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.)

Read the rest of this entry


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

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

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