Prolific and popular author Alexander McCall Smith will be speaking at the Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival next week. Charmian Smith talks to the professor of law turned best-selling author.
There are a few brands of wine that regularly offer great value. Main Divide wines, with their ripe fruit, complexity and texture, from the award-winning Pegasus Bay winery in Wairarapa north of Christchurch, is one of them.
Here in the South we tend to focus on Central Otago pinot noir, but a recent visit to Martinborough reminded Charmian Smith that it, too, is a specialised pinot noir region with its own character.
An exciting world of dance and choreography is opening up for Loughlan Prior, a dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. In Dunedin recently for iD Fashion, he talked to Charmian Smith about the upcoming production of Coppelia.
Marja Van Loon says her life changed when she attended a cheesemaking course five years ago, and shortly afterwards got her first calf, Daisy, from a fellow student.
There are some delicious chardonnays in this batch, mouth-filling with well-balanced oak, creamy malolactic characters, nuttiness from lees contact, and lovely crisp finishes, but as always, it's the overall balance that brings it into harmony.
Scones are popular in cafes these days, although few people whip up batches at home as our grandmothers used to. Charmian Smith and friends make some scones.
Aiming to encourage families to cook and eat together, Jas McPhee has attracted more than 66,000 followers to her Facebook page. Now she has written a cookbook. Charmian Smith reports.
St Kilda, the romantic, now uninhabited Scottish island, has several namesakes, including in Dunedin. Charmian Smith talks to Deirdre Nelson, who is working on a project connecting them.
An Irish couple who love food have bought and renovated the old villa at 95 Filleul St, home to numerous restaurants over the past 30-odd years.
Some Hawkes Bay reds, variations on traditional Bordeaux blends such as merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and sometimes cabernet franc and malbec, can be superb, and good Hawkes Baysyrah has a wonderful purity of fruit along with a pepperiness and silkiness. But sometimes Australians can be better value.
Laurence Aberhart photographs things that other people don't usually bother noticing. His exhibition of World War 1 soldier memorials, ''ANZAC'', opens at Dunedin Public Art Gallery this Saturday.
Sometimes cheaper pinot noir can be a tad acidic for pleasant drinking but serving it at about 18degC or eating something savoury with it can ameliorate the sharp, sometimes lean or unripe edge.
Curiosity and openness to new ideas are what NZSO conductor Pietari Inkinen thrives on, he tells Charmian Smith.
Stemming from our British heritage, New Zealand has a proud baking tradition that is newly popular again as people return to home cooking.
It annoys me when a winemaker's website wants to know my date of birth before it will let me in.
Fruity, sweet and hot is a common description of pinot gris, but sometimes you come acrossone that pushes the boundaries like Main Divide, or restrained and delicate likeRockburn or nutty with some lees contact or barrel fermentation like Odyssey.
The Southern Sinfonia's 2014 subscription season opens on Saturday with ''We will remember them'', a concert commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1. Charmian Smith talks to conductor Jessica Cottis.