A neat row of jars of your own preserves is not only a satisfying conclusion to a leisurely hour or so in the kitchen, it's also a wonderful way to make the most of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Jars of chutney, pickles or jam also make excellent gifts. Charmian Smith talks to the authors of two recent cookbooks featuring recipes for preserves of all kinds.
Performances of Handel's Messiah have become a traditional pre-Christmas event, but it wasn't always so. Like everything else, it's been subject to the whims of fashion, Charmian Smith reports.
A chilled glass of rosé lifts a lazy summer lunch to new heights. Rosé is not for thinking aboutor savouring, but it should delight you with its fruity charm and freshness.
Jo Seagar's latest book, A bit of what you fancy (Random House), continues her maximum effect for minimum effort philosophy.
It's not hard to get good quality wine but the exciting thing is to find wines that over-deliver at their price, according to Michael Cooper.
Just up the road from the city, Middlemarch is planning its next singles ball, but it's women, not men, needing partners this year. Charmian Smith reports on the Globe Theatre's latest production.
Josh Emmett, Masterchef judge and proprietor of the acclaimed Rata in Queenstown, says his new book Cut (Random House) goes back to growing up on a farm in the Waikato. It's about meat; his...
In this batch of Central Otago pinot noir, those from Alexandra - Grasshopper Rock, Perseverance and Barrington - with their red fruit and lively edge stood out from the darker-fruited, more brooding wines from the Cromwell basin. If you are visiting wineries there this summer, see if you can taste the differences.
The final celebration in the Royal New Zealand Ballet's 60th anniversary is Tutus on Tour, which travels from from Kaitaia to Stewart Island. Charmian Smith talks to Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner who have come from the US to stage Antony Tudor's Little Improvisations, one of the ballets in the show.
Chardonnay's popularity fell a few years ago, perhaps because of the lakes of boring, ''abc'' (another bloody chardonnay) that used to flood the market. However, good chardonnay is still being made and it's coming back into the sights of those who moved on to pinot gris and sauvignon blanc.
Comedy, farce and fun are what Christmas shows are about, and among this year's offerings are the 1960s farce Boeing Boeing at the Fortune, and Crossroads, two comic operettas staged by Opera Otago. Charmian Smith reports.
Instead of her annual big tome, Annabel Langbein's cookbook this year, a free range life, is in a summery magazine format full of tips, suggestions and recipes with variations, alternatives and so on.
This batch of Central Otago rieslings showed just how well the variety can do here, some of the different styles, and what good value it can be.
Many of us know what we should be eating and why, but not how to put it into practice, according to Nadia Lim.
Music is in the blood of Canadian conductor Julian Kuerti. Charmian Smith talks to the man in charge of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for its ''Fireworks and Fantasy'' tour.
The Alexandra basin winemakers held their new-release tasting at Labour Day weekend.
With summer on its way, rosé comes into its own for accompanying long lunches and lazy outdoor dinners. Rosés are for enjoying rather than analysing and are best fresh and lightly chilled.
Samuel Holloway hopes his music has the power to suggest other kinds of possibilities, things people may not have thought about. Charmian Smith talks to the 2013 Mozart Fellow.
Many people think sauvignon blanc has to be drunk young, but these, all from this year's vintage, were better the day after opening, indicating that several months, or even a year or so of bottle age will see them develop their potential.
Some delicious products for review have turned up in the features office recently.