Charmian Smith

Spanish immigrant seems to be making itself at home

Albariño may be a Spanish grape but judging by some of the wines made from it in New Zealand it is quite at home here.

WINE REVIEWS: Sauvignon Blanc

WINE REVIEWS: Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc can bring a fresh breath of summer into the dark and cold of winter, but the richer, oaked versions, sometimes called fumé (smoky) blanc, have more complexity and interest and can be worth lingering over.

Everything here is a little out of balance

Everything here is a little out of balance

"King Oberon and Queen Titania are having a right royal bust-up and everything's out of balance.'' That is how director Dale Neill sees his production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream which opens at the Globe Theatre next Thursday .

Theatre of Fortune

Theatre of Fortune

Dunedin's Fortune Theatre is celebrating its 40th birthday this weekend. It has weathered ups and downs over the years, but is one of the few community theatres established in the 1970s that is still going strong. Charmian Smith takes a trip back through time.

All the best from Yalumba

All the best from Yalumba

Yalumba brand ambassador Jane Ferrari is unstoppable when she is talking about wine, the winery, people, restaurants, food, almost anything in fact.

Cookbooks

Cookbooks

Rosie Belton's Wild Blackberries: recipes & memories from a New Zealand table (Allen & Unwin) is easy to read as you are not distracted by the lush food-porn photos that adorn many such books.

WINE REVIEWS: Chardonnay

WINE REVIEWS: Chardonnay

2013 was a good vintage in Hawkes Bay. Craggy Range winemaker Matt Stafford describes it as the ''vintage of a generation''. A tasting of his whites a few weeks ago revealed elegant wines already harmonious, with charming but restrained fruit and nicely balanced acidity, that will no doubt be long-lived.

Author finds the fun in words

Author finds the fun in words

Writing springs out of being fascinated by things and wanting to share that fascination with other people, Melinda Szymanik, this year's University of Otago College of Education/Creative New Zealand Children's Writer in Residence tells Charmian Smith.

Food, but not as we know it

Food, but not as we know it

Food can be more than just sustenance; it can be art, a storytelling medium, part of our personal identity and part of our culture. Charmian Smith reports from the International Food Design Conference at Otago Polytechnic last week.

WINE REVIEWS: Pinot Noir

WINE REVIEWS: Pinot Noir

Simple young pinot noir can be fresh, lively and charming, but most benefit from time in bottle for the components to integrate and develop complexity.