Wine

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 […]

Blackenbrook celebrates ten years

Blackenbrook celebrates ten years

Black­en­brook vine­yard recently cel­eb­rated its tenth birth­day. As vine­yards go, it is pretty young — not even a teen­ager yet. Don’t let its youth con­fuse you though. Its wines would sug­gest a much more estab­lished vine­yard. The idyll­ic 20-hec­tare vine­yard, with a north­ern aspect, looks over Tas­man and the Moutere Inlet. Ursula and Daniel Schwarzenbach […]

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 […]

Changes of scenery proves fruitful

When Gary and Val­ley Neale came back from work­ing over­seas in the early 1990s, they returned to Nel­son, the town where they’d met, and con­sidered wheth­er to try grow­ing grapes or apples. “We met a grow­er who said whatever we went into there would be good years and bad, and if we weren’t pas­sion­ate about […]

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 […]

Beards and Rosé

If you have spent any time in the hip­ster bars and cafés of Wel­ling­ton recently, you will no doubt have come to the same con­clu­sion I have: Wel­ling­ton is fast approach­ing ‘peak beard’. Although beards are now pro­lif­ic on both sides of the counter, I ser­i­ously doubt you can find a male behind any bar […]

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’ […]

Wines to drink your mortgage away

Wines to drink your mortgage away

Just recently it was time to refin­ance the mort­gage. After run­ning through some num­bers with my mort­gage broker, he star­ted express­ing con­cern over my cur­rent fin­an­cial plan of tak­ing 25 years to pay off a 15-year mort­gage. After much tut-tut­t­ing, he hit me with the old cup-of-cof­fee-a-day par­able. The one loved by fin­an­cial colum­nists and […]

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, […]

Hollywood Pinot Blanc

Hollywood Pinot Blanc

In recent years, Wel­ling­ton has become known as a mag­net for film­mak­ing tal­ent from all over the world, but it was wine-mak­ing that brought two Hol­ly­wood pro­du­cers to Marl­bor­ough to see if they could rep­lic­ate California’s oth­er great industry in New Zea­l­and. Joanne and Bruce Kern­er both enjoyed suc­cess­ful pro­du­cing careers in Hol­ly­wood, with involvement […]