The Diacetyl Debate

When I was a kid there was no such thing as the healthy heart tick – we grew up on dairy products. With potentially average ingredients or limited cooking expertise, a glug of cream or a chunk of butter was the saviour of a meal. But back then, even people with access to great produce and Cordon Bleu expertise bought into the dairy delirium.

Nowadays, while I still enjoy the odd artery-hardening mushroom sauce on my steak – more out of nostalgia than anything, I have far more appreciation of the full spectrum of fresh, natural ingredients. I consciously choose seasonal produce where possible and cook to elevate natural flavours and textures rather than mask them.

The same can be said for my taste in wine – chardonnay in particular. Back when I first started making wine, if a chardonnay didn’t ooze butterscotch, or wasn’t oaked to within an inch of its life it was considered a dud. Subtle, it was not.

While there is still very much a market for this style of chardonnay – indeed, what the consumer wants, the consumer gets – I think it’s interesting to understand what you are drinking and what its limits are.… Read more >

The Art of Winefulness

Picture the scene: On your way to a dinner party you stop to buy a bottle of wine. For some reason your usual confidence in a well-priced but relatively unknown wine is replaced by a gnawing feeling of … Read more >