Riesling is often good value, perhaps because it's a niche rather than a populist wine. Good riesling is balanced with either fruit weight or some sweetness to counteracting the steely shaft of acidity. Bottle age also makes a difference.
A nostalgic visit to 1960s rural New Zealand and the undercurrents that run beneath the surface are brought to life in the Fortune Theatre's new production of Peninsula. Charmian Smith talks to director Patrick Davies.
Fumé blanc is derived from a French synonym for sauvignon blanc and was introduced by Californian winemaker Robert Mondavi in the 1970s.
From today the city will be humming with new, experimental, alternative and exciting arts events and exhibitions as the Dunedin Fringe raises its curtain. Charmian Smith and Shane Gilchrist talk to the people behind two productions.
Fruit weight, concentration but not over-ripeness, persistence and balance are some of the keys to superb pinot noir, whether they ooze dark, textural power, sheath their steely strength in silky fruit, are lush with dark spicy fruits or lively with schisty red fruits. This tasting from two producers showed the variety of terroir from Otago vineyards.
A charming Irish dandy, poet and musician who infiltrated London high society to subversively promote Irish separatism is the focus of Richard Hanna's Melody Moore. Charmian Smith talks to the former Dunedin actor who is bringing his one-man show from Canada to the Fringe Festival.
Chardonnay tends to undergo various wine-making processes, such as lees ageing, leaving the wine on spent yeast, which develops a hint of nuttiness, or malolactic fermentation, which converts sharp malic acid to buttery, sometimes even cheesy lactic acid.
The inaugural New Zealand International Early Music Festival begins on Saturday with colourful concert The Tudors: Piety and Pleasure, followed by eight other concerts of baroque, renaissance or medieval music, and closing with a picnic. A concurrent exhibition, ''Plainsong to Pergolesi: A Timeline of Early Music'' is at the Dunedin Public Library until March 10. Charmian Smith talks to harpsichordist Douglas Mews and soprano Lois Johnston about their love of early music.
Not everyone likes the lush fruity intensity and crisp acidity of typical Marlborough sauvignon blancs. There are lighter ones for the faint hearted, and full on pungent ones for the bold. And for connoisseurs who often avoid sauvignon blanc, there are unusual, interesting ones like, in this tasting, the Hawkes Bay Alluviale.
Superfoods Cookbook (Penguin) is the latest from Australian diet and fitness coach Michelle Bridges, but these are not exotic expensive superfoods.
Popular philosopher Julian Baggini tackles some of the common mantras associated with food with a large pinch of salt: orthodoxies of the day that many of us follow, such as ''eat local and seasonal'', ''small producers good, multinationals bad'', and the pros and cons of fair trade, organic and free range versus industrial food.
There appear to be more brands of pinot noir than any other New Zealand wine, so there's a lot to choose from. They may come from Central, of course, but also Waipara, Marlborough, Nelson, Wairarapa and even from Hawkes Bay.
This year marks the centenary of the start of the Great War, World War 1, so the next four years will see many commemorative events. One of the first in Dunedin is the Globe Theatre's production of Journey's End, a play set in the trenches of the Western Front. Charmian Smith reports.
Pinot gris tends to be a wine people either enjoy or can't be bothered with. Apart from appreciating a few stylish versions, I have to admit I fall into the latter camp, especially when they are sweet and unbalanced by high alcohol that leaves a burn in the mouth.
Elderflower cordial may be old-fashioned but there's been a revival of it in both cordials and sparkling drinks.
Ewan and Sarah McDougall celebrated 30 years of marriage (their pearl anniversary) last year with the publication of Pearler, a book of 15 of her poems and 15 of his paintings in response to each other.