An international Sauvignon Blanc celebration

NZ Winegrowers – Media Release – January 2019

Visit 2019 Sauvignon NZ website

The ‘who’s who’ of the wine world descended on Marlborough for a three-day International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration kicking off on Monday 28 January.

“We have over 100 international wine producers, experts and key influencers visiting, giving us an exceptional opportunity to shine the spotlight on our diverse Sauvignon Blanc offerings,” said Sauvignon 2019 Chair, Patrick Materman. The event boasted a world-class line-up of speakers who are experts in the fields of science, research, journalism and gastronomy.

Internationally acclaimed wine writer Matt Kramer returned to New Zealand to explore Sauvignon Blanc’s place in the world of wine and speak on the future of Sauvignon Blanc. Nine Masters of Wine from all over the globe were among the speakers, including Debra Meiburg, founding Director of Meiburg Wine Media, and Sarah Heller, Asia Pacific’s youngest MW at 30 years of age, from Hong Kong. From the UK came Justin Howard-Sneyd, buyer and consultant for over 20 years with some of the UK’s leading distributors, and David Allen, originally from the UK and Director of WineSearcher. Dirceu Vianna Junior was the first South American male to obtain the title of Master of Wine and joined from Brazil, and Tim Hanni hailing from the US, where he is Managing Director of eCode.me and HanniCo LLC. Completing the exemplary line up were New Zealanders Emma Jenkins, Sam Harrop and Steve Smith.

Over 350 guests were expected to attend the celebration, which took attendees on a journey exploring the complexity of Sauvignon Blanc, emerging styles, vineyard practices, winemaking influences and future trends. The International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration is built around three themes; Place, Purity and Pursuit. Day one was themed Place and drew on Tūrangawaewae, the geographical places we feel empowered and connected to. Day two, with the theme of Purity, explored topics such as climate, sustainability and flavour. Finally, Day three dealt with what we should pursue domestically and globally, outlining future challenges and opportunities for the New Zealand wine industry.

The spectacular evening entertainment was also a highlight, with the sold-out gala event ‘Blanc’, a dinner-en-blanc theme, hosting 480 guests at Brancott Vineyard on the second evening of the 2019 celebration. Celebrity chef Martin Bosley was the culinary director of the gourmet feast that was matched with older vintages from the cellars of our wineries. The International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration brought this diverse, expressive and sought-after variety to centre stage for three action-packed days in Marlborough.

Have you heard

A man walks into a bar and ordered a glass of white wine. He took a sip of the wine, then tossed the remainder into the bartender’s face. Before the bartender could recover from the surprise, the man began weeping. “I’m really sorry. I keep doing that to bartenders. I can’t tell you how embarrassing it is to have a compulsion like this.”

Far from being angry, the bartender was sympathetic. Before long, he was suggesting that the man see a psychoanalyst about his problem. “I happen to have the name of a psychoanalyst,” the bartender said. “My brother and my wife have both been treated by him, and they say he’s as good as they come.” The man wrote down the name of the doctor, thanked the bartender, and left. The bartender smiled, knowing he’d done a good deed for a fellow human being.

Six months later, the man was back. “Did you do what I suggested?” the bartender asked, serving the glass of white wine. “I certainly did,” the man said. “I’ve been seeing the psychoanalyst twice a week.”

He took a sip of the wine. Then he threw the remainder into the bartender’s face. The flustered bartender wiped his face with a towel. “The doctor doesn’t seem to be doing you any good,” he spluttered. “On the contrary,” the man said,” he’s done me a world of good.”

“But you just threw the wine in my face again!” the bartender exclaimed. “Yes” the man said. “But it doesn’t embarrass me anymore!

Under Negotiation – 13 March 2019

We are negotiating with a very well known wine personality in NZ to present at this meeting. There are still a couple of matters to resolve and consequently, we will not make any announcement at this time. We have other options so you may be assured that whatever the result you will be treated to the usual high standard of tasting. Watch this spot.

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.

Coming events, recipes, BBQ

It’s the start of another year with much to look forward to.

Coming events

Now it may seem like a strange thing to say if you glance ahead to the coming events section, but things are quite well advanced with planning for the year. Just a small issue with the March tasting which might affect April. Don’t worry, as they say, it will all be right on the night.

Recipes

Some interest has been expressed about recipes for the food matches which we occasionally prepare (or provide) for tastings. For those interested, the recipes for the matches we did back in November for the Portuguese tasting are available on the website. Also, Wayne is collating the 2017 Spanish recipes for inclusion on the website. We will look to include future recipes as tastings progress.

BBQ

There were a few dishes etc left at Derek’s after the BBQ and I think these have been returned to their owners. If you have an item that you might have left there, let me know and we can pursue through Derek.

Cheers
Robin Semmens
Editor

 

2018 Portuguese Wine & Food Tasting Recipes

Thanks to those requesting recipes from last November’s Portuguese wine & food tasting.

Pão frito (fried bread)

INGREDIENTS

  • 400 grams (14 ounces) bread cut into slices
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Coriander (to taste)

DIRECTIONS Put the olive oil and unpeeled crushed garlic in a frying pan and saute over low heat for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the bread, season with pepper and chopped coriander and fry it on both sides over medium heat until golden brown. Turn off the heat and serve this delicious appetizer before the main course.

Figos, presunto e queijo de cabra (figs, ham and goat cheese)

Hands-on time 10min. Cooking time about 10 min. Makes 20. INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • Vegetable oil, to grease
  • 5 figs, cut into quarters
  • 10 slices Parma Ham, sliced in half lengthways
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) hard Goat’s Cheese

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan). Mix together the balsamic vinegar and honey together in a small bowl. Grease a baking sheet and place the figs skin side down onto it, then drizzle over the balsamic mixture carefully covering each fig. Roast for 10min. Allow to cool slightly. Cut cheese into small pieces and top each fig with a piece of cheese. Wrap each fig in a length of Parma ham. Serve at room temperature.

HINTS:

We can use Melon if figs are not in season. Can also substitute blue cheese or parmesan if you can’t get a HARD goat’s cheese Part of the joy of this dish is the balsamic vinegar pairing with the parma ham.

Camarão alho (garlic shrimps)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Ibs shrimp, raw and peeled, no tails
  • 1/2 cup margarine (or butter)
  • 6 garlic cloves, fresh and crushed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (can use white cooking wine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon (need about 1 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice)

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350 degrees For two pounds of raw, peeled shrimp, saute one stick margarine (I use butter) with six cloves of crushed garlic, slowly on low heat, do not burn the garlic! Then add 1/2 Cup dry white wine (can use cooking wine), 1/2 Crushed Red Pepper, 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice Place raw, peeled shrimp in a 21/2 quart casserole dish and pour the sauce over the shrimp, cover and bake 20 minutes You’re done! Serve over yellow or white rice or alone with plenty of bread

HINTS

2lb is almost a kilo of shrimps, although I would use peeled and tailed prawns – but frozen from the supermarket. 350 degrees is a fraction under 180 C Bring in a dish that we can warm in the oven and then spoon out into the serving dishes and send out with toothpicks

Bolas de frango com molho de piri piri (chicken balls with a piri piri sauce)

Suggest you go to the supermarket and buy pre-made chicken balls and a bottle of Nando’s Peri-Peri Sauce. Then simply fry the chicken balls in a ½ inch of oil heated medium-high
Turn occasionally to ensure browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer chicken balls to bowl. Add sauce and toss until covered then serve with toothpicks.

Carne vinho d’alhos (beef in a wine and garlic marinade)

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 to4 clove fresh garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Portuguese paprika [I used smoked]
  • 1 tsp coarse salt or to taste
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp Portuguese olive oil
  • 1 c red (or white wine or equal amounts of both.
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced crushed red pepper.

METHOD

Using your chef knife (or any knife smash the garlic cloves and finely chopped. ADD all dry ingredients one at a time. BLENDING well, drizzle in 1 tablespoon olive oil .  Then RUB the meat with the spices mixture and place in a nonreactive dish. POUR the wine over the meat to partially or entirely cover it, depending on the recipe. MARINATE the meat, turning occasionally, for several hours. It’s best to marinade overnight in the refrigerator or even 24 hrs for better results

HINTS:

For the meat, I used Rump Steak which marinated well. Sirloin would also have been OK. Be sure to pat dry before grilling or frying else you risk poaching the steak because of the excess marinade liquid. I used the BBQ which gave an extra smokiness. Watch your cooking time as it will vary depending upon the thickness of the steak. I had the plate super hot and did just under 2 mins a side. For one of the thinner pieces, it was about 90 secs a side. If not sure, I suggest trying a small sample first. The aim is for a hint of pink in the middle but obviously one can adjust to personal tastes if doing this as a meal. Be sure to rest the steak. Slice thinly if serving as hors d-oeuvres. The dish name literally means meat in wine and garlic. More often, the recipe uses pork and white wine, but our choice is just as valid.

Committee celebrate the end of 2018

Another successful Cellar Club year started with a BBQ, several tastings, the AGM, another tasting, then mid-year dinner, followed by several more tastings, then finally a very successful end-of-year dinner. 

In upholding tradition, and as a way of celebrating the committees’ work throughout the year, the club’s President hosts an end of year celebration for committee, partners and guests. Each year we celebrate by sampling each other’s favourite wines along with a grand selection of food. This year we were fortunate to sample many labels who have presented to the club and some who have not.  The wines came from the labels La Cilla, Hunters, Clearview, Ruby Bay, Alpha Domus, Awatere River, Rapaura Springs, Lindauer, Okahu Estate, Tyrells, Old Coach Road, Olssens, Ransom, Dry River, Rod MacDonald, Rockburn, and Ash Ridge. A large and diverse range that could have gone down well at any tasting.

Thanks to our gracious hosts, club President Murray and Dina, who organised (with the gods) great weather for the event, along with the committee, wishes members and guests a joyous and safe Christmas. We look forward to seeing you all during 2019 starting with the BBQ in January. Details to come.

Koa Kirihimete
Merry Christmas

From the committee

Why amateur wine scores are every bit as good as professionals’

By Mark Schatzker and Richard Bazinet | Updated May 25, 2018

Article summary

Few consumer products offer as staggering a range of choice as wine. You can buy a bottle of Dark Horse Big Red Blend for $8. Or for around $500, you can get a 2012 bottle of Sloan Proprietary Red. Yet for each bottle, the same question applies: Is it any good?

The rise of the wine-rating crowd

Cellar Tracker online
 Cellar Tracker online

In 2004, Eric LeVine — then a group program manager at Microsoft — launched CellarTracker, a site where amateur wine enthusiasts can rate wines. Today, CellarTracker is the web’s most popular “community” or “crowdsourced” wine review website, containing 6.3 million reviews from 113,000-plus users for more than 2.2 million different wines.

Amateur and professional wine scores correlate very tightly

How similar? We ran a statistical tool called a Spearman correlation and got a figure of 0.576. A perfect correlation is 1. An utter non-correlation is 0. A score of 0.576 may not sound impressive at first, but it can actually get worse than 0 — a negative correlation, which is what you would see if you compared, say, shortness with the likelihood of playing professional basketball.

Amateurs appear more expert than the experts

It looks very much like the enthusiasts actually do a better job of agreeing with the experts than the experts do with each other. That might sound odd, but out of thousands of wines we analyzed, only a handful contradicted this pattern. Simply put, if you want to know what the experts think, the best place to look appears to be, of all places, CellarTracker.

The better the wine, the more experts agree with the amateurs

How do wine enthusiasts compare with the experts like Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson? Very well. Javier Zarracina
How do wine enthusiasts compare with the experts like Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson? Very well. Javier Zarracina

There is also a tendency for scores to converge as wines improve in quality. This is evident in the arrow shape of the clusters in figures comparing CellarTracker with Wine Advocate and CellarTracker with International Wine Cellar. Average scores, furthermore, are high. On Wine Advocate, the average score was 89, on International Wine Cellar it was 91, and it was 17 out of 20 for Jancis Robinson. On CellarTracker, it was 89. This tells us that experts and enthusiasts alike don’t seem to be spending a great deal of time scoring mediocre wines.

Read the full article

Fellows Honoured in NZ Wine Awards NZ Winegrowers

The New Zealand wine industry has recognised the service and dedication of industry icons Mark Nobilo, Jane Hunter and Ivan Sutherland by inducting them as Fellows of New Zealand Winegrowers at the New Zealand Wine Awards dinner held in Wellington last month. The Fellows award recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry.

Mark Nobilo

Mark has been a tireless advocate for grape and wine industry for over 50 years from his time as viticulturist with the family firm through to his recent years as a consultant, particularly in the Northland wine industry. In his role with Nobilo Vintners Mark spent enormous amounts of time helping the Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay growers in their endeavours to produce quality grapes. In more recent years Mark has been a consultant particularly in Northland where he has shared his knowledge, without charge, with all Northland winegrowers.

Mark served on a number of industry Committees over the years but perhaps most notably on the New Zealand Grapevine Improvement Group which played a key role in sharing knowledge about and distributing improved planting material to the industry. “Mark has always given freely of his time to assist the growth of the industry,” said John Clarke, Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers.

Jane Hunter

Jane joined the New Zealand wine industry in 1983, taking up the role of National viticulturist with Montana Wines. Jane has contributed to the wider industry in many ways and served on the Wine Institute Board and various Committees for several years. Importantly she was a foundation Director of the New Zealand Wine Guild which charted the path forward for New Zealand wine in the UK in the early 1990’s and established the model of cooperation in export which has served the industry well to this day.

Jane has received a number of awards over the years honouring her contribution to our industry including in 1993 an OBE in 2009 when she was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and in 2013 became the first woman inducted into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame. “Jane never intended to stay in the industry long but has since become a New Zealand wine icon. One of Jane’s greatest assets has been the time and energy she has devoted to serving the wider community,” said Mr Clarke.

Ivan Sutherland, Proprietor, Dog Point Wines

Ivan, originally from Marlborough, studied Valuation and Farm Management at Lincoln University graduating in 1972. He has been involved for nearly 40 years in the New Zealand wine industry, commencing as one of the first contract growers in Marlborough in 1979 before becoming involved in viticulture consultancy. Today he is a proprietor of well know premium winery Dog Point Wines. Ivan has served the industry in a number of capacities over many years. He was a founding member of the Marlborough Grape Growers Association and served as Chair on more than one occasion.

As a strong advocate of grower issues, Ivan has always had a keen interest in research serving as Chair of the original Marlborough Wine Research Centre Board. More latterly Ivan became a Trustee of The Marlborough Research Centre and still enjoys this involvement. As an ardent advocate for all things Marlborough, Ivan was a Board member of the first International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration held in Marlborough in 2016 playing a major role in the success of the event.

Media Release – 6/11/18

Cellar Club BBQ 2019

As ever we start our year with the BBQ at Derek’s Place on 27 January.

We’ll send more information to members in mid-January. As always we give special thanks to Derek Thompson for making his excellent facilities available.

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).