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Beaujolais Nouveau Day

On the third Thursday of November every year the world celebrates Beaujolais Nouveau Day. It seems like every day is celebrated in some way these days – so much so that events even have to share days! This year Beaujolais Nouveau Day falls on World Philosophy Day,...

Champagne – keeping the thrill alive

“I drink Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.” ~ Madame Lilly Bollinger...

Cheers to a very trendy 2014

We’ve almost finished the delicious bottle that was 2014 – and what a classic vintage it has been! As I celebrate one year of blogging on The Secret Cellar I thought I’d take a look back on this year’s journey through the world of wine and the strongest wine trends of...

Scandalous Austrians and Riesling riots

It must be the beginning of the year because I’m writing about Riesling again… I started 2014 with a Summer and Winter of Riesling but it’s Summer Riesling all the way in 2015 and 12 months on I’ve still got plenty to say. I can only hope you like reading about...

The ever ethereal and elusive Pinot Noir

Working in a wine store I’m regularly asked what my favourite grape variety is. Of course, I reply, it all depends on the occasion and my mood. But to be honest, I do have my all-time favourites. While you might be forgiven for thinking Riesling is one, my most...

Whisky Rediscovered

Claiming to have liked something before it became fashionable isn’t usually something I do… even if it’s true. It’s irritating when other people do it and always seems like you’re trying to show off. I have a confession to make though: I loved whisky before it was...

The warmth of Europe in your glass… or coffee cup

Wintery weather still seems like a remote possibility in Perth right now, but I’m sure I remember a few bitterly cold, miserable days last year… Winter is coming. F0r our friends on the other side of the world, the Winter season is more extreme and a longer affair...

My Wine Philosophy

Sometimes I feel like writing this blog has elevated me from a wine lover and seller to a wine evangelist. Sure, in-store at La Vigna I can convert a few people to my way of thinking, but hopefully through my blog I’m spreading my message further and wider. So, what...

So sad to say goodbye to Sicily

As you all know, I’m a keen traveller and seeker of interesting experiences, especially where food and wine are concerned. This year my eye turned to Italy and on my many strolls through the streets of small towns in Sicily, Sicilian culture offered up some curious...

Matching Cheese and Spring Wine

I have to admit; today’s post is all about tempting you to come to La Vigna’s exciting upcoming Cheese and Spring Wine tasting on the 15th of September. As the weather warms and the grapevines flower, Perth is coming to life again and La Vigna has something to offer...

Perth’s summer buzz – the Vermouth evolution

After patiently waiting backstage for generations, Vermouth is stepping boldly through the curtains and emerging centre stage. Yes, I said Vermouth. While you could be forgiven for having dismissed this humble beverage as merely a necessary component of your Martini...

Fresh, fruity and sophisticated – Rose please!

While the bloom of the Jacaranda tree signifies the approach of Christmas for some, for me it’s the increase in Rose sales. As the weather warms we naturally look for lighter, fresher wines to wet our palates, and Rose with its innate versatility, is an obvious...

Tis the Season for Great Wine!

While the streets are aglitter with tinsel and lights, and roaming carollers spread Yuletide joy throughout the city, like many, I will have to wait until Christmas Day before ‘all is calm’ and ‘all is bright’. Christmas is almost upon us and while I am eagerly...

South America’s finest

The official ‘festive season’ may be over, but Perth’s summer is still graciously providing a backdrop for leisurely lunches and refreshing afternoon drinks. The clear skies, warm weather and a few glasses of Argentina’s finest, have inspired me to dedicate La Vigna’s...

For the love of wine

According to Rumi you should ‘Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do’- a philosophy that Steven Pannell (SC Pannell), Rose Kentish (Ulithorne), Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood (Ministry of Clouds) live by. These three winemakers of the McLaren Vale region...

Single malts, seaplanes and luxury luncheons…

Over the years I have attended hundreds of wine tastings and shows, but an event that indulges my love for whisky is a rare and special treat. When I received the invitation to attend an all-expenses paid luncheon facilitated by  world renowned malt master, David...

Greek Wines – beyond Retsina

You could certainly be forgiven for overlooking Greek wines. Deterred by an unpleasant experience with Retsina, or repeated encounters with cork taint, few associate Greece with superior wine. Travellers visit the Greek Cyclades for breathtaking vistas, ancient...

Break out the bubbles!

Bubbles have certainly added sparkle to the world of wine.  There was once a time when bubbles were cursed by winemakers and believed to be a fault.  In fact, it is said that Dom Perignon, widely considered the grandfather of Champagne, was actually employed to...