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Wineseeker Blog

Tuesday, 14 October 2014 - 6:00am by Michael Hutton

And so we arrive in Beaune, the home of the wine industry of Burgundy, in the middle of the Cote d'Or - the home of some of the most legendary (and expensive) wines in the world. Immediately to the South lies the Cotes de Beaune - that makes arguably the world's best Chardonnays, and some excellent Pinot Noir. Cote de Nuits lies to the North, virtually entirely Pinot Noir.

Saturday, 11 October 2014 - 5:15am by Michael Hutton

Our time in Rheims concluded with a trip to Taiitinger Champagne, based near the Bascilica of St Remi. This included a tour of the cellars, the oldest of which reach some 20 meters under ground, in ancient Gallo-Roman chalk mines from the 4th Century.  The old abbey that lived above the cellars was destroyed in the French Revolution, but the caves below remained intact. The limestone-chalk walls absorb humidity, and keep the cellar between 10-12 degrees all year long, ideal for cellaring Champagne. These are the oldest cellars where the top end Compte de Champagne and larger sized bottles are stored, as there is only room for a paltry 2,000,000 bottles here - the house champers that we are more familiar with are made and stored offsite.  This photo is a stack of 72,000 bottles of the good stuff!

Thursday, 9 October 2014 - 7:45am by Michael Hutton

This morning we reluctantly left The City of Light, walking 1.5km in light rain to the Gare de l'Est where we picked up our comfy rental car and braved the Paris traffic.  Maybe it was the rain or some strategically placed roadworks, but it took us an hour to drive a few blocks to the motorway.

Once there we were off, sailing away on the Autoroute. The A4 is part of the European E50 route that traverses virtually all Western Europe, and winds through the countryside at brisk pace.  We passed the village of Meaux, searching in vain for the baby Brie cheeses growing in the fields. 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014 - 5:00am by Michael Hutton

Our  first day in Paris was a triumph. After a wet summer, the city is now enjoying a brilliant Indian Summer, today was brilliant sunshine and 23C outside. Staying in the Marais, a very trendy area stuffed with boutique shops, tiny restaurants (some of only 3-4 tables) all in a stunning setting of pre-revolutionary buildings. 

Our days start at a small boulangerie - the pastries here are stunning, there hasnt been a day that we have not indulged in a number of these for breakfast. Why is it that croissants are so much better here?? The streets in our neigbourhood seem to have a bread shop, a wine boutique, and/or a patissier or fromagerie. Could easily survive here within one city block - what else does one needto live?

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!

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