A reminder of how many years have gone past!
Posted on Sun, 12/11/2017
Every so often I get a wake up call as to how many years have gone by since those stress filled days when we first opened up at Somerset and dealt with all we had too over those first few years - young and green and naive...>>>
Family is everything
Posted on Fri, 29/09/2017
Has been a mucky sort of day, where I don't feel like I've acomplished much. We have a catering job on tomorrow - not a large one, but a function where we are taking everything - plates, cutlery, glassware and etc,...>>>
TWR Winemakers Dinner
Posted on Sat, 25/06/2016
On Thursday evening just gone, we did a winemakers dinner with Anna from TWR Wines. A lady we have had the pleasure of meeting a few times over the years, and who has always left a special resonance in her wake. Genuine...>>>
What makes a good sommelier
Posted on Thu, 03/04/2014
Liked this article very much. Expertise is acquired by doing the hard yards over time, not by getting a certificate. The classroom only gets you a small part of the way there, and there a whole host of other skills...>>>
Egg in wine
Posted on Wed, 11/12/2013
There is always something to learn - a fact I happen to like, because it keeps me on my toes. Last night I learned that Te Whare Ra do not use any egg or other animal protein to fine their wines, and I learnt this because...>>>
Posted on Sun, 01/12/2013
Been a busy sort of Sunday - and just sitting at the computor having a quick catch up on my inbox, before I shower and get ready for dinner. Think we're heading out to Macau for an early meal, before coming home and finishing...>>>
Compost making at Rippon
Posted on Thu, 26/09/2013
A very cool video about making compost at Rippon Vineyard. Have a meeting with them next week, and got linked to this via the email.
A subject close to my heart, and I love to hear the science chat in the background. Where...>>>
Stonyridge Larose Vertical tasting
Posted on Sun, 28/07/2013
A glorious day, and has been made all the nicer because we've had Hannah and Andrew home for the weekend, and after a leisurely morning reading the Sunday papers, for those of us who didn't get up at the crack of dawn to...>>>
How dependable are wine competitions?
Posted on Sat, 29/06/2013
Fascinating article in The Observer over the question of just how reliable wine judges are able to be, when they're tasting over 100 wines blind in a competition session.
And if they are not reliable, what does that say...>>>
Posted on Thu, 04/04/2013
A link to a blog that David Lebovitz has just written regarding a sponsored trip to Reims and visit to the Veuve Cliquot cellars.
We have 3 champagnes on our wine list, and sell alot of Veuve so I was interested to read...>>>
European wine styles
Posted on Tue, 26/02/2013
A gross generalisation I know, but New Zealanders tend not to be interested in drinking wine styles that they are not familiar with. For that reason Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are the biggest...>>>
Posted on Tue, 04/12/2012
Our wine list covers a wide range of options, both price wise and in styles, and that is deliberate. We are still BYO, but it is a habit that is diminishing in volume I've noticed over the last couple of years. The...>>>
It depends on the label
Posted on Sat, 16/06/2012
The answer returns us to the sensory limitations of the mind. If these blind testings teach us anything, it?s that for the vast majority of experts and amateurs fine-grained perceptual judgments are impossible. Instead,...>>>
How to pour a glass of wine
Posted on Tue, 10/04/2012
This link was sent to me by Chris, with the tongue in cheek suggestion that we should have one at the bar at Somerset.
A little too time consuming methinks to be practical, but quite gorgeous all the same.
I am fascinated...>>>
Richardson Winemaker Lunch - Sunday 18 March 2012
Posted on Tue, 20/03/2012
I've just come back over to the house after having a meeting with Sandy regarding the visit from Jane Skilton that we have coming up in early May. She is going to be leading a tasting of bubbly style wines and also pinot...>>>
Movie on Sommeliers
Posted on Fri, 20/01/2012
This looks like a movie I gotta see, purely out of curiosity though, and not becos I want to in any way emulate the ambition of these guys to pass the Master Sommelier exam.
I love wine, and I love the process of tasting...>>>
Mid sized wineries struggling
Posted on Thu, 08/12/2011
I've just been on the website of a photographer who took photos at a civil union we did at Somerset back in late October.
A very special afternoon event, for two ladies I'm enormously fond off, making formal their bond....>>>
American perspective on NZ sauvignon blanc
Posted on Sat, 03/12/2011
An interesting perspective on the start of planting of grapes in Marlborough, and the surge to dominance of NZ sauvignon blanc.
On our white wine list we have 8 rieslings, 5 gewurztraminers, 6 pinot gris, a chenin...>>>
Martinborough Wine and Food Festival
Posted on Tue, 22/11/2011
A sad commentary on the evolution of the Martinborough Wine and Food Festival, or rather, the people going to the festival.
For some years during the late nineties, we joined a number of other couples from Tauranga...>>>
Mondovino - the series
Posted on Fri, 18/11/2011
I really don't know where to start about this series. It has been my idea of bliss, to watch the full 10 hours of viewing over the week, and revel in the depiction of the scope of the wine world that it covers. From the Mondavi's...>>>
Posted on Sun, 19/06/2011
I am a natural cynic. Not, I hope, one who is automatically bitter and twisted. I don't feel quite that far along the spectrum, but definitely I do have a tendency to greet a certain amount of stuff with an instinctively...>>>
Passion and Patience
Posted on Sat, 18/06/2011
The DVD Passion and Patience arrived yesterday, and I've just watched it while on the spinner for an hour. Filmed at the Henderson winery Corazon, its a completely down to earth look at the wine making process, starting with...>>>
Movie on making wine
Posted on Wed, 15/06/2011
I've just ordered a copy of this movie Passion and Patience, becos figure it will make interesting viewing for all our front staff, especially since it appears to be made from a NZ centric perspective.
Posted on Tue, 24/05/2011
I didn't get to go to my photography class today, becos Anna Flowerday from Te Whare Ra winery was flying in, and I'd suggested to Sandy from Lion the distributors, that we have lunch with her, as a catchup, seeing as how...>>>
Posted on Thu, 05/05/2011
I gave myself a start at a table last nite, when I poured the first glass of the bubbly that they had BYOed. We tend to open BYO wines behind the bar rather than at the table, and I'd done so without really paying too much...>>>
Posted on Mon, 18/04/2011
I know I splutter rude things about competitions in general, but I'm still pragmatic enough to know that winning an award like this is good for business, and when it happens to someone I like as much as John Hancock, then...>>>
Posted on Tue, 25/01/2011
This link is to a blog written by a winemaker on Waiheke Island on the subject of the nefarious and ambiguous results that can come out of wine competitions.
I suscribe to a couple of wine email services, and literally not...>>>
Drink only Australian wine in January
Posted on Fri, 10/12/2010
All wine industries everywhere in the world have found the last couple of vintages extremely stressful. The market correction that has been taking place over the last 2 years, is claiming alot of financial victims along the...>>>
Tips on ordering wine in a restaurant
Posted on Thu, 25/11/2010
This article is written by an American restaurant critic who was slated by Anthony Bourdain in his latest book, as being pretencious and seriously unpleasant, so I started reading his list, fully expecting to find him pretencious...>>>
Trinity Hill Winemakers Dinner - November 2010
Posted on Wed, 24/11/2010
I am about to head into the kitchen to start browning of some mince, so that I can get a huge pot of bolognese sauce bubbling away, for while I'm over at the restaurant for lunch service. Courteney is doing the Elite Womens...>>>
New Zealand wines trouncing Australian
Posted on Wed, 29/09/2010
A gracious Australian commentary on why NZ wine styles are featuring so dominantly in competitions, comparing NZ wines to Australian and South African - a vinous Tri Nations......>>>
Mahi Winemakers Dinner - August10 2010
Posted on Thu, 12/08/2010
Mahi winery was established in Marlborough in 2001 by Brian and Nicola Bicknell, and they make a small range of wines from hand picked grapes, and using wild yeasts.
On Tuesday nite, we hosted a dinner with Brian , and were...>>>
Posted on Tue, 10/08/2010
I am currently reading a totally fascinating book, 'Liquid Matters' by Jonathon Nossiter, which is taking awhile, partly becos I'm finding it thoroughly engrossing and am trying to spin it out so it doesn't end anytime soon,...>>>
Two French Winemakers
Posted on Mon, 12/07/2010
We are heading up to Auckland for the day ( and evening - it would be a shame not to fit a dinner in as well!) later this week, primarily ( apart from the lunch and dinner!) to meet up with Jean-Christophe at Maison...>>>
Man O'War Dreadnought Syrah
Posted on Wed, 02/06/2010
Its nice when a wine we already have on the wine list gets this kind of accolades... Once Rhonda gets back from America, and before the kitchen crew start taking their annual leave, Rick and I are hoping for a few days...>>>
Te Whare Ra Toru
Posted on Tue, 18/05/2010
I have had my normal bookwork Tuesday, alleviated somewhat by a catchup lunch with some friends in town, that allowed a pleasant break in all that I needed to plow thru.
Now nearly time to head over to the restaurant for...>>>
Posted on Tue, 04/05/2010
This link to an article on the significance of female winemakers in the NZ wine industry comes as no surprise to me.
Two of my favourite wineries that we list at the restaurant are the Richardson lineup and also Odyssey,...>>>
Yalumba Winemakers Dinner, 24 March 2010
Posted on Thu, 25/03/2010
Learnt something tonite! The Flemish bissous on the cheek 3 times, whereas the French only do it twice. Didn't know that. We have some Flemish businessmen in for dinner, one of whom we have seen many times over the years,...>>>
Pinot Noir Classification
Posted on Mon, 15/02/2010
I am not inherently a fan of the classification of wine or restaurants into lists of the best - becos I have problems with the variability of the criteria used, and the type of people who set themselves up to pass judgement.
Posted on Wed, 10/02/2010
Two interesting articles in The Guardian on the vexed subject of wine criticism - both from a different perspective, but both written by men who have the very serious qualification of an MW.
Tim Aitken argues that with the...>>>
Wine trends for next decade
Posted on Mon, 11/01/2010
I get daily emails from tizwine.com, which is a roundup of news from anywhere in the world relating to the wine industry, and usually makes for interesting reading.
This link is to a US based article, predicting the...>>>
Jancis Robinsons wishlist for 2010
Posted on Wed, 06/01/2010
I've always admired Jancis Robinsons ability to call it the way she sees it - so many supposed critics are little more than PR mouthpieces, with no original grunt. This lady has always struck me as been made of sterner...>>>
Posted on Thu, 01/10/2009
People need to realise just how seriously some of our reds are starting to be taken on the world stage. This isn't the first time that 'our' Gimblett Gravels bordeau style reds have come out very well in a blind tasting with...>>>
Te Whare Ra Winemaker Dinner -29 September 2009
Posted on Wed, 30/09/2009
I was going to head over to the Mount this afternoon to clear my head after what has been a reasonably full on couple of days, but the weather is squally and unpredictable, so I've opted for a mooch down below with the dogs,...>>>
Comparative Champagne Tasting, 1 September 2009
Posted on Thu, 03/09/2009
Have just had a meeting with Andrea from Moca, our website designers, and Rachel from Digital Dove, who is currently working with us on our logo and branding - and have realised that theres a whole language out there that...>>>
Posted on Fri, 28/08/2009
Many years ago, a customer sold us 2 bottles from about 9 consequetive vintages of Stony Ridge Larosse, and we did a evening in the restaurant, tasting the wines. Steve Bird led the discussions as I recall.
Posted on Wed, 22/07/2009
A new mockumentary that looks promising, becos it pokes the borax at the pretensions that build up in the wine industry - something that I trip over occasionally.
Most of the wine makers that I know personally, are...>>>
Dog Point Winemakers Dinner, 9 July 2009
Posted on Fri, 10/07/2009
A gloriously sunny still day. Have just got back from the Mount, where I went alone cos Rick headed out on his bike. The Mount is full of families, with the school holidays currently on - and it's always fascinating to note...>>>
Criticism of Robert Parkers independance
Posted on Fri, 29/05/2009
About to head over to the restaurant for a cookschool, but one of the advantages of my day starting at 6.30am these mornings to feed the puppies, is that I get an extra hour at my computor to read incoming stuff, which...>>>
Bird Wines, winemaker dinner 17 February 2009
Posted on Wed, 18/02/2009
We had a winemakers dinner with Steve and Caroline Bird, from Bird Wines last nite. Steve had a number of wine styles that he wanted to showcase, so we delved into 'The French Laundry ' cookbook for inspiration for a series...>>>
Posted on Wed, 04/02/2009
Jancis Robinson is an English wine critic who I've long admired. I remember watching a BBC production years ago, that she did about apreciating wine, and decided back then that I liked her direct and honest approach. There...>>>
Trinity Hill winemakers dinner - 25 November 2008
Posted on Thu, 27/11/2008
I have one daughter out on the river training, the other is racing in Te Puke, and Ricks just headed out for a quiet hour on the bike to clear his head. As you do. I've been bottling red wine vinegar, and am now sitting at...>>>
Posted on Thu, 21/08/2008
Back in 2004 we did two weeks of cookschools in an idyllic farmhouse in rural Tuscany, Italy - Podere Fineri. It was our first trip to Europe ( if you over look the fact that I was born in England, but came out to NZ when...>>>
Is a bottle of wine ever worth that much?!
Posted on Sat, 09/02/2008
its an article on a bottle of wine that gets returned in a restaurant in London, by a diner who doubts its authenticity....>>>
Posted on Mon, 21/01/2008
One of the electronic wine emails I suscribe too, sends me interesting titbits from all around the world, and I thought this was an article worth passing on :http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120069310588201343.html?mod=weekend_leisure_banner_left...>>>
Italian Wine Newsletter
Posted on Thu, 10/01/2008
One of my New Years resolutions is to treat this blog as an opportunity to just flick quick ideas out there. Links that I enjoy, that I think other people might and should therefore pass along.
I've tended over the past...>>>
Posted on Wed, 14/11/2007
After we have done a cookschool at Somerset, we sit down in the restaurant with the attendees and eat for lunch what it is that Rick has prepared, together with a wine that I've chosen . I usually make an effort in...>>>
Kina Beach Winery Dinner - Tuesday 21 August 2007
Posted on Thu, 23/08/2007
David and Pam, owners of Kina Beach winery in Nelson, approached us a couple of months ago to see if we'd like to do a winery dinner with them. David had come to see me before last Christmas to do a tasting with his...>>>
Oz and James Big Adventure
Posted on Mon, 13/08/2007
We are in the process of getting an offlicense, purely so we can sell via mail order, some of the wines that we get for the restaurant that aren't readily available to purchase from other retail outlets. The process to acquire...>>>
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