Good grief, where is the year going? Much to look forward to however with Stonecroft next week and the November Festive tasting which will have Spanish wines as a theme. The December dinner venue is sorted and we will be going to the Cashmere Lounge in Khandallah. It is only yards away from the Khandallah train station if anyone is travelling from town.
Bottle a day
Now much has been written and said about the benefits, or lack thereof, in a regular glass of wine. While waiting for Winston to make up his mind you might need two a night. At long last however Wayne has found an oracle who deserves some attention. He reckons that a bottle a day does you no harm and indeed is probably good for you. Unsurprisingly not all the experts agree.
The Bolney Wine Estate was delighted to receive the prestigious ‘Winery of the Year’ award at the inaugural UK Wine Awards. Spearheaded by English Wine Producers’ Julia Trustram Eve and members of the EWP and the UK Vineyards Association, the UK Wine Awards is the national competition for wine produced from grapes grown in England and Wales, inspired by the growing popularity of English and Welsh wines.
The respected title for the Sussex-based winery, which is run by Sam Linter, is testament to the hard work Sam and her team have put into The Bolney Wine Estate. The ethos at the winery is to produce the best wines possible and ensure quality is at the heart of everything – something which has clearly paid off. The high standards Sam has set – from maintaining the highest level of viticulture and vinification to the training the staff receive – has seen the winery go from strength to strength.
Sam Linter, Winemaker and MD of Bolney Wine Estate comments: “We are over the moon to have won ‘Winery of the Year’ at the UK Wine Awards – we still can’t quite believe it! It’s such a prestigious accolade and an endorsement of the hard work each and every one of us at Bolney puts into our wines. We’re delighted that UK wine is finally getting the attention it deserves – and we’re incredibly excited for what the future holds for the industry.”
Bolney also won ‘Top Still Wine’ and ‘Most Outstanding Single Varietal Wine’ for its Foxhole Vineyard Pinot Gris 2016 with judges remarking it is “a delightful example of Pinot Gris; pure, expressive and fragrant with notes of honeysuckle and spiced pear.” A dry white wine with fragrant aromas of rose, jasmine and conference pear, the palate is wonderfully rich and creamy with a slightly honeyed character – a perfect summer’s wine.
What happens when you unearth some older wines? We are arranging a September meeting with a difference.
Have you ever wondered what age can do to wine? Many of you may remember the late Richard Gooch. He presented to the club several times and last year, his wife Linda donated some of Richard’s older wines to the club for us to use as a learning experience. The oldest ones date back to the early 1970’s. More about the wines next month but it includes a mystery wine for us to determine what it is and we will have Cuisine wine writer John Saker on hand to help us assess their quality.
Some wines may be past their best, others may be superb. Who knows. But this will be a great learning experience for anyone wondering what age can do to wines that are left to languish forgotten at the back of our cellars.
But a word of warning. This tasting will be closed to just members and we will likely need to limit it to 36. So once this month’s tasting is out of the way we will ask you to register your attendance.
A late change necessitated a different venue for our mid-year dinner and fortunately Bistro 52 were able to step in, albeit a week later than the scheduled date.
33 people attended the July dinner at Weltec Bistro 52. We had 4 last minute cancellations. Feedback received about the dinner was excellent and the staff did well. There was comment that the 3 desserts were the best yet from Bistro 52. The atmosphere of the restaurant was enjoyable. There was no seating plan and some confusion over seating arrangements, however this did not detract from the enjoyment of the event.
The committee thanks Anne for organising the dinner.
Hi Team, I am back, and I am not quite sure that we, Pat and I, have organised this properly. We didn’t generally have the kindest of summer weather while we were away and we have been well aware that it is still very much winter since our return. We will need to time things a little better if we do this sort of thing again.
Editor back in charge
So after Acting Editor, then Acting Acting Editor, it is back to plain old Editor again. Whilst travelling around southern England I did note there were a few vineyards and wineries advertised. After our last trivia evening where a question revolved around the demise of British wineries due to climate change, I was interested to see where the industry is at now. For the same reason it collapsed, ie climate change, there has been a significant resurgence in the last few decades. There are currently about 500 vineyards covering 4,500 acres in Southern England and Wales. They currently produce only about1% of the world’s wine but it is a start. Note that “In the News” I have included an item about their first national wine awards.
As for visiting wineries and sampling European wines our touring did not incorporate any established wine regions. When we went visiting we took New Zealand wines when we could source them. Far better to encourage the British relatives to think about purchasing NZ wines.
You will note that in the ”Coming Events” section there is quite a bit of TBAing. We have had a few late changes to deal with over the last couple of years and your committee think that we might commit to events a little too far ahead. We are trying not to get too far ahead but fear not, we have lots of great opportunities to tap into.
All you wanted to know about bottle sizes, but were afraid to ask.
Split 187 ml
Half-Bottle Holds 375 ml or one half of the standard bottle size.
Bottle Holds 750 ml – the standard size.
Magnum Two bottles or 1.5 litres.
Double Magnum Twice the size of a magnum, holding 3.0 litres, or the equivalent of 4 bottles.
Jeroboam There are two sizes of Jeroboams: the sparkling wine Jeroboam holds 4 bottles, or 3.0 litres: the still wine Jeroboam holds 6 regular bottles, or 4.5 litres.
Rehoboam Champagne only – 4.5 litres or 6 bottles.
Imperial Holds 6 litres or the equivalent of 8 bottles. Tends to be Bordeaux shaped.
Methuselah Same size as an Imperial (6 litres) but is usually used for sparkling wines and is Burgundy-shaped.
Salmanazar Holds 12 regular bottles (one case), or 9.0 litres.
Balthazar Holds 16 bottles or 12.0 litres.
Nebuchadnezzar Holds 20 bottles of wine or 15.0 litres. According to my colleague John Ager, quoting from Fogwells Wine Guide, it is equivalent to 20 standard bottles (15 litres, 3.96 US gal., 3.3 UK gal.). Bill Tighe says that the Nebuchadnezzar, according to the “Random House unabridged Dictionary of the English language, as she is spoken here in the colonies, is 20 quarts, or 18.9 litres”. I suspect something amiss here! The Concise Oxford doesn’t mention the word. The Encarta World English Dictionary refers only to the Babylonian king.
Growing up in Germany as the sons of a stonemason may not be the most likely start for the founders of a New Zealand winery, but when you look closer, wine is practically running in Theo, Alex and Marcel Giesen’s veins. For centuries, their family members have been involved in the culinary and wine trades, as sommeliers, restaurateurs and other related careers. As youths, the boys had a hobby vineyard that first ignited their interest in grapes.
While Alex and Theo were initially travelling abroad in Australia and then through New Zealand, they quickly fell in love with the lands. The brothers noticed a limited range of wines available during a chance visit to a local wine shop, with most bottles from the warmer North Island. Alex and Theo agreed the cooler climate of the South Island would be an ideal place to grow certain wines like Riesling, a popular German varietal. This was the catalyst to purchase their first land, in Burnham on the outskirts of Christchurch. Today, They’re proud to have operations throughout the Marlborough region. The company is built on the brothers’ shared passion and family values – every member of the Giesen Wines team works together on building up and maintaining the reputation of the Giesen name worldwide. More next month.
It’s time for our AGM and we are looking forward to a great attendance. Look at the benefits, scintillating company, some nice food, some even nicer wine, and all at no cost to you personally’
The notice is incorporated above and a couple of the supporting documents are attached to the emailed newsletter. Other information will be available at the meeting. No need to bring your tasting glasses, Cellar Club glasses will be available.
Despite a last-minute hitch over the presenter for this tasting (a family bereavement intervened), we were able to arrange for Keith Tibble, Eurovintage, to present, at very short notice, what transpired to be a wonderful tasting.
The wines presented were great wines and Keith has said that he would be available to present other tastings. It is very useful to have someone like Keith who can step in at comparatively short notice. On this occasion, we were lucky enough to have the Ata Rangi wines on hand. Great effort from him and from Murray who was organising the tasting.