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Planet Wine Blog

Ken Forrester – perfectly marrying a love of food and wine

It’s pretty much a given that when a restaurateur turns winemaker, he’s going to craft food-friendly wines. That’s definitely been the case with South Africa’s ‘Mr Chenin Blanc’ Ken Forrester, whose wines are poured at some of the top restaurants in the country and around the globe. It’s also likely he’s not going to be [...]

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International sommelier ensures fine dining at Hippopotamus

When eating at a top-end restaurant like Hippopotamus in Wellington’s iconic Museum Hotel, diners expect the best, in terms of the food and the wine selection. With restaurant manager and head sommelier Maciej Zimny at the helm, they are guaranteed both – the Polish-born professional was acknowledged as New Zealand’s top sommelier in 2015. We [...]

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Comments on the extreme South African vintage in 2016

Cape Harvest 2016: Notes from Stellenbosch (courtesy of spent the morning with Razvan Macici, Distell’s Head Winemaker (mostly in driving to and from Ceres, as well as some time in vineyards there), and with Distell viticulturist Henk van Graan. A lot of discussion was inevitably about the mostly problematic current harvest, and Razvan drily [...]

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The Constantia Estate which won over Napoleon, Nelson and European high society

For present-day visitors to Constantia, on the slopes of Table Mountain in South Africa, Klein Constantia Estate is renowned for the unparalleled beauty of its vineyards and its Cape Dutch-style manor house, set on a hillside amongst ancient trees with breath-taking views over False Bay. But in the late 18th and through the 19th [...]

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Wine’s Flying Scotswoman

Pamela Geddes is the epitome of a ‘flying’ winemaker. Born in Scotland, she’s made wine from Chile to Australia, and is now settled (for the most part) in her spiritual home of Spain, where she’s forged her reputation developing the country’s first sparkling red, aptly named La Pamelita.I first met Pamela in Australia in the [...]

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From Oil Rig to Ostro – The Rising Star of an International Sommelier

Dynamic sommelier at Britomart’s Ostro and Seafarers Members’ Club, Edmundo Farrera, had early aspirations to study hospitality, but his Mexican mother wasn’t keen, and his first job ended up being on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Despite getting involved in politics as the rig’s representative, he knew it wasn’t his destiny and [...]

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A Chianti Classic Steeped in Artistic Heritage

This is why I am in the wine game – the opportunity to mix business and pleasure and to develop great friendships. When I visit Tenuta Di Riseccoli in the hills just 3km east of Greve and 45 minutes south of Florence, in the heart of Chianti Classico territory, I feel like I am combining [...]

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The man from Mendoza offers Auckland something more

Right up at the top end of Ponsonby Road in Auckland you’ll find a characterful wine shop with a difference. Proprietor Tomas Tonnelier is a Mendoza-native so there’s plenty of malbec, as you’d expect. But lining the exposed stone walls of El Borracho are also a wide range of wines from other parts the world, [...]

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Verdejo reigns on the high plains of Spain

Verdejo vines may have been flourishing on the sweeping plateau of Rueda – a relatively short drive north west of Madrid – since the Middle Ages, but just in the past few decades a wave of new blood has injected renewed enthusiasm into the wine industry there. And the innovative approach to viticulture and winemaking [...]

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Floriditas and Loretta – Two Cuba Street Culinary Landmarks

Three people and two restaurants have done a lot over the past decade to change the way people eat out in Wellington. We talk to James Pedersen – joint owner of Floriditas and Loretta – about the trio’s approach, and how they select wines for their lists. Was it always your dream to own your own [...]

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