All good things start with a pen and paper.


All hail the mighty wine judge

I would have dearly loved for this to be a story of a wine media cadet who, completely inexperienced in the ways of wine show judging, walked into a room filled with International Master of Wine students and blitzed the Advanced Wine Assessment Course… Alas, it’s more a story of awe and deep respect for the Australian Wine Show circuit. Read more

James Halliday – the state of play of wine in China

It’s very easy to be a little in awe of a man who has built himself from lawyer to winemaker to one of the most recognised and respected names in the Australian wine industry today. In China his reputation even outstrips that at home, such that the crowd vying for selfies and autographs at his exit from his sold-out masterclasses rival that of the backstage rockstar. Read more

Hong Kong – a wine media cadet’s journey down the rabbit hole.

I guess it’s easy to feel perhaps a little smug about food and wine when you have grown up in one of the best wine regions of the world… But then you take your sheltered little self off to Hong Kong.

Bam! What a city! Read more

Adelaide – it’s not just patriotism.

We are a patriotic bunch, us South Aussies. Of course we have our good- natured regional rivalries (the title of ‘best Grenache’ is a hotly contested one in particular) but when it comes to state-wide pride we’ve got it in spades, and rightly so.

Adelaide has a lot to be proud of and to add further proof our fair city was named a Great Wine Capital of the World in 2016. This is a huge moment in our history, aligning us with the likes of Bordeaux, Napa, Rioja… Becoming just the 9th city globally to be awarded this title. Read more

Behind the medals – life in the back room of the Royal Adelaide Wine Show

I expected glasses, thousands of glasses to polish. And a room full of elite judges who would treat us stewards like, well, servants. The wine show version of Downton Abbey. One of these things lived up to my expectations. The other did not. Read more

For the love of Grenache, a tale of a Winemaker’s obsession…

(finalist entry for Gourmet Traveller WINE New Wine Writer of the year 2015)

In the concluding paragraphs of his biography, our winemaker, Mark Bulman writes he ‘has developed a love for Grenache that borders on obsessive’. Let me clarify this for you, there is nothing ‘bordering’ about it. On the scale of fondness to full-blown-rapturous-I-want-to-take-you-home obsession, Mark sits well and truly in the latter range. But what’s so special about Grenache? This is the Barossa Valley, isn’t it? You know, ‘Shiraz Country’. While Shiraz, and certainly the diversity of Barossa terroir and its effects on Shiraz are always key points of winemaking here, it’s Grenache that fuels a different fire for Mark… Read more

Has the romance of wine been lost to the screw cap?

The question of “Is there really a difference to the quality of wine between cork and screw cap?” was posed to me today through Facebook, and in researching the answer I was thrown into the notion that the consumer has long dictated the progression of this innovative wine closure. The idea of ‘romance’ surrounding wine is seemingly as important to the consumer as is the quality of the wine itself. Is this right or wrong? Does the ceremony of opening a bottle of wine really influence our enjoyment of the product? First, let’s look at the origins of the screwcap and why it has come into play… Read more

Is decanting really necessary?

We’ve all seen it happening in a restaurant, the slightly chuffed smile of the diner whose wine is being decanted with precision by the waiter and the admiring glances of their dining companions. It’s romantic (there’s that word again!), it’s impressive, we watch and think ‘that must be a very special wine’ and crane our necks to get a look at the label. The myth seems to be that if it’s old – or expensive – you decant it, but is this really true, and are there exceptions to this rule?

I once worked with a waiter, Dave, the real old-school, career-waiter, who was (probably still is) the most decanter-happy person I’ve ever met… Read more