Our wine pick of the week: Taittinger ‘Comtes de Champagne’ 2007

One of the earliest of all prestige champagnes is Taittinger’s, ‘Comtes de Champagne’ a superb blanc des blancs, and easily recognisable in its squat bottle. The first vintage was 1952. A Rosé was added years later.  The story of this legendary champagne dates back to the days of Count Thibaud IV, King of Navarre, from 1222…

explore with us – Main Ridge Estate 2018 Wines

The dollhouse-sized winery, Main Ridge Estate, which kicked things off on the Mornington Peninsula when Nat White planted his first vines in 1975 (Baillieu Myer beat him to a vineyard, planting in 1972, but Nat had the first commercial winery), changed hands a few years ago. It seems that the transition has been seamless and…

Alcohol Purchases Restricted in Australia

By Ash Pini This morning Australians are waking up to the news that the purchase of alcohol has been limited in all states except Western Australia. Today, March 31, new alcohol purchasing limits came into force across the country, with the exception of Western Australia, through participating retailers: including Dan Murphys, Coles Liquor, Cellarbrations, Liquor…

Our wine pick of the week: Champagne Pommery Louise

The House of Pommery has not always seen plain sailing.  Founded in the 1850s, when Alexandre-Louis Pommery left an early retirement from the textile industry to join with Narcisse Greno. It seems his wife’s unexpected pregnancy had convinced Alexandre-Louis that the family coffers needed restocking. Sadly, he would not have much of a chance, passing away…

What you need to know about Ron Zacapa

While Bundy still owns the dark rum market in Australia, an iconic rum from the Central American nation of Guatemala, Zacapa, has done exceptionally well at the premium end of the market. Indeed, they have convinced many that rum is more than just a transfer system for alcohol, something lost without a hefty accompanying dose…

The ‘best dram’ – Glenfiddich Grand Cru

Glenfiddich is one of the most beloved of all Scottish malts. They began more than 150 years ago with William Grant, a bookkeeper at the Mortlach Distillery with a dream of making the “best dram in the valley.” At 47, Grant quit his job and purchased a copper pot still and associated equipment. He, his…

A toast to ‘The Caley’

Here we all are, locked down, isolated and in a completely unfamiliar world. The only thing about that which might be familiar to Fred Caley Smith is the unfamiliar world.  Fred was an adventurer. First, though, he was the grandson of Samuel Smith, the founder of Australia’s oldest family wine company, Yalumba, back in 1849….

Archie Rose Hand Sanitiser

A month or two ago, if someone told you a distiller was going to produce hand sanitiser as an auxiliary business to their normal production of spirits, you would have thought it a bit of a headscratcher. If I added that the first run was 4,500 bottles and they were selling at twenty bucks a…

‘Mann’ is a famous name in Western Australia.

By Ken Gargett Tony Mann was a more than decent cricketer, a leg spinner, who played several Tests for Australia back in the 70s. He was the first (or second, depending on how one views Pakistani, Nasim-ul-Ghani, who is supposedly the first but was always considered well above tail-ender/nightwatchman status and who got his ton…

A trifecta for Riesling lovers – clos Clare

Readers will have seen that we focused the wonderful Rieslings of Vickery recently. And also those of LoosenBarry. Now, the trifecta for lovers of that amazing grape and it is all tied up together.  The local guys behind the LoosenBarry are the Barry brothers, Sam and Tom, sons of well known Clare maker, Peter, and…

Must Try: Smith & Sheth ‘Cru

Steve Smith will be best known to most winelovers as the man behind so many great Craggy Range wines. He was one of the founders, along with Terry Peabody, and responsible for sourcing the superb vineyards from which their grapes came, as well as making the wines. All that said, I suspect Steve sees himself…

The Bacardi Crystal Ball

So, just what do we expect to be drinking this year? What will your favourite bartenders be serving? What will those who stock the bars be chasing?  In an admirable effort to find out what we can expect, Bacardi asked some 7,000 of their employees around the globe, spread across more than 100 cities, to…