An odd sort of a week. Bingo cut his paw swimming in Orakei Basin and was ordered to rest all week and wear a collar to prevent him from nibbling his stitches. I felt out of sorts too; without my morning and early evening trudge up Mt Eden to book-end the day. Still, $1000 on vet’s bills to date made my purse considerably lighter, so I wasn’t taking any chances with his recovery.
A late Sunday afternoon flight to Christchurch left me primed and ready on Monday morning for the quarterly Wine NZ magazine tasting.
Patrick Materman, Jo and I tasted our way through flights of NZ Sauvignon Blanc (any vintage, any region) and sparkling wines (ditto). I really enjoy Jo’s method of tasting; two days meant we had plenty of time to look at each wine carefully and she encouraged discussion and debate to make sure we had given every wine due consideration. A criticism levelled at wine judging is that the speed of tasting often means wines get overlooked, (or as a panellist you are but cannon fodder whilst the domineering panel leader makes all the decisions) but no chance of that sort of shenanigans here. Lincoln University provided the venue, a team of stewards and willing, very able associate judges. I can’t reveal the winning wines (wait for the magazine) but there are some cracking wines in both 5 star categories.
I watched Johnny Swass’s presentation at Savour NZ a few years ago (he was great) so I was looking forward to dinner at Harlequin House, his new Christchurch restaurant. I ordered ‘cauliflower textures, sherry raisins & macadamia’ then hanger steak, both of which were outstanding. Jo produced 2007 Durrsteiner Hollerin Smaragd, FX Pichler to us to enjoy before dinner which was as fresh as a daisy. Positive endorsement for both cauliflower and riesling – shoot me now.
Down to the beach for the long weekend. Bingo sulking because he couldn’t be off his lead until given the ok by the vet. But still pretty pleased to be here.