Five wine documentaries you must see

My valued colleague Catherine Oddie has a fondness for listicles so in the spirit of her appreciation for pithy instructive roll calls of things people absolutely must know – I offer my top five favourite wine documentaries. Each of these are on DVD and some have been cinema releases (McMan and I saw the #1 doco twice within a […]

Water into wine: a controversial Riverina miracle, in pictures

Too much wine and not enough water – this is one of the environmental tensions of our times, and it’s in the news again in Australia this week. As I wrote in First Vintage (2012), the use of irrigation to produce wine grapes in the Riverina is a site of contestation between the people who […]

Winter is coming!

I mean this literally and metaphorically. First, the metaphorical, which – as anyone who is a fan of Game of Thrones has already guessed – entails Starkish tidings of potential doom. Sounds serious? It is. (And those who have not read or seen GoT, be warned, there is a minor spoiler at the end of […]

Och aye, the noo: wine and the Scots; who knew?

When we think of alcohol and the Scots we usually think of whiskey. But Scots were active in the British wine trade. Rich traders and Scottish Enlightenment intellectuals alike favoured grape over grain. And Scots exerted a largely forgotten influence on wine growing in colonial Australia. So, as Scotland squares its shoulders for a September referendum on […]

Australia’s first wine, and other delicious mysteries

As well as wine I love crime fiction, so it will come as no surprise that I have a particular penchant for crime fiction themed around wine. Yes, I’ve read Peter Mayle’s The Vintage Caper, a charming romp through the high end of wine collecting that that plays up the tensions between French wine connoisseurship and American […]