Wine Of The Week

Wine Of The Week

I was pleasantly surprised to find this ‘Selected by Tesco’ Portuguese wine from the Douro Valley in my local Tesco Store.
In a few weeks I will be off to the Douro Valley region in Portugal for the first time, where I will be staying amongst the vineyards in my first European Vineyard Getaway, absolutely can’t wait!
So, in anticipation of my visit to this area I purchased this lovely bottle of wine. It’s undeniably reminiscent of the infamous port produced in the surrounding area with it’s sweet and rich flavour. I like the idea of enjoying this wine perhaps post Christmas, when the overindulgence of sweet port seems a little much, this is a lighter alternative but still very bold and rich in flavour.
I look forward to experiencing many more wines from this area in a few weeks time!


Tesco Finest Douro 75cl
Grape- Tinta Roriz
Winemaker- Antonina Barbosa
Producer- Falua Sociedade de Vinhos


Wine of The Week

Going to keep my wine of the week short and sweet this week.

This week’s wine of the week is none other than the House Sav from our good old local in Miramar, ‘Gasworks’, a lovely bottle of the Dusky Sounds Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

Not only is this a very drinkable typical South Island Sav, it’s the wine of choice that’s been enjoyed by my best NZ friend and I once a week during good times and bad, venting our stress over a bottle of wine and a burger.  Sugar and carbs, what’s not to love?!

It just goes to show that sometimes, it’s not even what you’re drinking, or what you’re eating, but just the company you are in that makes the evening worthwhile.  It is with a poignant note and a heavy heart that I write my last wine of the week in NZ.  I’ve had an incredible time, and I hope to come back some time in the future….I have a few more things to write up on the blog before I leave.  But for now, this is my wine of choice to end my wine of the week feature- to good Kiwi wine, good Kiwi friendship and good Kiwi times!


Wine of The Week

Wellingtonians will tell you, we are blessed to have access to some wonderful cinemas in this compact city, my personal favourite being The Roxy which is situated in Miramar.   The Roxy is co owned by Oscar-winning editor Jamie Selkirk and wife Ann, Weta Workshop founders Tania Rodger and Sir Richard Taylor, local foodies Valentina and Daminda Dias, cinephiles Tim Alexander and Jo-Anne Lundon, and cocktail connoisseurs Jonny and Justin McKenzie. All are passionate about film, food, and Wellington and this really shows.

The carefully restored interior of the cinema is stunning and worth a visit in itself.  It is designed in an art deco style, with amazing sculptures and artworks, many of which are created by the talent at Weta Workshop.

Needless to say a trip to this cinema is always a joy, and enjoyed even more so because I can always rely upon purchasing a lovely glass of wine from the restaurant’s fantastic wine list and relaxing in the cinema with ample leg room, comfy seats, and a little side table for my glass of choice!  It’s just so much more civilised than a bucket of popcorn and litre of pepsi!

In celebration of the release of this months’ big action hit ‘Godzilla’, it seemed rather in keeping that I should hop across the pond this week and go for a big bold Aussie red from the aptly named vineyard ‘Mt. Monster’.

Coco at The Roxy feature Mt. Monster’s 2012 Shiraz on their menu, and it was discovering this wine on their list that led me to investigate the Australian Limestone Coast vineyard further and stumble across the wonderful 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon which is featuring as my wine of the week.

This lovely wine is a deep purple in colour with typical Aussie aromas of fruit and berries, with a hint of mint running through.  The texture is rich and velvety and everything you would expect from a wine with a vineyard whose name alone suggests both intrigue and confidence.

Go see this movie, and watch it with an equally bold glass of Aussie red in your hand and you are in for a real monster of an evening!





    Limestone Coast Wineshow., 2011
    New World Wine Awards 2011
    2011 BTI World Wine Championships, USA

Mt Monster Vineyard:

The Roxy Cinema:


Wine of The Week


Let’s be honest….for most of us there are times where our wine purchase of choice is purely based on the label design.  We are told to not judge a book by it’s cover….but at the end of a long week I have a ten minute patience threshold for supermarket aisles and a strong label design will always grab my eye.  Which is why I wanted to feature this quirky Pinot Noir as this week’s wine of the week.

Amongst a supermarket shelf of very serious NZ Pinot Noirs this label stood out to me as so fun and different and I couldn’t resist giving it a try.

The blurb on the back of the label states

‘Pinot Noir is fickle but she is charming, she is temperamental but bewitching.  She is the Fickle Mistress’.

 A new label out of the Treasury Wine Estates stable this wine is being marketed as an affordable Central Otago pinot noir. It is intended – this is a wonderful sentence – to “appeal to consumers with its quirky and niche NZ branding that is visually engaging and will prove to be a wonderful conversation starter when dining and drinking.” Pinot Noir is a cool climate red grape, producing a light to medium red wine with intense flavours.  The grapes are very sensitive and require constant care.  Therefore the name refers to the fact that pinot noir is generally considered to be a “fickle mistress” – in the vineyard. Nikolai St George is credited as the winemaker in the corporate release but the wine is actually made by Greg Rowdon.  

It got me thinking about many years ago travelling on the train from London to Bournemouth with some University friends one Friday night.  We had treated ourselves to a bottle of M&S wine and some nibbles from Waterloo station to while away the three hour train journey after work.  Sharing our four seater table with a stranger, we got talking bout wine labels as he mentioned he worked in the area of wine marketing.  We had an interesting discussion about how wine labels really don’t branch out much at all.  In recent years the advertising on wine bottles has certainly got more interesting, but I am curious to see what the general consensus is on this topic.  Would you take a bottle of wine with a modern illustrative design on it as a less ‘serious’ bottle than a text based design?  Do you think a more modern quirky design cheapens the perceived value of the bottle? Working in visual effects and design myself, this is an area I find really interesting as I think we could start to see a lot more innovation in years to come.

It may be fickle and tricky to grow but it’s certainly very easy to drink! Deep red, this wine has flavours of dark cherries, blackberry and cocoa aromas.  A lovely bottle of wine with a unique selling point makes Fickle Mistress Central Otago 2012 Pinot Noir this week’s NZ Wine of The Week.

Wine of The Week

In honour of the Royal Visit to the Central Otago based Amisfield Vineyard recently, my wine of the week this week is their 2012 Pinot Gris which I was very pleased to discover in Wellington’s Regional Wine and Spirits.  Well, if it’s good enough for royalty, it’s good enough for me!


Amisfield was established in 1988 and is a Central Otago based specialist producer of Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines sourced from fruit grown on their Estate vineyard beneath the Pisa Mountain range in the Cromwell Basin.

Amisfield wines reflect the company’s grape growing and winemaking philosophy underlining faithful expression of site, minimal winemaking intervention and ultimate fruit purity. Stringent yield management practices deliver concentrated fruit flavour, consistency and complexity derived from the range of soils found on the vineyard.

Their restaurant menu also looks fantastic and I hope to follow the Royal footsteps and sneak in a visit to Amisfield this year.

Read more about the Royal Visit here:

For opening hours and menu:



 More photos from the Royal Visit can be seen on the Governor General Facebook Page

Wine of the Week

Since daylight savings kicked in here, the weather has turned.  It became winter, suddenly, overnight.  Inevitably with the darkness, rain and southerlies battering Wellington, the craving for curling up on the sofa indoors with a nice bottle of red has replaced my long and wonderful summer filled with Kiwi Savs.

Wine of the week I am enjoying this week is from a wonderful vineyard I visited in Hawke’s Bay a while back called Abbey Cellars.  I’ll always remember this vineyard as upon its approach we admired the architecture of the building and I asked the owner when they decided to convert the church into their home/vineyard.  She smiled and said ‘New Zealand’s not that old’.  I guess we are so used to converted churches in the UK that I didn’t think that a property build would be approached the other way round.  The owners love and appreciation of churches and old buildings brought about through their travels led them to create a building that is a unique interpretation of a gothic abbey.  It is a beautiful site to behold.

The wines are equally stunning and I am enjoying their 2009 ‘Rapture’ Merlot this week.  It won the Silver award at the Royal Easter Show Wine awards 2011 and is recommended by WineEstate magazine.  A perfect match for a fillet steak and mushrooms.



Cellar Door:
1769 Maraekakaho Road
Hastings 4171, New ZealandSummer Hours:
Daily – 11:00am until 5:00pm
Large groups and tours by appointment please.
Postal Address:
PO Box 8115
Havelock North 4157, New ZealandPhone: +64 6 879 6171
Fax: +64 6 824 3168