Wine review – Wolf Blass, John Duval and Aldi Neve

Wolf Blass Original Collection McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013 $20 We bought this satisfying McLaren Vale red at BWS, Broome, packed it into the back of our Hilux and headed off for the Gibb River Road. It survived endless corrugations and finally, at the 3,200-square-kilometre Mornington Wilderness Sanctuary, emerged red-dusty and delicious onto the camp table. […]

Wine review – top shiraz from six Aussie regions

Domaine Chandon Shiraz 2013 Yarra Valley, Victoria $25–$32 Today’s reviews cover six faces of shiraz, Australia’s great red specialty. Domaine Chandon carries the cool-climate banner with a beautifully aromatic, medium bodied style. Winemaker Dan Buckle writes, “In 2013 we made the decision to move our shiraz production from Heathcote to the Yarra Valley”. In a […]

Has craft beer had its day?

Canberra brewer disillusioned with “craft” In an interview with Radio Brews News, reported in Australian Brews News, Canberra brewer Richard Watkins said he’d become disillusioned with the name “craft beer”. Many people regard it as pretentious, he said, and it downplayed the skills of large-scale brewers. Like the “premium beer” category used a generation ago – […]

Beer review – Woolshed Brewery and Brewcult

Woolshed Brewery Judas the Dark 330ml $4.70 Woolshed Brewery of Murtho, South Australia, adds roasted wattle seeds to Judas, giving an Aussie twist to a timeless villain. This deep, dark Judas, though, gives a sweet, warming, gentle kiss. Coffee- and –chocolate-like flavours of roasted grain give way to a charry, grippy bitterness that offsets the […]

Aussie cider consumption growing 20 per cent a year

As declining overall beer consumption and rapidly increasing sales of craft beer catch the headlines, cider continues its even more rapid rise in popularity. Based on ABS and IbisWorld figures, cider consumption appears to have grown at around 20 per cent by volume annually between 2009 and 2014, and by 13 per cent by value […]

Wine review – Torbreck, Redbank and Partisan

Torbreck Barossa Valley Cuvee Juveniles 2013 $25 Originally made for Juveniles bistro, Paris, Torbreck provides an exuberant, unoaked expression of the Barossa’s signature blend of grenache, shiraz and mataro (aka mourvedre). Despite its hefty 15-per-cent alcohol, Juveniles sits bright, fresh and fruity on the palate, with little sign of alcoholic heat. Grenache (60 per cent […]

Record crowd attends beer awards presentation

Celebrating the world’s biggest beer-judging event More than 800 people packed into this year’s presentation dinner for the Australian International Beer Awards. The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, which runs the awards, claims it as the biggest beer-judging event in the world. This year 58 judges at the Melbourne show ground tasted their way through […]

Wine review – Ravensworth, Clonakilla, Helm, Eden Road, Ross Hill and Brangayne

Ravensworth Nebbiolo 2014 Hilltops, NSW $35 As winemaker Bryan Martin and photographer David Reist launched their book, Tongue and Cheek, in March, guests quaffed Martin’s just-released 2014 nebbiolo. At its best, the Piedmontese variety makes lighter coloured, highly fragrant reds of great power and elegance, with firm tannins that outgrip even those of cabernet sauvignon. […]