Rolling gree hills, mountain glaciers, beautiful water ways, hobbits, Elves, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc. Ah New Zealand! I’m pleased to announce that Feburary 4th is New Zealand Wine Day, in association with Wine Channel TV. This will be a virtual tasting that you can all participate in, with a llive cooking demonstration as well. Celebrity Winemakers will be tuning in from Chicago, along with a live audience; there will also be some bloggers in attendance in San Francisco, and we want you to taste along! Gather up a group of friend or brave it alone, but please join us online. Be sure to stock up with a few bottles from our featured wineries at a participating retailer beforehand. Make sure you register (no charge) in advance, so we know who’s out there – and to keep in touch with all the latest from Gondor. I mean New Zealand! EVENT LINK Note: Once you’ve registered for this FREE event we’ll send you everything you need to know about how to access the virtual wine tasting online. You will also be automatically entered to win a Complexity Fine Wine t-shirt and other great Kiwi prizes! To participate, just grab a wine from the list below, and tune in. If you’re having trouble finding it locally, just use Vinquire or Wine-Searcher, some handy wine location tools. In SF, The Jug Shop is a great resource. Participating Wineries – some of my faves are on this list! Villa Maria Kumeu River Craggy Range Vinoptima (Gewurtztraminer) Trinity Hill Ata Rangi Escarpment Neudorf Palliser Cloudy Bay Nautilus Saint Clair Seresin Spy Valley (Envoy series) Vavasour Pegasus Bay Amisfield Felton Road Mt Difficulty Quartz Reef Tweet you then!
I have a love hate relationship with New Zealand wines. Sometimes I love them, sometimes I hate them. There really is no in between there for me. Some of the pinots are too earthy and full of dirt and sod. Some of the sav blancs are enamel stripping gooseberry piss that I can’t swallow. Luckily, there is a sweet spot in the middle, where this wine falls neatly. The first whiff brings out method and wintergreen, and the first sip is a bright raspberry crush. Aged in 100% new French oak barriques, the larger barrels allow for less immediate contact to the barrel, which gives it just a kiss and not a smack of oak flavors. There is a touch of baking spice on the back end that rounds it out nicely. For $15, this is a great budget wine, and if you’re looking for a pinot, is a good option for the under $20 crowd. It falls a bit flat at the end however, so I wouldn’t race out to buy it, but I would pick it up if I were going to a party. Happy sipping! This wine was provided as a PR sample. And yes, I have to say that, the feds make me!
Sunday, February 8th, is Waitangi Day Tasting at South Food & Wine Bar in San Francisco. Since February 6th is the anniversary of the treaty of Waitangi, where the Maoris and the Brits agreed to British rule and create “New” Zealand. Why it’s a British colony is slightly amusing, since “Zeeland” is Dutch for lands by the sea. Oh well! While there is clearly controversy over occupied lands, much like our Native American history, we can celebrate this day for giving us the lovly wines of New Zealand. As such, The Jug Shop, my favorite Down Under importer here in SF has teamed up with South Food & Wine Bar, to present an afternoon of New Zealand New Releases, paired with delectable treats like the cheeses of New Zealand. The soiree is from 2pm to 4pm, Sunday, February 8th at South, which is south of Market, and costs the mere sum of $30. I know what you’re thinking. It’s a recession! That’s too much! Trust me on this – if you have never been to a tasting at South, it is well worth the cost of admission. The quality of the food pairings and the amount and quality of the wines poured are worth more than the cost of admission, and the fun you will have with me, The Jug Shop, and the Kiwi producers is unmatched. Hope to see you there! Oh yes, if you are going, it’s Cash Only at the door so please RSVP to South Food & Wine Bar by phone or email phone at 415.974.5599 email to info AT southfwb.com Google