Category: Drinks

Get boozed-up here. Try a relaxing tea or a buzzing coffee

Collingwood, Melbourne, Wine

Mac Forbes Cibi cellar door

Wine in the groove at Cibi. Picture: Adriane Strampp Cibi is rapidly defining itself as one of the most interesting cafes (or should I say happenings) in Melbourne as I have written before. Not only does it serve a terrific Japanese breakfast at weekends, have a quirky shop of Japanese design objects but it also treats itself like a gallery with its regular opening nights. Then there was the recent pop-up store in the Aesop store in Flinders Lane and […]

Paraphernalia, Wine

The cult of the wineglass

Consult a financial adviser before drinking from a Riedel. Dishwasher tablets erode your glasses and crockery. Use liquid instead. Decant heavier reds at least 8 hours before drinking. If you want to drink champagne (usually a blend of chardonnay pinot pinot meunier and pinot noir) rather than sip it, use a pinot noir glass. I’ve spent my whole life avoiding scrapes with cults. There was the incident in London on the Tottenham Court Road where, bunking off school aged 14, […]

Drinks, Fitzroy, Gertrude St, Spirits and cocktails

The Everleigh: ice cool on Gertrude St

For a very hot country, it is remarkable how little care we give our ice. Sure, you can buy large bags of ice pretty much anywhere, but it’s the kind of ice to stick in a bath or an Esky and chill beer and sauvignon blanc; not the kind of stuff to put in a cocktail. A while back the shiny Japanese ice machines at Match Bar were a revelation. And now The Everleigh, which sits atop the old Dante’s […]

Bars & pubs, Drinks, Little Collins St, Melbourne

Start queueing for Bar Americano

Like its name, the fit out of this latest Der Raum spin-off is very slick and let’s say Americano. That’s slick tiling and panelling. The narrow bar inset with copper. And the fact it’s very very exclusive, allowing only 15 people in at once. That means while you are there sipping you hanky panky (above) behind the shut gate, late coming friends have to wait in the cold with nothing but Melbourne’s smallest artspace, the Twenty by Thirty gallery, to […]

Chocolate, coffee, Fair trade, Ingredients & produce, Tea

Q: Does Fairtrade matter in Australia?

A: It didn’t used to but increasing in Australia we are buying into the idea of Fairtrade, as these charts show. This week Harriet Lamb director of the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK is visiting Australia, a leader in certification of the ethical sourcing of products. The fact is that Europe has been leading the world in sourcing Fairtrade goods for some 18 years while in Australia in the past five or six years we have only come to buy […]

coffee, Melbourne

Everything you wanted to know about coffee (but were afraid to ask your hipster barista) part 2

Check out Everything wanted to know about coffee (but were afraid to ask your hipster Barista) part 1 I‘m drinking coffee made from beans that are one month old. The beans are from the Bambito estate in Nicaragua. They are arabica, from from a mutation known as Caturra. It’s here in Australia because Nolan Hirte, owner of Proud Mary in Collingwood, brought them back to be followed shortly by 450kg he sourced directly. It’s the big change in coffee locally […]

Drinks, Melbourne, Wine

Last of the summer winemaking

It’s the dream of many to buy a cute little vineyard somewhere and start making wine, good wine hopefully. It’s the sort of hobby that sends people broke with high entry costs and often inferior wine produced. But oh what a joy to drink something you’ve made yourself, even though all your friends just want to spit rather than swallow. The sensible way to make wine is not to own a vineyard. All you need is access to good grapes […]

Cooking, Ingredients & produce, Wine

Gambling with padrons

Padron peppers: are you game? A box arrived in the post, a big one, packed with padron peppers. They were plump, bright green ones, picked the day before by Garry Crittendon, the pioneering winemaker on the Mornington Penisula, who first planted vines there in 1982 at the age of 28. These padrons were far larger and more vibrant in color than any I’ve seen for sale in some of the better food stores and in Melbourne’s markets. They looked and […]

Bourke St, cafe, coffee, Melbourne, Restaurants

Busting the great Pellegrini’s myth

People love Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar. It’s because of the atmosphere and the 1950s charm. It’s a great place to hang out and watch the top end of Bourke Street go by – as long as you are not eating or drinking coffee. If you have anything more ambitious than a glass of water (alcohol isn’t served) you’ll be disappointed because the food and the coffee are also both stuck in the 1950s. But the place is packed, so why would […]