Thursday, August 30, 2007

Finding a good restaurant -online

If you love wine you probably love food as well. So you are always on the lookout for a good restaurant, preferably on that allows you to take your own wine.

A new service can now help you with your bookings, and save money at the same time. It is operating in most Australian cities and regional areas, including

Here are some of the advantages.
*save lots of time
*you can narrow your search to particular localiites or cuisines
*many of the restarants have specials and discounts exclusive to those who book online
*you can check out ratings and comments by previous diners
*There is even a map in case you are touring in an unfamiliar area
*if you become a regular user of the service, and why wouldn't you can earn points, redeemable for free meals.

Here's how it works

1. Go online to
2. Sign up as a free member
3. Search by location, cusine, price range, byo etc
4. Enter details and submit.
5. You will receive an email confirming your booking
6. Later you will get information about your reward points and how to use them.

It's all so simple from Go to Whoa all on the same website; get there via

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Clare Valley Tips and Tales

What do you know about the Clare Valley?

I've just updated my page on Vinodiversity to include the latest info about the alternative varieties used here, but I'm sure some readers have other tips and tales to tell about this wonderful South Australian Wine region.

If you'd like to share your Clare experience check out Vinodiversity's Clare Valley page and have your say.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Make your comments on Vinodiversity

Several of the pages on Vinodiversity now have a comments section. You are welcome to leave a short message to share a tip or a snippet of information about a wine variety, event or perhaps tell us about your experiences in making a wine tour.

If your contribution is accepted (I edit out trash) you will have your own little page on Vinodiversity which your friends can see and comment on.

See the King Valley or Barossa Valley pages which have this feature switched on.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Viognier - no longer a fad!

When I started out with Vinodiversity I had to decide just what varieties were "alternative" and what were mainstream. I adopted, with a few modifications the definition used by the Australia Alternative Varieties Wine Show. Viognier is still on their list as "alternative" and it is on mine as well.

But is it still an alternative variety? Even given Viognier's dual role as a varietal and as a copigmentation partner with Shiraz you could argue that the variety has become mainstream.

Vinodiversity's listing of Australian Wineries using the variety now has 300 plus entries. My guess is that somewhere between a third and a half of these wineries are making a dry white viognier wine, the others are using it just with Shiraz. I haven't collected any hard data on this.

See the list of 300 wineries with Viognier and let me know if missed any.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Some nice wine books

Ia came across a pair of beautiful little books recently. Simply called Red Wine, and White Wine. I liked them so much I bought a dozen of each. What am I going to do with them now?

I suppose the only thing I can do is give them away. But they really are good books. Sumptuous photographs and illustrations but much more info than your average coffe table books. They are little books so they don't pretend to be encyclopedias, but I bet you there is some information in them that you didn't know about.

More information about these books by Andre Domine and how you can get your copy for free here!

Monday, August 13, 2007

New varieties in New wineries

Each year I like to do a quick tally of which varieties are being used by Wineries designated as "new" by James Halliday in his Wine Companion.

Some "new" wineries are not new. They may have undegone a name change after a change of ownership; they may have finally got around to submitting wine after a few years in operation, or lots of other things might have happened.

But the "new" wineries, designated by a vine leaf in the Wine Companion, provide a very rough snapshot of what the new guys are thinking about.

So there are about 90 new wineries in James Halliday 2008 Wine Companion. The varieties listed are

  • Alicante Bouchet (2 wineries)

  • Arneis 1

  • Barbera 1

  • Chambourcin 3

  • Chenin blanc 1

  • Dolcetto 3

  • Gewurztraminer 5

  • Grenache 25

  • Harslevelu 1

  • Malbec 5

  • Mammolo 1

  • Marsanne 3

  • Melon de Bourgogne 1

  • Meunier 2

  • Mourvedre 14

  • Nebbiolo 5

  • Petit verdot 7

  • Pinot gris 23

  • Roussanne 1

  • Sangiovese 7

  • Saperavi 1

  • Tannat

  • Tempranillo 12

  • Verdelho 12

  • Viognier 31

  • Zinfandel 3

Haven't got your copy yet?

Get yours here

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

New wineries in Wine Companion 2008

What happened?

The 2008 Wine Companion continues the tradition of changes, forced by the ever growing Australian wine industry.

This year 650+ wineries have been dropped, many because they failed to submit samples for tasting or fill in updated information. But there were 218 new wineries listed.

You can see the new wineries here (or at least the ones with alternative varieties.