Tag Archives: Sauvignon Blanc

Marlborough Wine and Food Festival – a tick off the bucket list

You’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been – is she still drinking wine? did she win Tattslotto and disappear to an island?

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Did she really win tattslotto??

The answer to that is yes, I most certainly have been drinking wine. While I didn’t win Tattslotto, I did disappear to an island…an island called New Zealand.

It happened. After two years in the waiting, I finally attended the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival with my fellow wino friend, who is a massive fan of the Sauvignon Blanc. But not just any Ol Sauvignon Blanc fan, she’s a fan of the Sauvignon Blanc hailing from the Marlborough region.

 

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Ready for some great Savvy B!

Marlborough is THE home of the Sauvignon Blanc, due to producing the most notable wine from this grape. It’s quite a young region, with the grape variety only being introduced to the area in the 1970’s. The first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted by Montana Wines, now know as Brancott Estate. So what better place to celebrate the Savvy B than at the estate itself, which was where the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival was held.

To get to Brancott Estate we travelled by bus from Blenhim, which was only about a 15 minute trip from the town centre. As soon as we got the the estate, we waited in line and watched the crowds roll in bus after bus. You could feel the excitement building.

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The start of the day. The crowds just got bigger!

As soon as we got in, we scanned the area looking for wineries that we knew, and wineries that we didn’t know, to add to the shortlist of ones to try. The tastings were setup where you could pay $3 for a few sips, or you could outlay $8-$10 for a full glass. This was a no brainer, pour me a full glass please!

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One of the first wineries, Cloudy Bay – Yes, it was a full glass 🙂

Following our first couple of sips (glasses) at Cloudy Bay and Giesen, we wandered over to the wine Masterclass where a Rosé and cheese matching class was about to get underway, with hosts Brian from Mahi wines, and Dan from Kaikoura Cheese.
Grabbing our seats we sat in front of a selection of 7 Rosés from select Marlborough wineries, along with 7 carefully selected cheeses to match. It was really interesting to try something that wasn’t Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region. An enjoyable spread of Rosé’s, which were very much like the classic French Rosé’s from the South of France –  light in colour, strawberry flavours, and a dry finish. Turns out the cool climate for growing this variety of wine is quite similar to the home of Rosé, France.

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The before shot

The clear favourite for me was from Mahi Pinot Noir 2016 Rosé, paired perfectly with a pecorino cheese with fennel pods. The Mahi Pinot Noir 2016 Rosé was a classic Rosé, with a medium to dry finish, with pronounced strawberry notes.

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Brian from Mahi wines! A brilliant winery, and a brilliant wine maker!

Following the Rosé Masterclass, we stumbled back out on to the grassed area to try even MORE wine! With so many wineries showcasing many different wines, here’s a list of the places we tried which were all standouts!

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Roaming water stations. How good is this?! Australia – take note.

In between the sips (glasses) of wine there was also an abundance of food on offer, from pork belly rolls, oysters, through to baked potatoes. I opted for a Brazilian burger. Delish! This provided some much needed energy after many wine tastings.

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Fuel for the Savvy B

As the day went on, the crowd became livelier, the band got louder, and the dance moves became smoother.  Some were even feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of wineries on site.

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When the day becomes too much a nap is needed!

As the day came to a close, it was time to make way to the busses to get bussed back in to town, where the party continued on at Scotch Wine Bar, in downtown Blenhim.

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The after party location!

So that’s it, I can now finally tick the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival off the bucket list. If you’re planning to make a trip over to the region, I’d recommend planning it around the festival. It will give you a real taste of the region, and will certainly get you in to the spirit of being in the world famous home of the Savvy B!

Until next time winos,
Cheers!

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Just what the DOC ordered for a birthday drink – Wine on tap

Move aside beer, wine now has a place at the bar on tap. That’s right, you can now get a glass of wine straight from the tap, like you would for a beer.

It’s my birthday, and what better way to celebrate my birthday than drinking wine from a tap. Responsibly of course!

One company here in Australia that’s bringing this phenomenon to us is DOC wines.
I’ve seen these taps popping up all over the place in bars, and eateries. Varieties of the tap wine range from a Pinot Grigio, to a Sauvignon Blanc, a Rosato, through to a Cabernet Merlot.

The benefits of having wine served this way is that the wine remains in it’s original form, and doesn’t become tainted from oxidation – like you would have happen after leaving a bottle open in the fridge for days. It’s environmentally friendly, with one keg containing equivalent to 27 bottles, and it’s easier to pour in to a glass. I’ll cheers to that.

I only hope that the standard question when sitting down at a restaurant eventually becomes ‘tap wine or sparkling wine?’, rather than the standard water offering. Until then, I think I need one of these in my house – right next to my water tap.

A sneaky bar shot!

A sneaky bar shot!

Until next time winos

Cheers

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Yay or Nay for the Chardonnay – Australian wine lovers it’s time to charge your glasses

No matter how you pronounce it, whether it’s “Shar-don-nay” or as TV funny ladies ‘Kath and Kim’ put it, “Car-don-nay”, Chardonnay is finally back. Yay!

 

A few years ago, the Chardonnay market was huge, largely positioned towards the affluent wine drinker. What used to be known as an expensive bottle of plonk, wineries saw an opportunity to jump on board, and produce a cheaper variety that would be suitable for all wine drinkers – cue the influx of terrible Chardonnays.  This is what I like to refer to as the ‘Kath and Kim’ era of Chardonnay – the era that really ‘boganified’ the Chardonnay. These lower quality Chardonnays were the types that made your right eye twitch, and neck pull back in a strange and uncomfortable way.

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For me, this ‘Kath and Kim’ Chardonnay era ended one fine evening when I was at a wine tasting event sampling an array of Sauvignon Blancs. A winemaker stopped me in my path and handed me a glass of Chardonnay. He insisted I try it, stating – “it will change your life”. Wow, change my life? How can a wine change my life?

I finished off my Sauvignon Blanc tasting, and took the glass of Chardonnay in hand. With one eye on the glass, and one skeptical eye on the winemaker, looking like a deranged person, I took a sip. With that one sip, my mind was blown. Finally, the great tasting Chardonnay I once loved had returned.

 

The more and more different Chardonnay’s I sampled, the more and more tipsy I became; and of course the more and more I became a converted Chardonnay addict again.

 

It seems as though Australian wineries are now a lot more educated on producing this variety of wine using better quality oaked barrels in the process. With oak being one of the critical stages of producing a Chardonnay, bear in mind that quality French and American oak barrels don’t come cheap. Remember the old age saying, “You get what you pay for”? Well this totally rings true for the Chardonnay. While you may need to fork out a little extra for a bottle than you normally would for a bottle of white, you will be treated to that dry crisp finish you once loved. You will also have an abundance of choice, thanks to the many wineries that have now perfected their releases.

 

If you’re still a ‘Nay’ towards Chardonnay, try it out again and you too will be saying ‘Yay’ for Chardonnay.

 

Here’s two of my favourites – click on the bottle to go straight to purchase. You’re welcome.

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Until next time winos,

 

Cheers.

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