Trade Kitchen – Mid Year Dinner

Your committee found the Trade Kitchen staff to be very accommodating, making the organisation of this dinner easy. The venue worked reasonably well although the noise level in the bigger room made it hard to hear some conversations. The dinner was very enjoyable and the bubbles worked well with the dinner.

It was a good night and people seemed to enjoy it. The committee has received some good feedback about the dinner from attendees. The message seems to be that members like the higher level of the restaurant in town and close to public transport.

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A Colab view of Europe – Review June 2019

Simon Bell, the Representative for Colab Wine Merchants, presented a taste of Europe. There was a good turnout of 33 members and 3 guests. Everyone enjoyed the evening. It was a different style of meeting with lots of member interaction. Simon gave out larger glasses to demonstrate the difference using a large glass versus a small glass. It was an interesting evening with the tasting aimed for the layperson. There were 14 orders with a total of 96 bottles. Simon was pleased with the meeting and is keen to do another meeting. To revisit the wines included:q

Alpha Domus Collection Sauvignon Blanc (NZ)
Vivanco White Rioja (Spain)
Guerrieri Rizzardi Pinot Grigio IGP Veneto (Italy)
Domaine Dupre Bourgogne Chardonnay (France)
Vivanco Rioja Crianza (Spain)
Vivanco Rioja Reserva (Spain)
Chateau Mauciol Cotes du Rhone Villages Red (France)

One of the prospects he discussed, and would be happy to run, would be a non-threatening “Wine Options” evening. Your committee will consider this.

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AGM – Looking back on May

The AGM went well. The supper was well received and having bubbles at the supper was a hit. Good feedback was received about the supper and the wine. Your committee was returned unopposed and unchanged. I am sure that this means you are happy with the way that club activities are running. Just remember, we always welcome feedback and/or suggestions from members, so let us know what you are thinking.

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Top Drops under $25 – April 2019

Presenter: Joelle Thomson – Writer, author, etc

Our April tasting was a great success and certainly slightly different from other tastings, given the perspective of our presenter and her knowledge of wines in the current market.

Having someone of Joelle’s experience was certainly a coup for the club and we would like to acknowledge Regional Wines contribution in making this event happen.

The committee will be approaching Regional to see if we can re-establish some permanent benefits for club members and we will advise further if and when this is finalised.

As for the wines themselves, I have already said earlier that I really enjoyed the Montepulciano. But given the number and cross-section of orders that Joelle took away with her, it’s clear that all the wines were greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Joelle, for a very interesting tasting. Hopefully, we can arrange another tasting sometime in the future.

Wines tasted:

  • 2009 Forrest The Valleys Riesling
  • Valformosa Cava Classic Brut NV
  • 2015 Main Divide Waipara Riesling
  • 2015 Ulisse Montepulciano, Italy
  • 2015 Crater Rim Waipara Pinot Noir
  • 2016 Alary Gerbaude Cotes du Rhone
  • 2017 San Marzano Il Pumo Primitivo

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Villa Maria – March 2019

Yet another excellent tasting with Marc Udy from Villa Maria, ably assisted by Kirsty Warbrick,  presenting a range of great wines including some from their Platinum Range. Marc is one of the winemakers from Marlborough.  He was a good speaker and the consensus is that the winery has been really easy to deal with.

To reiterate the tasting included the Cellar Selection Rose 2018; Reserve Wairua Sauvignon 2018;  Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Gris 2018; Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2016; Platinum Selection Pinot Noir 2018; Cellar Selection Grenache 2017, rounded off with the Cellar Selection Late Harvest Riesling 2015.  An enjoyable night.

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Askerne Wines – February 2019

Another great evening with nice wines and an informative presenter. John Loughlin was a pleasure to deal with and kept the meeting running to time. A good level of orders resulted. But that all our tastings were as easy to organize as this one was. John says he would be more than happy to come back and has some interesting wines that we haven’t yet tried. We will keep this in mind.

The wines tasted included; Askerne Sauv Blanc / Sauv Gris / Semillon 2018 as the quaffer; followed by; Askerne Reserve Chardonnay 2016; Askerne Viognier 2018; Askerne Gewürztraminer 2016; Askerne Syrah 2015; Askerne Merlot Cab Franc Cab Sauv Malbec 2015; Askerne 2016 Cabernet Franc; rounded off with the Askerne Dessert Cabernet 2018.

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Dinner at Juniper & Jan BBQ

Dinner at Juniper

Having the December Dinner on a Saturday night worked well. The food was great and was well received. The committee has received good feedback from people who attended. $65.00 seems to an acceptable price point for dinner pricing. We could go back in the future or try a similar venue, and let us not reject the idea of Saturday dinners if there are future opportunities.

January 2019 – Club BBQ

Not much to be said except to say it was another fine day and everyone seemed to enjoy the occasion.   Not sure if the attendance was 42 or 44.  Depends on who counted and at what time during proceedings.

This continues to be a great venue for a gathering of this nature, the food was excellent, the wine very nice and the company superb.  As always we give special thanks to Derek Thompson for making his excellent facilities available.

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Confidant Wines present the wines of Portugal – Victor Kattenbelt

A great evening of Portuguese wines with food matches. The wines included:

  • Casa Santos Lima WOP (Wines of Portugal) Sparkling
  • Valcatrina Rose 2016
  • Pluma Vinho Verde
  • Casa Lima Alvarinho (Albarino)
  • Confidencial 2015 (a Portugese multi blend red)
  • Galadoro Red 2016
  • Casa Santos Lima Colossal Reserva 2015
  • Ximenez Iberian Sherry

The food matches included:

  • Pão Frite (Fried Bread)
  • Figos, presunto e queijo de cabra (figs, ham and goat cheese)
  • Camarão alho (garlic shrimps)
  • Bolas de frango com molho de piri piri (Chicken balls with Piri Piri sauce)
  • Carne vinho d’alhos (Beef in a wine and garlic marinade)
  • and by no means least Bolo de Nata (Christmas Cake).

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Negociants present Yalumba Wines – Cenna Lloyd – October 2018

This was a very enjoyable tasting. Cenna was a very knowledgeable presenter with a great relaxed style. She admitted to a few nerves to start with but was soon interacting nicely with the members. The wines presented were great wines at a good value for money. The tasting was a good night.

Whilst we haven’t used Negociants before, the fact that we are now licensed means we can deal with this type of operation in the future. We will keep it in mind to pencil Negociants in for another tasting soon, as they have a really good provider base.

To reiterate, the wines tasted were the:

  • 2017/2018 Sangiovese Rosé
  • 2017 Organic Chardonnay
  • 2014 Eden Valley Roussanne
  • 2017 Eden Valley Viognier
  • 2017 Old Bush Vine Grenache
  • 2015 Paradox Shiraz
  • 2014 The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

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Maison Vauron – Alexandre Patenotte – Sept 2018

Another great meeting. This meeting of French wines with some cheese matches recorded the second highest attendance with 42 members and 2 guests attending. The meeting was characterised by both great wines with great cheese.

Alex’s presentation style suited the meeting format. During the pouring of the wines, Alex chatted to various tables in turn, allowing time to taste and chat about the wines. 62 bottles were ordered from Maison Vauron with mostly 2 or 3 bottle orders. Great feedback was received from club members.

The committee thanked Anne for organising this meeting and preparing the cheeses for the meeting.

PS You may be able to purchase some of the cheeses offered at this tasting (amongst many other exotic things) from Ontrays, 38 Fitzherbert Street, Petone.

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Clearview Estate, Lisa Clarke – August 2018

There was a good turnout for this tasting. The tasting was characterised by good wines, good presenter equals a good night in spite of the bad weather. Lisa thanks the club for a great tasting and commented that they had received good orders from the club.

Indeed, by our reckoning, this was the second biggest group of orders from a tasting. Just shows that even on a wet winters night a good presentation and good wines will succeed. Thanks to all those who attended and ordered.

We had better not leave it too long before we invite Clearview back. Remember too, that if you are in Hawkes Bay, a visit to the winery and a meal at the red shed are well worth the effort.

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Saigon Van Grill Bar – July 2018

We had 48 confirmed and paid people a week before the dinner, but sadly we had two late cancellations on the morning of the dinner.    Generally, members liked the venue even though the stairs were challenging for some.  Several attendees thought, and the committee agreed, that there was not enough food.  The general feeling was that the food was of a good quality but sparse and that the quality did not relate to the price charged.  It was suggested that we maybe should have charged a little more to get more food.  It was decided to feedback to the restaurant about the dinner.  Other than the issue of the food, the committee felt that the evening was enjoyable.

For future dinners, your committee thinks we should encourage people to mingle and chat more while the bubbles are served.   To accomplish this we would, where possible, prefer to serve the pre-dinner drinks away from the tables.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation to Cecilia of her life membership.

See more event photos in the gallery.

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