Archive for category ‘Wine’

Springtime in France

Posted by Martin Field on 18 July 2011 in Wine Travel

Sparkling Burgundy

Early June, it’s springtime in France and we’re on the fast train to Dijon, capital of Burgundy. After Dijon, we’ll head towards Avignon, Aix en Provence and Marseille.

Asparagus - Les Halles

No rental cars or rural retreats this trip. It’s all train and bus from Paris to Marseille, staying at pre-booked, self-catering apartments in the heart of each town.

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Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 19 May 2011 in Wine Tasting

Champagne Duperrey Premier Cru Brut NV – up to $50 – ˜˜˜***

A chardonnay and pinot noir blend from the house of Martel. Pale gold in colour with the slightest pink tinge; flowers and subtle notes of brioche on the nose. A fuller style, with apricot and dried apple flavours in the mouth along with a hint of citrus. Opens with fruit sweetness and firms up towards the finish.

Hollick Coonawarra Savagnin 2010 – $21 – ˜˜**

Juicy, fresh nose. Zesty, tangy palate with hints of lime and sherbet. Dryish flavoursome finish. Good entrée style. Read the rest of this entry


Posted by Martin Field on 19 May 2011 in Wine Tasting

Astrid of Alphington asks, “Recently a friend passed on a recommendation for bargain French bubbly. I was almost sold, then I read the tasting notes that used the term “meaty”. Now I know I am a vegetarian, but eeew! Is this a flavour anyone wants in their champers?

“Picking up my newspaper today one wine in the Penfolds range, was described as having “mature meaty/gamy” flavours and another as having “‘meaty’ complexity”. Is all this butcher shop terminology some sort of new fad amongst wine writers, and seriously, can a wine taste like meat?” Read the rest of this entry


Posted by Martin Field on 19 May 2011 in Food and Wine

Chicken stomach in Munich

Years ago I worked in London as the sweet-smelling* gofer for the chief alchemist of the French Perfumery Company. The job was going nowhere and I was available for other employment.

Luckily, a friend of mine, bass player Jim Rodford, offered me the job as road manager for soul outfit Lucas and Mike Cotton Sound (MCS). (Jim it was who had introduced me to Paul McCartney in the loo of the Bag o’ Nails. Those were the days my friend.**)

The Mike Cotton Sound, Mr & MRS PN, and Martin F. on right

During my time with the MCS, the band had a residency for a few weeks at a club known as the PN Hit House in Munich. Named after the owner Peter Naumann it was situated in Leopoldstrasse, in the bohemian area of Schwabing. Read the rest of this entry

A cheesemeister in Hanoi

Posted by Martin Field on 19 May 2011 in Food and Wine

Richard Thomas, our mojito-suckin’ reporter wrote from Hanoi recently.

I’m sitting here in a friend’s home in old Hanoi just loving a perfect raw milk Normandy Camembert and fresh butter on baguette. All washed down with an ever so slightly sweet German sparkling rosé, trying to figure out the meaning of ‘third world’. It’s not happening.

Lunch started late today. We were out in a simple pavement café last night, washing down swimmer crabs with ‘Viet whisky’ served in shot glasses from plastic drink bottles. Read the rest of this entry

Dyin’ for a drink

Posted by Martin Field on 19 May 2011 in Wine

The Cancer Council of Australia (CCA) recently freaked out wine and other alcohol drinkers when it released a paper saying that alcohol causes cancer. Sort of makes you feel sorry for all those people who have happily consumed wine over the last 10,000 years and who never heard of the CCA.

It seems that hardly a week goes by without the public being told by one authority or other that something enjoyable, useful or familiar is going to be the death of us.

Smoking, obesity, radon in the soil, pesticides in food, sunlight, atmospheric pollution, food additives, animal fats, pickles, fried food, cured and barbecued meats, nuclear power plant radiation, mobile phones, booze – the list is endless. Read the rest of this entry

Flooded wine

Posted by Martin Field on 10 February 2011 in Wine

What do you do when floods have invaded your wine cellar? It’s a question many victims of the recent Australian inundations are asking. After his cellar was flooded, one Brisbane restaurateur is reported to have dumped 2000 bottles of top shelf wine as undrinkable.

Unsaleable maybe, but I wouldn’t agree that flood ravaged bottles are undrinkable. And no way would I dump them. (Unless the insurance people insisted, that is.)

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Posted by Martin Field on 10 February 2011 in Food and Wine

A couple of (sceptical?) correspondents have asked whether my weight loss regime took a dive over the Christmas festivities. The answer, strangely, is no. Read the rest of this entry


Posted by Martin Field on 10 February 2011 in Wine Travel

A dark and stormy moussaka

One evening, many decades ago, the good Greek ship Ellinis was under full sail (poetic ain’t I?), somewhere in the North Atlantic. Most of the souls aboard were young Australians, en route to England to gain a bit of kulcher.

The sea was angry that night my friends – as George Costanza might have said. Storms were creating massive waves, and as the ship had no stabilisers we were rocking and rolling as we sat down to late dinner in the dining saloon. Read the rest of this entry

Top five foods (and one wine) loved by dentists

Posted by Martin Field on 10 February 2011 in Food and Wine

On a recent visit to my dentist I asked if he could institute a frequent filler program. He hadn’t thought about it but apparently his accountant’s computer answered in the negative.

As I tried unsuccessfully to whistle a happy tune through numbed lips, I decided that the following delicacies must be loved by the dental fraternity (and sorority).

Olives – the ones with the pits. Even pitted olives contain the odd tooth-cracker.

Toffee – a classic filling extractor. Not to mention boiled lollies, peanut brittle, seaside rock and gob-stoppers.

Animal bones – chewing on chops, chicken legs and t-bones is great for breaking canines. (Unless you’re a canine.)

Popcorn – unpopped kernels can bring a tear to anyone’s eyeteeth.

Rice and lentils – famous for crunchy stray bits of gravel. Read the rest of this entry