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.
Frances Hodgkins Fellow Zina Swanson's exhibition, ''No Need for Water'', opens at the Hocken Galleries tomorrow. Charmian Smith reports.
Riesling comes in so many styles, from light and ethereal with a steely backbone to big, powerful, almost Australian in style, from sweet to searingly dry.
A couple of years' bottle age makes a difference to the pleasure many reds afford, as age allows the acids and tannins to mellow and soften, eliminating the rough, raw edge some young wines show.
The evolution of Central Otago pinot noir over the past two and a-half decades has been a rapid journey from grudging recognition from Northerners that wine could actually be grown and made here, through developing a reputation for distinctive pinot noir, to international recognition as one of the country's major wine regions.
At the other end of the scale from many of the single-vineyard wines at the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration are the Central pinots of varying quality made outside the region by multinational and other big producers, such as Matua Valley, Kim Crawford, Cloudy Bay, Yealands, Villa Maria, Brancott and Allan Scott, Mud House and Rock Ferry, as well a overseas dealers, including buyers' own brands for supermarkets, which can be as far flung as Germany, Hong Kong and South Africa.
Late last year, New Zealand Wine Growers announced a research programme into high quality, lower calorie and lower alcohol ''lifestyle'' wines facilitated by a new Primary Growth Partnership between the wine industry and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
A fascination with growing unusual things has led Kate Wendelgelst to growing mushrooms. Charmian Smith reports.
There's no point in having healthy food if it's not delicious, according to Nicola Brown. Charmian Smith talks to her about her raw ''cooking'' classes.
Sometimes you come across wines that are quite different from the run of the mill and this line-up includes an unusual variety, an unusual treatment for gewurztraminer and an unusual but delicious and versatile late harvest sauvignon blanc.
It is often difficult to match wine with Asian foods, but recently a few wines have appeared, such as Spice Trail, which are blended specially to complement these cuisines that are often not wine-friendly.
Pinot gris comes in several styles, from lush, oily wines with firm structure to new, lighter, lower-alcohol, crisp versions ideal for summer lunches. An extra year's bottle age has benefited some of these wines.
The Fortune Theatre opens its 40th anniversary season on Saturday with a new play by Roger Hall. Charmian Smith talks to New Zealand's best-known playwright about his new play and his long association with the theatre.