What’s in the glass tonight May 10th

I was really lucky to be invited by lovely L to accompany her on a weekend’s stay at the luxury Peppers Parehua cottages in Martinborough, Wellington region’s capital of wine.

It promised to be an amazing weekend, with wonderful food and wine to enjoy, with sleep, relaxation, loving company and a bit of bike riding. Additionally, some of New Zealand’s classic examples of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and of course Pinot Noir are produced in Martinborough, and I was hoping to taste a few current vintages if we got the chance…

A glass of fragrant and savoury TGIF Murdock James Martinborough Pinot Noir at Bar D4 with a few mates set the scene nicely while I waited for my lift over the Rimutakas.

That night in the room L provided a delicious antipasto platter with crispy bread, sharp cheddar, hummus, spicy meats, Lebanese olives, avocado, toms and fruit mince. Om nom nom. Lovely to eat with this:


From the cellar: Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2005 – $$$

This was one of my older pinots. They are meant to only keep 5-7 years as a general rule, but I do think they can last longer and better than expected.

The wine was glossy deep carmine in the glass. Expressive and savoury on the nose; tasting of rich red cherries and plums and yummy age characters. Supple tannins. An unctuous silky delight. It held up in the bottle so well. Alan Johnson the winemaker strives for a “ripe full and rich” style, and this bottle delivered.

What was in the glass last night May 9th

Mission Merlot 2010

Mission Estate Merlot 2010 – $$

L brought the bottle over to mine, and we drank it with fantastic Island bay Butchery porterhouse steaks, potatoes, peas and corn on the cob. Simple food, rich wine.

It was deep dark red, almost black in colour. It had been opened the previous day, with one glass out of it. Smelled quite funky, with forest floor, mushroom and, dare I say it, some oyster shellfish notes? Odd, but not bad.

On palate it was forward, with some rich fruit and medium tannins. Quite savoury.  It was very interesting to see the unusual development of this wine.

What’s in the glass tonight April 5th

Corbans White Label Cabernet  Merlot

Corbans White Label Cabernet Merlot – $

This volume product is so devoid of origin it doesn’t show the producer’s name clearly on the label – you have read the fine print – and no vintage. That’s a first. And on the back label it turns out to be wine from Australia. Sneaky…

Still, I had it in the house now, and should try the wine and comment, because truckloads of it are sold in every supermarket in the land…

Correct varietal colour. No real nose that I can detect. A soft and flabby fruit bomb, with no discernable tannins. The label says dry, but I say sweet. I know wine is ‘made’, but this feels more concocted than most. I assume to be non-threatening to those consumers new to red wine, or upgrading from cask?

Not what I am looking for.

Luckily for me I didn’t buy a bottle of the Chardonnay version too; that might have really crushed my spirit…



What’s in the glass tonight May 4th

Monowai Chardonnay 2011

Monowai Crownthorpe Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2011 – $

Old Gold. Buttery on the nose. Nutty. Medium weight malo. White peaches and mealiness in the mouth, but lacking fruit intensity.

Bitter finish at the back of my throat, the secondary characters that you see in oxidised wine past its best. This wine smells better than it tastes. Shame really, and the dour grey label does the wine no favours.

What’s in the glass tonight May 2nd

Podere Montepulciano 2010

Every now and then I’m gonna go off message…

Umani Ronchi Podere Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2010 – $

A Coober Pedy number: Deep brilliant ruby violet. Nose of black cherries and plums. Dry, grippy, and tannic. Black stonefruit and dark choc. Unctuous.

Imagine if the PM called you a pisshead?

Comedy gold – a story from Stuff.co.nz:

“A Christchurch lawyer says MP Aaron Gilmore threatened to have Prime Minister John Key get a young waiter fired during an incident in a hotel on Saturday night. Andrew Riches, witnessed the National MP’s outburst at the waiter at the Heritage Hanmer Springs hotel, said he felt “unfairly tarnished” by Gilmore’s conduct.

Riches said he had been happy to let the matter lie, but had been incensed by Gilmore trying to “shift responsibility” for his poor conduct with a “half-hearted apology”.

Riches confirmed Gilmore make the comment to the Heritage Hanmer Springs hotel waiter along the lines of “do you know who I am. I’m an important politician”

and then…

The apology issued from Gilmore’s office today said, “As a group of diners our behaviour was at times boisterous, and I sincerely apologise for any offence this may have caused to staff and/or patrons.

“On this occasion I believe as a group our behaviour fell short of this mark, and I should have recognised this at the time”

Prime Minister John Key this afternoon told reporters he had accepted Gilmore’s apology, and found Gilmore was clearly involved in a group that was involved in some slightly unruly behaviour, which was “disappointing”.

Riches, who left the waiter a note the following day expressing his embarrassment, said he was “happy to let Gilmore apologise”.

“[Now] I’ve got the Prime Minister calling me a pisshead.”

Key said: ”I think it’s a bit disappointing. He [Gilmore] was clearly involved in a group that was involved in some slightly unruly behaviour.

”MPs should be held to a high standard of behaviour when they are out publicly.”

”Clearly he has felt the need to apologise which is the right thing to do. He has apologised to me, I’ve accepted that apology and we’ve moved on.”

When Key was asked if the back-bencher would be reprimanded, Key replied that Gilmore had learned his lesson, was disappointed with himself and similar behaviour was unlikely to happen in future.

”My office spoke to him. I haven’t had a chance personally to speak to him. The bottom line is we have a level of expectation how our MPs should behave. I think he will take a moment to reflect on recent events and whether he met the standards of an MP. In hindsight he acknowledged he was part of a group that did not meet that standard and has apologised.”

Gilmore said yesterday he was “not aware” of making the comments after drinking a bottle and a half of wine on Saturday night, and put it down to “misunderstanding”.

 The dangers of drinking and talking…