Artful Intervention: Is there a sweet spot?

A few weeks ago I was privileged to be asked to speak on wine and art at a soirée hosted by one of the most dynamic patrons of the New Zealand art world.  It was a fascinating topic to research.  I come from a wine technologist background, so it goes without saying that I’m a total geek when it comes to the scientific aspects of winemaking.  But I’ll admit the question of whether wine is art wasn’t something I’d spent a lot of time pondering.

There was the mandatory googling of definitions of art (conclusion: there isn’t one – hooray!) the fossicking through historic papers debating the topic of what is and isn’t art, and of course, the mulling over where wine fits into this construct.

I’ll spare you the intellectual pontificating, but suffice to say that based on the majority of definitions (creativity, expressing a feeling, eliciting a feeling in the viewer, communicating an idea), wine itself can very much be considered art.… Read more >



Are you a brave new consumer?

Many people are afraid to give me their opinion about a wine. Uncertainty, insecurity, fear –  I know these feelings well. They are my constant companions when I travel around the world; they are there every day when … Read more >



The art of closure

0c54402da86cb39ab4a2b9225a0f7ec8As someone who routinely loses wallets, phones, sunglasses, and has even lost sight of his own (admittedly very small) child on occasion, my wife finds it alternately absurd and ironic that I should choose a wine closure that … Read more >



Where’s the wine and sympathy?

As I sit here re-hydrating with a kale smoothie (to compensate for last night’s over-indulgence) I am reminded of the effect of what I choose to put into my body.

The closer we get to the holiday season, … Read more >



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 … Read more >



In pursuit 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 >



The Placebo Effect

Not that long ago, a study by Stanford neuro-economist Baba Shiv proved that when people are told a product is expensive, they extract more pleasure from it.

This is not a hugely surprising revelation, particularly in relation to … Read more >



Minerality – The Great Debate

“Wet stone. Matchstick. Vibrancy. Slate. Exclusively textural. Alcohol sensitive. Schist. Possibly the only true measure of greatness in wine.”

The popular definitions for the term ‘minerality’ are many and varied. It is a term that means different things … Read more >