Another great year

As I sit to prepare this newsletter Celine Dion is singing “Another year has gone by” in the background. Surely not, I say, but it is so. Where has it gone?
We can start by reviewing our year. We began with our summer BBQ at the end of January. The usual excellent occasion and thanks to Derek for continuing to make his premises available. February saw us heading on a “Summer Romance – a love affair with Wine” where some of your committee members presented their favourite summer wines. In March Mark and Susan Haythornthwaite presented some of their “Haythornthwaite” wines and told us of the success they have had adding platters to the tasting experience at their premises.

Unison Wines

In April Simon Bell from MacVine took us on a tour of Europe embracing France, Italy and Germany. May was the usual AGM then in June Unison Vineyards from the Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay presented some lovely wines. July was something of a disappointment when we went to Saigon Van Grill Bar. The meal was lacking, particularly in quantity, and subsequent efforts to redress the problem have been futile. Never mind, we were back on track in August with a great tasting from Clearview.

September saw a continuation with European wines when Maison Vauron gave us a taste of French wine with some cheese matches. Then who could forget Negociants presentation from that iconic Barossa winery, Yalumba.

The tastings for the year finished with a return to Europe, this time Portugal with Confidant Wines, and some great wine with food matches. All this travel and we haven’t had to leave home.

As I finish this Celine has moved on to “Holy Night” and is singing about a night divine. I can’t quite work out if she means Christmas Eve or the December Dinner at Juniper. You be the judge.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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Cool our reds, Programme taking shape, BBQ leftovers

Cool our reds

Those of you who know me will know that my preference clearly lies with red wines, however, even I have to admit that the weather has been rather too hot for the heavier reds. It has been suggested that we should cool our reds a little and not refrigerate the living daylight out of our whites. I’m straight into experimentation with the concept.

See the right temperature to serve every type of wine

Programme taking shape

The programme for the year is now taking shape with some good tastings in prospect. We will keep you updated as we go and we hope we can have a year of exceptional tastings.

BBQ leftovers

Invariably someone leaves something at Derek’s place after the January BBQ. This time he has found a squarish white plastic bowl that does not belong to him. Let us know if this is your bowl and we will work out a way to return it.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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The year in retrospec

Our year

It is usual at this time to review our year. As ever we began with our summer BBQ at the end of January. The usual excellent occasion and thanks to Derek for making his premises available. It is an excellent facility. Our first tasting was the Rosė tasting presented by Will Brunel-Morven from Maison Vauron. Rosės are becoming increasingly popular, particularly as a summer wine.March was the time for Ata Rangi and was followed in April by our Quiz Night. An enjoyable and fun occasion. As usual, May was AGM time, June highlighted Giesen’s Wines and July was dinner at Bistro 52. August had us enjoying Seifried’s offerings and then in September the interesting and unique Aged Wines tasting. October was Stonecroft and last month was the festive tasting of Spanish wines. A great programme which will be nicely rounded off by our December Dinner.

Spanish tasting

It is interesting to note that EuroVintage had great orders from the Spanish tasting, and were blown away by the response. Well done everyone.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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A successful dinner @ Muse, BBQ

Muse

We have had some excellent feedback from members about this venue and the quality of the food.

However, while good, there were a few issues with one of the larger tables of 13 with not enough food and how the meat was distributed. It appears that the plating re the number of people per table was an issue for some tables.

This concept was a new dining concept for the club, and perhaps next time we need to explain in the lead-up newsletter how the meal will be served and how the dinner will work. There are always things to learn.

BBQ

The Club BBQ was another good day with close to 40 members and friends attending. The weather was OK but with a coolish breeze (Pat says I use the word breeze far too frequently when describing the Wellington climate).

As ever there was plenty of covered space at Derek’s and weather conditions seldom detract from the enjoyment of the event. The food was up to the normal high standard and particularly pleasing was the quality and variety of desserts provided. A great turn out.

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2017, Upcoming events

2017

As always we commenced our festivities for this new year with the BBQ at Derek Thompson’s house. On the agenda for the year we have Ata Rangi, and after the success of the last quiz evening, we have decided to try it again.

Upcoming events

Your committee is working on options for the latter part of the year, but these will include the AGM in May, the mid-year dinner in July and the second dinner in December. As a definite, we have Seifried’s from Nelson booked in for August and other projects. We have found that a downside of arranging tastings too far in advance is that situations can change. These have resulted in late withdrawals necessitating urgent substitutes. We are trying not to work too far in advance. As always, we are happy for input from members on future events and tastings.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

Looking back on 2016

As ever, I find this a time to reflect on what the year has offered. We had a great day for the BBQ in January. Always a pleasant afternoon for those attending. February saw a tasting with Roberta Montero presenting for the Artisan Winegrowers of Central Otago. An interesting and somewhat different approach to winemaking from this group. March was a very successful tasting of Argentinian wines presented by Josefina Telleria from South2South. In April we had Edward Donaldson presenting for Pegasus Bay. The AGM in May passed quickly and members enjoyed some wines from the Club’s cellar before we moved on to June where Foxes Island and  held centre stage. This was a very professional presentation.

Things really got rolling in July with the mid-year dinner at Logan Brown. Some issues around service but otherwise an excellent evening. August was time for Keith Tibble to present an Australian evening, mainly Elderton from the Barossa Valley but included offerings from McLaren Vale and Clare Valley. September was with Gavin Yortt and Squawking Magpie from Hawkes Bay. October was a highlight with Jane Hunter presenting from Marlborough. It was great to get an icon of the NZ wine industry for this event. November completed a somewhat international year with Cangrande doing Italian wines for our festive tasting. Dinner at Muse this month completes our year.

Your committee have been very pleased with the programme and hope everyone found something to enjoy. Have a great Christmas and then we will look to developing 2017 events to match those of the past year.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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Cellar Club BBQ – Jan 2016

barbeque-explosionThe usual start to our year with the BBQ at Derek Thompson’s.

A beautiful day and a good turn-out of members plus a few visitors.

As ever we must thank Derek for his hospitality and generosity. This is a great place to have a BBQ and we are very fortunate that Derek makes it available. He even opened his magnum of Gladstone Pinot Noir (won during the Gladstone tasting). A lovely drink for a sunny afternoon.

2015 in review

Usually, I find this a time to reflect on what the year has offered. Following on from the regular BBQ in January we started off with a few hiccups in our arrangements. Nevertheless, tastings began on a high note in February with Ash Ridge from Hawkes Bay. March saw another late change, but an enjoyable evening was possible with club members presenting wines from our cellar. April allowed Ohau Wines to introduce us to some interesting local wines while May was, of course, our AGM.

Things really got rolling in June with Taylor Brown, who are the NZ agents for Brown Bros and Taylors from Australia. They presented mainly Taylors as we had quite recently shared an evening with Brown Bros. July took us to Bistro 52, WelTec’s training restaurant for our mid-year dinner while August showed the enjoyable wines of the well-established Wairarapa winery, Gladstone. September was a highlight with the iconic Hawkes Bay producer Craggy Range, followed in October with Man O’ War from Waiheke Island. The tasting year finished with festive wines presented by Macvine International.

Your committee are pleased with the programme and hope everyone found something to enjoy.

Only the dinner to go to complete a very successful year. We have had some great tastings in enjoyable company. Unlike Susan Devoy, I am happy to offer my best wishes for the Christmas season.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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From the Editor – March 2015

March Tasting

Sorry, but we are at it again. A last minute change has had to be made to the programme. This is an awkward time of year for many producers and as we are all aware the landscape in the industry can change rapidly. Fortunately these problems only arise occasionally.

We are sure however that you will enjoy a chance to test the wares in the cellar.

Knife

Anne is in possession of a knife that was left at the BBQ. If anyone is missing their favourite knife, check with Anne. After all, we don’t want her running amok at next week’s meeting.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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