Smart Sipping

The secret link between wine and spirits

Wine and spirits have a rolling link that may surprise you.

Luke McCarthy   Wineries play a surprisingly crucial role in making the world's best spirits.

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Australian whisky's powerhouse ally

Thanks for the leg-up, Scotland.

Greg Clarke   Scotland's strong influence on some of Australia’s finest whiskies isn't well known.

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Australian whiskies named 'liquid gold'

Bill Lark from Lark Distillery has been a leading figure in Australian whisky's emergence.

Steve Colquhoun   Three Aussie drams recognised as among the world's best by influential publication.

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Four cool cocktails for a scorching summer

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Luke McCarthy   Top bartenders reveal the simple, refreshing drinks they make when the sky is melting.

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Set free in the Glenfiddich blending room

Will it blend? It certainly will, though results may vary wildly.

Greg Clarke   He had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create his own whisky. What did he come up with?

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What's the best glass for drinking spirits?


Luke McCarthy   The vessels from which you can sample your favourite dram are surprisingly diverse.

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Which whisky - single malt, or a blend?

Stephen Lacey   It's the subject of much snobbery and name-calling. So which one is actually better?

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The whisky that won the world over

Various samples of whisky are seen in the whisky library of Suntory Holdings' Yamazaki Distillery.

Thomas Wilson   Japan's world-beating tipple, Yamazaki, has been almost a century in the making.

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How to gift the best Christmas spirits

Get it right and leave a loved one in the right Christmas spirit.

Luke McCarthy   Don't take a wild guess and make an expensive mistake. Here's how to get it right.

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The cocktail that's a real crowd-pleaser

Kenny Soetomo's crunchy, fizzy concoction was the talk of the competition.

Phil Barker   The people have spoken and Australia's most popular cocktail has been crowned.

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How much should great craft beer cost?

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Luke McCarthy   A taste test shows wine-like complexity, but are they really worth up to $100 each?

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An expert to exceed your grape expectations

What's your tipple? Langton's wine broker Pierre Durand has connections to hundreds of vineyards.

Rachael Oakes-Ash   Like wine but know nothing about it?That's what a wine broker is for.

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Got a thirst for knowledge about spirits?

Like your whisky? Want to know more? There are people who can help you with that.

Luke McCarthy   If you appreciate a dram of whisky, or any other fine spirit, join the club.

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The Japanese whisky that trumps the Scots

Winner: "The Yamazaki" is one of several Japanese whiskies that are making a big impression around the world.

Leah Hyslop   Japanese single malt wins prestigious award, while no Scotch made it to the top five.

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Is a $15,000 bottle of cognac worth it?

Morgan de Prémorel inspects the Louis XIII cognac.

Luke McCarthy   Would you pay thousands for a ‘super-premium’ spirit? What about millions?

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Can you age whisky in just one day with a stick?

Just add a stick: Can a piece of wood add three years' ageing to whisky in just 24 hours?

Asta Thrastardottir   Time-honoured barrel ageing process under threat from innovative start-up.

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Who wins the Bledisloe Cup of whisky?

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Steve Colquhoun   Rugby's most coveted prize may be lost, but another set of bragging rights is up for grabs.

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Does drinking work in your workplace?

Alcohol can add an extra x-factor to any work-related situation.

Luke McCarthy   Long business lunches, Friday drinks, or a team blowout - what's the impact?

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Ten things you do that annoy your bartender

Want service with a smile? Don't take him for granted.

Megan Willett   Are you being served? Here are 10 commandments of drink-ordering etiquette.

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Who decides what you drink?

Taste is a personal experience, and no one can definitively say yours is wrong.

Luke McCarthy   Taste is totally subjective, so is anyone ever really right or wrong about any given tipple?


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Wine journey

From the grape to the glass, the enjoyment of wine comes after a delicate journey.