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Wineseeker Blog

Monday, 29 September 2014 - 11:30am by Michael Hutton

It has only been seven years in the planning, but Katie and I are finally heading on our long awaited Euroeamn holiday this week.  We'll arrive in Paris, drive east to Alsace, South through Burgundy and the Rhone to Provence, back West to the Languedoc, finally jumping on a train to finish in Barcelona.  

Thank you to everyone for your useful suggestions of places to go and things to see.  Rest assured, we will do our best to sample as many local delicate pastries, rich cheeses, and  maybe ... just maybe... perhaps one or two wines to taste.  

As a result, we'll be taking a breather on our 'Exploration Series' tasting events through October, and kicking off again in November.  We're aiming to host events featuring wines of Austria, and also French Champagne once we're back.  We'll try to do a few blogs while we're "on the road" - and will hopefully remember to take the camera! 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 - 5:00pm by Michael Hutton

Cellaring wine seems like such a European thing to do.  We have romantic notions of cellars dug deep into limestone hills or excavated into the centuries old foundations of the villa passed down from generation to generation.  A wine cellar slowly built up over years, an even layer of dust on the bottles, demonstrating the willpower of a different time.  But in today’s world of the average Kiwi household, is this a distant fantasy? 

“Wine improves with age” seems an obvious mantra to test.  We’re taught that wines should be bought in their youth and tucked away with diligently recorded notes as to what day in the future, one will gleefully open and enjoy the wine.  Today well over 95% of wines are consumed within 48 hours of purchase.  Honestly who has the time and patience to lock away wine in the hopes of unknown future joy?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014 - 3:00pm by Katie Merrie

10 Years – doesn’t time fly!?  June 2014 marked the 10 year Anniversary of Wineseeker. 

Originally named ‘Bond Street Liquor’ – road closures and water-main replacements prompted a relocation to our current site in Victoria Street and a name change to ‘Wineseeker.’ 

In just a decade we’ve seen numerous changes in the wine market, the explosion of interest in NZ wines overseas (especially the ubiquitous Marlborough Savvy), the supermarkets entering the marketplace, and an increased interest in more interesting and international wines.   New Zealand now boasts almost 800 different wineries.  Oh so many wines with so little time.

We’ve evolved as well, running more in-store events particularly those exploring different regions of the wine world outside New Zealand - traditional Olde World like French Bordeaux and Burgundy to the more exotic South Africa and South America.   

Saturday, 21 June 2014 - 12:15pm by Katie Merrie

June 2014 sees Wineseeker celebrating our 10-Year Anniversary.

As a celebration of this milestone, we hosted a FREE wine tasting event on Friday 20 June 2014 at the shop at 86-96 Victoria Street.

We featured 10 favourite wines – five from New Zealand and five international wines – that are favourites here at Wineseeker.   Thanks to all that joined in on the night!

We feel proud that we are able to continue to serve the Wellington community after 10 years. The retail business sector has been hard hit in recent times – every year since 2009 more retail businesses are closing their doors than opening them.

“We feel privileged to still be here, and it’s all thanks to our customers and their support. We wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our favourite wines and say thanks” says Michael.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 - 10:30am by Katie Hutton

Both originally blending grapes from the Bordeaux region in France, Carmenere of Chile and Malbec of Argentina have become flagship wines of South America.

On Thursday 29 May, Michael hosted "The Stars of South America" exploration event  in a public tasting for 15 people.   This was an ALL RED affair -- featuring four Carmeneres from Chile versus four Malbecs from Argentina.

Chile and Argentina have been making wine as far back as 1550 when Spanish conquistors and missionaries settled in the area.   Argentina is now the 5th largest wine producer and Chile is 8th largest.  They reverse the trend in exporting with Chile as the 5th largest wine exporter (behind Italy, France, Spain, and Australia) and Argentina is 8th largest.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014 - 10:15am by Katie Hutton

The Tasting

The same grape, but very different wine styles are produced from around the world as demonstrated at this tasting at Wineseeker. 

On Friday 23 May 2014 between 4:30 and 6:30pm, we held a free instore tasting comparing Syrah and Shiraz wines from different regions around the world.  

Wineseeker customers tasted and voted for the best examples from the line up.    

The Line Up

We tasted two wines from New Zealand (Hawke's Bay and Nelson examples), two wines from Australia (McLaren Vale & Barossa Valley), one from France (Corbierres Languedoc-Roussillon region) and 1 from South Africa (Stellenbosch).

The Winners - New Zealand and France won on the night

First Place - Te Mania Syrah 2012 from sunny Nelson was the winner on the night!

Friday, 9 May 2014 - 2:45pm by Katie Merrie

Central Crush – An insight into the Central Otago Wine Industry

Recently I was lucky enough attend Central Crush, an annual trade fieldtrip held in the southernmost winegrowing region of the world, and arguably one of the most stunning, Central Otago.  A collaboration of proprietors, winemakers, viticulturists, sales and industry people, Central Crush is a three day event that allows the wine pioneers of Otago (and as I found, they really are pioneers) to showcase every aspect of their incredible industry to the trade.

 

Day 1 – A Landscape of Extremes

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 - 2:30pm by Michael Hutton

Wines of Northern Spain

April 2014 saw us hosting our 'Exploration Series' wine tasting featuring the wines of Northern Spain - from the stormy Atlantic, unusually green and lush "Green Spain", across the high plateaus and dry hills to the balmy Mediterranean.  While the wines of Rioja are the most famous wine exports from Spain, there is much more to taste.  

As in France, the wines of Spain are classified by their region rather than by their grape.  There are 65 different 'DO' (Denominación de Origen).  While Spain has the largest amount of land area growing grape vines, it is actually only the third higest crop grown after cereals and olives.  

Our tasting events in-store featured 9 different wines from across Northern Spain, starting with a sparkling Cava, an array of white wines from the North-West, the bright and juicy 'Garnacha' of Campo de Borja, the earthy and spicy wines made from Tempranillo and the brooding complexity of Priorat.    

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 - 1:00pm by Michael Hutton

This is an approximate recipe for the potato gnocchi dish served at our 'Amarone Tasting' - remember if anyone wants recipes for any of the dishes served instore I would be happy to type them out for you as I make them all myself.

Potato Gnocchi is quite easy to make and very tasty.  You can serve it with any number of different kinds of sauces, if you serve it plain by itself it will tend to stick together so needs at minimum a light butter sauce (like melted butter with a dash of dried sage and lemon zest) or like this version with a rich tomato base sauce.  If using a tomato sauce, make this first & very early as the best flavoured tomato sauces enjoy a long slow simmer & the gnocchi is very quick to make.  

Gnocchi is always best when served fresh.  The dough can be made the day before and kept in the fridge but will discolour and will need more flour when rolling it out anyway.  More on that in a moment!

1 kg floury potatoes 

Monday, 7 April 2014 - 2:30pm by Michael Hutton

By special request I've posted up the rough recipe that I used for the "Mountain Stew" in our Northern Spain tasting - or as near as I can remember it!  Works very well with dense juicy Grenache wines.

It's an easy dish to make, but needs time to cook slowly to combine the flavours.  I used a "Wild Pork" bacon instead of a normal bacon or pork belly meat - the wild version is leaner so yields less fat when cooked down, this means using more olive oil than would otherwise be necessary.

250g Bacon cut into chunks

2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil

250g Choritzo sausage chopped into small chunks (mild or spicy to your tastes)

1 large onion, sliced thinly

1 large red capsicum, sliced thinly

3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely

300ml tomato passata

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup dry white wine (I used a barrel fermented sauvignon blanc)

800g canned white beans (I used cannellini beans)

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