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Under the Tuscan spell... Chianti Classico

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

Tuscany is one of the world’s most famous and famously romantic wine regions, a place where food and wine are as inseparable as Bonnie and Clyde or morning and espresso. The very name Tuscany is evocative of purple hued sunsets, cypress tree dotted hillsides and hazy morning skies. Its immaculately  groomed landscapes, 500 year old villas and hilltop fortresses are as famous as its rustic cuisine where cingale (wild boar) and a large glass of Chianti Classico are intricately interwoven. Chianti Classico is, along with Brunello, one of the two the highest quality expressions of the classic wines from this region, but are often misunderstood. So...

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Affordable Bordeaux...

Posted by John Shearlock on

Affordable Bordeaux...

I love Bordeaux. I was wooed by the pomp and circumstance of the Cru Classé system as an impressionable twenty something and, arguably, it was Bordeaux that really got me into wine. However, one thing I don’t particularly like about this most French of regions is the price. I’ve tried buying cheap Bordeaux and it’s a dangerous game, typically becoming a disastrous study in the effects of vegetal pyrazines and under ripeness. But, not so with this Château de Pitray. It’s $29.99 on special at the moment and, yes, I’m aware this might not be cheap to everyone, but it’s...

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New Zealand Organic Wine Week, 20 to 26 September...

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

New Zealand Organic Wine Week, 20 to 26 September...

We are living in an uncertain world right now but one of the growing trends we can rely on is the seemingly exponential rise in the number of organically certified consumable products. Our shelves are positively bending under their weight and it's easy to spot the organically certified wines we have in store now by looking for the green tags we have fixed onto the names. This is the fourth New Zealand Organic Wine Week. It runs until Sunday 26 September and we can all expect to see plenty of promotion online as well as in stores who embrace the green message....

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Brunello rolls off the tongue and the palate

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

Brunello rolls off the tongue and the palate

One of Italy's great reds, aged for at least five years before release? If you had to name a top Italian red that's typically aged far longer than most wines and which comes from a small hillside appellation with a climate that's both alpine and Mediterranean, what would it be? If you said Brunello di Montalcino, then full marks. Not that it's a competition. This quirky, high quality, small volume, full bodied dry red is one of the great wines of the world and comes from a tiny area which is defined as a DOCG. This is the  highest classification for a defined wine region in Italy...

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Beer engine-uity...

Posted by John Shearlock on

Beer engine-uity...

Harviestoun - Old Engine Oil - Black Ale - 6%We all need some lubrication from time to time, right, and Harviestoun OId Engine Oil is guaranteed to crank the cogs of even the most stubborn old engine.This is all about the dark and decadent pleasure of roasted malts that emanate as chocolate, mocha, coffee and caramel on the nose. Then there’s that whiff of iron ore that all decent dark beers seem to possess. You know, like the odour that hits you as you’re welding the front axle of your E-Type Jaguar back in place after a minor accident whilst...

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