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 necessitates a corkscrew — yet another item that eludes me at vital moments.

I admit it does seem absurd. With all the advances in screw cap closures and with New Zealand wineries adopting the screw cap with a zealousness bordering on fanatical, one could be forgiven for believing that the ship has well and truly sailed for wine corks.

But in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Depending on which publication you read 18.5 – 40 billion bottles of wine are produced each year. Of those, over half are still sealed with corks. It’s a fact made more astonishing when you consider that around six percent of wines sealed with natural corks are likely to be faulty – three percent from cork taint and two to three percent from oxidation, due to the poor elasticity of natural cork (and subsequent oxygen ingress). That’s between 720 million and 1.4 billion bottles of faulty wine on the market.

New Zealand winemakers shake their heads in bemusement. ‘Why on earth risk the quality of the wine by using a cork?’ they beseech. And they have a point.… 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 >



Selling out… in a good way

It feels surreal to be writing this before I’ve even opened the doors of the tasting room: I have almost sold out of my first vintage – Cedalion 2013 Single Vineyard Chardonnay from Waiheke Island.

When I was … Read more >



No to the status quo

After 20 years in the wine trade learning from the many eminent and distinguished experts who dominate the industry, I am about to release the first wine that I dare put my name on.

It comes from a … Read more >