A successful dinner @ Muse, BBQ


We have had some excellent feedback from members about this venue and the quality of the food.

However, while good, there were a few issues with one of the larger tables of 13 with not enough food and how the meat was distributed. It appears that the plating re the number of people per table was an issue for some tables.

This concept was a new dining concept for the club, and perhaps next time we need to explain in the lead-up newsletter how the meal will be served and how the dinner will work. There are always things to learn.


The Club BBQ was another good day with close to 40 members and friends attending. The weather was OK but with a coolish breeze (Pat says I use the word breeze far too frequently when describing the Wellington climate).

As ever there was plenty of covered space at Derek’s and weather conditions seldom detract from the enjoyment of the event. The food was up to the normal high standard and particularly pleasing was the quality and variety of desserts provided. A great turn out.

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2017, Upcoming events


As always we commenced our festivities for this new year with the BBQ at Derek Thompson’s house. On the agenda for the year we have Ata Rangi, and after the success of the last quiz evening, we have decided to try it again.

Upcoming events

Your committee is working on options for the latter part of the year, but these will include the AGM in May, the mid-year dinner in July and the second dinner in December. As a definite, we have Seifried’s from Nelson booked in for August and other projects. We have found that a downside of arranging tastings too far in advance is that situations can change. These have resulted in late withdrawals necessitating urgent substitutes. We are trying not to work too far in advance. As always, we are happy for input from members on future events and tastings.

Robin Semmens, Editor

Looking back on 2016

As ever, I find this a time to reflect on what the year has offered. We had a great day for the BBQ in January. Always a pleasant afternoon for those attending. February saw a tasting with Roberta Montero presenting for the Artisan Winegrowers of Central Otago. An interesting and somewhat different approach to winemaking from this group. March was a very successful tasting of Argentinian wines presented by Josefina Telleria from South2South. In April we had Edward Donaldson presenting for Pegasus Bay. The AGM in May passed quickly and members enjoyed some wines from the Club’s cellar before we moved on to June where Foxes Island and  held centre stage. This was a very professional presentation.

Things really got rolling in July with the mid-year dinner at Logan Brown. Some issues around service but otherwise an excellent evening. August was time for Keith Tibble to present an Australian evening, mainly Elderton from the Barossa Valley but included offerings from McLaren Vale and Clare Valley. September was with Gavin Yortt and Squawking Magpie from Hawkes Bay. October was a highlight with Jane Hunter presenting from Marlborough. It was great to get an icon of the NZ wine industry for this event. November completed a somewhat international year with Cangrande doing Italian wines for our festive tasting. Dinner at Muse this month completes our year.

Your committee have been very pleased with the programme and hope everyone found something to enjoy. Have a great Christmas and then we will look to developing 2017 events to match those of the past year.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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Cellar Club BBQ – Jan 2016

barbeque-explosionThe usual start to our year with the BBQ at Derek Thompson’s.

A beautiful day and a good turn-out of members plus a few visitors.

As ever we must thank Derek for his hospitality and generosity. This is a great place to have a BBQ and we are very fortunate that Derek makes it available. He even opened his magnum of Gladstone Pinot Noir (won during the Gladstone tasting). A lovely drink for a sunny afternoon.

Cellar Club BBQ – January 2016

The usual start to our year with the BBQ at the usual place, Arthur Carman Street, Johnsonville, 31 January 2016 from 4 pm.

The committee will send more information to members in mid-January.


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2015 in review

Usually, I find this a time to reflect on what the year has offered. Following on from the regular BBQ in January we started off with a few hiccups in our arrangements. Nevertheless, tastings began on a high note in February with Ash Ridge from Hawkes Bay. March saw another late change, but an enjoyable evening was possible with club members presenting wines from our cellar. April allowed Ohau Wines to introduce us to some interesting local wines while May was, of course, our AGM.

Things really got rolling in June with Taylor Brown, who are the NZ agents for Brown Bros and Taylors from Australia. They presented mainly Taylors as we had quite recently shared an evening with Brown Bros. July took us to Bistro 52, WelTec’s training restaurant for our mid-year dinner while August showed the enjoyable wines of the well-established Wairarapa winery, Gladstone. September was a highlight with the iconic Hawkes Bay producer Craggy Range, followed in October with Man O’ War from Waiheke Island. The tasting year finished with festive wines presented by Macvine International.

Your committee are pleased with the programme and hope everyone found something to enjoy.

Only the dinner to go to complete a very successful year. We have had some great tastings in enjoyable company. Unlike Susan Devoy, I am happy to offer my best wishes for the Christmas season.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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From the Editor – March 2015

March Tasting

Sorry, but we are at it again. A last minute change has had to be made to the programme. This is an awkward time of year for many producers and as we are all aware the landscape in the industry can change rapidly. Fortunately these problems only arise occasionally.

We are sure however that you will enjoy a chance to test the wares in the cellar.


Anne is in possession of a knife that was left at the BBQ. If anyone is missing their favourite knife, check with Anne. After all, we don’t want her running amok at next week’s meeting.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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Looking Back – Dec 2014 & Jan 2015

There have been two events since the last Newsletter. Firstly, we had the December Dinner at Strawberry Fare. What a lovely and convivial evening we had.

The meal was fine, if not brilliant, and the service was excellent. Naturally the desserts were great, which was to be expected of course. Some good feedback re the bubbles provided for the event. Our Treasurer, spent a little time trying to convince one of the staff that she looked like Antonia Prebble, no idea whether it worked or not.
Then on 25 January we had the annual BBQ at Derek Thompson’s. Brilliant day, weather wise, and yet another enjoyable Club event. We would like to see more members attending, it is a fun event.

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Looking Forward – Jan 2015 – BBQ

Cellar Club BBQ

The usual start to our year with the BBQ at 4 Arthur Carman Street, Johnsonville, late in January. I will send more information to members in mid-January.

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From the Editor – Dec 2014

We are fast reaching the end of another year and perhaps it is a time to reflect on what the year has offered.

Following on from the regular BBQ in January we had Wright’s Vineyard and Winery in February, a great start to the tasting year.

March saw Alpha Domus, a well-established Hawkes Bay producer.

April saw Dan Baldock presenting some Penfolds wines, an iconic Australian producer.

We tried something new in May by combining the AGM with a tasting from Wooing Tee in Central Otago, while June saw another Hawkes Bay producer in Moana Park.

July was the mid-year dinner at Cuba Street Bistro, and August was Italian time with Cangrande.

Back to Hawkes Bay in September with Rod McDonald Wines followed in October by Villa Maria.

We followed this with yet another Advintage Festive wines evening leading to the December dinner.

Your committee are pleased with the programme and hope everyone found something to enjoy.

And so to 2015. The programme is coming together very nicely and we hope it will be as successful as this year has been.

We wish everyone all the best for the festive season.

Robin Semmens, Editor

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Glancing Back: Feb 2014

Cuba Street Bistro – 203/205 Cuba Street, Te Aro

A great night enjoyed by nearly 50 members and partners. All the feedback from those attending was extremely positive.

Our President said “What a wonderful night – thank you Gayl and Wayne, for organising what may well be the most successful dinner ever! I didn’t get a single complaint.” An excellent venue and great food, thoroughly enjoyed by all those attending.

January 2014 – BBQ

Thank goodness for the cover at Derek’s house. Just as everyone was arriving the skies opened and it poured down. However once there, we were all under cover and enjoyed a great BBQ, some nice wines and convivial company.

A good turnout with at least 35 attending including some new members. Let’s hope more people think about attending in future, it really is a great event.

New Year BBQ – Jan 2014

New Year BBQ

Another great start to the year. The weather wasn’t the kindest but the company was.

Thanks to all those members and guests who attended and for their wine selection. A huge range to taste from including NZ, Aussie, French, Argentinian…

Thank you to Derek for hosting the bbq, and to everyone who turned up and brought delicious food; and to the cooks – Robin and especially Mel out there in the elements. Thank to those who waited patiently for the second batch of salmon to be cooked, and thank you to the ladies who took on the washing up.

Event details

Date: Sunday 26th January from 4pm, wet or fine

Venue: 4 Arthur Carman Street, Johnsonville

Cost: This is a NO CHARGE event but it is BYO wine.

Details: If you think you will attend then please contact Robin with confirmation so the committee can order sufficient food.

  • We ask members coming to contribute by providing a salad or dessert sufficient for about 8 people
  • If your street address has an odd number, would you provide dessert and an even number a salad

Some points for newer members:

  • You are welcome to bring partners or guests. Let robin know the numbers
  • The usual practice is to bring along a bottle of wine that you would like to share. The wines are generally pooled
  • If you are saving caps for Anne bring them along. Anne is ready to deliver a ‘trailer load’ of screw-caps to the Lions, and the Herald is teed up to do a picture and story about it

As mentioned below the BBQ is a great opportunity to chat with other members, Club nights are not always conducive to serious mixing and mingling.