Bob’s Blog: SACK AND A SACK OF POTATOES

It’s winter and I do like a drop of Sherry in my soup. Picking up a bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream the other day reminded me of my days at Bristol University and visits to the famous Harvey’s cellars. Sherry was still a very popular tipple in the UK and had been so for over 300 years. The story goes …

Bob’s Blog: SENSORY PERCEPTION IS SO UNIQUE

Visiting the Maitland Regional Art Gallery in the wet weather last week we strolled into the Open Collection Store which contains some 5000 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs stored in racks, draws and shelves. On display was a painting that stood out of a man in front of some sheds who had unusual glasses…in fact, the artist had used the …

Bob’s Blog: Why have Italian wine styles been latecomers to our tables?

Our Legend’s lunch this month featured white wines from Germany and reds from northern Italy, just across the border as it were. We really couldn’t think of any serious reds from Germany! The question was asked as to why it took so long for Italian reds to be appreciated in Australia. It may be that our pioneers were more Francophiles …

Bob’s Bolg: THE COMMUNITY IS KEY TO GOOD WINE MAKING AND WINE TOURISM

We live in “interesting times” is a quote often mentioned to explain the challenges we face today. Yet it seems to me we live in a time when communities are breaking down and the support that comes with often evaporating. So how lucky are we in the Hunter wine and tourism industry to have a positive and supportive environment in …

Bob’s Bog: ARE WE WHAT WE EAT AND DRINK: HOW DO WE DEFINE OUR CULTURE?

It has been said that what people eat and drink reflects their culture and is emblematic of their country. “Throw another prawn on the barbie” in many ways reflects the easy-going Australian, nature but what we drink has undergone many changes over the years. Our Hunter pioneers, Busby and Lindeman, advocated wine as the way forward substituting it for rum …

Bob’s Blog: It’s what we drink and what we drink it in

Recently Neal Crisford, producer of “Cooking for the Many” a film about Australia’s first cookbook published in 1864, asked me what they would be drinking back then. Now this book was aimed at “the upper 10,000” as well as the “many” so it is fair to guess this largely British colony was following in the footsteps of those back home. …

Bob’s blog: The Hunter Valley Wine Region – a product of the Enlightenment

The settlement of Australia which has received some controversial attention recently was a striking departure from previous patterns of European colonization. Much of the philosophy behind the move to NSW came from the lessons of the Enlightenment, intent on building a new settlement differently. Based on humane principles it was in effect an experiment applying science and reason to the …

Bob’s Blog: SHIRAZ OR SEYRAS-SYRAH- A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME…

 “The moving finger writes, and having written moves on. Nor all thy piety nor all thy wit, can cancel half a line of it” “Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Brough, a Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse – and Thou beside me singing in the Wilderness – And Wilderness is Paradise enow” A scene from the …

Bob’s Blog; Wine-Tourism Hunter

Wine-Tourism Hunter as I like to call it, rather than the longer version, Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association (HVWTA…not to be confused with LB…..) in association with the Cessnock and Singleton Councils ( The Alliance …so to speak) have just announced reaching the $300,000 fundraising pledges target to mount a major marketing campaign with Destination NSW with matching dollar …

Bob’s Blog: Pokolbin 50 years on…”and the rest is history”

Having a quiet drink and pizza at Peter Drayton’s new Brewhouse on a Friday evening I was pleasantly surprised to be given a copy of the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner’s Advocate, May 1967. This had been handed to Peter that afternoon by someone who thought he might be interested! Looking out from the deck at the dry brown “grass” …