Back to Basics… Wellington

Back to Basics – a free tasting in Wellington

Saturday 13 August from 12 noon to 4pm is the time, Regional Wines & Spirits at the Basin Reserve is the place for an outstanding line up of wines that provide the gateway to classic styles from New Zealand and around the world.

The list has been selected by yours truly and store manager Caitlin Perlman, and we have both selected a range that spans everything from mainstream, high volume wines to smaller volume, niche producers – and in a broad sweep of styles too from stainless steel ferments to the full bells and whistles of 100% barrel fermentation on lees with minimal intervention (Dog Point Section 94).

There will be four stands of wine from Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand’s most planted grape and widely produced wine) to Riesling (Germany’s biggest wine style) to Pinot Noir (originally from Burgundy in France) to Syrah (arguably France’s greatest underrated red wine).

Taste, learn and talk or just taste and enjoy the 12 wines that will be open at this mini wine fest’ for the afternoon. No bookings necessary – we’ll be there and hope to see you there too.

The wine list


2013 Main Divide Riesling $21.85

2014 Dr Loosen Riesling $22.40

2014 Mesh Riesling $35.30

Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Le Petit Bourgeois Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc $24.75

2015 Two Rivers Convergence Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc $17.95

2013 Dog Point Section 94 Marlborough $35.20

Pinot Noir

2014 Petit Clos Marlborough Pinot Noir $19.95

2014 Folding Hill Ballasalla Central Otago Pinot Noir $27.95

2014 Secret des Lunes Languedoc Pinot Noir $17.95

Syrah and tasty blends

2013 Les Gemarelles Cotes-du-Rhone $17.95

2014 Cypress Syrah Hawke’s Bay $24.80

2012 D’arenberg Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre $15

Folding Hill Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Pinot Pinot

2014 Folding Hill Central Otago Pinot Noir $45

Here’s a Central Otago Pinot that stands out from the crowd (every year, truth be told), thanks to vigneron Tim and Nikki Kerruish (they own the land, tend the grapes, work at day jobs in Dunedin and venture to Central to get off the grid, literally, but they get a pro’ to make their wine).

Tim and Nikki are a dab duo when it comes to creating some of Central’s top quality Pinot Noirs, which begin in their four hectare vineyard in Bendigo, one of the sunniest spots in the world’s most southern wine region, Central Otago. It all begins here, in the earth that they tend and where they crop their grapes at low yields of 3 to 4 tons to the hectare – this results in concentrated red and dark fruit flavours, a full body and pronounced but balanced acidity in the wine. That acid provides a refreshing quality, which is supported by earthy, spicy notes and a lingering finish. The wines are not fined or filtered, which accentuates the earthy style and adds to the perception of depth.

These are consistently among my favourite Pinot Noirs from Central.

4 stars…
I’m not big on star ratings because they can open cans of worms, however, if pushed – as I have been – this is a 4 star wine. Bravo.

Spain in September

Spanish wine is hot. It’s affordable, accessible and has wide appeal with its warm, soft fruity flavoured reds and fresh as a daisy modern whites.

This combo of win-win factors made it an ideal theme for Celia Hay’s third annual Wine and Food Celebration from Saturday 10 September to Monday 12 September in Auckland this year.

The event was first launched in 2014. This year it will again be held at the  New Zealand School of Food & Wine, where I teach New Zealand and WSET wine courses for Hay.

This year she has secured international experts for the event, including chef David Puig Zaragoza from Maximal Concepts in Hong Kong, who she met on her wine travels in Hong Kong. Australian TV food personality Lyndey Milan will share her baking secrets and the event will also include the New Zealand Sommelier of the Year 2016 competition, which will be led by head judge and Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas.

The event also includes how to cook an urban hangi, fresh ceviche and northern Thai food from chef Lek of Saan Restaurant in Ponsonby, Auckland. Masters of Wine Bob Campbell and Stephen Wong (New Zealand’s newest Master of Wine) will highlight tasting techniques at informative master classes.

Find out more and book tickets online at: