Drinks Adventures is a new podcast for adventurous drinkers of beer, wine, spirits, cider... and everything in between. Hosted by drinks writer James Atkinson, the show began in Sepember 2018. Season one featured brands including Sullivans Cove Whisky, Penfolds Wines, Sipsmith Gin, Starward Whisky,…
Melbourne brewery Mountain Goat sold its first bottle of beer on October 4, 1997, which means the company is currently celebrating its 25th birthday. That first beer was Hightail Ale. And a few years back, when I put together a list of the most formative beers in modern Australian brewing history, it was right at the top of my ten selections. I've republished that article on the Drinks Adventures website https://drinksadventures.com.au/2022/09/20/the-most-important-australian-craft-beers-of-all-time/ (here). A hell of a lot has changed in the last 25 years since Dave Bonighton and Cam Hines made what was – at the time – a pretty crazy move: Launching full-flavoured craft beers for an Australian public that weren't really ready for them yet. This is a special episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast, produced in partnership with Mountain Goat. In 2015, the company has acquired by Asahi, which today trades locally as Carlton & United Breweries. Dave and Cam are no longer in the picture so our guest this episode is Alana Rees, head brewer, who is a veteran of the company – she's been there since before the sale. Much of our discussion surrounds the evolution of craft beer in Australia, and of the product mix at Mountain Goat. Hightail Ale is no longer in its core range, having made way for some beers that are a little more in keeping with current trends. But I asked Alana first up what Goat has planned to mark its 25th anniversary.
Adam Wadewitz joined Shaw + Smith as senior winemaker in 2013, with a strong pedigree that included stints at Seppelt and Best's Great Western. Coming up to his 10th anniversary, Adam is now a partner and joint CEO, a role he shares with David LeMire, and he's helped drive Shaw + Smith's evolution into one of Australia's most exciting wine companies. Shortly before Adam joined, Shaw + Smith founders Martin Shaw and Michael Hill-Smith purchased one of Tasmania's top sites for chardonnay and pinot noir, the Tolpuddle Vineyard. And in 2015, the group started The Other Wine Co. as a vehicle for experimenting with some different varieties and wine styles. Shaw + Smith is currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Tolpuddle wines, and its expansion into the McLaren Vale region, with the acquisition of an esteemed vineyard in the Blewitt Springs sub-region. They've titled it MMAD – that's M-M-A-D – an acronym of Martin, Michael, Adam and David. It's planted to grenache, shiraz and chenin, and the debut wines have just hit the market. That's coming up later in the interview. But given Adam is originally from McLaren Vale, I asked him how he came to spend most of his winemaking career working in cooler climate regions.
Our guest this episode is Trent Fraser, who is heading up the groundbreaking Australian Agave Project for Top Shelf International. When we spoke in early September, Trent was getting ready to unveil the brand identity for the project, which has since been revealed as https://drinksadventures.com.au/2022/09/12/act-of-treason-australian-agave-spirit-coming-in-2024/ (Act of Treason Australian Agave Spirit). It's the first agave spirit produced at scale in Australia, and the largest agave spirit project outside Mexico. Top Shelf — the ASX-listed company behind Ned Whisky and Grainshaker Vodka — has planted more than 500,000 blue weber agaves at its Eden Lassie farm in Far North Queensland, with one million to be planted by the end of 2024. It was the project that lured Trent home after 20-plus years in New York, where he worked for LVMH — Moét Hennessy Louis Vuitton — first on Dom Perignon Champagne, and then the Volcan Tequila brand, which he helped build from scratch. So this isn't Trent's first rodeo. And coming up, you'll hear why he's so confident about the prospects for an Australian product that isn't trying to be tequila or mezcal, but rather our own regional expression of agave, a spirit category that is currently booming worldwide.
You probably know by now that Fever-Tree are big supporters of Drinks Adventures. In fact I can say without any exaggeration that I would not be sitting here talking to you if it hadn't been for their support over the last few years, so thanks very much to Andy and Caroline at Fever-Tree Australia. Given this relationship I reckon it's overdue that we get Fever-Tree ambassador Trish Brew on for a short chat about one of their new mixers. And this is a product I'm personally excited about, Fever-Tree Distillers Cola. I do enjoy my dark spirits and it's surely time we had a cola that was purpose built for mixing with the premium products we're drinking these days. Fever-Tree Distillers Cola is made up of Caribbean Kola Nuts, Tahitian Limes, and a selection of distilled botanicals and spices, resulting in a deliciously rich and balanced mixer for your favourite dark spirits. With no artificial sweeteners or colours, Distillers Cola allows the ingredients to speak for themselves with top notes of refreshing lime, complex spices and a hint of vanilla to finish. Where leading cola brands use their strong flavour profiles to mask the flavour of spirits, Distillers Cola has been designed to complement and elevate the flavour of whiskies from the finest distilleries around the world. With whisky and cola making up 28 per cent of all mixed drinks, Distillers Cola fits perfectly into the Fever-Tree range to accommodate dark spirits drinkers who want to mix with the best.
China drinks expert Ian Ford previously joined us on Drinks Adventures https://drinksadventures.com.au/2020/06/29/lessons-from-sars-and-china-drinks-trends-with-industry-veteran-ian-ford-s5e8/ (in June 2020). The plan was to get his insights about the pandemic's likely impact on the drinks industry, but it turned into a really interesting discussion about wine, spirits and beer consumption trends in China, more generally. This is another update on the dynamic Chinese drinks market, including moves by spirits giants Diageo and Pernod Ricard to establish single malt distilleries there, and the opportunities Ian can see for Australian distillers. First off though, we get Ian's thoughts on the news that Australian icon Penfolds is set to make wine in China. It's a bid to circumvent the punitive Chinese tariffs implemented on Australian wine imports in August 2021. I started by asking Ian whether he was surprised at the severity of those tariffs, and the ripple effect for the global wine market.
It's not every day one of the Blues Brothers serenades you down the phone line. But that's how things play out in the opening episode of Season 14 of Drinks Adventures, as we head to Ontario, Canada, to talk with actor, musician and comedian Dan Aykroyd. Dan is on the show primarily to talk about vodka, specifically Crystal Head Vodka, the brand he founded in 2008, long before the recent groundswell of Hollywood actors getting into the distilling business. We also get an update on his business interests in Canadian wine, and the challenges of launching the new Ghostbusters film during the pandemic. And I took the opportunity to ask Dan his thoughts on Belushi, the documentary on his late friend and collaborator, John Belushi, released in 2020.
Season 14 of Drinks Adventures is coming soon, and it promises to be absolutely massive. Here's a small taste of what I have coming up for you in the next few weeks. Join my mailing list https://mailchi.mp/drinksadventures/newslettersubscribe (here) for more updates on the podcast.
Irish whiskey is the fastest-growing spirit category in the world, with sales to the US predicted to overtake Scotch whisky by 2030. It's a remarkable turnaround for an industry that went through decades of decline. In 2010 there were only four operational Irish whiskey distilleries on the island of Ireland, north and south. Today there are more than 40, producing a much wider array of whiskey styles than the lighter, sweeter taste profile the country is known for. We'll explore some of the heritage and production quirks that make Irish whiskey unique in this special episode of Drinks Adventures, made possible by the support of the https://www.ibec.ie/drinksireland/irish-whiskey (Irish Whiskey Association). You'll meet its chief executive, William Lavelle, along with representatives from some emerging Irish whiskey brands: Teeling, Slane, Boann and The Dubliner. William gets us underway with an overview of the association and its remit.
If you caught the https://drinksadventures.com.au/2020/08/09/mcwilliams-wines-concludes-143-years-of-family-ownership-s6e4/ (doco-style episode) I did on McWilliam's Wines in 2020, you'll know the company has been a market leader in fortified wines pretty much since forever. McWilliam's is now owned by Calabria Family Wines. And far from seeing fortifieds as a dying part of the industry, you would have heard https://drinksadventures.com.au/2022/08/11/mcwilliams-wines-aftermath-introducing-the-new-owners-s13e14/ (last episode) that Bill, Michael and Andrew Calabria actually see a lot of potential in them. They recognise that a new generation of drinkers are now getting introduced to fortifieds via Australian whiskies that have been finished in tawny, apera, topaque and muscat casks. Thanks to Calabria's investment, McWilliam's has relaunched its Hanwood Estate range of tawny fortifieds with refreshed branding that takes some cues from whisky, with age statements front and centre. McWilliam's senior winemaker Russell Cody and assistant winemaker Mel McWilliam are ‘custodians' of the fortified barrel collection at the Hanwood Winery, including the 30-Year Old material that is considered Very Rare. In this special episode, produced in partnership with McWilliams, Russell and Mel talk about the resurgence of these historic wines, and the evolution at Hanwood to making Tawny fortified in a slightly drier style. You'll learn how tawny is best consumed, and why you shouldn't call it ‘port' – which Russell himself is still wrestling with. And you'll hopefully come to understand that the rarest fortifieds present incredible value, when considered against the sky-high prices of extra mature whiskies, for example. The McWilliams Hanwood Estate Tawny Collection includes the following: McWilliam's Classic 5-Year Aged Tawny (RRP $20.00) McWilliam's Grand 10-Year Aged Tawny (RRP $28.00) McWilliam's Rare 20-Year Aged Tawny (RRP $80.00) McWilliam's Very Rare 30-Year Aged Tawny (RRP $175.00) Click https://mcwilliams.com.au/shop/premium-fortified (here) for further information.
Season 6 of the Drinks Adventures podcast featured a documentary episode on https://drinksadventures.com.au/2020/08/09/mcwilliams-wines-concludes-143-years-of-family-ownership-s6e4/ (The Rise and Fall of McWilliam's Wines). There are some loose ends for us to tie up, as the 143-year-old company's anticipated sale to Prcstnt Asset Management https://drinksadventures.com.au/2020/12/10/mcwilliams-wines-sale-falls-over/ (ultimately fell over). In this episode, you'll meet the winery's new owner, Calabria Family Wines, which was established in the Riverina in 1945 by Italian immigrants Francesco and Elisabeth Calabria, and is today led by second generation family member, Bill Calabria AM. Bill is still on the winemaking team today, and he joins us this episode along with his sons Andrew Calabria, the company's sales and marketing manager, and Michael Calabria, general manager. The year 2022 was pivotal for Calabria, as the company acquired the McWilliam's Wines brand and Hanwood Winery along with Deakin Estate and La La Land Wines, cementing it among the largest family-owned wine groups in Australia. Vintners & Co. Merchants is the new distribution arm of the company representing Calabria Family Wines' international distribution partnerships and https://drinksadventures.com.au/2022/08/01/fontanafredda-barolo-partners-with-calabrias-vintners-co-merchants/ (includes the Italian brands Fontanafredda), Canti and Librandi, prestigious Portugal port house Dow's, Argentinian winery Dona Paula, and renowned French champagne producer Champagne Deutz. “We have rapidly expanded from a single producer-owned and operated wine company to a wine group housing some of Australia's best-loved wine brands and a selection of diverse international wine distribution partnerships," Andrew Calabria said in a statement. The new brands and products will be serviced by the Calabria Family Wine Group sales team, which has added seven new members, mainly from McWilliam's Wines. Calabria also appointed sixth generation family member, Scott McWilliam, as global brand ambassador for the McWilliam's brand. And first up this episode, I asked Scott what had happened since that supposed 2020 sale of McWilliam's, which seemed like a done deal.
Every day is International Beer Day, here at Drinks Adventures.But in case you needed another reason to celebrate the delights of beer in all its forms, this episode is going to air on the first Friday in August.And that means it's the 16th annual International Beer Day.Kirrily Waldhorn, AKA Beer Diva, has been working in the beer industry for 23 years.A beer educator, writer and judge, Kirrily matches beer with food for a living.So you're in good hands as we sit down for a discussion about some of the hottest beer style trends of the moment in Australia.This is a special episode produced in partnership with Zytho Brewing, which you'll find exclusively in Dan Murphy's and BWS stores.Created for Zythophiles – that's another name for beer lovers – the Zytho range includes three hop-driven ales: Tropical Haze; Zesty Pale Ale and an IPA.There's also the Velvet Luxe Stout, and winter recently brought the seasonal return of a White Stout.We'll get Kirrily's thoughts on this oxymoron of a beer style; along with the haze craze; the lager resurgence; and the boom in low and no alcohol craft beers; among other topics.Kirrily shares some beer and food matching tips along the way; and reveals the beer style she wishes was more popular among Australian drinkers.We started by talking about the recent news that Stout is having a re-birth in Dan Murphy's and BWS stores, with sales up 8% on last winter.I asked Kirrily what she thinks might be driving the mainstream resurgence of one of our favourite beer styles.
We're joined this episode by Chris Malcolm from recently launched Tasmanian whisky brand, Hidden Lake.If Chris's name sounds familiar to you, that's because he's had a hand in several of the most significant Australian whisky ventures of the last decade.Chris was an early investor in Lark Distillery — going on to become its executive chairman and then CEO of the related entity, Australian Whisky Holdings.He was an early investor in, and director of, Top Shelf International, and he's currently a director of leading oak barrel supplier, Master Cask, whose founder Darren Langhe we met back in March 2020.Today, Chris is director of group whisky production for ASX-listed craft beverages accelerator Mighty Craft, a role that gives him oversight of distilleries including Kangaroo Island Spirits, 78 Degrees – formerly known as Adelaide Hills Distillery – and Seven Seasons.Joining that portfolio is Hidden Lake, Chris's personal project launched in partnership with Mighty Craft.And there's a rather colourful backstory here, as Hidden Lake's first whiskies were originally distilled at Tasmania's controversial Nant Distillery.To recap, Nant collapsed in 2017 in a cloud of fraudulent activity that cost small investors upwards of $20 million.We had Lark's former managing director Geoff Bainbridge on the podcast to talk about untangling the Lark brand from Nant in November 2020.Now it's time for Chris to tell his side of that story. He says it was Lark's “lowball” offer to investors – those are definitely his words, not mine – that enabled him to get his hands on some of Nant's best barrels.Some of those have begun hitting the market under the Hidden Lake name. And meanwhile, he's laying down more whisky, while looking to acquire a distillery that will be the production home of Hidden Lake.That's just some of what's coming up in this wide-ranging interview with Chris.
Most of us don't think twice about going to a brewery to buy a beer, but have you ever thought about buying into the business?This episode, it's podcast host versus podcast hosts as I chat to Bryce Leske and Alec Renehan from investing podcast Equity Mates about putting your money where your mouth is.Equity Mates has been educating Australians about investing in a jargon-free, informal style since 2017.Five hundred episodes later, they run a network of nine money-related podcasts, and will host FinFest, Australia's biggest investing festival, in Sydney this October.This interview was a chance to get Bryce and Alec's insights on some of the recent developments at ASX-listed companies like Treasury Wine Estates, Lark Distilling, Top Shelf International, Good Drinks and Mighty Craft, all of whom have previously featured on Drinks Adventures in one way or another.It's not all about the share market, though. Bryce and Alec had a lot of say about the psychology behind investing, and whether equity crowdfunding is good for drinks companies (or your bank balance).Australian producers are increasingly turning to equity crowdfunding to raise capital. Just in the last couple of months, there's been successful campaigns from Bridge Road Brewers, Akasha Brewing, Bakery Hill Distillery and Republic of Fremantle Distilling.There's more opportunities than ever before for drinks enthusiasts like you and I to get some skin in the game.So, if you've ever wanted to learn the difference between an IPO and an IPA, here's your chance.
2022 is certainly turning out to be a landmark year for Australian distilling, in many respects.In June, Starward Whisky was named the Most Awarded Distillery of the Year at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the first time an Australian distiller has taken out this title.Then came the news that the news that three out of four nominees for the International Wine & Spirit Competition - IWSC International Gin Producer of the Year are Australian: Kalkimoon and Granddad Jack's, from Queensland, and from Victoria, Naught Gin.And you heard just recently on the podcast from Philip Moore, the first Australian inducted into the Gin Magazine Hall Of Fame.It all coincides with the 30th anniversary of Lark Distillery, the whisky company founded by Bill Lark in 1992, which effectively started the modern era of Australian distilling.I sat down with Bill Lark for a chat reflecting on the milestone in this special episode of Drinks Adventures, produced in partnership with Lark.I learned how John Grant, fifth generation owner of Scotland's famous Glenfarclas distillery, helped Bill set up his distillery in the very early days.And I asked Bill his thoughts on Lark as it is today, a very different enterprise to what he had originally envisioned.First up though, I'm excited to share some highlights from Lark Distillery's 30th anniversary gala event held on May 26, 2022 at Lark's new site in Pontville, Tasmania.It was MCed by Bill's son Jack and attended by 200 guests from across Australia.The celebrations started by honouring the Mumurimina (Mu mee ree mee nah) Country that the Pontville site resides on, with a Welcome to Country and traditional smoking ceremony.You can get your hands on a variety of Lark's exciting limited release whiskies now at larkdistillery.com.Whiskies like Lark Origins Single Malt Whisky, a special release crafted with water from Lake Sorell, where Bill Lark had that fateful discussion with his father-in-law that led to his founding Lark Distillery.This special release celebrating 30 years of Tasmanian whisky is available now at larkdistillery.com.
Brown Forman is an American distilling company, best known as owner of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, and bourbon brands Old Forester and Woodford Reserve.But in 2016, it got into Scotch whisky in a big way, buying The BenRiach Distillery Company, which included three distilleries: Benriach in Speyside; the famous Highlands distillery Glendronach; and also in the Highlands, but somewhat lesser known, Glenglassaugh.In this special episode – produced in partnership with Brown Forman – you'll get an introduction to these unique Scotch whisky distilleries from global brand ambassador Stewart Buchanan.Stewart's held that role since 2012, prior to which he was Benriach's production manager, so he has tremendous insight into these distilleries and the Scotch whisky industry generally.He was in Australia for the launch of Glendronach 50 Year Old, the oldest expression it's ever released.We'll cover that and much more in this interview with Stewart.And you can find the new Benriach core range in both Dan Murphy's and First Choice Liquor stores nationally.Dan Murphy's will also be carrying the new 21, 25 and 30 year old Benriach expressions, as well as the new Glendronach Peated and Portwood that I discussed with Stewart in this episode.
Our guest this episode is Philip Moore, who in February 2022 became the first Australian inducted into the Gin Magazine's Hall of Fame.Now you might well ask, who is Philip Moore? He's certainly not one of our highest profile gin distillers.But he was actually the first Australian gin distiller to win a gold at the International Wine and Spirits Competition, and his distilling career stretches back to the very early days of contemporary Australian gin.Prior to that, Philip studied and trained as a horticulturist and medical herbalist.In the mid 1980s he started a specialist culinary herb nursery, Renaissance Herbs, which grew from a single greenhouse into the largest wholesale herb nursery in Australia, cultivating close to a million plants a year.Meanwhile, Philip had developed a passion for wine and subsequently, distilled spirits including gin.He exited the herbs business in 2005 and purchased a nursery site on the NSW Central Coast, where he subsequently founded Distillery Botanica and the Moore's Dry Gin brand.And together with Tom Baker, he co-founded the hugely successful Mr Black Coffee Liqueur, which we explored with Tom back in Season 8.This is a wide-ranging interview with Philip about his career and the evolution of Australian gin.He certainly doesn't hold back with his opinions on the use of Australian natives by distillers.He shares some tips on how to taste spirits more effectively, and you'll also hear about Philip's new venture, Terrigal Rum Company.That's all coming up in this interview with Distillery Botanica founder Philip Moore.Tags: gin, distilling, distillery, distiller, liquor, craft spirits, distilled spirits, cocktail, cocktails, drink, drinks, wine, winemaking, winemaker, viticulture, beer, craft beer, brewing, agave, tequila, mezcal, bartender, bartenders, sommelier, sommeliers, cicerone, whisky, whiskey, cognac, bourbon, vodka, vineyard, mixology, bars, pubs, restaurants, hospitality
Heritage Drinks of Myanmar is a beautiful new coffee table book by Australian brewer, academic and writer Luke Corbin, who lived in Myanmar from 2016 to 2021.It takes the reader on an anthropological journey showcasing 14 different alcoholic drinks unique to Myanmar, comprising beers, wines and spirits that are integral parts of village economies.While working on this book, Luke was employed as a brewer at Burbrit Brewery in the capital, Yangon.Luke talked extensively about that experience on the Radio Brews News podcast in 2019, which you can listen to here.Drinks Adventures picks up the story in 2020, as Luke shares some of the setbacks he faced while trying to complete his book, as Myanmar grappled with COVID-19 and then in February 2021, a military coup.He joins us from Chang Mai in Thailand, where he's now based.Tags:gin, distilling, distillery, distiller, liquor, craft spirits, cocktail, cocktails, drink, drinks, wine, winemaking, winemaker, viticulture, beer, craft beer, brewing, agave, tequila, mezcal, bartender, bartenders, sommelier, sommeliers, cicerone, whisky, whiskey, cognac, bourbon, vodka, vineyard, mixology
World Martini Day is celebrated every year on the third Saturday in June.That's today, Saturday June 18, if you're listening to this episode in real time.And with us to talk martinis is Archie Rose master distiller Dave Withers, who you previously met in season 3 of Drinks Adventures.This particular episode was produced with the support of Archie Rose, or more specifically Archie Rose Bone Dry Gin.Bone Dry was the first gin produced by Archie Rose using the copper vacuum stills at its new Banksmeadow production site, opened in 2021.Coming up today, Dave will explain why it's the perfect gin for a martini, which he says is an important cocktail for the team at Archie Rose.You can buy Bone Dry Gin direct from the company at archierose.com.au, and retailers like Dan Murphy's, First Choice and good independent bottleshops, too.
Wynns Coonawarra Estate has featured fairly prominently on this podcast.We've met chief winemaker Sue Hodder, as well as viticulturist Allen Jenkins, who's since departed the business.You've also heard about Wynns from Andrew Caillard MW, back in season 7, and Matthew Jukes in his masterclass on cabernet shiraz blends.This time though, we're not talking about Wynns Cabernet. At least, not as you know it.Wynns senior winemaker Sarah Pidgeon is with us this episode to talk about Wynns Reframed, a completely new range of wines that are picked earlier, with little or no oak influence to maintain freshness and aromatics.There's a Cabernet Rose, and a white blend of three Italian varieties.The reds meanwhile include a shiraz Riesling blend, which might sound weird, but there's a story behind it, and a cabernet franc cab sav blend.It seems like a major departure from Wynns' core business. So in this special podcast episode – produced with Wynns' support – I started by asking Sarah about the origins of the Wynns Reframed concept.Wynns Reframed wines are now available nationally from select fine wine retailers (RRP $26).
A podcast for lovers of wine, beer, liquor (incl. whisky, whiskey, bourbon, vodka tequila etc) and cocktails, Drinks Adventures hosts wine makers, brewing and distilling experts, sommeliers, bartenders & more.Founded by three friends with background in drinks and hospitality, Bondi Liquor Co is the first operating distillery in Sydney's eastern suburbs.Co-founder and distiller Ben Stevens has experience in both sales and production, having previously worked at Young Henrys, Clare Valley Brewing and Carlton & United Breweries.He joins us this episode for a chat about the challenges of being the first in a new area, where the authorities are unaccustomed to alcohol production.We'll explore the Bondi Liquor gin range, and the pros and cons of tying your brand name to a globally recognised place, like Bondi Beach.First up though, I asked Ben about the Bondi Liquor Co origin story.Tags:gin, distilling, distillery, distiller, liquor, craft spirits, cocktail, cocktails, Sydney, wine, winemaking, winemaker, viticulture, beer, craft beer, brewing,
Back in Season Four of the show, we met Thomas Mooney, co-founder and CEO of Westward American Single Malt Whiskey.Westward is brewed like a pale ale, distilled like a traditional single malt and aged in new American oak, like a bourbon.The emphasis on the brewing stage of the process came naturally for Westward's other founder, Cristian Krogstad, and head blender and distiller, Miles Munroe, both of whom come from a brewing background.I caught up with Miles while he was in Sydney recently to launch Westward's new cask strength expression, which follows a series of releases that have proven very popular in Australia, Westward's biggest market outside the US.This is a special episode of Drinks Adventures, produced with the support of Westward Whiskey, which is made in Oregon, USA.And I started this conversation by asking Miles whether the American single malt whiskey scene had progressed since we met Thomas in 2019.
Starward Ginger Beer Cask began almost by accident, when the distilling team took a bit of whisky and filled it into a barrel that had previously contained their house made ginger beer.Just 85 bottles were released in 2014 of the first ever ginger beer cask, and the following few editions weren't much easier to get hold of.It's only now with the release of Ginger Beer Cask #7 that Starward has been able to make this whisky in substantial enough quantities that it will be more widely available, including in the American market, where Starward founder David Vitale is now based.David rejoins us this in this special episode of Drinks Adventures, produced with the support of Starward Australian Whisky.He'll share with you the story of Ginger Beer Cask and what you can expect from the new edition.We'll also get a long overdue update on what's been happening at Starward since David was last on the show, which is nearly four years ago.Starward's entry level blend, Two Fold, didn't even exist at that stage, so there's plenty to talk about.Not least Starward's incredible haul of 12 Double Golds and 3 Gold Medals at the recent San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including double gold for last year's edition of the whisky we'll be discussing at length today, Ginger Beer Cask.
The Gospel Distillers is a dedicated rye whiskey distillery based in Melbourne, Australia.We first met co-founder Andrew Fitzgerald in April 2020 for a chat primarily about the impact of COVID-19 on his business.Andrew returns for this opening episode of Season 13, so you're going to find out what's been happening at The Gospel since then.And we'll be talking purely about rye whiskey, rather than hand sanitiser; more specifically, The Gospel's recent entry into the US market.It seems a bold move, taking Australian rye over to the home of rye whiskey.So I asked Andrew first up how he and his business partner, Ben Bowles, came to this decision.
B Corp is a certification program that measures a company's entire social and environmental impact.There are now more than 4000 Certified B Corporations around the world, several of which we've featured on this podcast: Sipsmith Gin, Stone & Wood Brewing Company, and South Australian winery Unico Zelo.In February, Maker's Mark joined this elite group of businesses. It's the first distillery in Kentucky and the largest distillery in the world to achieve B Corp certification.And in this special episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast – produced with the support of Maker's Mark – you're going to hear about some of the environmental initiatives it's undertaken to safeguard the future of bourbon, which of course is ultimately an agricultural product.We're joined this episode by Rob Samuels, an eighth generation whiskey maker and the grandson of Maker's Mark founder, Bill Samuels Senior.And also with us is Trent Chapman, marketing director Oceania for Beam Suntory, Maker's Mark's parent company.Later on in the interview, we cover the ingredients and production practices that underpin the Maker's Mark style, and the evolution of the bourbon industry in Kentucky, where ten new distilleries opened in 2021.The B-Corp milestone comes as Maker's Mark continues its rapid growth in markets such as Australia.The distillery released a new expression, Maker's 46, in 2010. But the international growth has largely been driven by classic Maker's, which for almost 60 years was the only whiskey it produced.I asked Rob first up about the significance of this singular focus by Maker's, at a time when many of its peers are seemingly bringing out new whiskies every other week.
Launched in 2008 by American brewer, author, and beer educator Ray Daniels, the Cicerone® Certification Program is like beer's equivalent of the Court of Master Sommeliers for wine.In early 2022, Shane McNamara became the first Australian to reach the pinnacle of the program, Master Cicerone, joining a group of only 19 other individuals worldwide who have this title.The Master Cicerone exam challenges individuals to master every technical and aesthetic aspect of beer. It requires an exceptional understanding of brewing, beer, and food pairing — combining outstanding tasting abilities with an encyclopaedic knowledge of commercial beers.If Shane's name is new to you, it was to me too. He's based over in London where he currently works for the world's biggest brewer, AB InBev, in a global role overseeing the innovation, development and quality of some beer brands you might have heard of like Stella Artois, Budweiser and Corona.When I spoke to Shane he'd just gotten back from the Czech Republic, which you'd know is the home of pilsner beer, as explored with writer Tom Acitelli back in Season 8 of the podcast.So I took the opportunity to ask Shane about the Czech beer scene today.And, later on, whether he plans on returning to Australia with his new qualifications, which he says are the payoff for thousands of hours spent studying and tasting beer.
Canada might be best known for its ice wine, a type of dessert wine produced from frozen grapes.But it's increasingly getting global recognition for the quality of its dry table wines.And our guest today, Natalie MacLean, can fill you in on some of the regions and styles to look out for.Natalie MacLean is a Canadian wine writer, educator, judge and podcaster.And here, we're doing a bit of a podcast exchange. You can catch me on Natalie's show Unreserved Wine Talk sometime around this episode going to air.After we explore Canadian wine, we'll find out a bit more about Natalie's podcast and her upcoming third book.It's a memoir that she says will explore the darker side of the wine industry.Sounds very intriguing, doesn't it? And that's coming up later in this interview with Natalie.
Opened in 2013 by Northern Irishmen Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, New York City's The Dead Rabbit is surely one of the world's most awarded bars.I can't possibly list all the accolades they've picked up over the years, but they include multiple prizes for World's Best Bar at both the prestigious Spirited Awards and the World's 50 Best Bars.The Dead Rabbit is world famous for its Irish coffee. And this episode you'll hear Sean recount the messy incident that put them on the path to perfecting this somewhat neglected cocktail, further inspired by the legendary bartender Dale DeGroff.You may also like:Wine episodes on Drinks AdventuresAlso with us this episode is The Dead Rabbit beverage director Jillian Vose, who explains how the sous vide cooking technique enables the team to serve the Irish cocktail perfectly and consistently every time.And if like me you're based in Sydney, here's a tip. You can try an Irish coffee that's very similar to the Dead Rabbit's at a bar in the city. Jillian visited the Duke of Clarence a few years ago to show them how it's done, and they've since kept up the tradition.Sean, Jack and Jillian have now published the definitive story of the Irish coffee in a new book titled When Whiskey Met Its Match, which sets the record straight that the cocktail was invented by a Northern Irishman, Joe Sheridan.I hope you enjoy about this chat about one of my favourite cocktails. We also talk a bit about Irish whiskey, and the second Dead Rabbit book launching on February 22, called Paddy Drinks.It's a collection of cocktail recipes that Sean hopes will help fuel Irish whiskey's ascendancy in cocktail bars across the world.
Blind Ambition is a new film about four Zimbabwean sommeliers who form a team and compete in the World Blind Wine Tasting Championships in Burgundy.It's like a wine equivalent of the ultimate sports underdog tale, Cool Runnings, the 1993 film inspired by the true story of the first Jamaican national bobsled team.But unlike Cool Runnings, Blind Ambition is all true. It's a documentary directed by Australian filmmakers Warwick Ross and Rob Coe, who are with us this episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast.Warwick and Rob were behind the 2013 film Red Obsession, which explored how France's finest wines have skyrocketed in price having become a status symbol in China.As you'll hear from Warwick, the film was made possible by two of our previous guests, Jancis Robinson (S4E4) and Andrew Caillard (S7E4).When Jancis heard the story of these four Zimbabwean sommeliers who had fled Robert Mugabe's regime, she set up a crowdfunding campaign to get them to France where they would test their skills against expert tasters from 26 other countries. The first black team ever to do so.Make sure you see the film as it's brilliant and very moving. You don't need to be interested in wine to enjoy it, in fact it recently won the audience award at both Tribeca (New York) and Sydney Film Festivals.
Pizzini Wines in King Valley, Victoria, is one of Australia's leading proponents of Italian grape varieties such as Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Pinot Grigio.As you'll hear today from winemaker Joel Pizzini, it was extremely difficult convincing people to taste what were then exotic varieties back in the 90s and early 2000s.But now, Pizzini has all but phased out traditional Australian varieties like shiraz from its range.Meanwhile it has expanded its Sangiovese offering to encompass premium wines at all price points, all the way up to the Rubacuori, priced at $140 a bottle and built for long-term cellaring.Pizzini has done this by continually refining its approach to growing and making these wines, taking advice from internationally renowned experts.It's a really exciting project, and I began this interview by asking Joel where it all began.
Australian whisky is set for another massive year in 2022.And I'm sure that just like me, you want to know which are the hottest distilleries we should be looking out for.Luke McCarthy is founder of Oz Whisky Review, an independent online magazine comprising Australian whisky reviews, news and features.He's with us this episode to reflect on Oz Whisky Review's Top Ten Australian whiskies of last year, and the biggest debut releases expected in the coming months.If you're new round these parts, most of the brands we discuss this episode have previously appeared on the show: Bakery Hill, Heartwood / TIB, The Gospel, Starward, Morris, Overeem and Backwoods.Clearly the Oz Whiskey Review team have impeccable taste, so first up I asked Luke about the criteria they follow in putting their list together.
Few Scotch whiskies are distilled and matured by the sea, like Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky.Old Pulteney is located in the town of Wick in far north Scotland, a drive of just 20 minutes or so from John O'Groats, the northeastern tip of Great Britain.Its spirit matures in warehouses located just 300m from the North Sea.And according to our guest this episode, global brand ambassador Lukasz Dynowiak, there is no mistaking the distinct salty note in the Old Pulteney whiskies that is a direct result of this coastal aspect.It's the reason why Old Pulteney is known not just as a maritime malt, but The Maritime Malt.And it has some pretty unique distilling equipment and production techniques that also contribute to its house style.Lukasz will tell you some more about those in just a moment, but suffice to say the Old Pulteney approach has been extremely successful.Led by its flagship 12-year-old expression, the Old Pulteney range has won many accolades over the years.In fact, one of its limited edition whiskies was named World's Best Single Malt at the prestigious World Whiskies Awards just a few years ago, in 2016.This is a special episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast, produced with the support of Old Pulteney.And I asked Lukasz first up, to describe for us in a little more detail the Northern Highlands area where Old Pulteney is based.You can follow Old Pulteney on Instagram and Twitter @oldpulteneymalt, and on Facebook at @oldpulteney.The Old Pulteney range is available nationally in Australia through retailers including Dan Murphy's.
Veteran beer writer Matt Kirkegaard probably doesn't require an introduction for many of you.But just in case, Matt is founder of the beer industry publication Brews News, which I edited for a few years prior to starting Drinks Adventures.His podcast Radio Brews News is Australia's longest running beer podcast, with an archive of 644 episodes at the time of writing.Matt's never short of an opinion. So, following a particularly eventful year in the beer industry, I figured I was long overdue to invite him on for a chat.Coming up for you in this episode, Matt and I discuss the booming non-alcoholic beer segment – is it really booming?We cover the recent trend of breweries raising capital by way equity crowdfunding, with mixed results. And in fact, since we recorded this conversation, Gold Coast outfit Black Hops has completed their latest raise, which at $2.2 million is the largest ever campaign by an Australian brewery.Also on the agenda is the latest IP dispute between Australian breweries, and whether the legendary West Australian company, Feral Brewing, is damaged goods after being listed for sale by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners.And in a related discussion, we consider in retrospect the wisdom of Coke naming a craft beer brand after an obscure country town that no-one visits.Matt also fills us in on recent projects at Brews News, including its efforts to find out, how many breweries are there really in Australia?
How many Australian gins would you guess are currently on the market?In early 2021, The Gin Queen, Caroline Ashford, counted 600 of them, not even including limited editions and seasonal releases.Caroline is back with us again on the Drinks Adventures podcast, to share with you her Top Ten Australian Gins of the year.First up though, Caroline reveals her tally of Australian gins available year-round as at January 2022 – and it's a pretty crazy number once again.
Italy's wonderful array of digestif amari demands exploration.Amari is the plural of amaro, which means ‘bitter' in Italian. It's also the name given the country's unique liqueurs that are intensely bitter and often very sweet too, flavoured with herbs, spices and other botanicals.The theme of this episode has been inspired by the amari degustation event organised by the Italian Cultural institute, Sydney at its premises in December 2021, during the World Week of Italian Cuisine.Presented by today's expert bartender, Federico Malavenda, the degustation featured a tasting of seven Italian amari:Braulio;Cynar;Poli Vaca Mora;Cappelletti Sfumato;Amara Blood Orange;Toro Centerba; andAverna.The Italian Cultural Institute is an official branch of the Italian government, dedicated to the promotion of the Italian culture in Australia through the organisation and support of events, exhibitions and festivals, in collaboration with major local institutions.This episode has been produced with their support.Federico Malavenda is bar manager at Bistecca Restaurant in Sydney, which has a menu of no less than 85 different amari.This was recognised at the Wine List of the Year Awards in late 2021, when Bistecca picked up the gong for Best Digestif List.Stay with me as Federico gives you an overview of amaro and shares what he's doing with digestif amari at Bistecca.First up, a little history. Federico says these unique and storied liqueurs have been an integral part of Italian culture for generations.
British wine writer Matthew Jukes should already be familiar to you, as a Drinks Adventures listener.But if you missed his brilliant masterclass on Australian shiraz cabernet blends, stop what you're doing and go back to Season Three of the show.Matthew's back with us to share with you his new non-alcoholic drink brand, Jukes Cordialities, which he's recently launched into Australia.The market has been inundated with non-alcoholic wines in recent years, but Matthew says he's yet to find one that's drinkable, and I'd have to concur with him on that assessment.With Jukes, he set about mimicking the experience of drinking a fine wine in the form of what are essentially deluxe adult cordials designed for mixing with still or sparkling water.Matthew sent me some to try and I have to say, they are astonishingly good. I'm currently having a little break from alcohol and this is by far the best alternative I've found to glass of wine at the end of the day. In fact, I've already been out and purchased a box of Jukes 6, my favourite of the collection.They're not cheap, but neither is a decent bottle of wine. And when Matthew explains the ingredients and craftsmanship involved the premium pricing is understandable.Located in Australia? You can purchase Jukes Cordialities online here if you're interested in trying them for yourself.Later on in this interview, Matthew reveals the pandemic upheaval currently affecting Australian winemakers in the UK.This latest misfortune comes after the Chinese tariffs on Australian wine. The industry can't catch a break at the moment!Wherever you are, I hope 2022 is treating you well. Welcome to Season 12 of the Drinks Adventures podcast. New episodes should be dropping every Tuesday and hopefully also Thursday some weeks too.
Happy New Year from Drinks Adventures. Here's a sneak peek at some of the interviews you can expect when the show returns for 2022.In the meantime, join my mailing list for semi-regular updates from the Drinks Adventures Podcast, and other articles and reviews by me.I'll draw some names every month to win a set of drink coasters, featuring custom designs by artist Barry Patenaude.Cheers!James Atkinson
Spearhead is a new whisky from the renowned Highlands Single Malt distillery, Loch Lomond, that shakes up Scotch whisky in numerous respects.For starters, it's a single grain whisky. But in this case, that doesn't mean it's been distilled from wheat or corn or rye, Spearhead is made from malted barley using a continuous, Coffey style still, also known as a column still.That's what makes it a single grain Scotch whisky. And the process enabled Loch Lomond to create a lighter style of spirit that would then undergo a unique maturation process that includes finishing in infrared toasted virgin American oak barrels.Loch Lomond is currently the only distillery in Scotland to use infrared barrels to finish whisky.And there's a raft of other innovative production tweaks that all combine to give Spearhead a sweeter taste profile, albeit with depth and complexity, that is designed to appeal to newer whisky drinkers or people who enjoy long drinks like highballs.This is a special episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast, produced with the support of Spearhead Whisky.You'll meet Loch Lomond master blender Michael Henry and head of innovation, Calum Leslie, who are going to tell you all about this exciting and unique project.And I started this interview by asking Calum why Loch Lomond had embarked on this project that resulted in the creation of an entirely new brand.Spearhead Whisky is out now at First Choice Liquor, Liquorland and Vintage Cellars stores across Australia, priced very competitively at $62 for a 700ml bottle.
Australian winemaker Penfolds has made huge strides internationally in recent years.The company launched its debut California Collection earlier this year, and there's a set of Bordeaux wines to come in 2022.And in 2019, Penfolds released three champagnes in collaboration with the Champagne House Thiénot; A Chardonnay Pinot Noir Cuvée, Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru and Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru, all from the 2012 vintage and priced at $280 each.In this special episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast, produced with the support of Penfolds, Chief Winemaker Peter Gago gives you the lowdown on the project and the new addition to the range.It's a champagne that's a little more within reach for many of us: A non-vintage Brut Rosé priced at $90.But I asked Peter first up about his personal affinity with champagne, a wine style that he's clearly very passionate about.The Thiénot x Penfolds Champagne Brut Rosé is comprised of 30 per cent Chardonnay (Nogent, Sézanne and Côte des Blancs), 20 per cent Pinot Noir (Vallée de l'Ardre (8%), Epernay and Côte des Bar), and 50 per cent Pinot Meunier (Épernay, Vallée de la Marne and Saint-Thierry).Visit penfolds.com for stockist information.
In this edition of the news:Industry toasts Chuck Hahn's 50 years of brewing;Margaret River winery Voyager Estate very nearly fully organic;Japan's Mars Whisky releases Voyager collaboration; andTop Shelf International launches the Australian Agave NFT.
Founded in 2017 by Sean Baxter, George Georgiadis and Tim Boast, Never Never is undoubtedly one of the hottest distilleries in Australia at the moment.The company was recently named Champion Australian Distiller for the second year running at the 2021 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards, as well as being a finalist alongside Four Pillars for the IWSC's International Gin Producer Trophy.And there's been yet more accolades that you'll hear about in today's episode, as we meet co-founder Sean Baxter.Unlike other Australian gin distillers that have defined themselves based on our native botanicals, Never Never has made its name on excelling at gins that are very classically styled.Today, Sean shares with you the benefits and challenges of this approach.We also discuss the thorny issue of base spirit, and some of Never Never's innovative products like Ginache – made using Grenache grapes from its home of McLaren Vale in South Australia – and its new Oyster Shell Gin.And we revisit the April Fools' Day prank that got Sean into some hot water with his fellow distillers earlier this year, stoking industry fears about a potential juniper shortage.That's all coming up after I ask Sean about the significance of the Champion Distiller gong that Never Never took home for a second time on Wednesday December 1, 2021.
Just one story again in this week's edition of the news.Lyre's Non-Alcoholic Spirits has completed a capital raising that values the business at $500 million AUD.This valuation has been achieved in less than two and a half years of trading for the Australian company founded in Sydney in 2019.It's now on track to become the fastest independent beverage brand to reach Unicorn status, meaning a valuation in excess of $1 billion US.There's been no shortage of naysayers about the concept of non-alcoholic spirits and I'll admit to being a little sceptical when Lyre's founder Mark Livings first told me what he had planned.He says this latest funding milestone is clear evidence that non-alcoholic spirits are here to stay.
Beer writer Tara Nurin is the official historian of the Pink Boots Society, an organisation created in 2008 to assist, inspire and encourage women working in the beer industry.Tara's new book – A Woman's Place Is in the Brewhouse – celebrates the contributions and influence of female brewers and explores the forces that have erased them from the brewing world.Its publication is very timely with the beer industry having had its #metoo moment in recent months, led by Brienne Allan, a brewer based in Massachusetts who encouraged other women to share the stories of sexism and abuse they've suffered in the craft beer and brewing industry.This is certainly not an American problem. We've recently seen a survey conducted by a group of Australian women calling themselves the Beer Agents for Change, which found that 38% of people who work in the beer industry have been abused or harassed, and 90% of the people who reported that type of conduct were female.So it's in that context today that we hear from Tara about her new book.And coming up after that, you'll meet Briony Leibich, an Australian specialising in sensory analysis and expert tasting for beer, wine and food.Briony has worked as a sensory specialist for some time now, most recently at the West End Brewery in Adelaide.Since West End shut down earlier this year, Briony has focused on her own sensory consultancy called Flavour Logic.I asked Briony how she found her way into this profession.
A new and unknown Tasmanian wine brand has come out on top at the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge.The 2020 Ossa Pinot Noir scored 96 points out of 100, winning the Best of Region Trophy for Tasmania and the top wine of the show, judged against Victorian stalwarts like the Yarra Valley's Giant Steps and Paringa Estate in Mornington Peninsula.The wine was made by Liam McElhinney, chief winemaker at Tasmanian Vintners, for Rod and Cecile Roberts.They created the Ossa Wines label this year having purchased the Belbrook Vineyard in Cranbrook on Tasmania's east coast in 2017.I asked Chief Judge of the Australian Pinot Noir Challenge, David Bicknell, whether the company or vineyard were on his radar.
Whisky writer Dr Nicholas Morgan is a 30-year veteran of spirits giant Diageo, with a background in history and academia.He joined Diageo's predecessor, United Distillers, in 1990, creating what is now considered the world's most comprehensive spirits archive, before making a somewhat unlikely transition to leader of Diageo's global malt whisky marketing team.Nicholas retired from Diageo in December 2020 following the publication of his acclaimed book, A Long Stride, the Story of the World's No 1 Scotch Whisky, written as part of the bicentennial celebrations of John Walker & Sons.His latest book is Everything You Need to Know About Whisky (But are too afraid to ask).It's a great read, and we discuss both it and the Johnnie Walker book later on in this interview with Nicholas, who is a Master of the Quaich – that's one of the highest honours in Scotch whisky – and a member of the Whisky Magazine Hall Of Fame.But I started by asking Nick about the challenges he faced marketing single malt whisky at Diageo in the 1990s.
In the latest news from Drinks Adventures:Wynns Coonawarra farewells viticulturist Allen Jenkins;Starward and Yalumba collaborate on a new single malt whisky; andModus Operandi launches green energy brewery in Newcastle.
It's been a massive year for Lark Distilling Company, which recently announced the $40 million acquisition of fellow Tasmanian distillery Shene Estate.Managing director Geoff Bainbridge joins us this episode, about 18 months after he last spoke with Drinks Adventures for a two-part story on the podcast website.Remember you can visit DrinksAdventures.com.au and sign up to the newsletter so you don't miss stories like that one.At the time, Geoff and I discussed the rebadging and relaunch of Lark Distilling, formerly known as Australian Whisky Holdings, and the process the company went through to exit the Nant barrel investment scheme, and sell Overeem Whisky back to the Overeem family.Lark's share price has been on an absolute flyer ever since, with the company reporting strong sales results having refocused itself on a single whisky brand, and continued to build its whisky inventory.There's been some criticism however about an alleged lack of transparency surrounding the provenance of whisky released under the Lark name.I addressed those issues with Geoff in this follow-up interview for the podcast.We also discuss some of the recent developments of late in Australian whisky generally, like the discussions around a potential Tasmanian Whisky appellation, and the controversial Archie Rose patent.That's coming up after Geoff gives you an update on some of the other changes at Lark Distilling in recent times.
The Principle of Hospitality podcast is produced by Melburnian hospitality veterans, Shaun de Vries and Sasha Fernando. In this episode exchange, we hear Shaun interview champion bartender Evan Stroeve of Sydney bar Re.
Glaetzer-Dixon Family Wines made history in 2011 when it became the first Tasmanian winery to win the Jimmy Watson – Australia's most prestigious wine prize – at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.Winemaker Nick Glaetzer has been celebrating the milestone with a highly limited museum release of his winning wine, the 2010 Mon Pere Shiraz, and he joins us today on the Drinks Adventures podcast.He'll update you on other recent happenings at Glaetzer-Dixon, which planted a new 12-hectare vineyard in the Coal River Valley in 2018, and is currently preparing to release new vintages of La Judith Pinot Noir, named for Nick's mother who sadly passed away in 2014.First up though, I asked Nick about the significance of that Jimmy Watson award, both for him and the Tasmanian wine industry generally.
I'll have another regular episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast to share with you very soon.Right now though I'm stoked to share an interview from another one of my favourite drinks podcasts, The Modern Bar Cart out of the US.The host is a gentleman by the name of Eric Kozlik, who describes his show as a cocktail podcast for home bartenders and industry pros alike.But in spite of that, The Modern Bar Cart really does cover the full gamut of drinks and Eric really has had some amazing guests.This year they've included Sam Calagione, founder of one of America's top craft breweries, Dogfish Head; global rum ambassador, Ian Burrell; and the renowned spirit and cocktail writers David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum.And today on the Drinks Adventures podcast, I'm sharing Eric's interview with another Eric, the spirits judge and author Eric Zandona, whose new book, "The Atlas of Bourbon & American Whiskey” is out now.I learnt so much about the different regional styles of American whiskey from this interview – Eric's depth of knowledge on the topic is unparalleled.So I'll leave you to the Erics and after you enjoy this interview, go and subscribe to The Modern Bar Cart Podcast.
Cellaring wine and seeing for yourself how its flavours evolve is one of the most exciting aspects of wine appreciation.But it can be intimidating, and there's some fundamentals you need to know to ensure you get the best results.In this episode of the show, St Hugo chief winemaker Peter Munro gives you some of those pointers, like how to choose age-worthy wines, store them correctly, and identify drinking windows for optimal consumption.With more than 20 years of winemaking experience, Peter's career has spanned some of the world's most prominent wine regions. Coonawarra and the Barossa obviously, but also Tasmania, Hawke's Bay in NZ, and the Napa Valley in California.St Hugo Cabernet is a mainstay of many Australian cellars. A longstanding fixture in the Langton's Classification of Australian Fine Wine, it is built to age for a minimum of ten to 15 years, and the better vintages will last considerably longer.And now, perfectly timed for Christmas gifting and festivities – you can get your hands on some of the most outstanding back vintages of St Hugo Cabernet, which have been hand selected after rigorous tasting and review by Peter.Currently available in St Hugo's Fine and Rare Collection are St Hugo Cabernet 1998, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2012.There's also some magnums, double magnums and six litre imperials available of some of these wines.You can purchase them direct from St Hugo's online cellar door at sthugo.com.This is a special episode of the Drinks Adventures podcast, produced with the support of St Hugo.