An Effervescent Future: House of Arras

Ondenc and ugni blanc – most wine lovers will have no idea of just what they are, but a few might recognise these as the names of rather obscure French varieties. There was a time when they, and other lesser grapes, played a major role in the Australian wine industry, as key to sparkling wine….

Ten Minutes by Tractor

News of a fire causing significant damage at Mornington Peninsula winery, Ten Minutes by Tractor, hit the airwaves a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Sadly, a significant portion of its museum collection of wine – valued at around half a million dollars – was destroyed, as were several vintage tractors (a 1928…

Toast to St Patrick’s Day

St Patrick’s Day – a religious tribute to Ireland’s most famous saint or an excuse to drink until you turn green? Well, they are not mutually exclusive. Having done the overseas thing seemingly many years ago, I was always a bit surprised to find that the day meant more to Americans – who certainly celebrated…

5 Rosés to Keep The Summer Vibe Alive

A decade or so ago, when I was doing a weekly newspaper column, it was a miracle if the “powers that were” would let me write on the subject of rosé. No one bought it. No one wanted to drink it. And editors certainly didn’t believe that anyone wanted to hear about it. Words by…

Five Great, Rare Rums

Great spirits. Aficionados will argue for hours about the best malt whisky, the finest Cognacs, now even the top gins. But rum? Not so much. And yet a great rum is as deserving of inclusion in any debate on the best of the spirit world. Indeed, I have made it my mission to search out…

Explore: House of Lanson

SPONSORED The history of the House of Lanson began in 1760 when François Delamotte decided to create his own Champagne. In 1798, Nicolas-Louis Delamotte, a knight of the order of Malta, took over from his father and adopted the Maltese cross as the emblem of the brand. Today, the House proudly displays the distinctive red…

Go Explore: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

SPONSORED Calling all food and drink lovers: with just under a month to go, we’ve skimmed the 300-long program of events, corralled our friends in the know and picked our top five events not to miss at this year’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Prepare to wine and dine amongst famous chefs and country winemakers…

New Brewery on the Block

Talk about marching into the den of the dragon and whacking it on the nose! Mind you, the dragon might not have noticed, but it is still a brave effort. Words by drinks writer, Ken Gargett Newstead Brewing Co. has established its new production HQ, and pub, in Castlemaine Street, Milton. Now that might not…

The Ever-Changing Chameleon: Four Pillars Gin

Has there ever been such an explosion of interest, the variety of production and general weirdness in the spirits world (as opposed to the spirit world) as there has been with gin over the last decade? No séance needed to predict that this is going to continue for some time. Words by drinks writer, Ken Gargett Why gin,…

Drink, Read, Love: Our Top 5 for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day – that most romantic day of the year when one has the chance to show their loved one just how much they care. Or, if you are sane, a trumped up, transparently cynical opportunity to delude the gullible and benefit florists, greeting card companies, chocolatiers and second-rate restaurateurs who think sticking a paper rose in…

What to Drink This Melbourne Cup Day

Looking for something to drink this Melbourne Cup Day? Try one of these five Champagne cocktails to get you in the spirit. All recipes make 1 drink FEATURED COCKTAIL: CHAMBORD MIMOSA INGREDIENTS 15ml Chambord Liqueur Dash of orange juice Top with sparkling wine GLASS: Champagne flute METHOD: Add Chambord and a dash of orange juice to…

Must-Visit Bars in La La Land (Los Angeles)

THIS IS A PREVIEW OF THE FULL Story IN EXPLORE DRINKS SPRING. CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY. Ah Los Angeles, the City of Angels as it is known, La La Land. This sprawling metropolis has a lot more to offer visitors than Hollywood, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach and Rodeo Drive. Here’s our guide…