I'm just recording the fact that I did go along to last Tuesday's tasting of New Zealand wines in Dublin.
Catching the train meant I could mug up on my NZ wine knowledge on the way, by listening to some informative podcasts from Chris Scott's UK Wine Show. I found out things about places where I didn't even know New Zealand had places.
I made a good tour of the white wines on offer, and can't help thinking there's probably a wider future for New Zealand Pinot Gris (aka Grigio) than some people would have us believe. I'd rather drink Taserra's (website under construction) offering from the Ned in Marlborough than many an Italian Pinot Grigio of recent memory.
There was a pour-it-yourself tasting of Sauvignon Blanc by region, which helped emphasize the local styles and train the palate.
It was a pleasure to see the confident, made-for-dining Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that we buy from Highfield Estate on show, and to hear from more than one of the other exhibitors that they agree it's a great wine. It's had full marks so far from our own customers, too.
Our suppliers in Nelson, Brightwater Vineyards, are too small and too busy to join the bandwagon for these events, but perhaps one year we'll man the barricades for them. In the meantime I'm looking forward to the imminent arrival of Gary and Valley Neale's Brightwater Sauvignon Blanc in the 2008 vintage, and also some Riesling dessert wine in a style that dare not speak its name as it tiptoes across the border of the EU. I'll let you know what we're allowed to call it when I find out myself.
What struck me most was that I'm really out of practice at going to these events. Time pressure kept me from a full exploration of the fine reds on show. :(, as they say. The knack of holding a pen, a list of wines and a wine glass, while taking notes and in between times swirling, assessing and spitting decorously (not to mention sprinkling intimations of profound insight into the smiling bonhomie) without elbowing anyone or overbalancing, I very much need to revive.