As COVID-19 has altered the way both businesses and functions operate NZ-wide this year and next, the Hawkes Bay’s Winter FAWC celebrations were altered too.
FAWC notified all their regular attendees of a new event which was ‘FAWC Night In’. This was to be for an hour, 5-6 pm, on Saturday 15th August.
‘Gather up to 10 of our friends for an exclusive evening of excellent wine, delicious canapes and fantastic banter beaming right into your living room.’
The cost for people joining in for the virtual wine tasting was $250.00 for the hamper that held the contents for the tasting – this included five bottles of wine and the ingredients for the carefully matched canapes from the iconic Hawkes’s Bay Farmers’ Market and suppliers.
‘To discover the flavours of each of the wines, why different varietals have excelled in the varied terrain of Hawke’s Bay and to enjoy the witty tete-a-tete from the industry insiders.’
Our hamper arrived the Thursday before the event, and we refrigerated what contents needed to be in anticipation of Saturday! Along with the zoom meeting invite for the event.
So, we had:
5 x 75ml pours of wine
5 x bite-sized canapes
We had a lot of fun with this new format being tried out by region’s leading wineries and winemakers, the getting together with friends and the sharing:
Richard Painter – Te Awa Estate 2020 Cabernet Franc Rose’ – matching canape Origin Earth Takenga Gold Cheese with Berry Bees Manuka Comb Honey Tasting: strawberries, almost sweet but not too much Visually: blush in colourCanape brought out the saltiness in the wine – a really interesting match
Amy Hopkinson-Styles – Halcyon Days Wines 2019 Kotare Sauvignon Blanc/Gewurztraminer – matching canape Nieuwenhuis Goats Cheese on crackers Tasting: smooth on the palate, not the usual green apple taste, but pleasantly gooseberry-ish; had a small measure of pinot noir and gertz combined in it! Was quite a savoury taste Visually: pale yellow Canape was a well-matched selection.
Matt Kirby – Clearview Estate 2019 Chardonnay – matching canape Pig & Salt Pork Rillettes, Preserve & Co. Peach Chutney on Hapi Paelo Bread Tasting: highly anticipated as the last time we had this one at the Club is was from the first batch in new American Oak and tasted strongly of coffee! This brew was completely different and most enjoyable. It smelled and tasted like a buttery chardonnay – vegan friendly! Hand-harvested from their own block and naturally fermented Canape was a nice compliment to the wine.
Michael Henley – Smith and Sheth 2017 CRU Heretaunga Syrah – matching canape Pig & Salt Lamb Terrine with Hapi Paleo Bread Tasting: dark berries came through with a smooth-dry-ish after taste on the tongue – this had been a difficult vintage in the Bay to work with, but this could successfully be cellared for 7 years Visually: lovely dark red Canape was a nice compliment.
Julianne Brogden – Collaboration Wines 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – matching canape Hapi Harore Cheese with OMG Cracker Tasting: blackberries on the tongue, most pleasant, this wine is 100% Cab Sauv from two sites Bridge Pa and Gravels and the grape variety is the last to ripen in the Bay. It has had two years in oak barrels and was very pleasant while being more sophisticated than the old Cab Sauv’s we remembered! This can be cellared for 10-12 years Visually: dark red Canape didn’t really enhance the wine any but was pleasant.
This was a strictly limited ticket numbers event, but I think we all felt it could have been a bit longer, as we enjoyed it so much! Would definitely recommend any upcoming events to members.
For the last 3 years, our November tastings have been a bit different with an emphasis on a foreign country and wine and food matches. November this year will be no different although this year it is a region, rather than a country.
Our presenter, Cenna Lloyd, departed after last month’s tasting for a 3-week tour of South American vineyards so her offer to return and give us her insight into the wine sub-regions we will taste was just too good to pass up.
The recipes have already been allocated and there will also be a special surprise that hopefully will add to a carnival atmosphere. Like last year, we will need to limit numbers to fit our catering. Unlike last year we will need to enforce that number or the risk will be the early bird may miss out on their worm. Ok, so it is a bad metaphor but you get the idea.
More information on how you can reserve your place will be released after this month’s tasting.
It would be a great help to meeting organisers if members responded when asked if they will be attending tastings. For events like the Maison Vauron tasting and the upcoming November meeting, where some catering is required, it is a great help for the organisers if they have a reasonably accurate idea of numbers attending. Your assistance in this regard would be appreciated.
We would like to be able to create a roster around looking after the club’s glasses. We are working on reducing the number to a smaller tray than the current two but would like some offers of assistance from people who would be prepared to take the glasses home, clean them as required and bring them back to the next meeting. This would not be onerous if we had a number of members willing to help. Let us know if you can assist.
In researching information for the Negociants/Yalumba tasting this month it is apparent that space in this newsletter does not allow for the inclusion of all the information we might like to pass on. Wayne has been “surfing” and found some interesting stuff on the Government of South Australia site. I include two links here which you might be interested in looking at. The first is about Yalumba Wines while the second is a Wine Quiz. Have a look.
Saigon Van Grill Bar
We have been talking to Saigon Van Grill Bar after many members were disappointed over the July dinner. They had offered a voucher, presumably for use at their establishment, but the committee thought that this might be difficult to use appropriately. We have been negotiating for something more feasible but are having little joy at present. We will keep you informed. In the meantime, some of our members will remember that the site now occupied by Saigon Van (201 Cuba Street) was occupied by Orsini’s, a top Wellington restaurant. We have uncovered some snippets of Orsini’s history which are included in “In the News”. Makes interesting reading.
We are going to try a change of pace with a Vietnamese offering for the mid-year dinner. This is a well-respected establishment and many members have enjoyed well-respectedThe response at the AGM was very positive and we are sure that the event will be well supported by members. More detail in the next newsletter.
What a great evening with Mark and Susan. A nice blend of where they have come from and an outline of where the business is going now. Their business in Martinborough has taken an upturn with the introduction of platters at their tasting room. This has guided them into the tourism area and is looking very promising for them.
To recoup on the wines we started with the Rose 2017 as the quaffer. It is a dry style rose but with huge fruit sweetness and flavours of strawberries and raspberries. That was followed by the dry Pinot Gris and the two drier Gewurtztraminer’s. After a break we tasted the 2012 Pinot Noir, followed by the Reserve Pinot from 2013, which was a superb wine. It won a gold medal from the Air NZ Wine Awards. We then finished with the sweet Auslese Gewurztraminer 2013 (Pamela) that is a luscious wine.
Some good orders which was very pleasing for Susan and Mark. There were two things following from the evening. With harvest fast approaching there is often a need for pickers. If you are interested please let them know. Secondly, Haythornthwaite will give Club members a 10% discount at the tasting room. Give it a try, a trip to the Wairarapa, a platter and a tasting of some really nice wines. What more could you want?
For a number of years now we have enjoyed Chicken Balls as part of the food provided at the AGM. For those who might be interested the recipe is included below. Makes a great finger food at social gatherings.
Chicken Balls with Chilli-Lime Dipping Sauce
1 packet 2-minute noodles – chicken flavour 1 carrot – grated 1 cup boiling water 1 celery stick – finely chopped 500g minced chicken 1 tbs chicken stock powder 1 onion – finely chopped 2 tbs chopped parsley 1 egg – beaten half cup bread crumbs (I add to this if the mixture is too wet) Oil
Break noodles into 4 pieces. Place in a bowl, pour over boiling water. Drain when softened.
Combine noodles, flavour sachet from noodle packet, and the rest of the ingredients except oil.
Mix well. Roll mixture into 2cm balls. I find they can hold shape better if you refrigerate them for an hour or so but you may not have that luxury. Cook in the oil in batches until brown and cooked, turning frequently. Serve with the dipping sauce.
Chilli-Lime Dipping Sauce
Combine 5 tbs sweet chilli sauce with a quarter cup of lime juice, 2 tbs fish sauce and 2 tbs sugar. (This makes plenty, I find half measures make enough if you only plan to use it the once)
During the bubbly evening several people asked about recipes for a couple of the food items offered. So rather than news, we thought people might be interested in the following:
Lemon Yoghurt mini muffins
1+3/4 cups sugar
½ tsp salt
rind of 2 lemons
1 cup oil
2 cups self raising flour
2 – 3 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup Greek lemon or unsweetened yoghurt
If you have a food processor, use it to mix this, since it eliminates the need for grating the lemons.
Put the sugar into the (dry) bowl with the metal chopping blade then peel all the yellow peel from the lemons, using a potato peeler. Run the machine until the lemon peel is finely chopped through the sugar.
Add the eggs, oil and salt and process until thick and smooth, then add the yoghurt and lemon juice and blend enough to mix. Add the flour after measuring it carefully by spooning it into a cup from the flour packet. Do not shake the cup to pack it down, and do not press it in.
Process just enough to combine the flour with the rest of the mixture. If you are mixing it in a bowl, grate all the coloured peel from the lemons, and beat it with the oil, eggs and sugar ingredients, in the same order as above. Pour the mixture into mini muffin tins. Bake at 180 C for 30 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before carefully turning out onto a rack.