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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.

2009 A Year in Wine

By: Darren Gall Posted: January-07-2010 in
Darren Gall

As the year draws to a close and we look to the promise and uncertainty of the new we celebrate, and we celebrate and then we celebrate some more. We celebrate many things at this time of year but I tend to think that, for most of us, it is life itself we are celebrating. On the cusp of the span between one year and another, for a few short weeks, we can live in the moment, pausing to rejoice in the simple yet miraculous fact that we are alive.

Wine & Cheese the Key to a Happy Life

By: Darren Gall Posted: November-23-2009 in
Darren Gall

Wine & Cheese the key to a happy life?

The Greek philosopher Epicurus (341 BCE–270 BCE) lived by his own code, being that the main purpose of philosophy was to help attain a tranquil and happy life. His school of hedonism was more rational and less indulgent than the name implies and whilst the inscription on the front gate was said to read “Stranger, here you will do well to tarry; here our highest good is pleasure”, the school dealt with the simple and some would say minimal things one required in life to find happiness. Indeed, in his excellent book ‘The Consolations of Philosophy’ Alain de Botton concludes the Epicurian wish list for happiness as: A home, Friends, Freedom from superiors/infighting/competition, and finally Thought.

Its Only (Wine) Words

By: Darren Gall Posted: November-06-2009 in
Darren Gall

Wine Speak -Its Only Words

”. . .mintiness with peaches and strawberries. . .a chocolate smokiness with leathery insinuations. . . hessian. . .apes and peacocks. . .and a faint, elusive yet startling aroma of wine . . .”

-Michael Leunig, cartoonist

Thus describes the bewilderment, exasperation and downright skepticism expressed by uninitiated imbibers when it comes to decoding wine tasting notes (including my own).

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.

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

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