Tohu Pinot and Lamb

Last post I mentioned my friend Shirley was cooking a leg of lamb for our dinner for one of the nights when I went to her place to stay. She’s a passionate pinot gris fan but was open to ‘being surprised’ with something different so I chose the gold medal winning Tohu Pinot Noir 2015 from Marlborough’s Awatere Valley to take. Continue reading

Pinot Gris Wine Class

Is pinot gris still your favourite tipple I ask my friend Shirley who has relocated to Katikati and has invited me to stay.
“Yep,” she says,” although I don’t mind being surprised,” she adds.
I forage among my samples and select four PGs from three different #nzwine regions with different price points to see what she thinks. Shirley had earlier told me she’d be cooking a leg of lamb so I throw in a pinot noir as well – more about that here.
I pop the whites in the fridge on arrival and some time later, before dinner, we are ready to swirl, sniff and sip. Continue reading

Matawhero Church House Chenin Blanc 2016

I’m cooking a piece of pork in the oven with apples off my tree, fennel seeds that I harvested from my out-of-control fern before I cut it back and fresh sage leaves. I needed splash of wine and remembered the sample bottle of Matawhero Church House Gisborne Chenin Blanc 2016 that arrived by courier the other day. Continue reading

Burgundian Wairapa

It was interesting hearing Jancis Robinson, in New Zealand for Pinot Noir 2017, talk to John Campbell on Radio NZ after the event. She described Waipara pinot noirs as ‘grunty’ and the most Burgundian of all the New Zealand wine regions. Amongst all the connotations that ‘Burgundy’ conjures up, one means ‘age worthy’ to me. And so I chose an age-worthy Waipara pinot noir to feature in my February 2017 Urban and Country column on cellaring wine. Continue reading

Johanneshof at Millwater

I dined at Millwater Bistro & Bar in early February after the incredible wine list lured me there and jumping out and seducing me was vintage 2008 Blanc de Blancs bubbles from Johanneshof Cellars in Marlborough. Johanneshof Blanc de Blancs 2008
How could I resist as Johanneshof has a special place in my vinous memory not only for the fabulous day with Warwick and Rachel one Easter when we passed through Marlborough on holiday but also for their stunning gewurztraminer. Continue reading

Quenching Tohu Pinot Rosé 2016

Tohu Pinot Rose 2016A late evening walk at Shakespear Regional Park – one of Auckland’s fantastic network of regional parks – had us strolling through the wetlands to the Waterfall Gully bush track that 15 minutes later emerged in a paddock, after which some considerable deep breathing (for me) had us arriving at the lookout – the highest point on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. Then a leisurely saunter down the hill to Okoromai Bay when our picnic awaited. My contribution ‘Pork Char Sue’ and a chilled bottle of Tohu Pinot Rose 2016 from the Nelson wine growing region. Continue reading

Te Mania Rosé and chilli prawns

The exploration of summer pinks continues with Te Mania Nelson Pinot Noir Rosé 2016 – certified organic, suitable for vegans, 12.5% alcohol, $21.99 RRP.

Te Mania Rose 2016The bouquet of this light cherry-red hued rosé tantalised me as I was taking the photo, like a bowl of summer berries wafting out of the glass as I played around with the position of the bottle and the glass on my sloping concrete patio – but later, with my nose right into the glass the aromas are more earthy and savoury – like you expect mainstream pinot to be – plus a bit of rhubarb possibly. Continue reading

Creative solution for grapevine prunings

A striking monolith-like structure stands tall and proud as the centrepiece of Waiheke Island’s ‘Headland Sculpture on the Gulf’ walk, #hSOTG 2017. Made from grapevine prunings from Waiheke Island’s vineyards, it’s a creation by environmental artist Chris Booth who name is rather more synonymous with stupendous sculptures in stone. Of Booth’s works winelovers may recognise ‘Wairau Strata’ that stands on a river terrace in Marlborough above the entrance to Seresin Estate however probably better known in New Zealand is his iconic stone ‘Gateway’ arch in Auckland at the Victoria Street entrance to Albert Park and his tribute to the Rainbow Warrior at Matauri Bay in Northland. Check out his website for these and many many more.

It was a surprise to see a Chris Booth sculpture created from grapevines, and very pleasing for a winelover like me. ‘What a wonderfully creative solution to the disposal of grapevine prunings,’ I thought. Continue reading