Saturday, December 20, 2008

Maggie Beer cooking demonstration

Thinking of planning a seminar, conference or team building exercise in the Adelaide and Barossa region? Why not include a trip to Maggie Beer's Farm Shop and book an exclusive and interactive corporate verjuice cooking demonstration for groups of 10 or more.

These new demonstrations are held in the Farm Shop's Studio Kitchen where the popular television show The Cook and the Chef is filmed.

The demonstrations include straight verjuice tastings, plus audience participation with the preparation and tasting of tender corn-fed chicken tenderloins, sautéed with fresh herbs and deglazed with verjuice, plus Aussie mushrooms sautéed with fresh herbs and deglazed with verjuice and salad with verjuice vinaigrette.

At the end of the demonstrations, each guest will receive a signed copy of Maggie Beer's cooking with verjuice book and a bottle of Maggie Beer's verjuice. The demonstrations cost $15 per person. More information: 08 8562 4477

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

No more Port or Sherry

The wine industry will announce in a few months potential names for the fortified wines sherry, port, tokay and Marsala.

Australia signed a new trade agreement with the European Union last week, agreeing to phase out the use of wine names which are tied to places in Europe.

Chairman of the fortified sustainability project committee, Colin Campbell, says developing the new names has cost the industry a lot of time and up to a million dollars so far.

"We think we've now got to a point where we're on the last phase of our research, just testing names and hopefully from there we're hoping to have at least by March to have the new names out in the arena, so that we can start the process then of launching them and introducing them and promoting them."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rich & Lingering Named Best Tour Operator in South Australia

Rich & Lingering was named best Tour Operator at the South Australia Tourism Awards gala dinner, on Saturday 22 November. Rich & Lingering will now go forward as the South Australian entrant to contest the Australian Tourism Awards, in February 2009.

The award is recognition of Rich & Lingering’s creativity, professionalism and innovation in the industry. It acknowledges their focus on providing high levels of wine and food knowledge, together with outstanding customer service.

State judging is conducted by a panel of independent industry peers appointed by the SATC. The panel comprises a cross-section of tourism industry experts. Judges are selected for their knowledge and experience of the industry.

“It is gratifying to receive recognition from the industry of our commitment to excellence, and caps off another very successful year for us” said Jason Miller of Rich & Lingering.

“We focus on the premium segment of the food and wine tourism market which requires Rich & Lingering to partner with other exceptional businesses across the regions. A big thank you to all who support Rich & Lingering and we look forward to continuing our relationship into the future.” said Mr Miller.

“South Australia is a fantastic place for food and wine, with many new indulgence seeking visitors discovering the regions for the first time. Rich & Lingering aim to be a key promoter of the state’s wonderful food and wine producers into the future.”

Rich & Lingering provides private tailor made food and wine experiences for guests, focussing on Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, and McLaren Vale wine regions of South Australia. Guests are able to draw on the knowledge of their guide of not only regional products but also international styles. Tours encourage guests to discover new products and the art and science of viticulture and winemaking.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Barossa in Top 10 Wine Regions of the World

The Barossa has been named one of the world’s top 10 wine destinations by the world’s largest online travel community, TripAdvisor. The iconic South Australian wine region was the only Australian destination to make it onto the prestigious list, alongside European regions such as Bordeaux and Tuscany.

Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith says the listing is significant because it was based not just on TripAdvisor editors’ opinions, but also on the Barossa’s popularity with travellers. “The TripAdvisor website is home to more than 15 million reviews of holiday destinations and products written by real travellers who want to share their experiences with others,” she says.

“South Australia, and in particular the Barossa, is obviously being highly praised by those who have visited here for a holiday. The Internet is the place where more and more travellers are researching their holidays, and its importance as a tool to spread the word about visiting South Australia cannot be underestimated.”

In its list of the world’s top 10 wine destinations, TripAdvisor praised the Barossa as: “this scenic region in Southern Australia (which) is highly regarded for its Shiraz and its other robust varieties of red wine. Characterized by its visibly rich German heritage, along with its rolling, vine-covered hills, Barossa Valley is a uniquely beautiful destination for sightseers and wine connoisseurs alike.”

The Barossa is an important drawcard for attracting Australian and international tourists to South Australia. “The South Australian Government is committed to marketing the region through the South Australian Tourism Commission and Tourism Barossa,” Dr Lomax-Smith says.

“The South Australian Government will continue to promote the Barossa’s unique culture, heritage and acclaimed wine to the world. “Being named as one of the world’s top 10 wine destinations shows just how marketable the region is as a tourist destination,” Minister Lomax-Smith says.

For more information on Barossa Valley check here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fleurieu Fiesta 08

October is upon us and so the limelight this month shines on Fiesta!

Fiesta! is a celebration of exceptional food, wine and hospitality across the Fleurieu. We celebrate Spring with a myriad of events during October, showcasing the very best that this culinary diverse and rich region has to offer. On offer are degustation dinners, salubrious long lunches, intimate workshops, as well as celebratory feasts, tastings of cheeses, new season olives and olive oils and new vintage wines.

Once again the Fleurieu Peninsula will open its doors and invite everyone to be a part of the celebration. Fiesta! 2008 is set to be a feast of the freshest seasonal food packed with over 20 wine and dine events, involving 15 restaurants, seven wineries and 24 galleries. All of the events offer a different experience to the public. Some of our picks include;
· Fiesta! at the Willunga Farmers Market (each Saturday) Fiesta! hosts its own stall at the market featuring Punters Pick and Fleurieu Peninsula Slow Self Guided Tours.
· Oliver’s Taranga Degustation Dinner (10 October) Food by XO Supper Club matched to museum & current release wines.
· French Flavours Come to Penny’s Hill (17 October) Come and enjoy French Provincial Cuisine with a modern Australian Twist.
· Wild about Yeast (19 October) Bread, Beer, Wine and Olives. Get wild about yeast at Producers of McLaren Vale.
· Fiesta! Finale (Saturday, 25 October) An Italian inspired slow food feast featuring current and museum released wines, at Primo Estate.

Throughout the festival you may notice restaurants across the Fleurieu offering a unique dish using regional produce, matched with local wines. Be sure to support these guys and eat local.

This is a perfect opportunity for visitors and locals alike to experience some of the peninsula’s best kept secrets and indulge in the region’s diverse range of food and wine. For more information visit
Fleurieu Fiesta, or

Shadow's Passing at Fox Creek

South Australia's wine world lost a faithful friend this week with the death of Fox Creek winery mascot, Shadow. Shadow, a border collie, greeted visitors to the McLaren Vale winery for more than a decade, appeared on TV shows and even had wine named after him.

He was loved by many visitors to cellar door, and always eager to charm our guests. Shadow's party trick was to chase the vibrating trellis wire along the vineyard rows during vine pruning. Due to this a wine was named after him in 2001 - Shadow's Run.

Shadow, who died on Tuesday, aged 11. We are certain he will be missed by the Fox Creek team, and the McLaren Vale community.

Friday, August 8, 2008

South Australia's Success at Decanter World Wine Awards

Australian wineries are celebrating a record medal haul in this year’s prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards. Decanter Magazine’s expert judges tasted a staggering 9,219 wines from around the world during a mammoth week of tasting in London. Australian wines scooped more trophies and medals than any other New World country with only France claiming more medals overall. Just 1.1% of the thousands of wines entered won a Regional Trophy and Australia’s 15 trophy winners will now go on to compete against trophy winners from around the world for the ‘champion of champions’ International Trophies, announced at a glamorous awards ceremony in London in early September.

Australian wines stormed to victory in the ‘Under £10’ (AU$20.50) category winning more Gold medals in this category than any other country. However, Australia’s growing prominence in top price wines was clear with 77% of Australian medal winners in the ‘over £10’ category.

As for Australia’s best wine region, naturally it was South Australia which scored a convincing victory taking home 359 medals including eight trophies and 13 gold medals with Barossa the stand-out region; including a boost for their whites with the Australian White Single Varietals Over £10 Trophy going to Peter Lehmann’s Margaret Semillon 2002 - an absolute stunner.

Rich & Lingering's private tours regularly include some of the winners, such as Shaw & Smith (Gold Medal - 2006 Shiraz), Wirra Wirra (Gold Medal - Dead Ringer Cabernet Sauvignon 2006), Penfolds (Gold Medal - Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon 2005), Murray Street Vineyards (Trophy - Greenock Shiraz 2006), Peter Lehmann (Trophy - Reserve Riesling 2002).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tasting Australia during Vintage

Tasting Australia, Australia’s premier food, wine and beer festival held in Adelaide will now be held in Autumn instead of Spring, from 6 – 13 May 2010, allowing visiting media, food and drink professionals and the public at large a chance to experience the best South Australia has to offer at vintage time.

In the eleven years since its conception, Tasting Australia has become one of the nation’s most influential and best attended gastronomic festivals. The event has hosted hundreds of Australia’s and the world’s top chefs, sommeliers, restaurateurs, food, wine and travel media and has attracted a wide cross-section of the food-loving public to Adelaide and South Australia.

It regularly attracts celebrity chefs of the calibre of Rick Stein, Antonio Carluccio, Nick Nairn, Rachel Allen, Paul Rankin, Sophie Grigson, Madhur Jaffrey and Claudia Roden, Stephanie Alexander, Serge Dansereau, Neil Perry, Shannon Bennett, Paul Wilson, Chris Taylor, Cheong Liew and many more.

Tasting Australia has now grown to such an extent that the last event comprised 70 events, of which 65 were aimed at the general public. 50,000 people attended over eight days. A major feature of the 2010 event will be a focus on South Australia’s local heroes – those food and drink producers, chefs, writers and educators who have raised the bar in gastronomic excellence, according to South Australian Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith.

“Over the past six events, Tasting Australia has shown the world’s food, wine and beer lovers that Adelaide and South Australia form a hub of gastronomic excellence,” Dr Lomax-Smith says. “We are not just an exporter of premium food and beverage. Our great chefs have been exemplary ambassadors for the state, with professionals such as Christine Manfield, Tim Pak Poy, Maggie Beer, Cheong Liew, and Simon Bryant, among others, making a big impression around Australia and overseas. “There is no doubt that Tasting Australia will continue to boost tourism numbers to South Australia, as well as encouraging further markets for the State’s food, wine and beer products,” says Dr Lomax-Smith. “I believe that a move to vintage time will add to the positive media coverage afforded the event.”

For more information see

Saturday, July 5, 2008

World Food Exchange in Adelaide

The inaugural World Food Exchange is a unique, must attend event for South Australia's food and wine producers and the culinary tourism industry. The event will bring together leading international and Australian experts in the development of high quality food and wine themed tourism experiences to share their knowledge and expertise.

The four day event, from 21-25 September 2008, will promote South Australia as a leading culinary tourism destination and showcase South Australian primary produce industries as ecologically sustainable and among the best in the world.

The World Food Exchange regional tours provide an opportunity to introduce visitors to a taste of regional South Australia's brilliant experiences, highlighting the whole chain of wine and food experiences. The World food Exchange organised tours incorporate unique experiences only available through the World Food Exchange program. They feature a taste of the lifestyle and world-class ecologically sustainable seafood and aquaculture industry of the Eyre Peninsula as well as immersion in the food and wine culture of Barossa Valley.

It's an event not to be missed.

For more information or to register, visit or

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hill-Smith Honoured

Michael Hill-Smith MW, the owner of the Adelaide Hills based winery Shaw & Smith, has been named Member of the Order of Australia in this years Queens Birthday Honours list.

The Order of Australia is awarded to individuals to recognise their contribution to the country. Hill-Smith was nominated for his role in the Australian wine industry. The order is ranked at a similar level to the Member and Order of the British Empire (MBE, OBE) awards in the UK.

In 1988, Hill-Smith was the first Australian to pass the rigorous Master of Wine exam. He is chairman of judges at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show. He is also a wine consultant for Singapore Airlines, a trained cordon bleu chef, and all round nice guy.

Hill-Smith was delighted at his appointment. 'Obviously, she has made a terrible mistake,' he joked.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tempranillo: A Classy & Luscious Red

New to Australia: A young, classy and juicy individual of Mediterranean origin, desperately seeking a quiet dinner for two. Will mature to be a beautiful rich and luscious foodie partner, no walks on the beach necessary.

Spain's classy indigenous Tempranillo is exactly that, early-ripening, red wine grape which makes juicy wines for drinking young, but can mature well in a rich, sometimes oaky style.

Tempranillo (pronounced Temp-rah-NEE-yo) is a grape variety that puts the spine into a high proportion of Spain's respected reds and is the most widely planted grape variety in the superstar Rioja region in the rugged north-east of the country. It is a hearty, robust wine with light tannins and great acidic structure, which matches excellently with food.

Tempranillo has a level of versatility other grapes can only envy. It's thick-skinned and capable of making deep-coloured, long-lasting wines. As a single variety wine it typically exhibits a generous mix of flavours – strawberry, dark cherries, tobacco or a herbal character, vanilla and spice. But it can also be blended with Grenache (also know as Garnacha in Spain) or Cabernet Sauvignon to produce provide a little more tannin support.

In South Australia, which has a similar Mediterranean climate, the variety has been planted here over the past decade with great success. McLaren Vale has always been a region ready to try innovative approaches and varieties. This is no exception with a number of classy Tempranillo wines produced by Gemtree Vineyards, Mr Riggs, Cascabel, and Olivers Taranga. In the Barossa Valley Yalumba, and Peter Lehmann Wines are well known wineries, and even in the cooler Adelaide Hills Nepenthe Wines produce one.

A food wine, it works well with game, sausages, casseroles and lamb. Perfect for those winter comfort meals and, of course, traditional Spanish dishes, - think chorizo sausage tapas.

There comes a time when you need to discover something new, otherwise it could be a long lonely winter.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sweet Child O' Wine

Adrian North, Head of Applied Psychology at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh has discovered that music influences taste. Specifically, he discovered that listening to powerful, heavy music makes wine seem richer and heavier.

One of the tests in the study involved people tasting Cabernet Sauvignon and listening to Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses. The test subjects reported that the wine tasted 60% more robust when the music was played. The research has a few excited entrepreneurs exploring the option of music matching suggestions on wine labels and music menus in restaurants.

Rest assured that Brazilian Speed-Metal will not become the selected music on Rich & Lingering's
Barossa Shiraz Tour.

Friday, May 16, 2008

2008 South Australian Wine Vintage

Absolutely perfect – right up to the point when it all went pear shaped!

A record heat wave across South Australia, right in the middle of vintage lead, to temperatures of at least 35 for 15 straight days. This caused any fruit still on the vine to ripen very suddenly. Sugar levels went through the roof – 15, 16 baume, 18, 20, 22 baume. Sometimes jumping a couple of degrees in a day. Everything ripened at once, from the early ripening varieties through to the late.

Consequently everyone was trying to get their fruit off the vines and into the winery. Not only were pickers even more difficult to get hold of than usual, but most wineries were at full capacity, with a two week delay before they could accept any more fruit. Fruit stayed on the vine, becoming ultra ripe. A two month vintage suddenly become a two to three week event.

It will be a great year for fortified wines – and they won’t need to be fortified with brandy spirit. Look out for some big wines, with high alcohol.

Up to that point, everything was going fantastically. With half the fruit in across South Australia’s premium wine regions, it was going to be an early vintage again. The yields were likely to be slightly below average, making it easy for the vines to ripen what was there. Warm dry conditions lead to little disease pressure. The quality was expected to be very good.

So wines from fruit before the heatwave will be great, wines from after the heatwave will be great for Mr Parker.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wine Australia's Tasting Challenge

A website challenging consumers to show off their knowledge of wine has been launched by Wine Australia. Described as “virtual wine tasting”, The Regional Heroes Tasting Challenge has been designed to assist you to learn more about wine.

You can pick a wine and select the appropriate characteristics to describe it. You will then receive a score, and tasting notes for that particular wine and what can be expected from that region. The website is

Wine Australia aims to build peoples awareness of Australia's wine regions and inform consumers about an Australian sense of place and particular flavour, or style of wine. Its a quick way to learn more about Australia regional styles.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Finding Fiano Fantastic?

Hmmm, its nice, it unusual...
Forever on the search for the interesting, the challenging and the down right enjoyable, we have started a new column on what we are currently drinking.

Coriole Fiano – Fiano is a new white grape variety to South Australia. Originally coming from Avellino in south west Italy. This is the second commercial release by Coriole, who are based in McLaren Vale. We know of only two other producers making it; Parish Hill, in the Adelaide Hills, and Olivers Taranga also in McLaren Vale.

This particular release has a light pale colour, intense aroma, with a consistently intense and rich (somewhat savoury) palate of toasted nuts and melons. In the mouth its has a similar feel to Viognier — full and rich. Lovely balanced acidity. Fantastic with robust seafood dishes, like a squid ink risotto.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Barossa Valley Wine Tour

No matter where in the world you travel, you can be certain to find a bottle of wine from the Barossa Valley in a bottle store. Whether you are in Giggleswick, (North Yorkshire, England) or Greymouth (New Zealand) the Barossa brand is internationally known.

It is home to some of Australia’s biggest and best known wineries, including Jacob’s Creek, Wolf Blass, and Seppelt to name but a few. The region accounts for 21% of Australia’s total wine production. But more importantly, it is also home to a wide range of boutique wineries, which, to get the full benefit of require an experienced and educated guide.

The Barossa Valley was settled in 1840’s by both English settlers and German immigrants who were fleeing religious persecution. They brought with them a culture of growing, cooking, and preserving, along with an ethic of working hard for what they wanted.

What has remained to the current day is Barossa’s enduring nature. This is due to its breadth of growers and producers. From the multinationals, through to the garagist wine producers who only produce a single label. They have captured their heritage, amalgamated it with ‘modern Australia’ and used it as a foundation for further development. A visit to the Barossa region is interesting on so many levels — architecture, horticulture, character, wine, and food.

The European influence is pervasive, from mouth watering metwursts (Linke’s Meat Store and Schulz Butchers), cheeses (from Ballycroft and Barossa Valley Cheese Co), and the bakeries (such as Apex Bakery or Lyndoch Bakery) with various types of Streusel cake and Bienenstich. It is a foodies heaven!

Viticulturally the Barossa Valley has the world's oldest Shiraz vineyards, some dating back to the 1840s. The Barossa Valley extends from Lyndoch in the south to Kalimna, Moppa, and Ebenezer in the northwest, at an elevation of 200 to 300 metres above sea level. Immediately to the east is Eden Valley which is at a higher elevation of 500 to 600 metres. It is much cooler than the valley floor and produces delightfully floral Rieslings.

Barossa Valley has a Mediterranean climate, characterised by cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers where temperatures are generally between 30C and 35C. It is a reliable grape growing area particularly suited to producing riper, bolder wines, and particularly full-bodied shiraz. It also grows a range of Rhone varieties such as Viognier, Mourvedre (also know as Mataro), and Grenache.

Go on visit Barossa Valley — gratify the senses!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Autumn in McLaren Vale Wine Region

Well, its now officially autumn, and vintage is almost over in McLaren Vale.

The cooling summer breezes from the Gulf St Vincent and the often quite strong gully winds that come down off the Willunga Hills in the afternoon and evening. These both combine to ensure that a McLaren Vale summer is a perfect environment to ripen grapes – neither too hot nor too cold. This normally makes for a prolonged ripening period during which time the grapes accumulate flavour and intensity.

To put McLaren Vale into a global context it is warmer than Bordeaux and similar to Montpellier in Languedoc in France. It is one of the premier shiraz growing regions of the world. Shiraz makes up the majority of the vine plantings in the region, with cabernet sauvignon, grenache, and chardonnay also abundant. ‘Alternative’ varieties are also planted in the region. These include; marsanne, roussanne, sangiovese, tempranillo, viognier, and zinfandel.

There are a number of sub regions within McLaren Vale — Sellicks Foothills, Blewitt Springs, Seaview, Willunga, McLaren Flat, McLaren Vale, and Clarendon. Each of these have different climates and soil types and so contribute to the complexity of the regions wines.

McLaren Vale reminds me of Tuscany, not only the grape varieties (with some fantastic sangiovese, and barbera’s being produced) but also fresh and pungent olive oils, crusty bread, and the essential stinky cheese — a gourmand would be in heaven. All this, with a beautiful coastline, and so close to Adelaide.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Viognier extinct!

20 years ago the Viognier white grape variety was almost wiped out. With as little as 35 acres in France remaining it was another unloved variety about to disappear. That would have been a great shame as people had only started to be able to pronounce it (vee-on-yeah or vee-ohn-yay).

That was when South Australian company Yalumba planted a few trial rows in Eden Valley, in the greater Barossa wine region. Which is distinctly cooler that the Barossa Valley floor. In France, Viognier was confined to a few areas of the Rhone region - Condrieu and Cote-Rotie appellations. Rhone is similar in climate to Barossa, so Viognier does equally well in South Australia.

Since Yalumba started its trials with Viognier, they discovered its full range of attributes. A typical Viognier white wine has a rich and luscious mouthfeel, which comes from the high glycerol of the grape. On the nose it is normally seen as showing ripe or dried apricot, and floral and citrus characters, with an interesting spice or anise/Thai basil note.

Also in the Rhone region a small percentage of Viognier is added to Shiraz/Syrah. They are allowed up to 20% Viognier as part of the AOC control system, but generally most winemakers never go above 5%. And so this approach has also been implemented into the New World. Even a small percentage (such as 3 or 4%) can change a Shiraz significantly. Adding to its floral character on the nose, and making the palate smoother, rounder, more voluptuous. It is always a surprise that adding a white grape to a red wine makes the red more intense in colour.

Some other boutique wineries who produce quality Viognier and which Rich & Lingering visit on their tours, include Langmeil Winery, and Torbreck Vintners in Barossa Valley, Petaluma in Adelaide Hills, Mr Riggs, and Olivers Taranga in McLaren Vale.

So indulge in a new old variety before it disappears.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

10 Key Wine Terms to Help You Bluff with the Best

So you DO know the first thing about wine, but need to know the second. Well, try slipping these terms into you next wine discussion – preferably not all in the one sentence.

Acidity - Acidity is like the ‘pucker level’ of a wine, or how much it makes you smack your lips, or your saliva run. Acidity can add that zesty or crisp aspect to a wine, but if too acidic can make the wine appear quite tart or out of balance.

Balance – This has nothing to do with being able to remain vertical after a full day wine tasting tour. Balance is how the acidity, fruit, oak, sugar, alcohol, and tannin of a wine blend together so that the whole wine is balanced. In a well-balanced wine no one aspect should overwhelm the others.

Body - This describes the ‘weight’ of the wine in your mouth and is related to alcohol levels and fruit flavour.

Length – This is the sustained impression of the wine across the palate, once it leaves your mouth. Despite what people say length is important!

Finish - The final impression a wine leaves after you have swallowed it. Does the wine leave your mouth feeling clean, creamy, or fury?

Creamy – This is often used to describe Chardonnay or Viognier. It is a character of a wine that has undergone malolactic fermentation (a secondary fermentation). Leaving the mouth with a richness and that creamy feeling.

Oaky – This is the toasty, smoky, spice or vanilla aromas and flavours that come from aging the wine in oak barrels. Sometimes wine can be aged in French or American oak barrels, or both. Barrels made from French oak are generally thought have more subtle oak flavours than those made from American oak.

Tannin – This is predominantly a red wine term. Tannin adds to the texture of wine and gives you that furry drying feeling on your gums and inner cheeks. It’s the same mouthfeel from black tea. When there’s a lot of tannin in a wine it can make your mouth feel very dry. Tannin can come from oak, grape seeds and stalks, but mostly grape skins.

Astringent – A harsh, dry sensation in the mouth caused by high tannin or phenolic levels. People tend to use the word ‘phenolic’ to describe astringency in white wines and the word ‘tannic’ to describe astringency in red wines.

Phenolic – It is a feeling produced from a natural compound in grape skins, seeds and stalks. It can cause wine to taste bitter and harsh.

During Rich & Lingering’s private food and wine tours, these terms will be used on a random basis. Normally by the end of the day we try to keep words to single syllables.