Wine review – Soumah, Grant Burge and De Bortoli

Soumah Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2013 $33–$35 The Butcher family owns vineyards in the Gruyere-Coldstream sub-region of the Yarra Valley and created the acronym Soumah (south of the Maroondah Highway) as its brand name. Wines released under this label include Savarro (savagnin blanc), pinot noir, pinot grigio and shiraz. Even in the warmer 2013 season Soumah […]

Beer review – Blue Moon Brewing Co

Blue Moon Brewing Co Belgian White 330ml $3.99 Coca-Cola Amatil imports Blue Moon from Coors Brewing Company, a division of Canadian Molson Coors Brewing Company. The pale lemon colour, cloudy appearance and sturdy white head are all consistent with the Belgian wheat style. It is, perhaps a little rounder and less refeshing acidic than Hoegaarden […]

Pikes winery turns to brewing

Popular Clare Valley winemaker, Pikes, expects to open a brewery alongside its wine cellars in December. Alister Pike, son of found founder Andrew Pike, says the family expects to complete the new building on schedule and already has most of the brewing equipment warehoused in Victoria. A recently hired brewer, due to join Pikes in […]

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 […]