wines are synonymous with Christmas and New Year festivities, and Australia is no shrinking violet when it comes to enjoying first-class fizz. Over 307 million bottles of Champagne were sold globally in the 2017 calendar year, with Australia the world's seventh-largest ma...

    POSTED 14 Dec, 2018 18 Comments

  • Try matching your Christmas meals with these top Australian wines

    The seafood is on order, the turkey and ham are ready to be picked up from the butcher, and the plum pudding is approaching its peak. Yes, Christmas is once again around the corner, and with it a much wider array of dishes than the typical lunch or dinner So how do you go about selecting the rig...

    POSTED 12 Dec, 2018 1 Comment

  • Bordeaux's Château Montrose joins Cathay Pacific first class wine list

    Cathay Pacific’s first class wine list now counts a new vintage red among its ranks with the addition of Château Montrose 2005. Starting this December, the ’05 will be served on a rotational basis on flights between Hong Kong and London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles and San Fra...

    POSTED 10 Dec, 2018 0 Comments

  • Brokenwood's Cellar Door is the Hunter Valley's new wine hotspot

    The Barossa Valley has the iconic Seppeltsfield complex, McLaren Vale has the futuristic d’Arenberg Cube and now the Hunter Valley has its own new wine tourism drawcard. After a year of construction the $8 million Brokenwood cellar door and restaurant complex will be officially opened this...

    POSTED 6 Dec, 2018 4 Comments

  • Here are the three wines that should always be in your fridge

    Julia Child always kept a half bottle of Champagne in the refrigerator so she had something to sip on (and keep herself enthused) while cooking. The same for me, although I’ve expanded her advice – I always have three bottles of wine on my fridge door shelves. So should you. Picture ...

    POSTED 3 Dec, 2018 4 Comments

  • Add one of these craft British gins to your cocktail cabinet

    Premium gin comes from all corners of the world, but there's no disputing where its home lies. Great Britain was the spirit's birthplace and today, its old guard distillers like Beefeater, Gordon's and Tanqueray have no shortage of company. More than 200 new distilleries have opened across the ...

    POSTED 29 Nov, 2018 4 Comments

  • Starward's Two-Fold whisky wants to be your everyday go-to mixer

    Melbourne distiller Starward's new Two-Fold whisky isn't a single malt, but nor is it a blended whisky, at least not in the way that Scottish distilleries would use the term. What Two-Fold is, however, is a unique double-grain whisky – part malt, part grain – selling for $65 and...

    POSTED 20 Nov, 2018 0 Comments

  • Pairing food with wine? The conventional wisdom is probably wrong...

    Think you can’t drink red with fish? That champagne goes with sweet desserts? Think again. Even serious wine lovers make serious errors when matching food with wine. I quizzed a half-dozen sommeliers, who spend their time trying to suggest the best pairings to their customers, about the mo...

    POSTED 16 Nov, 2018 3 Comments

  • Here are the six best drops from the Penfolds 2018 Collection

    When Penfolds unveiled its 2018 Collection last month it was, understandably, the $900 Penfolds Bin 95 2014 Grange that attracted the most attention. And a very fine wine it is, too, as you’d expect from the high-profile red which is now regarded as global icon. But it was the hugely impre...

    POSTED 8 Nov, 2018 2 Comments

  • Get over your fear of chilling red wine

    Last weekend the temperature on my back deck was 35 degrees, steaks were on the grill, and I craved a thirst-quenching drink that wasn’t that summer cliché, rosé. With charred meat, beer is not the answer, nor is a frozen margarita or tart white. Sticky summer weather is what...

    POSTED 5 Nov, 2018 9 Comments

  • The 'Sideways' curse has lifted, and merlot is enjoying a comeback

    Sales of luxury merlots are increasing again, and restaurants are pouring more of it. Why? Because despite pop culture prejudice, it tastes good. Merlot was once the fan-favorite red grape and wine. Then came 2004 hit movie Sideways, in which Miles, the pinot-noir-loving main character, trashes ...

    POSTED 30 Oct, 2018 3 Comments

  • These six lesser-known wine varieties are worth a spot on your shelf

    It used to be a simple process when you popped into a liquor store to buy a bottle of wine or peeked at a restaurant wine list. If you wanted white you’d probably opt for chardonnay, semillon or New Zealand sauvignon blanc. If red was your preference then shiraz, cabernet sauvignon or mayb...

    POSTED 22 Oct, 2018 1 Comment

  • Behind the Emirates business class, first class wine lists

    For most travellers, choosing a wine to enjoy with their meal in business class or first class can be as simple as opening the wine list and selecting a drop, perhaps even in 15 seconds – but the process before that, where that day’s wine list is put together, can be 15 years in the m...

    POSTED 17 Oct, 2018 3 Comments

  • The case for blended Scotch whisky: why it's no sin to mix those malts

    It’s been a long time since blended Scotch was cool. In 2008, Scotland exported roughly 840 million bottles of it; in 2017 the number was basically the same, even as single malt exports exploded over the same period, from 71.8 million ­bottles to 122 million bottles, according to the Sc...

    POSTED 15 Oct, 2018 0 Comments

  • Luxury hotels swap the minibar for a cocktail-friendly 'maxi-bar'

    Hotels are turning to new bar experiences as a means to keep luxury customers on their toes – and increase favorable food and beverage margins, while they’re at it. Out goes the mini-bar, and in its place: a 'maxi-bar' designed for in-room cocktail service. While in-room dining has ...

    POSTED 8 Oct, 2018 0 Comments

  • Seven pinot grigios which deserve a closer look

    Here’s a sad truth. Most pinot grigio is so watery, bland, and just plain dull that wine snobs scorn it and sommeliers at top restaurants won’t list it. Asking for “just a glass of pinot grigio” has almost become an admission that you don’t pay attention to what you...

    POSTED 5 Oct, 2018 2 Comments

  • Meet Lesley Gracie, the unsung inventor of Hendrick's Gin

    The door is stout, with curly wrought iron hinges, the only entrance in an imposing, 13-foot-high brick wall. It could be the exterior of an old castle here in Scotland, a bell hanging nearby to summon attention. When the huge clapper dings, a small hatch rattles open to reveal a pair of eyes, l...

    POSTED 2 Oct, 2018 0 Comments

  • Five up-and-coming Aussie whiskies to watch for

    Australian whisky has achieved some incredible feats in its short lifetime, but its availability and pricing has largely put it out of reach as an everyday dram. With very few exceptions – Melbourne’s Starward Whisky being the obvious one – local whisky is still produced on a r...

    POSTED 26 Sep, 2018 0 Comments

  • Why the 'King of Cocktails' sticks to a gin martini

    Dale DeGroff spends about two thirds of his year on the road educating and consulting the international bar industry as the world’s foremost expert on the classic American cocktail. Dubbed 'The King of Cocktails', DeGroff is notable for pioneering the use of fresh juices and ingredients in...

    POSTED 19 Sep, 2018 0 Comments

  • Henschke releases stunning Hill of Grace 2013 shiraz

    With the debut of Henschke's Hill of Grace 2013, we tour the vineyard and tell the story behind the standout Australian shiraz. This month's release of Henschke Hill of Grace 2013 this week marks a significant anniversary for the Henschke family, now headed by fifth-generation winemaker Stephen ...

    POSTED 12 Sep, 2018 0 Comments

  • Scotland's next wave of whisky distilleries

    It's no secret that Scotch whisky is booming. The industry posted record-breaking exports in 2017, according to a report by the Scotch Whisky Association, growing in both volume and value (by 1.6 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively) to a total of £4.37 billion (A$7.95 billion) – the...

    POSTED 10 Sep, 2018 2 Comments

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