Wellington Wine and Food Festival 2016


WWFF 2016

L’s company shouted us a table at this year’s WWFF. We invited M and G and D and F along to join us. The setting was outside, in a large fenced-off corral built on the grounds of Waitangi Park. There was a stage at one end, and a ring of wine, beer and delicious food stalls encircling a throng of wine and enthusiasts, and a private marquee in the centre where our table was. We ate and supped, and finished the afternoon dancing in the sun! Magic.

The food was delicious. A highlight was the Indian offerings from chef Sushil, a popular contestant from an early series of New Zealand Masterchef.

The wine, overall, was rather average I thought. There were a few good options, but I was disappointed with the quality, varietal selections, and choice. There seemed to be a lot of what I would call ‘supermarket level’ wines on offer. Not the boutique wines I would expect at a gig like this. Not many local wineries…and no Riesling whatsoever that I could see!!! None! And it was sunny!

Here is what I did get to try:

Ohau Sauvignon Blanc Ohau 2015 – Fresh, lovely line of acidity and limes. Very appetising. One of my two favourite wines today.

Gladstone Vineyard Sophie’s Choice Sauvignon Blanc Wairarapa 2012 – Barrel-fermented savvy. Funky on the nose, mellow and soft to drink. Smoky. Interesting.

Tiki Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 – A typical Marl Savvy. Not memorable.

Ohau Pinot Noir Ohau 2014 – Spicy, red cherries, nice length.

Gladstone Vineyard 12000 Miles Pinot Noir Wairarapa 2013 – Lovely floral aromatics, smooth red fruit.

Margrain Rivers Edge Pinot Noir Martinborough 2014 – Deeper florals. Delicious and smoky, long and spicy. Dark cherries. Very expressive. A Martinborough Pinot for sure. My second fav.

Beach House Reserve Cabernet Merlot Hawkes Bay 2013 – Very aromatic. Expressive and rich. Drying tannins. A nice example.

After I had done a round of 40ml tasters, I had a glass of the Ohau SB, and a couple of the Margrain’s, then I drank craft beer ‘til home time.

Dirty Secret

On the way home we stopped off for a ‘roadie’ at Dirty Little Secret, a new rooftop bar overlooking Courtenay Place. I had that Riesling I had been craving for on such a long, hot day. L had a Rosé, natch.

 

What’s in the glass tonight December 13th


Boulders 2

Mini-tour of Martinborough Wines

L and I were pleased to attend the 50th birthday celebration of G, a good and generous friend of mine, and fellow cyclist, at the weekend just gone. He held it on a cool afternoon in the lovely environs of a Martinborough vineyard belonging to Nga Waka. Our kids were there, as were his, and they all had a great time running up and down the vines. The company was great, and he hired a fantastic singer/guitarist who knew all the songs, and played for hours!

We were treated to sumptuous food (whole pig on a spit! my fav cheesecake!), along with a broad selection of local wines. G knows and likes his wine…

50th wine

Over the course of a long day’s party, I got to taste the Ata Rangi Petrie Chardonnay (elegant, restrained), both Nga Waka and Three Paddles (the second label) Pinot Noirs (involving floral notes on the nose), Nga Waka Sauvignon Blanc (lovely, but alas Roger Parkinson has pulled out his vines to plant more PN), Margrain Pinot Gris, Palliser Riesling 2012 (stunning) and a rich Hawkes Bay Bordeaux blend which name escapes me. What a treat!

Thanks mate.