Wine review – Robert Stein, Rusty Fig, Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy Moppity Vineyard and Houghton

Robert Stein Riesling 2014 $35 Robert Stein vineyard, Mudgee, NSW At the excellent St Isidore restaurant, Milton, we kicked off a joyous lunch with the delicious Robert Stein riesling. Riesling can be austere when young. But winemaker Jacob Stein backed the natural lime-like varietal flavour of this one with gentle mid-palate texture. The flavour comes […]

Canberra beer week

After teetering close to cancellation just two weeks from commencement, Canberra Beer Week launched successfully on Saturday 8 November, says organiser Anthony Young. Red tape nearly derailed one of the signature events, says Young. But Beer Day Out, a showcase of 27 Australian and international craft brewers at Kingston markets, went ahead as scheduled, attracting […]

Wine review – Houghton and House of Arras

Houghton Crofters Margaret River Pemberton Chardonnay 2013 $15.70–$19 Western Australia’s Houghton brand was long ago absorbed into Hardys and is now part of the Accolade Wine Group. Under Hardys, Houghton expanded its WA offerings well beyond its Swan Valley base, along the way benefiting from Hardys Australia-wide focus on top-end chardonnay, which ultimately stretched through […]

Wine review – Coldstream Hills, McGuigan, Windowrie, Oakridge, Manners and Ad Hoc

Coldstream Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2013 $52.65–$60 Briarston, Coldstream G and House vineyards, Yarra Valley, Victoria Following the sensational, taut, slow-evolving 2012 reserve bottling, the warmer 2013 vintage produced a plumper wine with its fruit on full display just a year and a half out from vintage. But that’s plumper in the cool-climate context as this […]

Gypsy brewers hit Sydney

My Sydney spy, Mr Malty, rated “gypsy” brewers as the hot act of the recent Sydney Craft Beer Week (October 18–26). These itinerant, or gypsy, brewers move from brewery to brewery taking up slack capacity, and making one-off beers, often in collaboration with the resident brewer. For the craft beer week, a group of Sydney […]

Wine review – Tolpuddle, Langmeil, Bourke Street, Pikes, Four Winds and Hay Shed Hill

Tolpuddle Pinot Noir 2013 $75 Tolpuddle vineyard, Coal River Valley, Tasmania In 2011 Adelaide-Hills-based Shaw and Smith bought the mature 20-hectare Tolpuddle vineyard, located in Tasmania’s Coal RiverValley. The new owners sell the majority of their fruit to other winemakers, but make small quantities of pinot noir and chardonnay for the new Tolpuddle label. In […]

Beer review – Asahi and Red Duck

Asahi Super Dry 330ml 6-pack $20 In 1987 Asahi paved the way for what became known as “dry” beers. Thankfully, they’re wet, of course, as “dry” simply means beer with all the sugar converted to alcohol. Now brewed in China, Asahi offers the full, malty body of mainstream lager, with a dry, smooth palate and […]