Kia Ora Herdies!
We were privileged enough to take part in the launch of TUKU wines earlier this month. The focus is on indigenous winemakers coming together in a collaboration, looking to take the story of Māori wine to the world and increase New Zealand wine’s presence in the international market. While they are setting their sights overseas however they have their feet planted on the ground here in New Zealand.
The five brands that have united are Steve Bird Wines, Kuru Kuru, te Pā, Tiki and Ostler and they have formed this coalition on the backbone of their shared values of land, family and hospitality. TUKU wine collective know the importance of bringing their diverse iwi origins together and investing in the production of good wine, while promoting growth and success for generations to come.
They are not only certified by Sustainable Winegrowing NZ but are focused on nurturing the land, ensuring it is possible that generations to come can experience Aotearoa the same way that they have. The family behind te Pā for instance has been on the same land for the last 800 years. And they are using their past to look to the future, ensuring they do what they can now so they can be there for another 800 years.
So get behind these inspiring brands. Buy their wines and promote their desire to further develop the Māori economy and New Zealand wine industry. We want to do our bit to support this exciting venture, so look out for our Winoceros TUKU pack.
If you are currently attempting Dry July, we are thinking of you as we continue to drink this month (albeit more moderately than usual). We commend your efforts but believe that even twelve months don’t allow enough time to try all the amazing wine New Zealand has to offer.
We did try to showcase as much NZ wine as possible at Winetopia last month though. And we would like to thank everyone who gave us support at our stand. It was a great couple of days and we would not have been so successful without your determination to try our game, especially if you came up to us while the band was blasting their tunes- and our ear drums.
It seemed that everyone who tried out our game had fun and learnt a bit more about New Zealand wine along with their palate. From the competitive friends and couples, to the beginners, to the wine tasting experts, there were smiles all round. Whether it was a familiar or a new variety everyone was determined and considering that some of the wines were unusual we were impressed by the number of participants who got two or more aromas correct.
The whole premise of Winoceros is to encourage the New Zealand public to think about what you are drinking, to profile the wine yourselves; for you to feel comfortable talking about wine with your friends and family. We only had positive responses at Winetopia and we are always open to any feedback from our consumers. We also encourage further practise at wine profiling through the purchase of our wine packs via our website. They are perfect on a winter’s night at home with friends and family, or as gifts! Go on.
Here’s to vinous promiscuity.
Using decanters regularly is a sign of eccentricity, like wearing a bow tie.
I have a moderately large collection of decanters but tend to use them on ceremonial occasions only. Decanters have great decorative value. I particularly like magnum decanters and own several, despite having little opportunity to use them.
Apart from adding a little gravitas to the dinner table decanters are a good way to remove sediment from aged wine and are a good way to aerate wine, although the benefits of aeration are disputed by some wine scientists. Exposing red wine to air does seem to soften the tannins a little although, to quote no less of an authority than Professor Émile Peynaud, only wine with sediment should be decanted and then served as quickly as possible. Peynaud believes that wine loses its aroma when exposed to air and if it needs aeration to remove or reduce a fault, such as reduction or mercaptans, a quick swirl of the glass will do the trick.
Peynaud may not have had much experience with wine from bottles sealed with screwcaps. In my experience, red wines (and some white wines) from bottles sealed with screwcaps do respond well to a little air time in a decanter.
The appropriately named Decanter magazine conducted a blind panel tasting where wines sealed with both corks and screwcaps were decanted for an hour and compared with freshly poured samples. They concluded that decanting had little benefit for red or white wine sealed with either screwcap or cork.
I recently set up my own simple comparative tasting for a group of students. A bottle of red wine was decanted for an hour while a second bottle was opened and poured. Everyone thought the wines tasted different with a majority preferring the “softer and mellower” decanted sample. Those who favoured the freshly poured sample liked it for its “freshness and punchier flavours”.
I concluded that if you are a “taste person” then don’t decant, but if you are a “texture person” then you might consider routinely sloshing your red wine into a jug or decanter.
The downside of using a decanter is that they are fiddly, harder to pour than a bottle, difficult to clean and a pain to wash. If you like your wine aerated there are many very effective aeration devices that will do it a glass at a time.
(The image is of a Riedel Black Tie decanter that I own but have never used because it seems to fragile and hard to wash. It does look terrific though.)