Driving the mighty Kimberley

For a long time my wife Jill and I had wanted to visit Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region – and in July this year we did. We flew out of a frosty Canberra morning and arrived in Darwin’s friendly dry-season heat at lunchtime. We collected our Apollo four-wheel-drive camper, stocked up on food and wine […]

Wine review – Gallagher, Sandalford, Printhie, Ten Minutes by Tractor and Nick O’Leary

Gallagher Shiraz 2012 $30 Murrumbateman, Canberra District, NSW “After doing climatic data searches for about two years, looking for the best area to grow shiraz”, says Greg Gallagher, he and wife Libby Gallagher planted the variety at Murrumbateman in 1995. While neighbouring Clonakilla enjoyed success with shiraz from 1990, and shiraz-viognier from 1992, the variety […]

Schultz – almost a Canberra brewer

If you brew beer outside Canberra but offer it through your own Canberra hotel, does that make you a local craft brewer – or an honorary one at least? If its does, then Sydney’s Jerry Schwarz deserves a place of honour alongside Canberra’s home-grown craft brewers, the Wig and Pen, Zierholz and the BentSpoke. Schwartz […]

Wine review – Yangarra, Gallagher and Sandalford

Yangarra McLaren Vale Shiraz 2012 $25 Yangarra’s irresistible red sits towards the finer end of McLaren Vale shiraz spectrum. It’s ripe, smooth and satisfying, but a tad lighter in body than some of its neighbours. Tasted alongside several other 2012 Australian shirazes, it pleased for the spice, savour and secondary earthy, leathery notes cutting through […]

Beer review – Moondog and Dalgety Brewing Co

Moondog Jukebox Hero IPA 330ml $4.65 The darling of craft brewers originated in Britain’s colonial era as a turbo strength ale able to endure shipment in barrel to India – hence, India Pale Ale, or IPA. Moondog, from Abbotsford Victoria, offers a particularly fruity, rounded, alcoholic version of the style, with the obligatory mother lode […]

Wine review – Xanadu, West Cape Howe, Shaw and Smith, Majella, Moppity Vineyards and Pig in the House

Xanadu Stevens Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 $57–$65 Stevens Road vineyard, Margaret River, Western Australia Xanadu’s classy cabernet comes from “21 rows of Houghton clone cabernet at the bottom of Block 3” [of the Stevens vineyard, planted 1989], says the company’s website. This tiny batch of grapes made one of the purest, most elegant and harmonious […]