Vino

Joelle Thomson's online wine guide

Category: Auckland (page 1 of 2)

Aromas, awards, accolades in Auckland this August…

It’s a big month at the New Zealand School of Food & Wine where a bunch of the best will compete for this year’s New Zealand Sommelier of the Year and Junior Sommelier of the Year .

The competition is on Sunday 20 August and the winners will be announced later that day at 7pm at the awards dinner – a Lebanese styled meal from Samir Allen at Gemmayze Street.

And for those who don’t feel up to competing, there are other reasons to attend the event because it also includes New Zealand and Aromatic Wine Tastings, which are being led by yours truly and wine importer Michael Jemison of Macvine International as well as  masterclasses on sake and wine by Wayne Shannon and Master of Wine Bob Campbell.

The school’s annual Wine + Food Celebration highlights outstanding wine and food from all over New Zealand as well as championing top notch service for those working with it.

Find out more and book tickets to the event and its tastings here: http://event.foodandwine.co.nz/Buy_Tickets.html

Top drops… at the fourth Wine & Food Celebration

4th Annual W&F Celebration at NZ School of Food and Wine

If you’re a budding food photographer, wine lover or professional, the fourth annual Wine & Food Celebration in Auckland is the place to head from 19 to 21 August this year.

The event is the brainchild of Celia Hay, founder of the New Zealand School of Food & Wine (disclaimer: I have taught wine courses for her, part time, for the past six years).

The energy she has for education is second to none. After the life changing Christchurch earthquakes earlier this decade, Hay moved herself, three children and her 20 year old wine and food school all the way up to Auckland. No small task for a one woman band. She has now amassed a supportive team at a large permanent school campus in downtown Auckland’s competitive Viaduct Harbour area in Customs Street West.
This year’s annual Wine & Food Celebration ups the ante on previous years with a couple of pretty on trend events, namely #Foodography Dinner and several aromatic wine tastings, led by Michael Jemieson of MacVine and yours truly (lover of Riesling and all vinous things aromatic).

Food photography will be explored during the #Foodography Dinner on Saturday 19 August. Tips on how to capture food imagery on your phone will be provided, along with sips, nibbles and how to snap ideas as attendees build their own creations over 6 courses.

The other event of significant note at this year’s three day annual celebration is the New Zealand Sommelier and Junior Sommelier of the Year competition. Wine professionals will compete in front of judges from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday 20 August.

Find out more and book your tickets at event.foodandwine.co.nz

Introducing… Soho Wines to Wellington

Soho Wines is now available for the first time ever at Regional Wines & Spirits in Wellington…

We’ve all got a day job and mine is wine writer and (part time) wine programme director for Regional Wines & Spirits in Wellington, New Zealand. Today I’m in Marlborough at the second Organic Winegrowers New Zealand Conference, proving the rule that writers are often at large rather than at their desks. But yesterday, the desk took the form of the counter top at Regional Wines  & Spirits while tasting the extensive range of wines from Soho, which sent its roving ambassador, Amber Hatton, to Wellington to launch the wines.

Soho Wines was established in 2009 by Rachael Carter who worked for her father’s wine importation business (yeast, barrels, corks…), prior to planting the seeds of her own wine producing company. It was a smart move. Her experience meant that Carter understood the crippling overheads that owning a winery can bring, so, instead, she uses grapes from a combination of vineyards, including her family’s  and others. She has hand picked a winemaker in each of region from which she produces wine. She has, in a sense, a virtual winery with no fixed abode, aside from its business headquarters in Auckland.

The winemaking team consists of Dave Clouston in Marlborough, James Rowan in Auckland and Grant Taylor in Otago. And so to the wines, which are now all available at Regional Wines & Spirits in Wellington.

The Soho wines

2016 Soho Stella Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 13% ABV

Young, fresh and intense with flavours of  tropical fruit (passionfruit, pineapple) and citrus (lemon and grapefruit), a light body and a long finish. Very good drink now, which will continue to be lively for 2 to 3 years.

2016 Soho Jagger Marlborough Pinot Gris 13.5% ABV

Its name was inspired by Mick Jagger and this wine is soft, medium bodied and smooth with white fruit (pear, apple) flavours and an off dry style (6 grams residual sugar per litre).

2016 Soho Maren Marlborough Riesling 11.6% ABV

Zingy deliciousness with a light body, refreshingly zesty lime, mandarin and orange zest flavours, balanced high acidity and a long finish. Like a sorbet in the glass, only it has a dry finish.

2016 Betty Riesling 9.4% ABV

The inaugural vintage of this sensational, zesty, intensely flavoured, light bodied Riesling was made with grapes grown in Marlborough, which were treated to an intentional medium style – noticeable sweetness is balanced by crisp acidity, leaving lingering flavours of lime zest, green apples and lemon juice.

2015 Jonny Chardonnay Marlborough 13% ABV

Creamy, soft and buttery, this light bodied, lively young Kiwi Chardonnay comes from Marlborough and drinks very nicely right now.

2014 Soho Carter Marlborough Chardonnay 13.5% ABV

Warm climate Waiheke Island was home to the grapes that went into this full bodied, smooth, richly flavoursome Chardonnay (citrus, caramel, cedar and spice).

2015 Soho McQueen Central Otago Pinot Noir 14% ABV

This full bodied, fruity (redcurrant and cranberries) and spicy young Pinot Noir is a blend of grapes grown in Central Otago’s diverse grape growing regions (mostly Bendigo – one of the warmest, most sun drenched corners of the region) and it is made by winemakers Grant Taylor and Jen Parr.

2016 Soho Syrah Waiheke Island 14% ABV

Waiheke Island Syrah grapes and Auckland winemaker James Rowan are a great team in this dry, full bodied, toasty tasting red wine with its intense spicy flavours of cloves, white pepper and cinnamon. It’s an impressive drink now and will age well for 5 to 6 years.

2015 Soho Revolver Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc Waiheke Island 14% ABV

This is an impressive big red made with grapes grown on Waiheke Island, which provided plenty of warmth to create this deeply coloured, bone dry, intensely aromatic wine with its black fruit flavours and long finish. Drink now or keep for 8 to 9 years.

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