Being Middle Earth in the Middle Kingdom

Being Middle Earth in the Middle Kingdom

Zhong­guo is the Chinese name for China, and trans­lates lit­er­ally as ‘Middle King­dom’. It is a coun­try that sits in the middle of the north­ern hemi­sphere, and with 1.4 bil­lion people is a power­ful, re-emer­­­ging eco­nomy. The say­ing usu­ally goes: ‘If 1 per­cent of China’s pop­u­la­tion enjoyed wine, then the prob­lems of the inter­na­tion­al wine […]

A gift for Martinborough’s angels

A gift for Martinborough’s angels

The cen­tur­ies-old expres­sion ‘the angels’ share’ refers to the small amount of wine that evap­or­ates through por­ous oak bar­rels dur­ing the age­ing pro­cess. My own exper­i­ence of angels is that they live among us to look after us. Not an easy job, so I think it appro­pri­ate that they are, in turn, helped out from […]

Aperitivi

Aperitivi

Sum­mer chil­lax­ing presents a whole new oppor­tun­ity for vin­ous appre­ci­ation. Wheth­er you are out and about in the Big Smoke or stretched out on the back lawn, here­with are my top five all-time favour­ite sum­mer aper­itif wines. Not only are they eas­ily access­ible, but they present what I think are far bet­ter altern­at­ives to ‘make […]

Fresh Toast

Fresh Toast

There has been a buzz in Mar­tin­bor­ough over the last few years. An injec­tion of energy, coupled with a desire to be part of the Mar­tin­bor­ough scene, is present in the vital­ity of the people and in the increas­ing pop­ular­ity of annu­al events such as the Olive Har­vest Fest­iv­al, the Septem­ber Jazz Fest­iv­al, sum­mer farmers’ […]

Hand in Hand

Hand in Hand

Why does wine go so well with food? Wine is essen­tially an acid, which cleanses the pal­ate. More import­antly, wine provides an array of aromas, fla­vours and tex­tures that, when com­bined with food, cre­ates the epi­phan­ic exper­i­ence in which the sum of the two parts topples the indi­vidu­al com­pon­ents. It takes a bit of practice, […]

City of Wine

City of Wine

Whenev­er I hear the state­ment that New Zea­l­and pro­duces less than 3 per­cent of the wine sold on the glob­al mar­ket, I try to visu­al­ise what that is. This year I atten­ded Pro­Wein in Düs­sel­dorf, Ger­many, and could see that 3 per­cent works out to be approx­im­ately 200 square metres — or about 800 bottles […]

Eggs is Eggs

Eggs is Eggs

The Egg: a sen­su­al piece of wine­mak­ing equip­ment but, at the same time, Humpty Dumpty-like and not far removed from an Ork­an space­ship. In Mar­tin­bor­ough, the people of Cam­bridge Road Wines have an egg. It’s the first of its kind to, erm, ‘nest’ in New Zea­l­and. Since pur­chas­ing one of Martinborough’s old­est blocks of Pinot […]

Giving wine with the X‑mas factor

Giving wine with the X‑mas factor

In the absence of accol­ades, budget restric­tion, brand or word of mouth, choos­ing wine as a gift is some­times as simple as choos­ing the pret­ti­est label. Undeni­ably, a bottle with the most strik­ing pack­aging will attract and, by the look of the cov­er, we will buy that book. It helps that the world of wine […]

Going for seconds

Going for seconds

Mak­ing wine is not a paint-by-num­bers for­mula that can be repeated each year without thought. The nature of work­ing with nature is that things change, and there are no guar­an­tees. Not all vin­tages will be the same, and not all grapes with­in the same plot or vin­tage will pro­duce the same wine. For Kapiti producer […]

Toasting Toast

Toasting Toast

I admit to hav­ing a Toast addic­tion. The wine kind. Year after year, Toast Martinborough’s wine, food and music fest­iv­al has the for­mula that makes this event fam­ous. Like any suc­cess­ful brand or busi­ness, the tri­umph of Toast Mar­tin­bor­ough comes down to the per­son­al touch. And the num­bers stack up nicely too: $2.5 mil­lion is generated […]