Marlborough Rising – Wellingtons other ‘local’ Wine Region
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Reflecting on the brilliant and bountiful Wellington on a Plate festival held recently, I had the opportunity of frequenting the pop-up Match Wine Bar, a collaboration of 20 wineries from Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton offering 40 wines by the glass and a pairing menu of 20 small plates created by legendary Chef, Ruth Pretty. Read More >

Wino Kiwis? Fundraising for Otago Kiwi Recovery Trust
Wine Kiwi

Wanaka winos taking part in the Wanaka Challenge & raising funds for fantastic New Zealand conservation project Otago Kiwi Recovery Trust Read More >

Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration 2016 (Jan 28-30)
Central Otago Pinot Noir Postcard 2016

The Wandering Palate will be heading to Queenstown and the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration 2016 (Jan 28-30), one of the best pinot ‘parties’ on planet earth, or Middle Earth as it were. Indeed, I have been to almost every CNPN gig since the inaugural celebration back in 2001 and can assure you it is one of the most enjoyable and dynamic wine events you will experience moreover in a most spectacular setting. Read More >

For the Fallen – We will remember them
Gallipoli dawn service - 2012

Gallipoli dawn service – 2012

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

New Zealand Soldiers at Anzac Cove 1915

 



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Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon 2012, Waipara, New Zealand
Peg ssb

It is definitively a product of old vines or perhaps I am showing my age, as it seems like I have been drinking this wine (Pegasus Sauvignon Semillon) for as long as I can remember.

The Donaldson family, pioneers of the Waipara Valley, declare that 2012 was the latest harvest in memory with the semillon picked in late May, a seriously long hang-time!  Couple this with vines that are over a quarter-of-century old and a low crop, it is an incredibly concentrated wine with a cut and thrust that is exhilarating, yet poised and oozing class and balance with a length of flavour that will outlast your memory.

What I get immediately is an exotic perfume of feijoa and grilled pineapple with a background of mandarin and orange zest; there are some sweeter notes of ripe mango and golden peaches with custard. As the wine breaths it becomes a hedonistic melange of stone fruits and citrus carried wonderfully in a musky fragrance with a fresh ginger and laksa leaf spicy uplift and an alluring nettle/herbal complexity with nuances of shiso, lemongrass, tarragon and thyme along with lurking scents of wet chalk/limestone–the sort of wine you find yourself nosing more than drinking–with such captivating aromas.

The palate is equally exciting and full of energy, indeed a torrent of succulent stone fruits and tantalizing tangy citrus yet gorgeously wrapped in a creamy viscous texture; on the one hand or cheek as it were, racy and invigorating and the other slippery, soft and glycerol caressing the long, long…and penetrating farewell with a spiciness and stinging tanginess.

This is a seriously powerful white wine and clearly semillon is an excelsior in the blend; wonderfully decedent and invigorating, drinking well now but you can sense with its unbridled power and cut it will cellar for 10 years or more. Furthermore, it is an absolute bargain and I am going to order 4 cases now, to put down for my 60th birthday!

 

I am also going to broach another bottle with some Milford Sound crayfish poached in a curry laksa sauce, which I think will work rather well. And you have to watch this video – click here

I might add, we are going through serious quantities of the Pegasus Aria Riesling at the moment, their late harvest offering which we drizzle over (and drink with it) poached winter fruits like pears, apples and rhubarb along with Manuka honey for dessert–separate article coming on this.

Visit the Pegasus Bay website www.pegasusbay.com to purchase direct and for a list of stockist.

The Wandering Palate is a bit of a fan of Pegasus Bay, see links for further reading, and if you happen to be in the region, lunch and luxuriating around the property is a mandatory.

Red Wine of the Lunar Year – Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir Prima Donna 2009 – Waipara Valley, South Island, New Zealand – click here

Wine Feng Shui – Most Auspicious Wine for the Year of the Black Water Dragon 2012 – click here

I can also say that the legendary Wandering Palate Duck Curry work very well with Pegasus Bay Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir, tried and tested at the winery  – click here for recipe

The New Zealand Wine and Food Event – Auckland 14th to 22nd September
NZ School F&W

The New Zealand Wine and Food Event is an annual two-day public event in Auckland comprising a showcase of New Zealand and international wine, cooking workshops and master classes. In 2014 these include presentations by US-based Master of Wine Tim Hanni and renowned cheese expert Juliet Harbutt. The event is organised by Auckland-based New Zealand School of Food and Wine and includes wine tasting opportunities as well as other wine and food education opportunities. The 2014 Wine and Food New Zealand event runs from September 14 to 22 at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine in Auckland’s Customs St West. Read More >

Visa Wellington On a Plate – 15 to 31 August
Visa Wellington on a Plate

New Zealand’s largest and tastiest culinary festival, Visa Wellington On a Plate (VWOAP), is set to serve its sixth course of good times and great deals from 15-31 August. Read More >

Mount Edward Riesling 2013 – Central Otago, New Zealand
www.mountedward.co.nz

I’m standing in Paul and Ruth Pretty’s kitchen sipping on a glass of Mount Edward Riesling 2013, whilst Ruth is cooking— in case you haven’t heard, Ruth just cooked for William  and Kate on their recent Royal Tour of New Zealand—so we are feeling rightly regal in her presence. Read More >

Ata Rangi – There are seeing-eye dogs, sniffer dogs, and then there are wine dogs. Checking brix today before the Syrah pick..
How do you tell if your grapes are at optimum ripeness? Send in the wine dogs of course

How do you tell if your grapes are at optimum ripeness? Send in the wine dogs of course

This picture twittered by Ata Rangi caught my eye… there are truffle dogs and there are Brix sniffing dogs, pretty logical when you think about…

read more on Ata Rangi – click here

 

 

Afghan Biscuits, Isle of Capri Tomatoes and Broken Heart Gin
Ruth Pretty's Isle of Capri Tomatoes

Having recently spent a few weeks on holiday in Wellington, New Zealand, I can report that we now know where the best Afghan biscuits are baked, and where the most incredible tomatoes and awesome Gin can be had—all of which have a fascinating history or story. Read More >