Champagne Lanson – Our Top 5 You Should Try

WORDS KEN GARGETT If ever a champagne house has gone from the penthouse to the proverbial outhouse, it was the once noble house of Lanson. And now, as a former Prime Minister might say, it appears that they have done a ‘Lazarus with a triple bypass’, slowly but surely working their way back to the…

Explore Buffalo Trace Antique Collection

WORDS KEN GARGETT The roadshow for fabulous Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is doing the rounds – a collection of whiskies of age and complexity. While not open to the public, take heart that your favourite bartenders are there on your behalf. You will reap the benefits in the future. Over the years, I have been to more tastings…

Michter’s – Two Cracking American Whiskies

WORDS KEN GARGETT As the excitement mounts for the forthcoming explore WHISKY release, some of us have been working hard, exploring the world of whiskies and bourbon from around the world (although the bourbons, of course, should really be regionally restricted to the USA). Needless to say, many exciting gems are emerging. Today, Michter’s. I’d…

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…