Simon and Alison Holst's latest little Everyday Easy book is Slow Food Fast (Hyndman Publishing).
To get the best out of pinot noir, especially high-acid ones, serve them at room temperature. Coax the aromas out by warming the glass in your hands and they can turn from lean and edgy to spicy and lively.
Dean Brettschneider, who styles himself the Global Baker, has yet another book out, this time simply called Bread (Penguin).
Holly Mathieson is back in her home town to conduct the Southern Sinfonia's upcoming concerts. Charmian Smith catches up with what she has been doing since she left Dunedin four years ago.
Some white wines are described as aromatic varieties which usually refers to gewurztraminer, pinot gris and riesling. These are fragrant when you swirl and sniff them and are usually made simply in stainless steel tanks, although some gain texture by being left on lees in old barrels.
Celebrating William Shakespeare's 450th birthday, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra is playing a concert of music inspired by the playwright, conductor Alexander Shelley tells Charmian Smith.
Even in good vintages like 2013 in Hawkes Bay, most merlots and blends benefit from extra bottle age to allow the sometimes rough edges of youth to mellow. When the premium 2013 reds are released, expect some fine wines.
In Rutter's Mass of the Children, the fresh, youthful voices of children contrast with the adult choir, according to City Choir Dunedin musical director David Burchell. He has asked the Columba Junior Madrigal Choir, directed by Richard Madden, to join the adult choir for its concert on Saturday in Knox Church.
Sauvignon blanc can bring a fresh breath of summer into the dark and cold of winter, but the richer, oaked versions, sometimes called fumé (smoky) blanc, have more complexity and interest and can be worth lingering over.
Albariño may be a Spanish grape but judging by some of the wines made from it in New Zealand it is quite at home here.
Dunedin's Fortune Theatre is celebrating its 40th birthday this weekend. It has weathered ups and downs over the years, but is one of the few community theatres established in the 1970s that is still going strong. Charmian Smith takes a trip back through time.
"King Oberon and Queen Titania are having a right royal bust-up and everything's out of balance.'' That is how director Dale Neill sees his production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream which opens at the Globe Theatre next Thursday .
2013 was a good vintage in Hawkes Bay. Craggy Range winemaker Matt Stafford describes it as the ''vintage of a generation''. A tasting of his whites a few weeks ago revealed elegant wines already harmonious, with charming but restrained fruit and nicely balanced acidity, that will no doubt be long-lived.
Rosie Belton's Wild Blackberries: recipes & memories from a New Zealand table (Allen & Unwin) is easy to read as you are not distracted by the lush food-porn photos that adorn many such books.
Yalumba brand ambassador Jane Ferrari is unstoppable when she is talking about wine, the winery, people, restaurants, food, almost anything in fact.
Writing springs out of being fascinated by things and wanting to share that fascination with other people, Melinda Szymanik, this year's University of Otago College of Education/Creative New Zealand Children's Writer in Residence tells Charmian Smith.
Simple young pinot noir can be fresh, lively and charming, but most benefit from time in bottle for the components to integrate and develop complexity.
The story of the brave Te Aokapurangi, who single-handedly saved her Te Arawa people from being massacred by Nga Puhi, is the inspiration for Okareka Dance Company's Mana Wahine: A journey of strength that plays at the Regent Theatre on Friday and Saturday.
Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, one of the most famous guitar concertos, will be performed this weekend by Karin Schaupp with the Southern Sinfonia. Charmian Smith talks to the Australian guitarist.