It is not easy to pinpoint when Tasmania’s wine industry started. Of course there were the explorers who brought European ideas of agriculture and ownership, and in so doing, irrevocably changing the life and landscape of Tasmania forever. … more
Hello. I am very pleased to announce that my book, Through A Sparkling Glass, An A-Z of the Wonderland of Wine, was awarded Best Wine Publication at the Wine Communicators of Australia awards. In addition, I was awarded the overall accolade of Wine Communicator of the Year. … more
In wine circles, we talk a lot about what qualities make a good wine. More recently, I have wondered what qualities make a good wine drinker? Writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Tis the good reader that makes the good book,” referring to those personal traits we bring to the object in order to better appreciate it. … more
Please join Max Allen and me on Sunday 11th August as part of the Bendigo Writers Festival. In our session, Drink To Me Only, Max and I will discuss my new book, wine, writing and other ideas. Presented in a Q+A format, I’m guessing it will be a bit like Parkinson or Oprah. At least that’s what I’m preparing for. … more
Autumn is a beautiful in-between season and a time of great transition.
It’s amidst the hottest and coldest seasons, but neither hot nor cold; it’s part of the viticultural cycle but no longer flourishing and not yet dormant. It is the change when nature prepares to shut down for the long slumber of winter. … more
Frontiers come in many forms: literal, metaphorical, geographical, philosophical, technical and even personal. In winemaking, they include some very real and non-negotiable frontiers such as geology and geography, as well as some frontiers that, with the help of technology, experience … … more
Over the past six or so months, people often asked how the book was coming along. I always said it was coming along fine, just fine thanks. But the truth was, it didn’t always feel fine. I just didn’t really know how to explain it.
Upon reflection, writing the book reminded me of a freight train speeding along the tracks with a caboose full of chaos. … more
It was 1999 and – for various reasons that I now understand to be a lifelong curiosity with things in general – I had just swapped from writing about surfing to writing about food and wine. A friend knew a winemaker called who had a winery about an hour out of Melbourne, if I wanted to have a look around. It was good timing because vintage had started and, if I was game, I could go up for a weekend and help out. Just wear something old, he said, and don’t worry, they’d show me what to do. … more
I have never been very good with secrets.
They make me feel nervous and a bit guilty which means my mind freezes and I say awkward things when the conversation strays anywhere near the topic.
I’m like one of those fainting goats that – when excited or scared – freeze, stiffen and collapse for a few seconds. Cute, but a little inconvenient.
When I was younger, it was worse … … more
She reminded me of a request she made in a bar in London last year, after I returned invigorated by wine and life from France – to give her a mini lesson on wine.
“Just a quick one,” she said looking at her glass of Grüner Veltliner, a variety she now loved, I suspect for its flavour but also because she just experienced a little more of the magic of wine discovery.
“Oh I just want to know more about it.”
“Darl, asking for a quick lesson on wine is like asking for a quick lesson on life.”
“Perfect, I’ll take both.”
We laughed. And then I got to thinking, if I had to give a quick lesson on wine… … more
The wine was presented at dinner with all the ceremony as if it were a new child. Its arrival was announced to guests while it was carried in two hands as though its preciousness were fragile enough to crush. On the table it was centred and adored and as I admired my hosts’ generosity and offering of a very old wine, I thought how readily we accept ageing as a notion of superiority in wine yet not of ourselves. … more