Pinot Gris can be wonderful, as some of those that turned up for this tasting were.
When it comes to fast food, Faith Willinger's 30-second appetiser - a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano drizzled with a few drops of balsamico tradizionale - must beat all others for speed, flavour and style.
Tony Tan is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to Vietnamese, Malay, Nonya, Spanish, Thai and Chinese cuisines.
Good chardonnay may be delicious in the first year or two after it's bottled, but give it another couple of years bottle age and it can develop even more charm, mellowness and complexity that keep you coming back for another sip.
The Dalai Lama is both the political and religious leader of the exiled Tibetans - and considered a god by some.
Australian shiraz comes in many guises, from sweet fruity reds to big muscular wines with gripping tannins.
Beautiful creamy curds cradled by strong green leaves: Charmian Smith takes a closer look at the not-so-humble cauliflower.
Australian Jane Ferrari is unlike other wine marketers despite spending most of her working life hosting wine lunches and dinners around the world.
A couple of New Zealand wines have been in the news in the past week for winning international trophies at the 2008 London International Wine Challenge.
If there's one white wine to which an extra year or two's age really makes a difference, it's riesling.
Shiraz is Australia's most famous red wine, generally a rich, spicy wine sometimes slightly jammy and sometimes with a firm finish.
The idea of creating fabulous food without recipes appeals to many of us, but few have the courage or skill to do so.
In these days of rising food prices and health awareness, a packed lunch is cheaper and probably healthier than buying a pie or even a ready-made sandwich. At least you know what went into it. Charmian Smith investigates some lunch boxes.
One of the characteristics of New Zealand wine, especially of its whites, is the crisp acidity that leaves a tingling freshness in the mouth.
Chefs with gardens or gardeners who supply vegetables directly are much to the fore these days, as there is a renewed interest in gardening and especially in growing vegetables.
They have been cultivated since Roman times, though they have fallen from fashion a little lately. Charmian Smith digs the dirt on parsnips.
It was my pleasure to watch these young Hawkes Bay reds from the Gimblett Gravels area develop as I tasted them over several days.
India is vibrant, full of optimism and fast becoming one of the world's superpowers. While rural areas may lag behind, life in the cities is changing fast, and the young, educated middle class is growing, modernising and part of the global consumer culture. But that does not mean people are necessarily discarding all their millennia-old traditions. Charmian Smith looks behind the face of modern India.