Nov 26, 2017

Talking smack about caps vs cork conversation...

I cannot tell you how many times we hear some wanker spewing ignorant information to impress someone at a tasting room. Occasionally we have heard enough, drank enough or are not being supervised and we engage the afore mentioned wanker.
Recently while out tasting through some new releases at a local winery, one of the customers asked the pourer if this particular winery had any wines under screwcap. The response from the tasting room staff got my attention, not only because it was wrong, but by the absolute certainty and disdain with which this opinion was dispatched.

So what was the response? - Not only do we not, we would never consider using scewcaps, as they choke the wines and do not breath at all. They make the wine all funky and don't allow any aging at all. What he was referring to was post-bottling “reduction,” unpleasant off odors and flavors created by the mix of oxygen and sulfides.

Natural corks have been used to seal wine bottles for about 300 years. The application introduced the concept of “aged wines,” because of cork’s oxygen permeability. So the big problem is that Oxygen ingress is highly variable due to the varied properties of the natural nature of cork. The impact of oxygen transmission rates can significantly affect wine aroma and color which are influenced by oxygen exposure in the bottle. Too much oxygen decreases fruity aromas and increases oxidative aromas. New Zealand’s signature varietal Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most sensitive to oxygen, perhaps explaining the Kiwis’ early adoption of screwcaps. Red wines are less affected.

Look, we could not care less what closure is on a bottle of wine unless it has had a negative affect. Some of our favorite wines have caps and some have corks.

Bottom line is, get some facts before spreading more misinformation. Casual tasting room staff can be a real deep well of misinformation so please choose them wisely and try to give them a good information book to reference or tell them to maybe say "I don't know".

Happy Tasting Adventures,


Nov 16, 2017

58 Eiffel Tower, Paris

58 Eiffel Tower ...

Ever thought about how wonderful it would be to dine high up in the Eiffel Tower?

So had we, and twice in the last month or so it happened. First time Kiwi Chris and company chose the Jules Vern restaurant for their dining experience. This was their story. 

Ours groups experience was different yet very similar other than more affordable and slightly less fancy French fare.

I had chosen to dine at 9pm at restaurant 58 Eiffel Tower for my groups dining experience. This allowed us to be at dinner when the lights went off. Each hour after dark the lights sparkle. Quite spectacular!

A few comments. Expedia has quite comprehensive instructions and directions but there are some gaps that caused some moments of confusion. Like where the checkin locations were. We were not the only ones a bit lost. But once in line for the elevator all was super smooth. 

We arrived at the restaurant and were escorted to our dining tables. Bubbles were poured and the dining experience was soon underway. 

Look, this experience was heavily anticipated and as such had all kinds of pressure to be an amazing evening. So how did it stack up? 
With its wall-to-wall windows, the restaurant offers a breathtaking view over the Trocad√©ro, Palais de Chaillot and the beauty of the Eiffel Tower's structure. Views are good from any table and sunset is simply spectacular. 
The food is excellent and not too 'foody' so a regular bloke can enjoy a good feed.  Oh and by the way the desserts will not disappoint. 

The food, the wine and the ambiance were all on point and the true test. Would we do it again? In a heartbeat. 

So look at some of the photos below and don't hesitate to book your own dinner at 58 Eiffel Tower when in Paris. 

Happy Travel Adventures,



Nov 5, 2017

What are the best wines for a party?

So the answer to this question is another question. What kind of party and who are you inviting? Whats your price range per bottle? Is it for wine ponces or bogans or something in between? If its for ponces... good luck. Bogans, who cares, get some popular grocery store stuff on sale. They wont know nor care.
For a nice afternoon gathering with friends with cheese and cured meats, perhaps some baklava and bruschetta for finger foods that pair nicely. So for your friends that like wine and are open to try new things and are not too hard to please its pretty simple we think. Bubbles to start is simple with some Cava or some Prosseco. To start the still wine afternoon its hard to beat a good New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Also for some variety are Gruner Veltliner and Assyrtiko. For bubbles a Cava from Spain or a Prosecco from Italy. Next as the whites are flowing introduce a couple Malbec's from Argentina. Finally as things are moving along put out the Australian Shiraz or Shiraz / Cabernet.

Good drinking good value (****) affordable wines are available in all these groups. These wines are not the norm in the USA and will be encourage great conversation and expand most regular wine drinkers range.

Cheers and enjoy your soiree.

Happy Wine Adventures,