Pip's scribbles on wine and other vital matters

Show me the Malbec!

Nik DarlingtonApril 16, 2021

We associate the Malbec grape first and foremost these days with Argentina, but we shouldn't forget that Malbec is grown in plenty of other places around the world, not least its French homeland. The grape's historic name is Cot and it originated in Cahors in south-west France, from where it...

Chenin Blanc with lamb? Yes, I've seen the light.

Nik DarlingtonMarch 25, 2021

I remember the moment so clearly. It was one of the greatest mouthfuls of food I've known, so I ought to.* The setting was Attica, in Melbourne's Ripponlea suburb and one of the World's 50 Best Restaurants since 2010. The dish was slow-roasted lamb neck. A mint & lime sauce....

What makes Loveblock so special?

Nik DarlingtonFebruary 19, 2021

“From here you can almost see the end of the Earth; the peace lifts you above your troubles.” Erica Crawford. Perched high in the hills overlooking Marlborough’s Awatere Valley, Loveblock feels a world away from the agricultural hustle & bustle below. Kim and Erica Crawford acquired this wild and untamed...

Syrah or Shiraz? What’s in a name when the wine’s this good?

Nik DarlingtonFebruary 10, 2021

We don’t mind much whether it’s called Syrah or Shiraz these days. The origins of the Australian term are a bit mythical anyway.