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Wineseeker Blog

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 - 7:45am by Michael Hutton

After frantic planning and long (though thankfully uneventful) flights Katie and Michael have arrived back in La France. This trip will last about 3 weeks, and this time we are spending our time in Western France, travelling through the Loire Valley and Bordeaux, then in the south in Provence with a finishing flurry in Paris.

Our journey starts with a brief stay in Roissy- a small village minutes away from Charles de Gaulle airport with only 2,000 residents but 16,000+ hotel rooms - obviously an ideal stop off point for weary travelers. According to our hosts, Air France wanted to demolish the entire town to make way for the airport development - inspiring the wrath of the locals. The French have protest down to a fine art, and needless to say the beautiful town still stands. (Photo of Roissy town centre)

Thursday, 6 April 2017 - 7:45pm by Michael Hutton

Perhaps the essence of Chardonnay as a grape lies in Chablis - Unadulterated by oak or the fatness malolactic fermentation, its the wine to serve someone who says they "don't like Chardonnay."  Honestly... people who say they don't like Chardonnay just hasn't found one that they love yet.

So last night we took a tour of Chablis, tasting eight wines of ascending quality- Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru and Grand Cru Chablis. This is a special part of Burgundy that produces only Chardonnay, an area often suffering the heartache of killer frosts, scorching heat waves, hailstones the size of golf balls, and sometimes all three in one season.  More typically, the cool climate leans towards a particular style of wine shaped by the soils that it is grown on- a particular Kimmerigean Clay soil stuffed full of fossilised oyster shells and limestone.  

Monday, 3 April 2017 - 10:15am by Michael Hutton

When it comes to wine-food pairing, there are tried & true tests that instinctively work together. Sav Blanc & seafood, Bordeaux & roast lamb, Pinot Noir & venison. Sometimes though it's fun to step off the beaten track & try something new.  

The first "rule" of wine-food pairing is to try & match the weight of the wine & the dish. You don't want to swamp a delicate wine with a massive dish (and visa versa). Acidity & Tannins need to be considered- acidic wines tend to pair well with dishes with a fair bit of fat including butter and cream while big tannins need some protein to chew on. Does the colour matter so much?  After a successful pairing of Lamb and Chardonnay recently, I wanted to challenge myself with another "White Meets Red."

Monday, 5 December 2016 - 10:15am by Katie Hutton

This year we're open extended hours in the leadup to Christmas - 

Mon 5 - Wed 7 Dec

Thu 8 - Fri 9 Dec

Sat 10 - Sun 11 Dec 

10am - 7pm

10am - 8pm

10am - 6pm

Mon 12 - Wed 14 Dec

Thu 15 - Fri 16 Dec

Sat 17 - Sun 18 Dec

9am - 7pm

9am - 8pm

10am - 6pm

Mon 19 - Wed 21 Dec

Thu 22 - Fri 23 Dec

Sat 24 Dec

9am - 7pm

9am - 8pm

10am - 6pm

 

XMAS Day - Tue 27 Dec

Wed 28 - Sat 31 Dec

New Years - Sun 8 Dec

Thursday, 20 October 2016 - 10:15am by Michael Hutton

This last week heralded the auspicious anniversary of my creation, and what better way to add to the festivities than a wine from my birth year!  This bottle of Vouvray has been the oldest wine in my cellar for a number of years, and we have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to tuck into it. At 40 winters, would it survive the rigours of time better or worse than it's owner?  Was it still alive, was it corked??  

Tuesday, 4 October 2016 - 8:15am by Katie Hutton

What makes a good wine/food match?

Often when trying to match wines with food, I search the internet for what goes with a particular wine or wine type.  Each site offers specfic foods or recipes to try and many times the sites are conflicting in what they recommend.    When this happens it is hard to know which site is right or whether they are just guessing based on their own trial and error.  

I want to understand a bit about the science behind it - why do some wines work with some foods and not work with others?    I want to test the theories and see if I get the same results as some of the experts who have come up with wine pairing guidelines and make recommendations based on their theories.  

This blog series is about testing the theories on what works and what doesn't and to explore how our palates respond to the different flavour combinations.     The quest begins...

Thursday, 15 September 2016 - 2:30pm by Katie Hutton

Hungary Day 1

The classic European wine countries dominate the global wine world- France, Italy, Spain, followed by Germany, Austria and Portugal.  Relatively unknown and underappreciated are the wines of Hungary.  
This week we have a focus on two of the best wine regions of Hungary - Villany in the South-West, and Tokaj in the North-East.  We will taste seven different wines, all of different styles.     All of the wines are on special this week and open for tasting so come in and try with us.

 

Monday, 29 August 2016 - 12:30pm by Michael Hutton

It is said that wine-food matching is a hard thing to get right - a subtle mix of chemistry and magic.  When it works just right it is truely sublime, making both the dish and the wine shine greater than they did on their own.  Some are easy and natural pairs- a crisp and zesty Sauvignon Blanc with a good piece of white fish, an earthy pinot with grilled portobello mushrooms.  Others defy natural logic- who would have thought that a strong sweet wine like Port would go with stinky savoury blue cheese?  

We're going to give it a bash in a regular blog session, contributing both our successes and failures.  I'm going to try some classic mixes and some more out of left field. If you have a style of dish or type of wine you'd like us to experiment with drop me a line!  

Monday, 1 August 2016 - 10:45am by Michael Hutton

The wines of South Africa are something of a rarity on NZ shelves, but with good and ever improving quality combined with great value for money they won't stay that way. 

The heart of the 'Saffa' wine industry lies in the Western Cape, with the regions of Stellenbosch and Swartland lying a stones throw from Capetown.  Winemaking here has a surprisingly long history - the first vines for wine being planted in 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck - for the purposes of supplying the Dutch East India Trading company enroute to the spice trade in the far east.  

Monday, 30 May 2016 - 1:30pm by Michael Hutton

Hong Kong hardly seems like the most common destination for wine scouting - unless you are heading to Vinexpo - a worldwide convention showcasing wines from all around the world.  Photo- Wan Chai waterfront- part of the expo centre is on the far left of this photo.  

Hong Kong is a city under constant construction- new highrises underway, new motorways and spectacular overpasses, repairs and renovation often completed with 15+ stories of bamboo scaffolding held together with cable ties.  Photo: No such concerns about earthquakes in HK when it comes to reclaimation - the harbour gets a little smaller each year.

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