Welcome to the Vinofiles.
This is our online magazine of all things wine, food and life. You'll find all sorts of articles and videos - from interviews, recommendations, and "how to" guides for everything from serving and storing wines to different wine styles, regions and producers.
INTERNATIONAL CHARDONNAY DAY: HELP ME, CHEESES!
Chardonnay and cheese. Chardonnay is a natural match for so many styles of cheese, because there are so many faces of chardonnay. From the racy unoaked melon-mouths to the oak-slathered butter bombs, let’s explore. And let’s not be afraid. Chardonnay can be confusing, with so many unfamiliar terms (Whole bunch? Wild ferment? Barrel size, cooper, toast level, new or old… or maybe stainless steel or even concrete egg? Malolactic fermen-WHAT? Sulphur or no sulphur. Fine lees, gross lees, lees stirring). Holy moly. That would be a panoply of things even if ‘panoply’ wasn’t my word of the week. Let’s keep it simple, because it doesn’t have to be that hard.
First question: are you going chardy first, or cheese first? Was it the brand spanking or well-cellared chardonnay you pulled out for the occasion that you’re trying to find a cheese for, or the gruyère you bought at a whim that you need to match with wine? If it was the wine first, here’s where to begin (you cheese-first people have to wait, today we’re just dealing with those who plan ahead).
WINE FIRST: I’ve got a chardonnay - now what?
So, you’ve got a chardonnay. Firstly, congrats. The ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) Club long since disbanded due to poor turnout, and it’s back in “farshun” for reasons that supercede trends. Chardonnay starts with the cheap and cheerful but generally still balanced and palatable. Let’s begin there. For real.
Chardonnay with little to no oak
This stuff’s made to be drunk fresh. It will be all citrus and melons (asparagus if you’re lucky) and there should be none of that butter flavour. The good ones (let’s hope that’s all you’re drinking) will be high acid and lots of fruit, or at least balanced by some richness. The key here’s the acid. Due to the crisp mouthwatering quality, you can do high acid cheeses.
WHAT?! “High acid cheese”? Don’t think of it like that. Think bitey, sharp cheese. See?
Crumbly cheddar, cheshire, raclette or parmesan. Even gruyère (hello, Heidi, if you haven’t tried it - no commissions here, just my fave), although this can stretch into the next category.
This stuff’s your ticket to unoaked chardy heaven. The acid meets acid and says, “hey, let’s just make out while these chardonnay fruits and the cheese flavours do a little dance on this mofo’s palate.” Mmm. You had me at “hey”. Did someone say fondue?
Modern chardonnay - the balanced, nutty and complex style
This is our jam. You’re right in the thick of a glorious (panoply? Just kidding) battle of chardonnay mano-a-mano. Everyone is trying to make the MOST balanced, MOST complex, cool climate, mid-weight chardonnay out there at the moment. Reap the rewards. You get loads of perfectly ripe fruit, a bit of nuttiness, a lick of butter, finesse, excellent length (thanks to well-judged vineyard placement and picking times). Basically, you got it all. All you need is the right cheese to bring it home.
Alright, so you’ve got a modicum of all the good things. Basically, the cheese you want will be the same.
Creamy cheese is your friend here. From oozy brie and camembert to Pont l’Eveque, you’re in white mould heaven. Enjoy.
Big, bad chardonnay
Great, you’ve got something old skool. You are in for a treat. You have a wine that has oak, butter, asparagus, tropicals probably, but is more about ridiculous richness and texture than forward fruitiness.
The world of cheese is your oyster. You can have the creamy, the funky, and even the salty. Tallegio, Roquefort, Gorgonzola… all the washed rinds, blues. You’ve got savoury to match the salt; acid to match the sweet; body to match the cheese’s acidity. You’ve got it all.
Vino Italiano - An Italian Primer
“I was saying this afternoon that I don’t want to be that wanker who bangs on about how much he loves Barolo now. But I am, I am that guy. And I’m OK with it, I f*cking love the stuff. Especially when paired with lamb cutlets, chocolate birthday cake and the finest of company on a Sunday afternoon.”
Secrets to the ultimate winter warmer
This should be fun and not overthought (don’t mull it over too much), so I’m going to keep this simple, so you don’t have to keep looking at your iPad. After all, you’re over eighteen if you’re trying this, so I reckon you’ve got this.
Magnificent Mendoza Malbec - A Primer
We all need to take a card from the Argentines and drink more malbec, eat more steak and live our best life. Cheers, mofos!
What’s so good about aged wine, anyway?
So what is so good about old wine? What do we expect from it, and why do we think it’s necessarily better than young wine?
Tannins | Wine Buzzwords
Novelty bonus fact: Apparently wine tannins resist oxidation in the body and are thus very good for your health. Therefore, wine = health.
Orange Wine | Wine Buzzwords
It’s likely you’ve come across orange wines by now. Most of the cool wine bars will feature a couple on their lists and retailers are finding more shelf space for them as we look for an alternative to whites or rosé. They’re equally loved and despised. Purists will say it’s a faulty abomination, while others are excited by the fact they challenge convention and expectations. We reckon the best way to find out if you like a style is to taste as much of it as you can, so before you head off into the rooftop wine bar wilderness, here’s some info to get you started.
Sonoma County: Your new favourite wine region
With the US in our sights, we’re chucking on our figurative backpacks and heading off to Sonoma County.
A Day In Marlborough
Spending a few days visiting wineries in Marlborough was, as far as ‘work goes’, one of the better weeks I’ve had on the job.I tagged along on a buying trip, which translates to meeting a lot of winemakers, which translates to talking a lot about wine, tasting a lot of wine and exploring vineyards. Dream job? Pretty much.
Blind Drunking: JD vs John, Marlborough
The scene was Marlborough, a morning at Grove Mill estate to be precise. The boys were surrounded by lush purple hills and the scattered remains of empty sauvignon blanc tasting glasses. Between them sat one mystery bottle of wine. The battle was on.
A Savvy B Journey Through Marlborough
There is no wine more divisive than sauvignon blanc amongst the team here at Vinomofo. We love to hate it at Mofo HQ, and our CEOs proudly wear t-shirts with ‘Death Before Sauvignon Blanc’ printed on them.
60 Seconds with Pip Goodwin
Pip Goodwin is the CEO of Palliser Estate, a legendary Kiwi vino outfit working out of beautiful Martinborough. Besides being a bona fide lady boss, she’s also got a tonne of winemaking experience under her belt dating all the way back to a trip to Burgundy. So watch out, mofos, we’ve got the real deal here.
Marlborough is synonymous with sauvignon blanc. As a brand, it has been one of the great success stories of the modern wine world and there’s no sign of it slowing down. It accounts for 86% of New Zealand’s wine exports and really, they just can’t get enough of it.
Would You Like To Taste The Wine Sir?
“Would you like to taste the wine?”A seemingly innocuous question that strikes fear into the hearts of so many. Those seven words can tear down even the most robust foundations of self-confidence. You’re on the spot. All eyes turn expectantly to you, and you’re thinking… “Well I dunno, what am I supposed to say?”
A Primer to French Wine
For many of us, our connection with France hasn’t expanded much further than the ability to say “voulez-vous couchez avec moi, c’est soir?” either whispered at the back of French class or shouted on a booze-fuelled Contiki tour through Paris. We’re not known for our linguistic talents, but perhaps if we were introduced to French wine in high school our attention would’ve increased tenfold.
The Mofo Guide To Ordering Wine
There should be no more stress in choosing a wine than there is in choosing your meal. That being said, there’s nothing more horrific than having to choose between the pork belly and the salmon, and even then at least you know what you’re talking about.
Three Deadly Wine Cocktails To Get You Howling On Halloween
A scary twist on a Spanish classic, serve this classic summer punch in a pumpkin to keep you chilled – even in the depths of hell.
Bubble Trouble: International Champagne Day
October 20th is our favourite day on the calendar. Yes, it’s a Friday this year, but more importantly it marks not only International Champagne Day, but also Snoop Dogg’s birthday. And on this most holy of days, it’s only fair we take the advice of Snoop and drop, no, pop it like it’s hot. Or, if you’re living a bit further south, like it’s warming up at the very least.
White With One: When is sweet not sweet and dry still wet?
“That wine is bone dry.”
Why is there chocolate in my wine?
Wine is awesome. The flavours, the textures, the layers, the weight, the heat, the twists and turns as it opens up inside your mouth and inside your mind. That is sexy stuff and I don’t care if it sounds wanky. It’s awesome. And it’s real, if you let it in. To really get it, you’ve got to understand compounds so strap yourself in because I’m gettin’ scientific on your ass (with a little help from Google).
Just chill: stop overthinking the perfect wine serving temperature
Stop overthinking the perfect wine temperature and forget the numbers. Enjoying your wine at its optimum temperature doesn’t have to be a science experiment. Once you have these simple habits under your belt, you won’t even have to think about temperature any more, you’ll just be enjoying your wine that much more.
What's The Point
Ever wondered what those shiny medals and points assigned to wines mean? Probably not, it’s pretty self-explanatory right - the more points the better the wine? Yes, points are allocated to wines based on qualitative measures but for the consumer the question remains, so what?
48 hours in Beechworth
After a truly boutique wine experience? Head to Beechworth. Here you’ll find some of the most humble and hardworking wine folk willing to show you first hand the heartache and joy involved in making small batches of incredible vino. It ain’t glamorous and you’ll have to book appointments to arrange tastings, but it’s worth it because this region is as real as it gets when it comes to soul-stirring wine.
Happy International Grenache Day
Happy Grenache Day! I bet you didn’t know that was a thing. Yep, apparently there’s a day for everything. There’s even a movement to get Fairy Bread Day up and running here in Australia. That’s a stretch, but we’re all for celebrating wine so Grenache Day is fine by us. So, on its special day you’re invited to grab a glass and raise a toast as we share with you a few things we love about grenache. It’s a bit like a 21st – complete with awkward speeches – but with better wine.
Fresh Kiwi Vino (other than pinot)
There’s no doubt that New Zealand is killing the pinot game. Spicy, fruity and undeniably delectable, ask any pinot fan about Kiwi juice and they’ll start raving. In fact, the pinot is so damn good it’s almost doing a disservice to the wine industry, because it’s way too easy to forget that New Zealand churns out some remarkable red wines other than pinot. And we’re gonna find ‘em.
The Rise of Rosé: A Hashtag Journey
It’s official: the pink drink has blown up worldwide. First it was the French, then the Spanish, and now the whole world is tickled pink over a refreshing glass of rosé. To give you an inkling as to popularity of this lil’ drinkling, these days the French actually consume more rosé than white wine. But what led to this meteoric rise in popularity?
Biodynamic Wine | Wine Buzzwords
Welcome to the next leg of our journey to make sense of vino vocabulary. Today, we’ll be tackling a term that’s shrouded in mystery and a fair bit of scepticism: biodynamic wine. Among the preferred poison of wipsters (aka wine hipsters), biodynamic vino is made using a philosophy that’s free of chemicals and tuned into the cosmic forces of the universe. But the question is, does it really make a difference to the juice in your glass? Well mofo, let’s look into a crystal ball and see.
New Zealand has long been synonymous with the words ‘natural’ and ‘pure’ and this translates to wine too. Given the reverence Kiwis winemakers have for the land, it’s no surprise there’s a relatively long history and commitment to natural wines and biodynamic, sustainable and organic winemaking practices.
Out of Auckland: Matakana
The weather wasn’t ideal for a day trip and the temptation to spend the afternoon tucked into a cosy corner of a Ponsonby wine bar was real. However, we’d already spent the last three days tucked into cosy corners of wine bars all over Auckland and there were teasers of sunshine, so we set out to see what adventures could be had within an hour of the city and Matakana ticked plenty of boxes – mainly the ones with wine written next to them.
VIDEO: 60 Seconds with Tim Preston, Mills Reef
We dropped by Mills Reef in Tauranga on a pretty bloody cold August day. We were, admittedly, quite hungover from the night before and collectively unenthused at the prospect of a day spent drinking more alcohol. That was until we tasted Tim Preston’s first class pinot noir.
Hip Hop and Wine: A History
Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly if your rap level is expert, the hip hop scene actually has a well-rhymed history for pairing sneakers with syrah and bling with barrels. Forget those five fingers of Hennessy, what they love is getting around a good glass of vino. Thug life, wine life, same same.
48 hours in Waiheke Island (NZ)
Incredibly beautiful, insanely accessible and with a microclimate to rule them all, it’s no wonder Waiheke Island is one of New Zealand’s most favouritest wine regions. We spend 48 hours driving a ute and drinking vino (not at the same time and always with a designated driver, obvs) around the best of the idyll’s best.
It could be the best or the worst decision we’ve made here at Vinomofo, and we’re equal parts excited and terrified, but we’ve done it, and here it is.
What your favourite wine says about you
In an image driven world first impressions count, right? It’s why we agonise over an outfit that says “ideal candidate” at a job interview or cultivate a look we hope will turn heads (in a good way). What we look like and buy into says a lot about us; in my case the current ensemble of Melbourne crafted jeans and Jack Wills jumper screams mainstream preppy with a penchant for hipster denim. And it’s the same deal with wine.
Beyond the sauvalanche
New Zealand sauvignon blanc, I salute you! In just over three decades, this grape has risen from relative obscurity to become the world’s most ubiquitous wine. Marlborough, the epicentre of savvy’s fame, is the place that produces the particular style of vino that has taken the global wine palate by storm. And if our growing thirst is anything to go by, then the sauvalanche shows no signs of slowing.
Terroir | Wine Buzzwords
Take care of how you wield this word because it’s got a high wine w**ker score.
When should I decant a wine?
The definitively abridged guide to ageing and decanting wine – when, why, what and how long.
48 hours on the Mornington Peninsula
We know you Kiwis have some sweet regions on your own doorstep, but if you’re in Australia, you need to head to the Mornington Peninsula. Why? Because when it comes to weekends of pure indulgence, there are few destinations more appealing than the Peninsula.
Recipe of the Month : Fluffy Carrot Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Introducing our latest recipe of the month, a sweet and decadent delight for those who enjoy the naughtier side of life. Simply add friends and a few bottles of Bisou Bisou Sparkling to party like a modern-day Marie Antoinette. Let them eat (cup)cake!
VIDEO: 60 Seconds with Dan Sims
Dan Sims is an Aussie sommelier legend. With a few profanities thrown in. King of Revel (formerly known as Bottle Shop Concepts), his wine ethos is simple - don’t overthink it. A mantra we particularly enjoy here at the ‘Fo. We also enjoy hitting the town, and the juice, at his first-class wine events - Game of Rhones and Pinot Palooza. Sound familiar? They will if you’re a vino hound. Revel (formerly known as Bottle Shop Concepts)