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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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.

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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Unison Vineyard – Terry Horn – June 2018

Yet another great tasting from a Hawkes Bay winemaker. The night was cold and wet but we were well pleased with the attendance.

Terry from Unison presented a selection of their wines which the committee felt were brilliant. Terry gave a very informative talk with a great pitch.

The wines presented were well received with good orders arising from the night. Terry enjoyed the evening as did the members attending.

The wines included:

  • 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2016 Reserve Chardonnay
  • 2017 Rose
  • 2015 Rocky Red
  • 2012 Reserve Merlot
  • 2013 Classic Red
  • 2013 Syrah

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Haythornthwaite Wines – March 2018

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?

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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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Giesen’s Wines – June 2017

June is always a challenging month for arranging a wine tasting as the weather can be adverse and once we get home, often means that we can be reluctant to leave again. Last month’s tasting was like that with a really unpleasant Wellington day.

Still, 28 hearty souls made it to our tasting that night and were rewarded with an excellent presentation from Richard Macdonald. Richard’s knowledge of Giesen and their product was insightful as he led us through 3 whites, 3 reds and a Rose.

This Rose was delightful, even on a cold wintery night with good fruit and a soft lingering taste. Interestingly it was also the wine most ordered on the night. Other wines enjoyed, if the orders are anything to go by, were the 2014 Brothers Gewürztraminer and 2013 Brothers Pinot Noir. This latter wine also provided a reminder that Marlborough vineyards with a touch of age are now beginning to provide pinots that a real value for money as their quality begins to match their cousins from Martinborough and Central Otago.

Another wine to surprise on the night was the Organic Sauvignon Blanc that was used as our meet and greet wine. This had great fruit flavour without that aggressive grassy nose that many other SBs from this region often have, well to me anyway, and consequently, I very much enjoyed it as our starter for the evening.

The whites ended with the much celebrated 2014 Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay. Fuder, refers to the type of barrel used. It’s much larger than what we normally see in NZ and its purpose to evolve the texture of the wine without overpowering it with oak. It certainly did this for me and with its full body and slightly citrus notes, it was a wine that I had been really looking forward to tasting, given it had won Elite Gold at the 2016 Air NZ Wine Awards. The only disappointment was that I could not afford the $50 order form cost, despite its discounted value, as I decided to purchase the 2012 Eight Songs Shiraz instead.

Giesens are also the NZ agent for a small range of Peter Lehman reds. Richard ended our tasting with two of these, the 2014 Hills & Valley Shiraz and the 2012 Eight Songs Shiraz. The latter, if I’m not wrong, was probably the most expensive Shiraz the club has tasted, although last year’s 2013 Elderton Neil Ashmead Grand Tourer Shiraz did come close.

The 2012 Eight Songs was named after one of Peter Lehman’s favourite vocal ensemble musical works, loved for its soft harmonies. Apparently, this inspired Peter Lehman to emulate that artistry in a wine and it has resulted in a very soft stylish wine that is quite foreboding with its very black core, yet elegant with its lovely integration of mocha chocolate and dark plum characteristics.
A great tasting from Richard Macdonald and one that I think many would be sad that they missed.

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Through Rose Coloured glasses – February 2017

Maison Vauron owners, Scott Gray & Jean-Christophe Poizat
Maison Vauron owners, Scott Gray & Jean-Christophe Poizat

The committee felt that the tasting went well and it was a lovely, pleasant evening. A record number for a February tasting attended. Will Brunel-Morvan, Maison Vauron, was an entertaining presenter. He enjoyed the evening and is keen to present again with a more substantive range of French wines including cheese matches. The committee will look at this option for a future meeting.

As an aside, on arrival to prepare for the meeting it was found that the Community Centre had changed the locks to the hall without advising us. This led to some confusion but was sorted out quickly enough not to have impacted on the evening. The Centre have apologised for the oversight.

The tasting included an Introductory Quaffer: Fazi Corsica rosé 2015, followed by an Embruns Sable de Camargue rosé 2015; Miradou Cotes de Provence rosé 2015; Château de Fesles Anjou rosé 2015 and Prieuré de Montezargues Tavel 2015.

We compared these French Rosés with a couple of New Zealand offerings. The Hunters (pinot based) and Hawkes Bay Estate (merlot). Great variety in colour and style.

N.B. Anne reported that there were 2 wine glasses left behind which she now has. Can members please check that they have all their glasses.

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Hunter’s Marlborough – Jane Hunter – October 2016

Here are the delivered wines on my garage floor
Here are the delivered wines on my garage floor

The evening went very well and what a great turnout.

Jane Hunter presented well and at the right level for the club.  The turnout included some members from Western Hills Wine Club, and it was lovely to be their hosts for the evening.  The wines were good and at a good price resulting in a very high number of orders.  Jane enjoyed the evening and commented that next time she would present bubbles and a Gewürztraminer as part of the programme.  Feedback from members indicated that they enjoyed the evening and it was a great tasting. It was useful that although a bit reluctant, and there was an issue of the batteries having flattened, Jane used the microphone headset and we were all able to hear what was being said.

The wines presented on the night included; Hunters Pinot Gris – 2016 (quaffer),  Hunters Riesling 2012,  Hunters Chardonnay 2015, Hunters Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Hunters Rose 2016,  Hunters Pinot Noir 2014, and the Hukapapa Dessert Wine 2014.

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Squawking Magpie – Gavin Yortt – September 2016

squawking-magpieA really good turnout for this meeting. A major problem, which led to some disappointment, was that Gavin was quite softly spoken and he did not use the sound system available. The result was that many members had difficulty in hearing much of what was being said. We will need to be more insistent that the sound system is used.

Despite this, the wines presented were great and much enjoyed by those present. On the amusing side, we were getting a little worried about Gavin’s arrival as time moved on. A search of the Community Centre found him trying to get access to Peter Dunne’s electoral office where a local election meeting was being held. The arrival of a couple of cases of wine might well have held more joy than council election issues.

Wines tasted included: The Chatterer – Chardonnay 2015; The Chatterer – Syrah 2014, PINK – Rosé 2016; Counting Crows – Chardonnay 2015; The Gravels – Syrah 2014; The Nest – Merlot 2013; and the Stoned Crow – Syrah 2013.

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What your wine choice says about you

Laura Morelli – Stuff – 17 February 2016

wine-choice
Are you the life of the party or elegant and graceful?

From merlot to shiraz, we’ve got a list of wines that reveal the truth about your personality. Which one are you most suited to?

Shiraz

You’re the life of the party. You have no problem dancing on tables. You’re a true free spirit. You always seem to try new things because life’s too short.

Cabernet sauvignon

Always assertive and direct, you command discussion and want your voice to be heard. You enjoy the classics and have a thing for old-world affairs. Just like Brad Pitt, you only get better with age.

Merlot

The one known as “easy to drink,” just like you’re easy to get along with. You’re always a delightful partner for table conversation.

Pinot Noir

Fresh, elegant and graceful. You enjoy nothing better than the scent of sea breeze

Riesling

You’re sweet and nice. Despite being genuine, people sometimes have a hard time agreeing with you.

Sauvignon blanc

One word: sophistication. You’re always in control and you’re good at what you do. The perfect mix of herbal and a little smoky.

Pinot grigio

You enjoy travelling the world as you yearn to immerse yourself in new cultures in order to connect with the world.

Rosé

You’re bubbly and personable and people find you easy to be around and a pleasure to sip on.

Oversixty.co.nz

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