Wine Down

Vintage – part 3

Vintage – part 3

Just to be clear, WineDown is presenting a (necessarily) One Size Fits All version of events in the winery. Creative winemakers will always depart from certain procedures; embellish others; delay, repeat, or omit steps to achieve the style of wine they have dreamt of making.
Vintage – part 2

Vintage – part 2

Having lovingly coaxed their precious berries through budburst, fruit-set and véraison, to plump maturity, the winemaking team anxiously awaits that serendipitous juncture when luscious fruit ripeness meets optimal harvesting weather.
Vintage – part 1

Vintage – part 1

To normal (yes!) people, vintage is a number on a bottle, telling them when the grapes in the wine they are about to enjoy were harvested. But to wine people - vintage refers to the whole shebang.
A Hundred, Not Out.

A Hundred, Not Out.

Yes, gentle Reader, today’s edition marks the hundredth issue of your favourite wine column. Obviously, there’ll be a dizzying array of festivities to celebrate the milestone, but WineDown is feeling quietly reflective.
Aussie Sparklings

Aussie Sparklings

In spite of the riches at our fingertips, at times of great celebration (such as ushering out a universally loathed year) we habitually ignore our fabulous Aussie sparklings, reaching instead for Champagne.
Wine Matching: the Christmas Pud

Wine Matching: the Christmas Pud

The quest to find the ideal wine match for this grand old dessert has led to years of rigorous research, during which WineDown has selflessly sampled countless contenders. But the sobering fact is that the jury’s still out: there are literally scores of fabulous matches, but which is THE ONE?
Aussie Icons – Part 2

Aussie Icons – Part 2

Welcome to Aussie Icons, Part 2: Recognised, revered, reputable and rare treats - for grownups.
Aussie Icons – Part 1

Aussie Icons – Part 1

At the pinnacle of Australia’s icons is a wine that readers will know well - if not from personal experience, then at least by reputation: Penfolds Grange.
Cavaliere D'Oro

Cavaliere D'Oro

Chianti’s home - the eternally beautiful Tuscany (Toscana) - is located approximately in the quadriceps region of Italy’s sassy thigh-high boot.
Pestilence!

Pestilence!

Viticulturists learn to keep their friends close and their enemies even closer: it was a stroke of genius to befriend Botrytis Cinerea. But one name strikes fear into the heart of viticulturists everywhere: Phylloxera.
Merlot. Look Again.

Merlot. Look Again.

Soft, lush and velvety Merlot is a big, delicious mouthful of berry fruit flavour – minus the sharp acids and lip puckering tannins. Its soft approachability makes it a great starting point for newbie wine-lovers.
California

California

The USA is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world, and California contributes 81% of that output. Which, when you think about it, really makes California the world’s fourth-largest wine producer.