Some of us aren’t quite so enthusiastic about the RWC and the effectiveness of the opportunities promised but what we will have are some outstanding events we can all enjoy at a local level. One of these is the First XV wine competition being organised by Nelson Wineart, the local winegrowers association.
Again in case you missed it, Nelson will be hosting three RWC games in the city and the Italian team will be using Nelson as its base for a few weeks, the Americans will be here with a huge media contingent for a week or so and the Russians will spend a couple of days here along with the Australian team.
The First XV competition focuses on aromatic style wines from three countries, New Zealand (only Nelson), America and Italy. The Australians were a late addition after the Christchurch earthquake so it was a bit late to include them in the competition and the Russians miss out because it is about wine not vodka.
Each country has run a competition to select their top 15 aromatic style wines and these will be judged against one another in Nelson by a team of international wine judges. The results will be announced at a gala dinner at the stunning underground cellars at Woollaston Estates winery while all of the wines will be available at a tutored public tasting to be held at WOW where you will also get to listen to and meet the international judges. This is a fantastic opportunity to not only taste a range of top flight wines but to learn about how varieties are produced in different ways in each country.
The final event will be the annual new release tasting at The Boathouse where local wineries show off all of their latest release wines.
The showcase event will be the gala dinner at Woollaston Estates hosted by John Hawkesby and catered by the team from Petite Fleur. Each course reflects food from a different country and will be matched with stunning international and local wines. Treats like the finest Nelson seafood out of the shell, then the Italian influenced clear Osso Buco soup with Italian herbs followed by wild venison leg steak or pan-fried local fish and if you are up for it a dessert trio of mini apple pie, mini doughnut and the famous chocolate brownie – from America of course.
This promises to be an outstanding event and bus transport to Woollaston’s will be running so you can indulge to the extreme (well almost) without worrying about drinking and driving. To find out more about these events and to secure your tickets go to www.wineart.co.nz and follow the links to the First XV competition.
I have been drinking
Seifried Estates 2011 Nelson Sauvignon Blanc – RRP $21
This widely available delight is packed with luscious ripe tropical fruit (passionfruit) and crisp apple flavours with zesty acidity and lingering nettle spice. The flavour intensity and purity on the palate reflects a great vintage and sensitive winemaking.
Buller Wines Beverford Vineyard 2011 Muscato – RRP $18With only 5% alcohol this is a light fresh wine that screams ‘bring on summer!’ Apple and powdery mineral characters in the aromas a touch of spritz and bright freshly squeezed grape flavours ensure this is a tasty treat. And the low alcohol makes it a perfect lunch time or late afternoon wine.