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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Dining with the Rich and Famous - Langham's Barolo - Selaks Winemaker's Lunch

Okay - the other pics wouldn’t download for some technical reason – so all I have is a slightly gloomy shot of the wine selection.


Yennyhoo – as I have a passing acquaintance with the wine fraternity as a writer, I was invited along to this very fab lunch, with wine matches at ‘Barolo’ – the Langham Auckland’s renowned restaurants. Now, there were many wine luminaries there, plus a few food writers and industry people from Selak’s parent company Constellation NZ (the winery formerly known as Nobilo) and numerous PR agents.

Selak’s chief winemaker Brett Fullerton led us through the wines as the courses were served. Waitpersons with perfect posture stood to attention, and quietly swooped and efficiently served fab food, watered and cleared.

Now …funny thing. I was seated next to an alleged ‘famous’ wine critic. The list of wines was on a printed card with the food matches. But there was a minor cock-up. Wine number 1. was listed as a Viognier. But… in fact it was a Sauvignon Blanc. I sniffed wine #1 and thought – yep, Marlborough Savvy, no doubt. My wine writer famouse critic pal took about ten minutes and then exclaimed, ‘They switched them! I’ve been writing notes on the Viognier – and I just realised that it’s a Sauvignon!’

Sheesh. This is like watching the All Whites for ten minutes and then realising that they were the All Blacks.

Shame On You - alleged ‘famous’ wine critic. Cry bitter tears of shame into your SauViognier.

Anyway – the wines were pretty darn good. They only do about 1,000 cases of each of the wines as a premium brand: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay (highly recommended), and a Merlot/Cab (also highly recommended).


Phil runs wine tours around Auckland in return for warm handshakes and pats on the back.

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