Charmian Smith

WINE REVIEW: Pinot Gris

WINE REVIEW: Pinot Gris

Pinot gris often has lush fruit and a little sweetness which makes it good with some chicken dishes and Asian cuisines, or just to enjoy by itself. They are, however, high in alcohol, and not lunchtime wines unless you plan a nap afterwards.

Renaissance resonates

Renaissance resonates

One of the most powerful monarchs in 16th-century Europe, Catherine de Medici is the subject of a new musical work. Charmian Smith reports on a masque about the French queen whose intriguing mix of charm and menace enabled her, against all odds, to wield power for good and evil.

WINE REVIEWS: Sauvignon Blanc

WINE REVIEWS:  Sauvignon Blanc

Marlborough sauvignon blanc is some of the best in the world and with some of the best from Marlborough in this tasting, it's not surprising I handed out a few rare (for me) 4- and 5-star ratings. Those who can't be bothered with ordinary sauvignon should try these.

Moment in time

Moment in time

A year as University of Otago Frances Hodgkins Fellow has built on Patrick Lundberg's early excitement about his art. Charmian Smith reports.

Getting back to the roots of the process

Getting back to the roots of the process

The 11th Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration late last month was its usual mix of good wine, good food, good company and thoughtful presentations. More than 200 delegates, replete with fine food and wine are wending their way home to the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, and of course elsewhere in New Zealand. Charmian Smith reports on the maturing of the region.

WINE REVIEWS: Rosé

WINE REVIEWS: Rosé

Rosés used to be pink, sweetish and fruity but some are becoming more interesting, especially when matured on lees or fermented in old oak. The variety makes a difference too, with merlot and the cabernets usually giving more structure than pinot noir.

Drawn to dance

Drawn to dance

The Royal New Zealand Ballet's new artistic director is Francesco Ventriglia, an Italian passionate about ballet and beauty. Charmian Smith reports.

WINE REVIEWS: Villa Maria

WINE REVIEWS: Villa Maria

Villa Maria's Marlborough winemaker Helen Morrison sent a selection of her sauvignon blancs to highlight the characteristics of individual vineyards and subregions.

Opposite roles in Irish romance

Opposite roles in Irish romance

Acting needs a completely different mindset from directing a play, says Lara Macgregor.

On the menu

Amanda Ewing began baking oatcakes 10 years ago for her husband, who missed them from his years growing up in Scotland.