Archive for category ‘Wine’

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 10 February 2011 in Wine

Écusson Grande Cidre de Normandie Brut 750ml – $10 – ˜˜˜***

Well, I wouldn’t call it brut – medium-dry maybe. Colour of weak black tea. Softly fizzy in the mouth with a winey appley nose. Ripe autumnal flavours. A soft and rich style of cider – moreish.

Brown Brothers Prosecco Extra Dry NV – $18 – ˜˜˜***

King Valley, Victoria. A light nose of pears and peaches. The palate is clean, flavoursome and mid-dry with a hint of citrus at the finish.

Clover Hill Méthode Traditionnelle 2006 – up to $47 – ˜˜˜˜****

Pipers River, Tasmania. Chardonnay 57%, pinot noir 36%, pinot meunier 7%. Aged on lees three years. Lemon tart, porcini mushrooms and bread oven nose. Light and crisp in the mouth, multi-layered with brioche, citrus zest and new season apricots on the palate. A mouth-watering aperitif style. Read the rest of this entry

Wine and food predictions for 2011

Posted by Martin Field on 18 December 2010 in Food and Wine

Predictions for 2011


For what it’s worth, I reckon that in 2011, Australian wine drinkers will get over their flirtation with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

My crystal decanter tells me that the trend will be towards stylish dry rosés, pinot gris, medium priced bubblies and pinot noir. Read the rest of this entry

No sweet wine

Posted by Martin Field on 18 December 2010 in Food and Wine

Late September, I was feeling poorly and went to see the Doc. After endless tests he said, “We don’t know what you’ve got. It’s probably viral. Maybe it’ll go away.” (It did.)

He added scientific words to the effect of, “You’re no spring chicken though, and you do have slightly elevated blood sugar levels. If you don’t lift your game, in a few years you could become part of Australia’s Type 2 Diabetes epidemic.”

He didn’t recommend a specific diet, merely suggested that I check out Diabetes Australia, lose weight, and avoid sugary stuff and carbohydrate-rich food. “Oh,” he went on, “You should also cut down on the booze intake and exercise regularly.” A sobering thought. Read the rest of this entry

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 17 December 2010 in Wine Tasting

Queen Adelaide Brut NV – under $10 – **  – Pale gold, small bead. Nose of dried apples and pears. Soft and full in the mouth with a hint of lemon acidity. Will please people who don’t enjoy bone dry bubbly.

Yering Station Yarra Valley Fumé Blanc 2010 – $26 – ˜˜***  – Barrel fermented sauvignon blanc. In this wine, barrel-fermentation has softened much of the herbaceous pungency we expect in unwooded versions. Nevertheless there is still a hint of edgy tomato leaf over the faint woody overtones on the nose. The palate is full and rich and interwoven with sherbet-like acidity.

d’Arenberg McLaren Vale The Dry Dam Riesling 2010 – $15 – ˜˜˜*** Ripe lemon, new season pear and some floral notes on the nose. A generous mouth filling style permeated with lemon and lime intensity. There is a hint of apple pie at the finish. Good aperitif or entrée wine.

Read the rest of this entry


Posted by Martin Field on 17 December 2010 in Food and Wine

Chips Rafferty meets Laurence Olivier

From a column I wrote for The Melbourne Times, 12 July 1989:

I’ve just read a description of a dinner held at Emu Plains, New South Wales in 1948. (The Gourmet’s Week-End Book, edited by André Simon, Seeley Service, London 1952).

The setting was “Leonay“, the home of hosts Mr. and Mrs. Leo Buring. Their guests included Sir Laurence Olivier and Lady (Vivien Leigh) Olivier, and Chips and Mrs. Rafferty.

Among the wines served were an 1893 Great Western Hermitage, a 1920 White Hermitage from Dame Nellie Melba’s Coldstream vineyard, a 1932 Coonawarra Hermitage, a 1934 Hunter River Hermitage, a 1944 Drayton’s Hunter River Semillon and a 1940 Leonay Liqueur Brandy. Read the rest of this entry

Watching Keith Floyd

Posted by Martin Field on 17 December 2010 in Food and Wine

Over the last few weeks 7two has been running – at 6 p.m. weekdays –  a series of food shows by the late Keith Floyd – Floyd on France, Floyd’s American Pie and Floyd’s India.

The earlier shows are gems of pure entertainment: vigorous, sometimes slapdash, unpretentious, often spontaneous, witty, and informative. All episodes are well lubricated, both in recipes or in Floyd’s gullet, with lashings of good wine.

Though some episodes were made over 20 years ago, they make many of the current crop of TV celebrity “chefs” look like contrived, over-produced, self-indulgent amateurs.

Australian Cultural Wine Cringe?

Posted by Martin Field on 26 November 2010 in Wine

Winemaker Stephen Pannell has called upon Oz wine consumers to take the pledge and reject foreign wines this coming January. Pannell reasons that as foreign imports have grown, local winemakers have suffered financially and that wine grapes have been left to rot on the vines.

He suggests we have to get over our cultural cringe and instead support the local industry by drinking more Australian wine.

I don’t see any evidence to support the alleged cultural cringe effect and I can’t see that in the short to medium term a few weeks boycott of imports will have any significant impact on Australian made wine sales. Read the rest of this entry

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 26 November 2010 in Wine Tasting

Waipara Hills Brut – $22 - ** – Sparkling riesling from Waipara, New Zealand. Light straw, medium bead. Pears, water melon and floral notes on the nose. Smooth texture on the palate shows hints of dried pears, ripe apples and mild acidity. Finishes off-dry.

Nepenthe Pinot Gris 2010 – $19 - **- Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Pale, hint of green. Subdued sherbet-like bouquet. Fruity ripe citrus in the mouth. Soft acidity to finish. Read the rest of this entry

Vini Illuminati

Posted by Martin Field on 8 November 2010 in Wine Travel

by Annie Field

Last Wednesday we were hosted by the Illuminati wine family. We stayed an extra couple of nights in the wintery Le Marche region, just to attend the work organised appointment. We met up with Stefano Illuminati around midday for a tour of their facilities, a tasting and what was described as a lunch that was to be “nothing special” in the organising pre-emails.

The winery and vines are actually in the Abruzzo region which borders Le Marche to the south. Stefano shepherded us into his Porsche for a tour of their expansive vineyards, pointing out the different vineyards (Montepulciano being the star, the white Pecorino an up and comer), trellising techniques (they use both espalier and canopy styles) and described with ardour how the business has grown since his great grandfather established it over one hundred years earlier. Read the rest of this entry

Peter Lehmann Wines – Barossa Valley

Posted by Martin Field on 21 October 2010 in Wine Travel


Ian Hongell - Winemaker at Peter Lehmann Wines

Ian Hongell - Winemaker at Peter Lehmann Wines

Peter Lehmann Wines

Since its inception in 1979, Peter Lehmann Wines has been a Barossa Valley mainstay. The wines, especially the shiraz and riesling have been – in my little black book – synonymous with the Barossa style. So much so that when overseas guests have asked me to recommend typical Barossa wines, Peter Lehmann always come to mind.

The winery and cellar door are set in leafy, park-like gardens and guests can wander around, taste a good selection of wines and if peckish, enjoy lunch on a sunny verandah – as we did. Read the rest of this entry