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The Saint of Sainte Foy

By: Darren Gall Posted: November-01-2009 in
Darren Gall

The Saint of Sainte Foy

When Joe Breen from the Irish Times first met Monsieur Yves Picant, owner of the Bordeaux Chateau Hostens Picant, he described him thus:

“Yves Picant is the kind of French winemaker you might imagine in a Fawlty Towers cameo. With his slicked-back hair, rounded torso, and eyes loaded with mischief and the rigours of the night before, he is just short of saying 'allo, 'allo to complete the theatrical picture.”

The description is more than apt, it is damn near perfect.

Top of the list

By: Darren Gall Posted: September-20-2009 in
Darren Gall

One of Hanoi’s favourite and finest Restaurants, the Vine Wine Bar has just been awarded its fifth consecutive ‘Best of’ Award of Excellence by the Internationally renowned U.S. wine magazine, the Wine Spectator. This award recognizes Vine’s wine list as being one of the finest restaurant wine list in all the world.

Days of Wine and Spices

By: Darren Gall Posted: September-12-2009 in
Darren Gall

Days of Wine and Spices

"The year was 1968. We were on recon in a steaming Mekong Delta. An overheated private removed his flak jacket, revealing a t-shirt with an iron-on sporting the Mad slogan "Up with miniskirts!" Well, we all had a good laugh, even though I didn't quite understand it. But our momentary lapse of concentration allowed Charlie to get the drop on us. I spent the next 3 years in a POW camp, forced to subsist on a thin stew made of fish, vegetables, prawns, coconut milk and four kinds of rice. I came close to madness trying to find it here in the States but they just can't get the spices right." Seymour Skinner

How Green is my Wine ?

By: Darren Gall Posted: August-21-2009 in
Darren Gall

For many of us, our first notion of ‘Green Wine’ was the ubiquitous Portuguese wine, Vino Verdhi, which literally translates to ‘Green Wine’.

The term green wine was seen until very recently as an insult, commonly a reference to unripe fruit and the unpleasant, vegetal and acidic wines such fruit produces.

Travels on my stomach

By: Darren Gall Posted: August-20-2009 in
Darren Gall

Travels on my stomach –Wine and Food Journeys

The Little Valley of McLaren Vale some 40 kilometers south of the South Australian Capital Adelaide is one of the most picturesque and beautiful wine regions in the world, with a rich history of grape growing, produce farming and food culture.

The vale is bordered on the east by rolling hills that form the southern tail of the Mt. Lofty ranges and on the west by the pristine beaches of the Gulf of St. Vincent -who just happens to be the patron saint of wine. In between you will find vineyards, olive groves, almond groves, fromageries, organic produce stalls, bakeries, chocolatiers, restaurants and old fashioned country pubs –all positively reveling in the individual qualities of their local produce.

Vietnam's Wine Industry Uncorked

By: Henno Kotzé Posted: July-31-2009 in
Henno Kotzé

I wrote this article a while ago, had it lying around gathering computer mites and whatnot, so I thought I might as well stick it up here. Even though it’s quite old, most, if not all of it, is still relevant to the country today. I’m especially a fan of Jim Cawood’s philosophy on wine and the trends in the market. He has a regular column in AsiaLife, and his wine boutique Vino stocks a small but exclusive range.

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