The Joy of Wine

WORDS KEN GARGETT Among the many joys wine offers is its infinite capacity to surprise. Usually, open a bottle and you know what to expect. We know what it is, what we paid, whether it should be spectacular or just a decent drink. But sometimes… Of course, the reverse happens as well. That particular bottle…

A Brief History of Vodka Down Under

Although Australians are some of the biggest vodka lovers today, until the early 1950s the spirit was largely unknown except to some East European immigrants looking for the taste of home. To celebrate International Vodka Day today (Thursday 4th October) we’ve taken a trip down memory lane to look at the history of vodka in this…

The Perfect Pair: Rosé and Food Matches for Spring

WORDS BY KEN GARGETT If wine itself is subjective, then matching food and wine is even more so. My view has long been that if you like the wine and you like the food then there is a fair chance, you’ll have a good overall experience. I also think that this is the one subject…

Straw Wars

For Tracey Bailey, the 46 thousand pieces of plastic that contaminate every square mile of our ocean is the final straw. Her online eco store, Biome, is fighting the excessive use of the everyday plastic straw one reusable stainless steel equivalent at a time. explore DRINKS sat down with the environmental activist/entrepreneur recently to learn…

Five Great Wine and Spirits Disasters

Many years ago, a mate of mine ducked down to the local to pick up a couple of bottles. It happened to be a young gewurz wine as he and his wife were off to the Chinese at the end of the street for dinner and a bottle of Château Pétrus (from Bordeaux, and one of…

A Spirited Tale from Ireland

Irish whisk(e)y was once an export powerhouse. From the late 18th century, the Irish distillers controlled 90% of global whiskey exports. That’s until the Scots started to expand their industry and make their export assault in the second half of the 19th century. Would you believe that back then Australia was Britain’s largest export market…

Sommelier Tips: Pip Anderson

During her former career of 10 years as a chef, Pip Anderson developed a lot of love for wine. And so, when an opportunity for her to study the subject arose, she took it, was converted, and her career as a sommelier has flourished ever since. She has won awards for her wine lists and…

Biodynamic and Organic Viticulture: Modern Day Winemaking or Age Old Techniques?

No doubt you’ve heard the words ‘organic’ and ‘biodynamic’ tossed around in trendy circles of late, but what exactly do these terms mean? Kyla Kirkpatrick, The Champagne Dame, debunks some of the common myths and gets back to basics on what constitutes organic and biodynamic winemaking. WORDS KYLA KIRKPATRICK Over the past decade, there has…

Wise Words On Wine

Ever wondered what the brains behind your favourite wines actually drink on their nights off? explore DRINKS sat down with two of the leading minds behind the Hunter Valley’s wine industry to find out their go-to drops, what to expect from their latest vintages and what’s on their horizons business-wise.          …

Vodka Nirvana: Tastes Like Clean Spirit

Vodka is the spirit of subtlety. It’s the spirit of nuanced flavours and smooth textures. It’s also the spirit that’s hardest to discern the differences in quality. For this issue of explore DRINKS, we want to highlight what leads to some of the refined differences in flavour between some of the leading vodkas of the…

Cider Tasting At Home

With all the different cider styles available across the globe, let alone what is being developed here in Australia- it is now ever so easy to host an enjoyable, interesting and informative cider tasting event at home. CHOOSING CIDERS This is probably the most dif cult part to be honest, as there are so many…