Parties / Don’t get blasted, focus on the quality

Wine columnist-cum-lawyer RICHARD CALVER offers a little free legal advice to surviving Christmas parties...

Calver / A glass of nostalgia brings back bad taste

"Hey, I remember watching Michael Jackson when he was black and I remember dancing disco style in a hectic but unco-ordinated way. I’m sure if I drank enough Sable I could do the same right now.

Wine / Taken in a peaceful, vegan conquest

"At Monster in New Acton there was a fine vegan feast that featured wines from Lark Hill. The combination was superb," writes wines writer RICHARD CALVER

Wine / Airs, graces and decanting

"You decant for two basic reasons: to give wine a chance to breathe and to see off any deposits that might clag up the taste. It’s reds you decant; whites rarely benefit," writes RICHARD CALVER

Wine / Prosecco, it’s as Aussie as lamb chops

"Prosecco is as Aussie as lamb chops because it comes from grapes formerly known as prosecco and is grown here, mostly from the King Valley in Victoria," says wine writer RICHARD CALVER

Wine / Tempranillo and what the heck?

"In Canberra, no sooner do I taste a wine these days than I find myself pontificating to see whether or not it is 'good' and whether and why I like it," writes wine columnist RICHARD CALVER

Wine / At home with the power of port

"Port is the preferred drink of clubby English gentlemen and deros who want a quick, cheap fix. That dichotomy tells you a lot about the quality range of this fortified wine," writes RICHARD CALVER

Wine / Everything’s coming up rosés

"On went my hat of pretension as I cleaned my palate with water, alas no bread or crackers to ensure I started fresh with neutral flavours," writes wine columnist RICHARD CALVER

Wine / Half dry does a full job with spicy food

IT was a friend’s birthday. She puts up with my lame jokes. The joke of the night was told amidst the usual groan. “Hey, did...

Wine / What friends know about you

"The Italian soft reds went well with a bowl of value-for-money pasta in a dimly lit café that offered romance based on the affinity between chianti and tomato-based dishes," writes wine columnist RICHARD CALVER

Wine / The ways of wine with food

"Food with a good matching wine is lifted out of the ordinary and, goodness knows, we all need to step out of the daily quagmire of our lives whenever we can," writes wine columnist RICHARD CALVER

Wine / To be Frank, it’s all about the blend

For Frank Arnold, when it comes to reds, it has to a blend, writes wine columnist RICHARD CALVER, who turns up with a shiraz!

Wine / Amid the vines of beguiling Beechworth

"As I sipped on the Pennyweight 2014 Beechworth Pinot Noir, with its lingering red fruit finish, I agreed with James Halliday that this place is a vinous El Dorado," writes wine columnist RICHARD CALVER

Wine / Forgiveness, a virtue of a decent red

"Age had certainly taken what I bought years ago as a middle-order wine into something quite extraordinary, where smooth hung out like an old hipster," says wine writer RICHARD CALVER

Wine / An ‘acid bomb’ from the cold climes

“The Carpenters, who founded Lark Hill, are reputedly the first to have planted gruner veltliner in Australia. It does well at the altitude of the Lark Hill winery,” writes RICHARD CALVER

Wine / Swirling memories from a glass of fizz

"The pink in a glass of fizz evoked the memory of a date in the early 1970s with a lovely woman who was wearing hot pants in a vibrant, eye-watering pin," remembers RICHARD CALVER.

Wine / Spare the stupor and raise a glass to love

"No matter how you celebrate or what you celebrate with family and friends, make sure that you have at least one toast to your fellow man, to the centrality of love," writes RICHARD CALVER

Wine / Putting the pinks to the taste test

ACT 1 Scene 1: A priest, a rabbi and a vicar walk into a grog shop in Manuka. The shop assistant says: ''Is this...

Wine / ‘Lesser’ wines with warm memories

"This is a tale of two 'lesser' wines that gave sublime enjoyment where context is everything; the place, the company you keep and the situation delivers the most worthwhile of memories," writes RICHARD CALVER

Wine / The big larrikin meets a sissy aristocrat

"The tasting notes on the Burge rear label show the winemaker’s frustration with stereotypical winespeak and the hyperbole that seems to abound when wine is being described," writes wine columnist RICHARD CALVER

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