Archive for April, 2010

Unplugged Wine Interview With @Garyvee and @TheWineVault

April 12, 2010
I saw this the other day and enjoyed seeing a mellowed out Gary Vaynerchuk. Maybe the Southern Hemisphere suits Gary.
It was refreshing to listen to Gary and Jayson talk about wine with no pretense – just sharing what they feel is important to them. 
This video reminded me of the summer of 1993 I moved back to the USA from New Zealand and Eric Clapton’s unplugged album was released. Great music in a very laid back feel to it. Something we all need from time to time.
Thanks to Gary and Jayson for sharing their thoughts.
Vodpod videos no longer available.



Dream New Zealand Travel Job

April 12, 2010

Entirely Kiwi is an online New Zealand travel agency who recently held a contest to find a spokesperson to travel then length of New Zealand to promote the country and New Zealand tourism for three months.

The promotion known as the Entirely World Famous New Zealand Tour had over 300 applicants and was narrowly won by Nicquel Rhoden from Australia. The website shows her full itinerary, some information about each location and is updated with her blogs and videos about her adventures.

 The video is a good reminder “It’s all in a days work”

New Zealand Wine Tours With Phil Parker

April 8, 2010

Phil Parker runs food and wine tours around Auckland New Zealand.

Phil’s Auckland Fine Wine Tours celebrates ten years in operation this year.

Inspired by a cramped and tedious 40-seater bus tour of Melbourne’s Yarra Valley back in 1997, he had the idea of setting up a wine tour of Auckland’s regional wine country, particularly Kumeu and Matakana.

You can read the rest of the story here…….

New Zealand Chardonnay – The Missing Story

April 6, 2010

Everyone knows the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc story. Some know the New Zealand Pinot Noir story. A few know the New Zealand Aromatics story.

Most are missing the New Zealand Chardonnay story.

Kumeu River Wines established in 1944 when Mick and Katé Brajkovich and their son Maté first came to the small country settlement of Kumeu, about 20 km northwest of Auckland City.

Still very much a family wine company as son Michael is making a stunning range of wines – including Chardonnay. Brothers Milan and Paul are actively involved in the vineyards and marketing. Sister Marijana is also part of the family business on the finance side. All under the direction of Managing Director Melba Brajkovich.

After studying Oenology at Roseworthy College in South Australia where he was Dux in 1981, Michael Brajkovich returned to the family vineyard and winery in Kumeu to take up responsibility for wine production.

Since then he has travelled extensively through the world’s wine areas and had the opportunity to spend the 1983 vintage in France with the reputed house of Jean Pierre Moueix in Libourne, near Bordeaux. Michael was New Zealand’s first Master of Wine which he achieved in 1989.

It is the Chardonnay that has enjoyed the greatest critical acclaim and success in international markets, particularly in the United States. The “Wine Spectator” magazine has placed Kumeu River Chardonnay in its annual list of the top 100 wines on five occasions. In 1996, the Kumeu River Chardonnay 1994 was ranked at Number 6.

Today, the 2010 Chardonnay is quietly fermenting away. Here is a quick video update on the 2010 harvest at Kumeu River.

New Zealand’s Lady Parker Reviews Elephant Hill Syrah

April 5, 2010

“The Elephant Hill Reserve Syrah 2008 is created from the skillful artistry of Steve Skinner, winemaker at Elephant Hill in Te Awanga, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. A superb complex nestled in the Estate’s vineyards and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, featuring the spectacular view of the iconic Cape Kidnappers, Elephant Hill is truly and wonderful place to visit, whether you intend purely on enjoying their Cellar Door experience, or include a meal at the winery restaurant.

Back in Central Otago, Lady Parker reviews this 2008 Reserve Syrah kindly sent by the Elephant Hill team to taste in front of the crackling fire on a cool Autumn evening…. it’s dark fruit complexity, subtle anise spice, a touch of tobacco and perfumed violet aromas are a perfect match for such a setting. Lady Parker Wine Reviews – New Zealand wines brought to you with a fresh, feminine and unforgettable approach to wine.

Twitter @ladyparkerwine

Stellar Customer Service From New Zealand’s Barry Bay Cheese

April 1, 2010

Exceptional customer service is really special when it happens and New Zealand’s Barry Bay Cheese is a company that knows how to over delight. My wife Leslie recently took her Mother and Father to Akaroa for a long weekend. While there,  she purchased a few different cheeses to enjoy during their holiday. One was not so good – in fact it was so bland Leslie sent them an email when she returned home to Denver.

The email was promptly returned with an apology, a quick explanation that is was a cheese from another company they had brought in and the classic offer to replace it next time they were in Akaroa. Leslie, thanked them for their quick reply – explained she lived in Denver and her Mother and Father lived in Christchurch. Pretty much end of story – typical response – until last Friday. This is when the exceptional customer service kicked in.

Last Friday, Leslie’s Mother received a phone call from Barry’s Bay Cheese and wanted to know if someone would be home as they would like to drop off some cheese to replace the one that was not right. A representative from the cheese shop personally delivered several very nice pieces of cheese to their home in Christchurch – Christchurch is about an hour from Akaroa.

It is pretty special that Barry’s Bay Cheese not only remembered the situation but went the extra step to hand deliver the replacement.

If you are planning a trip  in New Zealand’s South Island – Akaroa and Barry Bay Cheese are two places you want on your list of places to visit.

Once there you will find a small seaside village that was settled by the French. Great restaurants,  B&B, motels and homes to stay in, walking, swimming with dolphins, art galleries, a local winery and of course a cheese shop that will make the effort to delight.