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Summer 2010

Regional Fare p16 The best of the East Coast, Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa The Red Report p24 A stag do In praise of farm raised venison Sparkling daze NZ savvy fizzy and French Champagne

After the quake – art from broken dreams p8 Volume 8 Number 4

NZ $7.10 incl GST

9 421902 251023


editorial Resource Editor John Clarke

Our industry –

Consulting Editor Keith Stewart

a model for NZ Inc

Copy Editor Gill Prentice


Staff Writer Sarah Habershon

e are a very lucky country but we are suffering a lack of leadership at the very top to turn that luck into a prosperous positive future for all New Zealanders. Hospitality, food and beverage and tourism – our industry – could be a model for what New Zealand needs to do to jump back up the OECD scale and raise living standards for all of us prepared to be the best we can be at our jobs. We have huge natural advantages – clean air, plentiful water, a temperate climate, fertile soils – an environment that can not only support our small population but could also feed significant numbers offshore. And we have an educated workforce, benign political leadership and a relatively stable infrastructure, but struggle to turn these advantages into a high standard of living for the majority of citizens. We’re adrift in a sea of uncertainty; cast off first by our loss of guaranteed European markets for our primary produce several decades ago; emasculated by the toppling, about the same time, of our All Blacks from their dominance of world rugby. We’ve struggled ever since to define our place in the world; to discover what we’re best at – what makes us proud to be Kiwi. This is a crisis of leadership. We have many pockets of ingenuity and even brilliance but there is no one at the top joining the dots of premium performance and potential into a cohesive game plan for NZ Inc. But in cafes, bars, restaurants, food processors and commercial kitchens and on farms, orchards and vineyards all over New Zealand, dedicated individuals are turning the top-class bounty of our land into word-class products for local and international consumption. Great examples of this drive to be the best are Josh Scott and new investor Geoff Ross in Marlborough brewery Moa (see story p5), Nourish Group’s refit of top class Euro on Auckland’s waterfront (see story page 12) and the very welcome new organisation supporting and promoting excellence in professional service standards (see story p6), the Service Professionals Association of New Zealand (SPANZ). Visit facebook on to see more photos from the SPANZ launch. So here’s to hospo taking a lead, showing New Zealand the way to a future where we strive to deliver the best, where our natural advantages give us the opportunity to compete with the world’s best and win. That’s a lead all New Zealanders should be happy to follow. And here's to a kinder environment for us all in 2011 – especially our Canterbury colleagues. TONI MYERS

Contributors Jennie Crum, Geoff Griggs, Sam Kim, Daniel Schuster, John Hawkesby Advertising Account Manager Peter Corcoran 09-817 4367 021-272 7227 Design & Production Jan-Michael David Production Manager Fran Marshall 027-430 4559 Subscriptions 09-845 5114 $27.80 a year (incl GST) for 4 issues Printing & Pre-press Benefitz Publisher Toni Myers A Mediaweb publication

Mediaweb Limited PO Box 5544 Wellesley Street, Auckland 1141 Phone 09-845 5114 Fax 09-845 5116 © 2010 Mediaweb Limited ISSN 1179-4356


Auntie Hine.



contents SUMMER 2010



16 Kuhungunu – Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa

1 Our industry – a model for NZ inc.

This is the Heartland of New Zealand’s pastural miracle, a land of sheep and beef farms and wine.

TAPAS 4 Coffee zooms; Diary of upcoming


Xxxxxx 0

22 Te Tairawhiti – The East Coast

events; Moa alive; Celebrating 30 Marlborough vintages with Cuvée Virginie.

That James Cook called this place Poverty Bay is one of the most dramatic mistakes the great man made.



6 SPANZ - Service Professionals

24 The Red Report

Association of New Zealand launch party RANZ – Restaurant Association of New Zealand ‘kill off 2010’ party.

Farmed Venison Resource editor, chef and ex deer farmer John Clarke, takes a look at a Kiwi invention – deer farming and the product thereof.

MANAAKITANGA 12 The Spirit of Hospitality

28 Market Intelligence

8 Picking up the pieces

Auckland’s waterfront is coming of age; Wellington’s hospitality scene is already there.

The heart of the magazine and our industry. The latest seasonal update on the supply of the material we sell – food.

Christchurch restaurateurs reflect on the past and assess their futures.


36 Fish Take

The Canterbury earthquake three months on

The eastern North Island Te Tairawhiti; Kuhungunu: the food resources and the people – the third of five features.

Sea – saw We are not the fishery we think we are Myths and legends of our inshore fishery debunked. By Keith Stewart

TASTINGS 39 Wine Sparkling sauvignon blanc A new phenomenon? grill checks out what is on offer.

40 Wine Champagne Taittinger Understanding excellence – appreciating quality.

44 Cognac What is behind the glamour and allure of cognac? Keith Stewart tastes a range of this, the finest of grape spirits.

ATTITUDE 47 Wine Sam Kim on New Zealand méthode traditionelle Excellent, yes – the real thing it is not.

48 Beer Shades of white Geoff Griggs on the joys of wheat beer.





50 Animal Lovers On stuffing ducks – foie gras Warning - this may make vegans even crazier than they already are. By Keith Stewart

51 Farmers’ Markets Know your sauces and your sources Jennie Crum takes a look at local artisan food sources.

52 Danny’s Diary In LA with the best aged reds and the best dishes to match Danny Schuster gets all the best jobs.

54 Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap The gunk guys A salute to those who deal to the fat in our lives. By Sarah Habershon

56 Bar Nun Two Wellington bars The Bar nun goes down… to the bottom of the North.



Diary Dates January 4


January 8


January 27-29

CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT CELEBRATION 2011 Millenium Hotel Queenstown

January 29


February 12


February 18

Submissions close for Committee Secretariat; have your say in the consideration of the Alcohol Reform Bill. Visit

February 19-20


February 25-27

DRAMFEST WHISKY FESTIVAL Christchurch Convention Centre Christchurch Call 0800 SALMON or visit

Caffeine-fuelled fervour Coffee costs may just keep going up and up but there is no denting the Kiwi enthusiasm for a good flat white


offee futures have jumped 61% (a 13 year high) this year on concern that global supplies may lag behind demand. A shortage of high-quality arabica coffee has led to “precariousness of the supply/demand balance,” the International Coffee Organization said in December. But is this likely to make a dent in this country’s thriving coffee culture? “Not a chance, says Darryll Hollamby of Puhoi Coffee, a first time entry and medal winner at the recent New Zealand Coffee Awards. “All we have noticed is a steady increase in demand from our customers. The coffee scene, at least around Auckland, appears to be getting even stronger,” says Hollamby. This year there was a 30% increase in entries for the awards, judged over two days at Auckland’s Manukau Institute of Technology by a panel of New Zealand and Australian coffee experts. Avalanche’s Glacier coffee blend took top honours from nearly 300 coffees. Avalanche’s Glacier blend won a second gold in the Flat White section. Another Auckland roaster Altezana also snared two gold medals. For the full list of medal winners go to


The Moa is alive and thriving


ur own world-renowned, beautiful national beer”; that’s the target 42 Below founder Geoff Ross is aiming for with his recent investment in Marlborough brewer Moa. Ross hopes to have the same success in the global beer market as 42 Below had with vodka. Moa was founded in Blenheim in 2003 by young winemaker Josh Scott to create premium beers. From a well-established winemaking family business, Scott brought his winemaking skills – using an innovation that drew on the ‘methode traditionelle’ of Champagne-making , including fermenting the beers in their bottles - to beer brewing. The range comprises a pilsner-style lager, a dark ‘noir’ lager, wheat beers and ales. Ross’s Business Bakery, co-owned with Grant Baker and Stephen Sinclair has taken a 47% stake in the brewery. Scott had already achieved a great deal with his brewing innovation, producing a beer range with global potential, and had broken into the tough US market. But he had taken Moa as far as he could and needed capital and the international marketing nous of someone like Ross to build a global beer brand from New Zealand.

ée Finally the Cuv Virginie 2006

ordinary Cuvée ease of the extra elle ust the second rel methode tradition de, this flagship onal pti ce Virginie in a deca ex m fro d duce Estate is only pro from No 1 Family d by vintages. the words uttere and persistance”, ibe Daniel “Passion, courage scr de ll we e, nc his return from Fra of Julius Caesar on noise and maker th generation Champe ugh. oro rlb Le Brun, a 13 Ma in Estate from No 1 Family of the h stunning bubbles nc lau the es rlborough vintag Celebrating 30 Ma clusive Mollies in was held at the ex 06 20 ie gin best Cuvée Vir nu ve e for this, the Auckland, a fitting y, Ba s t of ry’ ou Ma me int Sa ling wine to co money) of a spark too it wa to example (for my ve ha do not te. Let’s hope we this country to da up long for another. very exclusive gro a member of the ). 44 ge Daniel Le Brun is pa e (se nd Zeala growers of New ne Wi ist ial ec Sp The




Steve Hanrahan (HSI), Bart Littlejohn (Sails restaurant) and Joe Deegan (RANZ).

Peter Jackson and Michelle Bright (Emplois).

About bloody time


he newly-founded Service Professionals Association of New Zealand (SPANZ) threw a launch party to celebrate its inception at Auckland’s Monsoon Poon restaurant on August 23rd. SPANZ is working to become the voice for service professionals and to promote the hospitality sector as a professional career choice in New Zealand. Watch this space for improved networking within the industry, cooperation with other professional agencies and the provision of information regarding education, mentoring and support. At long last, front-of-house staff have some weight behind them. What kind of long-term changes will blow in on this fair wind? For more images go to facebook link on

Signing up new SPANZ members.

Angelique Green (The Pepper Girl Hospitality Systems), Dave Young (L’Affaire) and Ash Visvanathan (Monsoon Poon).

The hard core: David Green (treasurer), Steve Mackenzie (committee member) and Geeling Ng (chairperson) of SPANZ.

Craig Cunningham and Andy Rayneau (Southern Hospitality).

Out with the old year, in with the new – please! Barry O'Brien and Steve Mackenzie.

Peter Le Grice (HSI).

Roland (Career Café).

Jim Roberts (Hesketh Henry).

Brian Davies (Moffat).


t a bit of a hair-letting-down exercise and a catch-up hosted at Restaurant Association (RANZ) headquarters, members, friends and supporters got together to kick the old year for touch. And it has been a tough old year but things are looking up according to Steve Mackenzie, CEO of the RANZ. He said that optimism appears to be rising in most countries and it seems that is shared by New Zealand businesses and consumers. A recent survey showed that 85% of RANZ members had a positive outlook for the next 12 months – encouraging for an industry that competes for consumer discretionary spend. Restaurants (casual, formal, quick service), cafes and bars contribute over $6.4 billion annually to our economy. For more images go to facebook link on





Saggio di Vino – Patrons Lisa Scholz and Yommi Pawelke Yommi’s story Lisa was away and I sat in the dark waiting for first light; there was no water and no power. In the morning I cleared the driveway, the chimney had come down, and went to the gas station for water; the queues were massive. Lisa got back and managed to get into the restaurant even though it was cordoned off. Things didn’t look too bad although the premises next to us were obviously a write-off. Then came the aftershocks and we couldn’t get near the place for two weeks and then what a mess and the waste; all our wonderful food – gone. The landlord and the architect came round and we all agreed; it could and would be rebuilt. Luckily a couple of decades ago when we started, a certain


amount of reinforcing was done. Then three years ago we did another major refurbishment and the internal chimney was taken down; this likely saved the building. Then came the frustrations, red tape, council computer glitches and a slow start; talk about fast tracking. It now looks as if we will be lucky to reopen before April but at least Saggio will still be here. In the meantime we are also lucky to have business interruption insurance and we are supporting the staff as best we can; but then of course we still have PAYE to pay. Henry Africas – Patrons Tony and Jeanette Francis Jeanette’s story On September 4, 2010 at 4.35am we awoke to violent shuddering and then shaking. We were stunned as we had all been fast asleep. Then with no power, it was a little hard to check out just how much damage had occurred.

Tony went to check out our restaurant and to get us some candles and a gas bottle for the heater. He saw we had some significant damage but when the sun rose, it became more apparent just how bad the damage really was, and not just to us. We are all so fortunate that it wasn’t 12 hours earlier and the town buzzing! Later that day our landlord came to inspect the damage and he was reasonably confident that our building was repairable. He owns several older buildings around town and believed that he’d fixed others in the past that were worse than ours. Then, from 2.15pm that day, shortly after the power came back on, we were removed from the building by the Fire Department and told that we couldn’t return. The council red stickered our building and within the next few days temporary fencing surrounded the building and still does.


Approximately 11 weeks after the quake, we were told our building was too expensive to fix and would be demolished. We were told the demolition would start on Monday 29 November. Then we were told that the empty site had been sold to a developer. Demolition started on December 14. We met with the new owner of the site, who is hoping to build us a new building but single storey, not two as previously. He seems like a nice guy, but at the end of the day it’s business. His proposal is for us to pay 30% more rent than we were paying previously. This has left us in a difficult situation. We have been looking at different locations, but there isn’t exactly an abundance of empty undamaged restaurants at the moment. And to be honest, we feel landlords are rubbing their hands together. For me...I miss our customers, but at the end of the day we have to make sensible business decisions and we can’t

“landlords are rubbing their hands together”



Pick Up the Pieces campaign craft billboard.

just jump into a huge rent commitment for the sake of it. I know that there is a heap of restaurants closed around town and right now I think the dining scene in the centre of Christchurch is going to take a long time to return to normal. But we are luckier than some, we did have 10 years of good growth and only a couple of flat years so we are not going to starve. In the end we may just have to flag it for 12 months and open a pie cart. There has been some small good to come out of all this.

“The solidarity the hospitality sector has shown with both the Auckland and Queenstown hospo people getting together to raise substantial sums to help their Christchurch compatriots has been humbling,” says Restaurant Association Canterbury branch president Michael Turner. And the New Zealand Restaurant Association has been very proactive in facilitating fundraising events along with the help of a very gracious agency hotfoot. This agency organised the ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ campaign and the craft billboard




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made with donated time with the broken crockery and glasses from devastated hospo joints around town. They arranged the subsequent auction of sections of this mosaic billboard. hotfoot then also bought most of the pieces so that this artwork could be displayed in one piece –almost; fitting really. The auction raised over $3000 and will go to the Canterbury Restaurant Association to further support Christchurch restaurants. Follow these stories in pictures on


Great Kiwi Pubs SPECIAL EDITION MAY 2010



brewers arms – ChrisTChurCh

Cableways Tavern – DuneDin

GlenorChy loDGe – GlenorChy

maDeira hoTel – akaroa

marquis of normanby hoTel – CarTerTon

miTre hoTel – lyTTelTon

norThwesTern hoTel – PalmersTon

CommerCial hoTel – omakau

Paeroa hoTel – Paeroa

PleasanT PoinT hoTel– PleasanT PoinT

ranfurly lion hoTel – ranfurly

GolDen nuGGeT hoTel – shanTyTown

STar anD GarTer hoTel – waikari

sTraTh Taieri hoTel – miDDlemarCh

The royal hoTel – lyTTelTon

Tai TaPu hoTel – Tai TaPu

royal hoTel – naseby

GolDen fleeCe hoTel – waikouaiTi

waiau loDGe hoTel – waiau

luGGaTe hoTel – luGGaTe

sullivans irish Pub - ChrisTChurCh

The esTablishmenT – wellinGTon

The Globe hoTel – riverTon

GreTna hoTel – TaihaPe

karamea villaGe hoTel – karamea

waiau hoTel –TuaTaPere

mossburn railway hoTel – mossburn

railway hoTel – hokiTika

sTaDium Tavern – alexanDra

sTellar resTauranT & bar – wanGanui

sTony river hoTel – okaTo

souTh rakaia hoTel – rakaia

The sPeiGhT’s ale house – DuneDin

The kenTish hoTel – waiuku

THINGS TO NOTICE: 1 Posts, rails & window frames brought out to give depth to the front & emphasize original details

2 Classic brass-feel typeface on main sign to give a traditional established feel. Sign protrudes 100mm with a brass-feel surrounding edge

3 Details such as cartwheels, hanging flowers, down lit welcome sign and vintage lanterns added to create warmth & inviting atmosphere

4 Flags will display ‘The Kentish Hotel’ emblem - (still in production) to give a feel of grandeur. A proud Waiuku icon

5 ‘The Portside’ created to give the garden bar a character of its own now it’s starting to be recognised in its own rights as a ‘big name’ venue

maTaTa hoTel – maTaTa

6 Added elements of the ‘stack’, fairy lights, flag pole, water wheel, portholes, and boat rail create an overall impression of a steamboat - a throw back to Waiuku’s days as a shipping port

7 A roll-down / roll-up canvas/ plastic lined poster display can be used to display official or created gig posters. It can be rolled up when the venue is not being used for gigs

8 Overall impression is a grand icon of Waiuku - a nostalgic reminder of Waiuku’s days as a shipping port & a proud part of New Zealand’s heritage


Fine Tailored Insurance… TakaPau hoTel – TakaPau

TeleGraPh hoTel – Takaka

TrouT hoTel - CanvasTown

Tuakau Tavern – Tuakau

wakefielD hoTel – wakefielD

lumsDen hoTel – lumsDen

whiTe horse hoTel – beCks

The whiTe swan hoTel - GreyTown




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Auckland’s waterfront comes of age Euro… is a statement, a very fine statement – an expression of excellence on Auckland’s waterfront.

Photos: Allan Johnston Photography


uckland’s real essence is its harbour; its real front gate is the downtown wharf area. It’s just a pity it has been such a mess for so long. But the refurbished Euro Restaurant & Bar symbolises what can and should be done with this city’s magnificent front door. The reinvented version is still recognisably Euro but it has swallowed its sister Nourish establishments, the Green Room and Pasha. The enhanced Euro is larger; it is smarter with more choice, more accessible and everything we Aucklanders were hoping for. The Nourish Group has now provided the city’s waterfront with what it has always deserved; an establishment of which Aucklanders can at least be vicariously proud. There is a stunning new private dining room, an open chef’s table/bar where one can be cooked for exclusively but not

feel excluded. The service area/bar runs almost the whole length of the interior and leads directly out onto the full length wharf alfresco area. And, as always, with the passionate chef-patron Simon Gault’s total dedication to quality, there is no compromise. The restaurant has in full view a meat drying/aging room providing all with proof – appreciated or not – of the high quality products Gault prepares for diners, and the respect he has for those products. The character is Kiwi but the service world class; the balance has always been about right. The food is excellent as one would expect and the range more extensive than before. With the extended premises the whole wining and dining experience has more variety. One wonders why in the past certain

by John Clarke

journals have refused to give this establishment the recognition it deserves. Perhaps they’ve confused a refusal to compromise on quality and a commitment to excellence with arrogance. But Euro has none of the sneering superiority of some world-famous establishments elsewhere; it has always been convivial and refreshing. The revamp makes this restaurant the newest and best expression of Auckland hospitality. No pale cringe-inducing copy of some indefinable Mediterranean café-restaurant this; Euro is definably Auckland and proud of it. In the new Euro, Gault and his compatriots have managed to identify and portray – in the finest hospitality sense – the essence of Auckland; a long time coming, but here it is and worth the wait.

For more Euro pix visit



SNAPDRAGON - LEAVENING THE VIADUCT BASIN Sadly since the old heady days of America’s Cup madness the waterfront level on Auckland’s viaduct hospo precinct has been a bland, faceless territory. There are one or two exceptions (Soul Bar springs to mind), but if the viaduct basin is an expression of Auckland’s hospitality culture then heaven help the ‘Big little City’. Now, thank heaven, it looks like

things are changing. That bunch of young hospitality entrepreneurs, the rapidly expanding Pack Investment Group, picked up the old Cargo Bar and added a layer of interest to what has until now been a fairly horizontal experience. Totally refurbished, the premises have been extended to take in the large unused areas on the upper floor. Renamed Snapdragon this is very

much in the mould of the group’s other waterfront establishment; Wellington’s massively successful Foxglove (see Bar Nun page 56). As with the recent Euro rehash on Princes Wharf these chaps have lifted the game on this, another (‘should be/could be’), fine chunk of the city’s waterfront hospo real estate. Perhaps Snapdragon is an inkling of better things to come.

For more pix of the Snapdragon opening visit facebook on

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Photo: Visa Wellington On A Plate

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Wellington – on a plate, positively John Clarke and SARAH HABERSHON on what makes the Wellington hospitality scene so special.

The Last Supper -- Visa Wellington On A Plate.

Photo: Nicola Edmonds, Pat Shepherd


ith four supreme Cuisine Restaurant of the Year titles, New Zealand’s premier culinary festival, and its thriving hospitality scene, Wellington can, with some justification, lay claim to being the country’s cuisine capital. In only its second year, Visa Wellington On a Plate (VWOAP) saw over 100 hospitality establishments involved and 17,000 people attending the annual Dine Wellington festival. The total turnover by Dine participants was up around $1.6 million and total couverts increased by 34 percent in the two weeks from August 14 to 29, 2010. David Perks, CEO Positively Wellington Tourism, was certainly a happy man, saying: “Visa Wellington On a Plate has the potential to be an iconic event on a par with the NZI Sevens and the New Zealand International Arts festival. I

think we can say it is now absolutely positively on the region’s events calendar.” As a result of VWOAP local producers also strengthened their connection with local restaurants with a large proportion of Dine partners now using local suppliers. “Prior to the festival we had identified a need to facilitate a stronger link between these two groups, so we are very pleased with this outcome. While the report outlines the short-term impact on the region, one of our key aims is to ensure long-term economic growth for our producers by providing them with a solid foundation from which they can confidently develop their export capabilities,” says Nigel Kirkpatrick, CEO Grow Wellington. But there is more than events, big name restaurants and seriously pro-active EDAs making the Wellington hospo

scene the success it undoubtedly is. What makes Wellington so different? There’s no question that there is something esoteric about the hospitality of the windy city. There is a charisma about Wellington’s cafe culture that just isn’t found anywhere else, and an approachability even in the most haughty fine dining establishments that makes the customer’s experience peerlessly and effortlessly enjoyable. There is the geography of the city. It takes only 20 minutes to walk across town in moderate winds; 25 if it’s blowing a particularly vicious gale. But Wellingtonians are a defiant lot. Even in the most miserable weather there’s a tendency to get amongst it, and the short-walk factor gets civilians out and about on foot in the concentrated city centre. Wellingtonians on the whole live more in their city’s

public spaces than say Aucklanders or Christchurch folk, and this is reflected in a lively and vibrant cafe culture fed by a constant stream of chilly foot traffic keen for a steaming pick-me-up. Ben Allerby, FOH manager at Sweet Mother’s Kitchen on Courtenay Place, believes the customers have a lot to do with making Wellington’s cafe scene what it is. “Wellingtonians are incredibly passionate about coffee,” he says, “the customers talk about beans, roasts and brewing techniques.” It probably helps that Wellington has a high concentration of roasteries, large and small, which provide excellent training programmes for staff, raising the calibre of baristas and therefore the standard of every brew. Roasteries such as Havana, Supreme and Peoples’ Coffee characterise Wellington’s cafes, as does the frequent presence of organic milk in the steaming jug. “Organics are a subtle feature of Wellington’s cafes,” says Allerby, pointing out that nowhere in Wellington will one see a sign advertising organic ingredients; it’s more a benchmark than a selling point. Zorganic is Wellington’s favourite milk – you’ll find it swirling around the steam wand at many of the best coffee-stops from Aro to Mt Cook. It’s not just the community around

Wellington’s hospo scene that is special; it’s the community within it. “I think that elsewhere there’s more of a sense of rivalry,” says Allerby, “but in Wellington the hospo community really support each other.” It’s true that the staff of various establishments from Cuba to Courtenay often know each other by name, and have been known to swap dishies like playing cards when the need arises. When the Maranui Surf Club cafe was gutted by fire in mid-2009, other establishments in Wellington rallied together to provide shifts for Maranui’s suddenly jobless staff and ran fundraisers to donate towards the rebuilding of the clubhouse. Ten months later, Maranui SLSC cafe reopened, employing many of its original staff thanks to the efforts of the local community. Wellington’s cafe community is almost a jovial subculture all of its own. The best-loved of the capital’s coffee houses are all indie ventures, with the exception of the Mojo cartel, which has managed to capture the pounding hearts of Wellington’s caffeine-freak population. Even if one can’t put a finger solidly on the point of difference that makes Wellington’s hospo scene unique, it’s enjoyable to muse on the various contributing factors over a steaming fair-trade Supreme.


Photos: Sarah Habershon


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Regional fare fare Regional

Regional Fare

Kuhungunu Hawke’s bay – Wairarapa district



In little New Zealand there are not many regions where you get a sense of being in Big Country, but the landscape from Hawke’s Bay south to the Wairarapa provides just that. This is the Heartland of New Zealand’s pastural miracle, a land of sheep and beef farms, from hill country to lowland fat lamb farming. It is country famous for its rural sensibilities, large estates and sense of grandeur, for the richness and flavour of its meat, and a sense of protection from the world delivered by the ever-present mountain range to the west.

A hunter gatherer’s paradise, but also in the Heretaunga, Hawke’s Bay’s centre is a fertile plain that just bursts with fruit. It has some of the finest winegrowing country with chardonnay and cabernet/ merlot to match the best in the world and with syrah closing in on elite status. Of course there are apples for Africa, and for Europe and Asia. Stone fruit, even cherries, compete with the South Island’s best for quality and in the fringe metropolis of Napier/Hastings there is a cosmopolitan world that boasts an opera house as well as art gallery and museums. The Wairarapa is more focused on meat than diversions such as fruit and

vegetables. Here the land is open, big and mostly empty of anything but grass and beasts. You can imagine farmers riding between settlements on fine horses, with isolated outposts offering a beer and pie stop along the way. But as you track south, the proximity of Wellington adds style, if not sophistication. There is more diversity of produce in the lee of the mountains, and then there is Martinborough, one of the great jewels of New Zealand wine. A wine village in a sea of pastoralism, which more than any other location down this side of the island captures the character of Kahungunu country.

More than pasture and pinot THERE IS MORE FERMENTING AWAY IN THE WAIRARAPA THAN GREAT PINOT NOIR. On East Taratahi Road just out of Masterton Peak Brewery is producing very fine examples of ‘old world’ style craft beers and cider. Peak brewer Rhys Morgan’s range of artisan, organic brews includes several English type ales. One, Mendip Bitter is in the traditional British pub-drinking style and another with the well chosen name Great End is an Extra Strong Bitter (ESB). This beer may have an unassuming start but the dramatic finish that comes with the on-going bitterness can only be described as a great end. There is also a couple of German style beers; a light, refreshing topfermented lager, Drachenfels, in the traditional ‘Kölsch’ style and the more meaty Sollinger Bock in the ‘Maibock’ style.

Morgan also produces a classic German style ‘Hefeweizen’, or pale wheat beer, Alb Weiss. The one cider is produced in the still (yes, this is not fizzy drink), dry English West Country style and is made only from organic tree-picked heritage apples. This mighty fine cider has no added sugar and is matured in oak. All Peak beverages are certified organic, through Organic Farm NZ (OFNZ). This means that Peak Brewery only uses organic products that can be shown to be organic; they have certification provided by one of the recognised certifiers. All Peak Brewery beverages come in the more substantial 500ml bottle. Contact PEAK BREWERY at  +64-211-496-996 or email:



Regional fare

Maison Therese – A fine expression of excellence from Hawke’s Bay

Maison Therese, based in the beautiful Hawke’s Bay, has been home to the finest artistic preserves in New Zealand for over 40 years. Made from only the best New Zealand ingredients available, without artificial preservatives, colours or flavours, Maison Therese products capture the natural goodness of the produce in each and every jar. This family owned operation has become the benchmark for quality within the preserves category and is the

product of choice for many New Zealand chefs and food lovers alike. Maison Therese sources fresh produce to manufacture a world standard range of pickles, relishes and condiments and is New Zealand’s premium pickle brand. Maison Therese supplies supermarkets, artisan foodstores, corporate gift companies, food service and other retail outlets around New Zealand. Founded in 1965 when Dutch-born Therese Mooren started preserving in her home kitchen, the first jars were pickled onions and gherkins. Maison Therese has been preserving favourite New Zealand flavours ever since and has gradually expanded to include new products for a more diverse market, all made to Maison Therese’s recipes. A fast-growing area of business for Maison Therese is the supply of products (in 2.2 litre and 4 litre pails) to restaurants, cafes and catering companies throughout New Zealand. The ranges of relishes, pickles and condiments have a reputation for creating that ‘wow’ factor

and are fast gaining popularity in the competitive foodservice/ hospitality sector. Maison Therese is also happy to manufacture products to a supplied recipe. The Maison Therese range is available through Bidvest, Moore Wilson, Star Foods, Davis Trading, Focus Distribution or Maison Therese direct. For a complete list of available products to the foodservice industry, visit: http://www.maisontherese. Ph: 06 878 8912, Fax: 06 878 8676, Email:

Regional fare


Expressions of KAHUNGUNU – HAWKE’S BAY Wine A selection by Danny Schuster (DS) and John Hawkesby (JH).

A well established, complex region with many terroirs within its boundaries. Top Bordeaux blends, chardonnay and increasingly syrah are well known reds. Winemakers cover the spectrum from large, industrial producers to artisan, organic and bio-dynamic estates. Gimblett Gravels sub-region is considered important, but other areas excel also.

Villa Maria HB Arneis 2010 DS: Soft fresh aromatics, flinty hints, lees aged complexity, finesse and moderate weight in dry finish. Fine alternative to pinot gris with food. JH: Turkish delight, nutty and enticing nose, oily texture but fresh flavoured with fine acidity in finish. Good with fish.

Vidal HB ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay 2009 DS: Greenish-straw, bright fresh nose, high vinosity, fine texture with lees complexity and balance in long, dry finish. Fine style. JH: Classic stonefruit, full nose, nice structure, very drinkable with good length, medium weight. Good with food.

Villa Maria HB Merlot/ Cabernet 2008 DS: Cassis/plum and tobacco, St Emilion-like balance, aromatic quality, fine tannins in finish. JH: Moderate concentration fruit/oak driven nose, fresh, balanced flavour, tad linear structure. Pleasant without being overbearing or complicated.

Vidal Estate ‘Gimblett Gravels’ Syrah 2008 DS: Deep ruby, full nose with hints of pepper and balanced flavour, supple tannins, medium weight. Easy drinking style. JH: Soft, slightly minty nose, moderate weight, nicely made, approachable wine, ready. Esk Valley ‘Selection’ Verdelho 2010 JH: Slightly aromatic nose, citrus tones, clean and fresh, peach/flinty flavour, very good acidity, pleasant dry finish. Seafood wine with a difference. Esk Valley ‘Selection’ Merlot/CS/ Malbec 2009 DS: Typical cellar style, well made seamless balance, approachable with cassis/tobacco nose and generous flavour in fine grain, tannic finish. JH: Lively, red berry fresh nose, excellent weight, moreish fruit with balanced tannins/oak, great red meat wine.

Ngatarawa ‘Stables Reserve’ Syrah 2009 DS: Forward, well-made wine with elegant aromatic quality and fine textured tannins, lifted finish. JH: Full, fruit-driven nose, supple with soft structure, aromatic flavour and easy drinking style. Ngatarawa ‘Alwyn’ Chardonnay 2007 DS: Developed colour, high vinosity with very ripe fruit/integrated toasty oak, complex flavours, layered and persistent in long, dry finish. Classical wine structure; ready. JH: Full nose, complex, nutty with oily richness, mature flavours, distinctive style, toasty flavours with hints of citrus marmalade and assertive oak. Very good.

Ngatarawa Glazebrook ‘Reserve’ Merlot 2009 DS: Good to see classical Merlot structure, generosity and richness in texture, ample tannins to match. If it lacks finesse it certainly does not lack heart. Well defined fruit profile. Liked it. JH: Generous, gutsy nose with earthy hints, ripe plum rich flavours and opulent finish. Tad simple but very appealing with red meats on BBQ. Craggy Range ‘Kidnappers Vineyard’ Chardonnay 2009 DS: Classical Puligny nose, rich pear/peach and nuts, high vinosity in full bodied style, ample weight in complex flavour, integrated toasty oak in long finish. Great in time. JH: Serious wine, full nose, stonefruits and firm austerity, peachy flavours and multilayered with hints of citrus in dry finish. Reserved European style. Craggy Range ‘Gimblett Gravels’ Syrah 2008 DS: Complex, deep nose, classical Northern Rhône profile, red/dark berry fruits with gamey hints and length/finesse in long finish. Great aromatic quality; will make fine bottles. JH: Rich nose, mild pepper with brambles, red fruits, layers of red fruit, plenty of body, elegant. Opened up in the glass; needs time. Craggy Range ‘Te Kahu’ Mer/Cab F/CS/ Malbec 2009 DS: Well coloured, deep nose with high vinosity, textured complex flavours with hints of spice, grained tannins with impressive length in finish. Top wine. JH: Full nose, complex with mulberry/red berry fruit, depth in flavour, well crafted, balanced. Elegance and sophistication, good wine.


Ice cream lovers are always looking for something new – and New Zealand’s top brands are on the case, with the most delicious flavours ever for the hot summer months. Movenpick – Classic Strawberry (pictured), Mint Choc Chip, Hazelnut NZ Natural Gold – Licorice & Blackcurrant, Boysenberry Cheesecake Chateau – Licorice Allsorts, Ambrosia, Pineapple Choc Chunk Make sure you’re well stocked with these mouthwatering summer flavours, because once word gets round – they’ll be in hot demand.

Available nationally from Bidvest Foodservices – contact your account manager.

Regional fare


EXPRESSIONS OF of KAHUNGUNU – WAIRARAPA Wine A selection by Danny Schuster (DS) and John Hawkesby (JH).

Wairarapa is best known for its complex, full flavoured pinots, fine chardonnays and more recently pinot gris and syrah. The wines from the top four producers showed ample regional character and sophistication, and individuality in cellar style. The ’08 vintage wines appear more robust, generous in flavour and structured to age well; the ’09s show greater aromatic quality and finesse in a more elegant frame.

trated aromas. Seamless thoroughbred, cold tea and rose petal complexity, long finish.

Martinborough Vineyard SB 2010 DS: Bright, fresh nose with lifted aromatics and lees age, slight green edge in ripe flavour and hints of tropics in off-dry finish. JH: Big nose with vegetal notes, layered flavours with citrus fruits, pleasant in classical style.

Dry River Martinborough Pinot Noir 2008 DS: High vinosity, full nose, depth in balanced profile, generous texture with ample tannins in aromatic finish. Length and class, top wine. JH: Lovely purple hues, herb-like spice, sensual, balanced and youthful, complex finish. Classic.

Martinborough Vineyard ‘Terrace’ Chardonnay 2008 DS: Full bodied style, classical pear/ peach nose, balanced oak, long finish, ready. JH: Stonefruit, flinty appealing nose, excellent texture, balance in seamless finish. Martinborough Vineyard ‘Terrace’ Pinot Noir 2008 DS: Classical pinot nose, full with spicy hints, lifted flavour, supple textures in toasty finish. Needs time. JH: Stylish nose with licorice notes, hints of earth in uncomplicated, chewable style and finish. Dry River ‘Lovat Vineyard’ Gewurztraminer 2009 DS: Focused, classical traminer, full body, layered flavours, spicy flavour and length in finish. Late harvest style. JH: Marzipan, honeysuckle, concen-

Dry River ‘Lovat Vineyard’ Syrah 2008 DS: Classical cool climate syrah, red berry/white pepper on nose and depth in elegant flavour. JH: Big fruit with pepper, enticing nose, full mouthfeel, brambles and superb balance in finish. Classic wine.

Ata Rangi Vineyard ‘Petrie’ Chardonnay 2009 DS: Focused, lifted aromatic nose, balanced supple flavours with flinty edge and fine acidity in a long, dry finish. Try with oysters, very good. JH: Lively, fresh nose with citrus/buttery notes, lean refreshing flavours, needs more time to develop complexity. Ata Rangi Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 DS: Medium weight, lots of charm in aromatic nose, complex layered flavours, fine grain tannins in long finish. Elegant style. JH: Vibrant, red fruits with hints of earth, sublime palate, velvet, red fruits/truffle, delight to drink. Escarpment Vineyard Martinborough Chardonnay 2009 DS: Generous, full and complex nose, ample lees/oak, ripe peach/firm

flavours, balanced in long finish. Burgundian structure, should age well, top flight. (The ‘08 vintage tasted also but bottle thought to be out of condition.) JH: Nuts/almonds in complex oak frame, rich flavours with brawn but also elegance and finesse. Could develop cult following. Escarpment Vineyard Martinborough Pinot Noir 2008 & 2009 DS: Well coloured, concentrated aromas, complex in layered flavours, ripe fine grain tannins, depth and length in finish. Lots of class. The ’08 is rich and generously flavoured with depth in firm tannic structure and long finish. Both wines will make great bottles in time. JH: Dark fruits, complex nose, clean/ seamless winemaking, lots of depth and firm finish. Should be fascinating to watch ageing, iron fist in velvet glove style. The ’08 has very European, complex nose, balanced fruit flavours with hints of forest floor. Perfect mix of Old & New World style. Escarpment ‘Kupe’ 2008 & 2009 DS: ’08 concentrated, complex nose with high vinosity, great depth and focus in flavour, remarkable length in generous finish. As good as it gets, will make great bottles in time. ’09 lifted spicy notes, lift in red berry fruit, finesse, less depth but fine balance, lots of charm. JH: ’08 complex truffle/earth/licorice nose, lovely tannin/acid balance layers of intoxicating flavours, impression of sweetness in muscular finish. Very Burgundian in style. ’09 is more lifted, aromatic, but at this stage a bit fruity, lovely mouthfeel but lacking depth and complexity as yet. Needs time to develop.

Photos: Brennan Thomas, Strike Photography


Regional fare


Matawhero Wines founder Denis Irwin (right) and present owner Richard Searle.


Gisborne is always a dramatic arrival, whether that is because the journey is always a long one from almost anywhere else, even Wairoa, or because it is one of those emerging landscapes that appears from folds in the hills complete with seascape and an air of abundance generated by the spreading vistas of orchards, gardens and vineyards, with pasture coated hills and that river-meets-the-sea feeling. Gisborne offers one of the most diverse and enriched communities in the country, made more remarkable by the fact that few New Zealanders have experienced it, and by its surprising fecundity. Even those of us who return frequently are invariably impressed by a tingle of life that it seems to exude. Partly this could be due to its role in the oldest artways of New Zealand,

with the Te Tairawhiti district long respected as an engine room of the arts of carving, song and storytelling. The greatest repository of New Zealand art can be found in the magnificent wharenui that rest quietly in this landscape, underpinning fabulous food sources with a deep culture of place. EXPRESSIONS OF GISBORNE

The sea here is deep and rich with everything from crayfish to pipi, and on the margin of the northern and central regions with cool sea species, such as the occasional blue cod, with the best of the north such as snapper and a kingfish or two. It is also top-class sheep and cattle country, especially back in the hills where large, rambling sheep stations still survive much as they have for 100 and more years. But while both sea and hills are

ever present, it is the rich river flats that deliver a growing-in-your-face Gisborne. There are citrus orchards here that deliver sweet oranges and fragrant lemons, avocados, mandarins, apples, peaches, the whole gamut of classic Kiwi fruit, including kiwifruit itself. There are vast fields of brassica, sweetcorn and tomatoes, vineyards that have delivered the taste of New Zealand to more New Zealanders for longer than any other region. That James Cook called this place Poverty Bay is one of the most dramatic mistakes the great man made. Te Tairawhiti could as easily be called New Zealand’s Horn of Plenty, the place where abundance itself is larger than life, where the fruits of earth and sea are nowhere more available nor generous. Not that this rural idyll is without any air of sophistication. Its Maori history makes sure of that, and about this small and peaceful town there is also a sense of enjoying what its hinterland produces. Back in the day campers could buy a bag of crayfish bodies from the wharf for two bob and spend a satisfying evening in an orgy of self indulgence. The crayfish is now a lot more than two bob a bag, but there is wonderful wine to have with it and some of the finest provincial restaurants in the country. If there is a home away from home for all New Zealand’s foodies, it must be Gisborne.

Regional fare


Expressions of TE TAIRAWHITI – EAST COAST Wine A selection by Danny Schuster (DS) and John Hawkesby (JH).

Often thought of as a bread basket of grape production in NZ, focused on muller thurgau and Chardonnay in the past, Gisborne is finding a new niche amongst fine local wines with artisan aromatic whites and supple flavoured reds. Gewurztraminer remains a standout amongst whites. Matawhero Estate Gewurztraminer 2009 DS: Depth in nose and flavour, spicy, full with lychees and tropical hints, dry in long finish. JH: Luscious honeyed aromas, lavender/rose petal nose, classic spicy flavour, fine acidity in finish. Matawhero Estate Chardonnay 2009 DS: Bright, fresh full nose with ripe pear/peach and fine oak, lees aged in textured, firm finish. JH: Aromatic nose with floral/citrus and peach notes, well made, focused with medium weight. If an All Black then amongst the backs, not in the

front row! Racy, pacey and approachable.

refreshing style. Clean, lean and seamless finish.

Matawhero Estate Merlot 2008 DS: Fresh medium weight wine with red/spicy fruit, touch of oak and supple finish. Has charm. JH: Berry fruit/spice and earth hints on nose, simply structured, soft flavour, easy drinking red.

Millton Estate ‘Riverpoint Vineyard’ Viognier 2009 DS: Ripe, full nose with orange blossom/ citrus hints, weight in textured flavour, touch of fine astringency in long, generous finish. Opulent but remains focused. JH: Bright, in your face pear/marshmallow nose, aromatic/supple flavour, medium weight and whisper of lavender in finish. Perfect for ladies who lunch seriously.

Millton Estate ‘Te Arai Vineyard’ Chenin Blanc 2008 DS: Complex, classical nose with floral/ apple and bees wax, focused flavours of white peach, fine lees aged texture and long finish. Superb with scallops. JH: Full, light peanut butter nose, lifted flavours, vinosity and lovely dry finish. A standout wine. Millton Estate ‘Opou Vineyard’ Chardonnay 2008 DS: Ripe, full nose with hints of tropics, rich flavoured stonefruit and toasty oak, depth in finish. Needs time to develop. JH: Citrus/melon fruit, bright, breezy flavours, well crafted with subtlety in

Vinoptima Estate ‘Ormond Reserve’ Gewurztraminer 2006 DS: Concentrated, focused bouquet, classical depth in herb-like spice/lychees and rose petals nose. Full flavour in ‘vendange tardive’ style; youthful in impressive finish. As good as it gets, ample time to enjoy. JH: Wonderful, pure nose of Turkish delight, lavender and marzipan. Honey, melon and fresh acid in flavour, long finish. A wine with an attitude, classy, smart and world class.

Kirsten Searle with daughter Gabrielle, Matawhero Vineyard.

The grill Regional Fare Campaign and Taste of New Zealand Awards (TONZA) programme’s continuing function is to stimulate interest in and promote the use of unique local foods and foster the development of a truly indigenous cuisine. See registration form on inside back cover or visit



Farmed venison By chef, ex deer catcher and deer farmer John Clarke

Photos: Deer Industry New Zealand


he domestication of deer in New Zealand has been a remarkable achievement. Deer are the first new animals to be domesticated for farming in over 5000 years. Large scale commercial farming of deer started in this country and New Zealand has the largest and most advanced deer farming industry in the world. It may be pointing out the obvious but deer are not native to New Zealand. The first deer were brought here from Great Britain for sport in the mid to late 19th century, and released mainly in the Southern Alps and foothills. The environment proved ideal and the uncontrolled feral populations grew to high numbers. By the middle of the 20th century feral deer were regarded as a pest and deer cullers were employed by the government to keep the numbers in check. Suddenly we had another crop to flog to the northern


hemisphere, and so the export of venison from feral deer started, turning a pest into a money spinner. Hunting became so lucrative that the deer population dwindled; to the point that people started wondering whether it was feasible to farm deer to supply this rapidly growing European market. In 1970 the first deer farming license was issued and keen young idiots started capturing live deer from the wild and the first deer industry pioneers started farming them. These were interesting times and Kiwi ingenuity was employed in all sorts of (sometimes) successful ways. We built ingenious traps of netting and saplings, fools (the writer included) leapt out of choppers on to the backs of animals with that all important tool, a bit of baling twine. A little later it got really clever with some crazy experiments – a couple

that even worked occasionally including net and tranquilizer guns. But it was worth the cost of choppers and the odd broken rib as by the frenzy of the late ‘70s we were getting up to $3000 for a hind and $800 for a fawn. So a new industry, deer farming, was born and it quickly spread. Deer are now farmed in all regions of New Zealand and 40 years on from what was just a half-arsed idea we have an established industry. We have at least half the world’s farmed deer population (more than 1.3 million) on 3,200 farms throughout New Zealand. Farming the deer has allowed a vast improvement in the quality of venison produced. Animals could now be bred, fed and selected for better meat production and in 1992 the Cervena appellation was introduced. This trademark gives purchasers a guarantee that they are buying the best venison available, fully backed by


quality assurance programmes that guarantee naturally raised, farmed venison. Cervena is New Zealand farmed venison but not all New Zealand farmed venison is Cervena. Cervena is not a brand it is a quality assurance programme; and New Zealand farmed venison other than Cervena can be just as good but with Cervena you have that guarantee of quality. In order to qualify for the Cervena label, New Zealand farm raised deer are entirely grass fed (this may be supplemented during the colder months but with only natural feed like hay and silage), to produce a tender, mild meat. The deer are raised naturally -- no steroids or growth promoting drugs are used. Cervena deer must be three years or under to ensure tender, mild flavoured meat.  The older the deer the tougher and more ‘gamey’



their meat becomes. Younger animals produce consistently sized, tender cuts – increasingly important to the foodservice industry – and the flavour is delicious. The Cervena appellation applies only to the saddle and leg cuts. The joys of preparing, cooking and eating Cervena: • It has consistent sized cuts. • It is very quick to cook; do not over cook this meat as it loses some quality of texture if panned or grilled past medium rare. • It is one of the most versatile of the red meats for the restaurant trade. • It has a firm texture but is extremely tender. • It is flavoursome but not over gamey and it is never rank. • It is an extremely healthy meat, very low in fat (especially saturated fat), calories and cholesterol, but high in protein, iron, zinc and Vitamin B12. So why do we not use more of this wonderful meat in this country? Goodness knows; we invented it. And get over the Bambi factor for heaven’s sake; he must be in his 60s by now. For more on farmed venison and an exclusive interview with sustainable deer farmer Lyndon Matthews go to Lyndon and Millie Matthews run 900 deer and 1500 sheep on their dry hill country property at Waikari.

List of Local Distributors Zealfresh 0800 4 93253 PO Box 36495, Northcote, North Shore, Auckland

Central Foods Ltd Tel: 0800 470070 P O Box 358, Alexandra, Otago 9320

Bowmont Wholesale Meats Phone: (03) 2164721 P.O BOX 164 8 Invercargill

Meat Direct Wellington Telephone - (04) 4799 491

Firstlight Foods Tel: +64 6 878 2712 Email:

Gourmet Direct Napier FREEPHONE: 0800 737 800 EMAIL:

Ashbys Butchery 5 Michelle Rd, Wigram Christchurch PH 03 3417302 Fax 03 3417301

Bidvest Nationwide

Food Chain Penrose Auckland 09-579 1880



In praise of individuality A Red Report wine special.

Photo: Deer Industry New Zealand


ne of the principal factors defining the quality of pinot noir is its capacity for character. Wine critics and buyers often note the variety’s capriciousness; character modified incessantly by geography and climate, popularly called terroir. All wine is sensitive to the influence of water, soil and aspect, as well as the vagaries of weather, in any particular growing season, but the typically independent character of top pinot noir is more than this. In the most outstanding this is due to the character of the individual responsible for growing and making it. The inventors of the term terroir, the champions of regionally distinct French wines, acknowledge the contribution culture plays in the character of wine. The methods of vine training, crop yield, harvest, fermentation practise, time on skins, lees, and in barrel all play their part in defining the taste of a particular wine locale. These craft aspects of every regional wine are moderated by local wine culture, the practise of generations of winegrowing and winemaking in a specific place. All of which is especially relevant in the development of pinot noir style from one end of Burgundy to the other. These cultures are much discussed by winemakers and wine critics around the world as they argue the features of wine styles between regions. They are also beginning to attract the same attention amongst aficionados of New Zealand pinot noir, from Martinborough to Marlborough, Nelson to Waipara, Bannockburn to Gibbston, and Wanaka to Cromwell.

By Keith Stewart

The bottom line for all of these discussions is: What are the defining characteristics of, say, Martinborough compared with Cromwell? Pinot noir attracts such exchanges more than most varieties because it is amongst the most sensitive of varieties. It makes pinot noir a magnet for obsessive wine enthusiasts and winemakers who find a challenge in defining their own particular pinot preferences. Is, for example, Dry River’s style variance from Ata Rangi more about difference between the winemaking philosophies of Neil McCallum and Clive Paton than those of the two wines’ geographic origins? ­­The depth of fascination that the variety offers is in the pinot noir of Sam Weaver of Churton in Marlborough. In a region where mass production became common, Weaver has proven the role of winemaker personality in pinot noir style. Since his wines first emerged a few years ago wine drinkers have become aware that Marlborough has another eloquent champion of pinot – a champion who speaks of Marlborough with a strong accent of Shropshire individuality. The textures and warm flavours he produces are the taste of toil and vision as much as they are of science and investment. This is even more so with the release of wine from the special block within the Weaver estate that produces The Abyss. Here is dark forest light at wine’s heart, vibrato that is the call of the wild and that seems born for venison - red and virile.

Churton Ltd PO Box 25 Renwick Marlborough Phone +64 3 572 4007 Fax +64 3 572 4087 Email:



Intelligence Better source information for professionals

grill’s specialist resource Editor John Clarke updates developments in produce, fish and meat supply each issue. The products and or companies mentioned in this column are there because we at grill believe they are of quality and have value to the industry.



Fresh sca llops, cock les and p Flounder, ipi. mullet, a ll the insh fish reall ore y. Local b ananas, b red curra erries, nts and st one fruit game me . All the ats and o f course season p lamb. Ne otatoes a w nd kuma tomatoes, ra. Beans, all the su m m and som er vegeta e decent bles garlic at last.



Brussels sprouts a nd leeks. of the citr Most us and k iwifruit. oysters. Pacific



Whitebait sadly and piper. The seasons fo fresh r orange roughy, h ling have ake and ended. Fr esh veal. and cherim Tamarillo oya. Yam s s and Bru sprouts. ssels

Dry goods Grain/flour Our local flours are, as always, very good if a little weak; supply, as always, is tight. The harvest in this country is always a little fraught so we will just have to await autumn to see what this year’s harvest brings. The best and strongest New Zealand stone-ground organic flour is from New Zealand Bio Grains. Salt The very fine Maldon Salt is imported by Greg Heffernan. He also imports a very good organic pepper. Maldon also makes an organic smoked salt that is an ideal finishing product. The wood for the smoking process uses only sustainable hard wood (mainly oak) from forests in the UK. These products including Maldon sea salt flakes are available from Greg Heffernan Ltd, at Himalayan Crystal salt is supposedly mined from an ancient seabed laid down zillions of years ago and contains 50 different minerals. The taste test suggests a fine delicate flavour and it comes in finely ground form. Murray River salt is available from Sous Chef and is worth having a look at. Wild Fungi The minced truffle blend – both the black and white from Sous Chef – is a damn fine product and priced at

Sous Chef . 09 269 6373 . 1/84 Spar tan Road . Takanini, Auckland

around $28 net is a steal. Sous Chef also carries a range of very good dried porcini products. Lots of suppliers are bringing in dried cepe these days, just make sure you check the label and that the only variety mentioned is edulis.

DAIRY The array and quality of New Zealand cheeses has improved immensely in recent years and one of the best ranges around in Auckland at least is held by The Produce Company. Check out their website with 150 artisan cheeses listed, most are New Zealand cheeses. Try out Over The Moon’s goats curd, New Blue Moon and their wonderful Trappist style Galactic Gold. A couple of cheeses from offshore worth noting are the top quality Cantarelli parmigiano reggiano and the new (to New Zealand) range of Tomini cows’ milk cheeses in oil from Italy. These are great little cheeses with various flavours, including truffle, which is a killer.

Eggs Battery Whatever, this sad excuse for an industry still produces the cheapest egg so if you are happy to use them, go for it. Duck eggs are about but as they do not



t u re

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Market intelligence

As Nature Intended

travel well you will have to find a local supplier. Some farmers markets have them also. Free range and organic egg production is now an industry in its own right and seasonal supply consistent. More expensive, but if you want quality you have to pay for it. The Frenz organic free range egg is the best widely available egg around for my money. And why? Well last year this egg was unanimously chosen as the best egg in a blind tasting by the grill tasting panel. The Frenz free range egg is damn fine also. We will be taking an in depth look at the whole issue of eggs, (battery, barn, free range, and organic), in the next issue of this magazine. Quail eggs are available and even more so at this time of year.

POULTRY Chicken Factory chook seems to still appeal to many punters and it is the most economic option. But here is something special; organically farmed and free range chickens and chicken portions from Rolling Hills. These people are dedicated to quality of both their products and the environment their products live in. Remember what chicken tasted like when we all raised chooks at home? Probably you younger chefs don’t these days so order some and see what granddaddy is talking about, because this is as close as it gets and available from Zealfresh. While on the rave about free range chooks you will have noticed that the big producers are also on the band wagon and this is no bad thing. However we at grill put out a challenge to all producers of free

range chickens; invite us to come to your facility (as some of the smaller producers already have) to see your operation and then we can assure our readers that yours are indeed happy little chooks. We will be doing a feature on this in the next (autumn) issue of grill. Cornish game hens Still bloody near impossible to get. Duck There is a lot more duck around these days. Check out the websites www. and and you will be pleasantly surprised at the range. Goose It is almost impossible to find good, fat, farmed goose in this country. Poussin is becoming more and more available and still at a reasonable cost per serve. Squab No more sadly. Turkey You could do a lot worse than getting hold of Canter Valley as they still have a good range of whole, bone-in turkey roasts and portions.

FRUIT This is the fruity time of the year what with all the berries, melons and the socalled summer fruit – that is stone fruit to us peasants. Apples Still some New Zealand apples at time of writing but don’t panic, we do not have to wait too much longer before we can enjoy all that good-looking, floury, tasteless rubbish from offshore. Then more local fruit in March. Avocados The last of the old season’s fruit is gone and new season Hass and Hayes (pebbly skinned), our best avocados, are in the market and will stay so for the foreseeable. The Reed will not arrive until January, February and are the round green variety. However, with

the weather we have had this winter it is reasonable to expect the new season prices to be strong and quality variable. Banana Summer is the best time to get our local bananas if you are going to want them. These are the real thing – fresh sweet ones out of Northland, both Cavendish and Lady Fingers, and many are organic or at least pesticide-free. There is also the regular supply of imported bananas available. Berries Fresh raspberries are here and will be finished by April. Look also to boysenberries until early February, blueberries through to mid March, with blackberries a little later. Loganberries are always around. The very short season for gooseberries is on now. There are always frozen berries available and these can be useful and convenient. Blackcurrants will be in full production over January and February. Citrus We are coming to the end of most of our local citrus varieties. New Zealand tangelos, oranges and lemons will still be around but will peeter out in February. Mandarins and navelinas are now well over. Local limes will not be available until March. Grapes New Zealand fruit if you can find it will be around from mid January for just a few weeks. Otherwise it is the tasteless, hopefully not black widow-infested, stuff from offshore. Kiwis The main crop New Zealand fresh fruit, both the green and gold, has been going strong but do not expect it to last. By the end of the period covered in this issue it will be back to Northern Hemisphere stuff. Melons All varieties of New Zealand grown melon are at their most abundant in summer. First in large numbers are prince in January with water, rock, and honeydew hitting their straps in February. Pears There will be Kiwi pears about, but the season will to all intents and purposes

The Free Range Egg Co. 7 Capehill Road, Pukekohe, New Zealand. Phone 0800 373 697 Email


Market intelligence

be over. The nashi hold on a little longer. Then it is imports though, lucky old us. Hang in though – the early Kiwi varieties, Morretinni and Belle Du Jumet, should be available from late January with other cultivars arriving in February.

season for the flatter varieties such as Mangere Pole has arrived. The outdoor round ‘French’ beans, (mostly Gisborne grown) have reached the market finally.

Pitaya This is another summer fruit to try out – it’s rare as we have only one grower.

Beetroot is most plentiful from November until April. Avoid roots with scaly areas around the top surface as they tend to be tougher.

Pomegranates are all imported but are also a fruit to look for in summer. Redcurrants are on the way but for a very short time only – don’t you just love the seasons? Stone fruit No more of the imported pretty but pretty tasteless crap. Yes, it is that time of year again, a glut of our own wonderful cherries, plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines. Just three whole months of fresh juicy fruit. Strawberries New Zealand strawberries are in full swing but the season will be over by the end of January. Tropical fruit All the imported tropical stuff is as usual and it’s up to you to demand quality.


Broccoflower is a hybrid mix of cauliflower and broccoli. The florets are bright green (lighter than broccoli) and packed into a round head like cauliflower. The flavour tends to be sweeter than both cauliflower and broccoli. Supply is limited. Broccoli supply and quality has improved and prices are down after some shocking charges recently. Broccolini is still plentiful and prices better. Brussels sprouts Do not bother – well, if you really must, some Ohakune product may turn up. Cabbage The green varieties are available all year as usual; autumn is really the time for red cabbage.

The ultimate time for vegetables and you do not have to even attempt to pander to silly customers that expect out of season summer vege!

Capsicum Almost all the New Zealandgrown varieties are starting to come back again. These will be locally grown hothouse (usually hydroponic) – their main season is from January until April and it is the same for fresh chillies.

Artichokes (globe) will be in the markets for another month to six weeks.

Carrots are always available. The socalled spring carrots are available mainly in the spring and summer months. The tops should be fresh and bright green.

Asparagus It has been heaven, but it will be all over bar the scraps by January.

Cauliflower is available all year. Miniature cauliflowers, ideal for a single serve, are sometimes available – ask Prepared Produce.

Aubergines All local stuff should be available for the next period. All the odd ball colours and shapes will be in soon and many can be eaten raw; some say they taste a bit like beans and they do, but mostly they taste a lot like egg plants. Beans The New Zealand glasshouse

Chard (silver beet) You can get it all the time and from now on it should be the most economic and available vegetable; but it is not. Corn You can buy fresh sweet corn from January until April. Courgettes This is the season for this vegetable. Scaloppini and zucchini flowers will also be available. Cucumber The main time for fresh Kiwi short and telegraph cucumbers. Fennel bulb (Florence) is better in autumn and winter so watch the quality. Garlic January is the season for fresh New Zealand garlic. The vast majority of New Zealand garlic is grown in the Marlborough region. Ginger Supplies of ginger in this country are always sourced offshore. Garnish Always available are the varieties of micro leaves and very cute if you go that way. Prepared Produce’s cost-effective julienne salad garnish has become very popular in the Auckland arena. The sweet corn sprouts are still around and make an unusual garnish for the right dish. Herbs With summer definitely here all the annuals are still up and will stay in supply. Kohlrabi is available all year now.

Celeriac is also now available most of the year, but is better from autumn through to early spring.

Kumara All varieties of new season: Beauregard (orange, softer, sweet), Tokatoka, (yellow, firm, good flavoured), Owairaka and Northern Rose, (traditional red, very firm), will hit the markets this summer. Kumara should not be stored at less than 12°C as this will result in chilling injury which shows as shrivelling, increased decay, surface pitting and sometimes causes a hard core, this fails to soften on cooking.

Celery is available all year and still reasonable quality now.

Leek will get seed stems soon, so buy the baby leeks as they are about to come on.

Prepared Produce Limited . 09 276 6079 . 118 Savill Drive . PO Box 43098, Mangere East . Auckland 2024


Market intelligence

Mushrooms and fungi All the commercial mushrooms are available as usual, including the exotic stuff at a price. Onions Good supplies of jumbos with few New Zealand red onions coming on this month. There are two types of reds: the Spanish-type red onions are large and round, while Californian red onions tend to be flatter and milder. Baby onions are available all year round, but at their best about March. Rakkyo is a small onion with bulbs that are about 4-5cm in diameter. They look like small shallots. Its taste is mild, somewhere between garlic and onion, and it is crisp in texture. As the name suggests this little onion is originally from Japan.

and a sweet flavour. Flavour differs with variety, growing conditions and season. They are available from January onwards. Crown and grey pumpkins are your main crop keeper pumpkin and arrive on the market in late January. Spaghetti squash have pale yellow skin, are about 20-30cm long and have a light yellow flesh. Spaghetti squash have limited availability and are generally available in the early months of the year. Kumi kumi are stocky in shape with heavy ribbing. They are available from December to April. Radishes Salad radishes are all in good supply and there is still good daikon about.

Parsnips are often thought of as a winter vegetable but are available all year round. The sweet flavour comes about when the starch is converted to sugar – this happens in cold weather, preferably frosts. For pre-winter crops you can store parsnips at low temperatures (0°C) and there will be some starch conversion to sugar – but why bother, they still will not be as good as winter ones.

Salad leaves – as always. Rocket is a little less expensive than it was last month. The lettuces are all out there.

Peas The few fresh around will be gone in a month or so.

Sorrel Not common, but there is more of this around than in the past and it grows all the time.

Shallot This is the time for this lovely little lady. Snow peas are available from late spring to late autumn mainly. They are always expensive.

Pikopiko is available all year these days. Potatoes Lots of good quality new crop potatoes all over the place and plenty of variety too. The (so-called) early Maori potato varieties have arrived, the first are the waxy ones. These old trad spuds are generally worth the trouble as they knock the socks off the more common commercial varieties. Pumpkins are a summer and autumn crop. Buttercup has dark rich green hard skin with speckles and stripes and a round flat shape. They are available from December onwards. Butternut has a creamy beige skin and an elongated cylindrical shape. They have orange flesh

Spinach This vegetable is always out there. Spring onions Always good supplies on the shelves. Swede and turnip If you like to use these vegetables, now is your time. Taro Varieties of taro vary in colour and size. Taro is a starchy root crop and the leaves are also edible. Taro is not grown commercially in New Zealand; all supplies are imported from the Pacific Islands. Tomatoes New Zealand main crop is all on and will get cheaper from mid January to the end of February. A few outdoor fruit will start showing up in January. Yams Gone!

GAME MEATS If there is ever a good time for game it is over the next few months with lots of feed and animals in prime nick. Birds Farmed quail and pheasant are in good supply and a very good supplier for the whole range is Canter Valley Farm. Guinea-fowl are available again over summer and autumn. Boar ‘Wild’ wild pork is available; talk to Premium Game. Farmed wild boar Yes as presaged in the last edition of grill there is really now such a thing. Free range boar bred from wild stock and legally reared on farms. At present only available from selected outlets: Neat Meat, The Produce Company and Harmony Foods, and sold under the Razorback brand. Great eh! Cervena That is farmed deer guys. Hard to believe it but a chef asked me what cervena was the other day. It is always good quality and therefore still a very good bet at any time of the year and more suitable for those delicate palates. Chamois are in top nick from now on so go to Premium Game to get it. This is one of my favourite red game meats and New Zealand is one of the very few places in the world where these animals are available. Chamois is worth the attention of any decent chef. Crocodile (imported) and a damn fine white meat. Available from all the suppliers, both of them. Emu and ostrich meat is available for those who want it and can get the best out of it. Goat is in top condition and animals are putting on weight with the exception of nursing nannies. It is always important to source only young animals and the older billy goats don’t half stink. Hare Once considered the king of game, back today and remarkably well priced.

Prepared Produce Limited . 09 276 6079 . 118 Savill Drive . PO Box 43098, Mangere East . Auckland 2024


With the mad mating season over hares are packing on condition – this makes them prime at this time of the year. Kangaroo Like croc, this is imported and a damn fine red meat. Possum Since the catching and fattening little enterprise fell over this tasty animal has been off the menu, again! Road kill is the only option – a sad state of affairs as there are always fat ones about even over winter. Rabbit numbers are on the increase at this time of year. Try Premium Game for whole wild rabbits. Tahr is a wild mountain goat native to the Himalayas, now happily (barring DOC) at home in Godzone’s alps. Like other goats, sexually active males can be a bit manky so it is particularly important to choose younger fatter animals. Wild venison is at its best from early November to March, but hinds will be starting to drop fawns so find a supplier you can rely on, we have told you who! Wallaby There is plenty of frozen stuff around. New Zealand wild wallaby is available through Premium Game and Food Chain in Auckland.

RED MEAT All the hoofed animals are in fine condition and the schedules look to be holding steady; thank goodness for the higher NZ dollar eh. But farmers are starting to worry a little about feed as we move into summer with many areas still requiring better rains. But supply all round is improving at least in the short term. It has come to my attention again that some so-called meat suppliers are claiming to sell premium branded beef at cut-rate prices and climbing on the back of the hard work that good companies have done to put a decent reliably

Market intelligence

branded beef into the marketplace aimed at the hospitality sector. This must be bloody annoying for all concerned and chefs and restaurateurs owe it to their diners to be very aware of what they are buying – that it is the genuine product – and look just a little bit deeper than the surface and that really, really good price. Premium suppliers have branded labelling, chefs need to ask questions, like where they were slaughtered, hot boned or cold boned and where is the branded packaging? We should be able to trace our meat, identify the breed of animal, have knowledge of the processing procedure, to be sure of ageing, (hopefully 14-21 days), and have branded packaging to support this. Chefs should be able to trust their suppliers and get what they ask for and know what they are being sold by the supplier, not bullshitted to! So chef should one of these cowboys try it on, do let us know at grill and we will follow it up.

BEEF The weak US dollar is affecting New Zealand beef sales and spring export and local trade schedules are falling, good eh. Local beef prices are tied to the export schedule and the US dollar and are still reasonable (at least compared to lamb). So as long as the US market is depressed and the Kiwi dollar stays up (although at time of writing it is showing some signs of dropping) prices will be at least bearable. Condition coming through the works will be excellent for the period, so expect the best from your supplier.

CERVENA Schedules are now easing, as the season

changes from chilled to frozen and the trend is falling.

VEAL Basically the veal season is all over for another year. There is always some frozen stuff about and it is not bad.

SHEEPMEAT If we get another drought then our trade may benefit in the short term but it will cost us in the long. Lamb Last year’s store and prime lambs are now at an end and spring lambs are starting to be seen at saleyards, fetching strong prices. There is some lovely new spring lamb out there but supply is tight and the trend is rising. In the short term lamb cuts will be small and supply short as farmers hold on to lambs for weight gain. There have been some damn big lamb cuts (? lamb) on the market lately. Chefs need to look at what they are getting and just think how does a lamb get this big? Age baby, that’s how! We say again – get a decent reputable supplier. And another issue, estimates of this coming season’s lamb kill at 31 million may be wildly exaggerated, more like 25 million is the word I am hearing. So stay in with your good supplier and show some commitment to him/her. Come the big cup time late winter and spring you could be out of luck if you have wandered about picking the eyes out of the suppliers all year. One of the best deals still around is the shoulder racks from Zealfresh which specialises in lamb in particular. Mutton schedules are trading at record levels on limited availability and still rising as supply constraints push prices up and up. Zealfresh has another good deal in the sheep line – check out their mutton neck

Zealfresh . 09 419 9165 . Unit 2, 84-90 Hillside Road,Wairau Valley, Nor th Shore


Market intelligence

fillets and just see what you can do with them.

PORK Some of the best pork in the South Island (if you can get it) comes from Havoc in South Canterbury. Their pigs are stress free and free range and damn near organic. Harmony Foods at Paeroa processes free range pigs and the pork is available from Neat Meat. Freedom Farms offers what is described as ‘Free Farmed’ New Zealand pork and a very good product it is too. They care about their animals and controversy aside they are well looked after and happy little piggies. Their pork products are available through Zealfresh in the northern region.

PRESERVED MEATS Much the processed pork we see is made from imported raw carcass meat. The label may say this is a ‘product of New Zealand’ but often fails to mention the fact that the pig was actually farmed overseas. These offshore producers do not have to meet New Zealand regulations when it comes to matters like feed and hormones. That is another good reason why we need decent country of origin labelling in this country. The quite-famous-in-New-Zealand Little Boys range of small goods products is available to the trade and includes chorizo, salamis and gourmet sausages. These products are only available to the industry and a few selected delis. All good for our trade and it gives our industry exclusive access to a very smart line of products. Their products by the way are all gluten free.

All this stuff is available through Zealfresh and Neat Meat.

during this period only and is definitely not PC.

Why pay for water in your bacon? It’s no cheaper in the long run as the water will evaporate on cooking. If you use a good local butcher he will have good dry smoky bacon, so why buy that wet rubbish?

Blue cod is not actually a cod, some sort of wrasse I think. It has beautifully flavoured, if delicate, white flesh and the best fish come from the furthest south for my money.

Prosciutto di Parma It is possible to get prosciutto from Italy, so why put up with the inferior, greasy Aussie stuff? Again Sous Chef leads the way and is one of the few importing this fine ham. There is one New Zealand version of prosciutto which I believe is better than anything out of Aussie and bloody near as good as the original but with something just a little bit Kiwi about it; again this is from the Little Boys range. Havoc produces a good ham, traditionally cured bacon and a fabulous range of sausages from free range pigs. Smoked duck and turkey breasts are available from Canter Valley Farm.

FISH AND SEAFOOD Things are hotting up and prices should come down at least for some species as this is the season for all those inshore fish; flounder, snapper, gurnard, trevalley, kahawai and mullet.

SALTWATER FISH Frozen Convenient and economical and you get what you get.


Bluenose is a bloody good replacement for the bloody good Hapuku and all year round as well. But most still goes to Aussie. Dory (black and smooth, mirror, in other words all deep sea Oreo Dory family). All are available throughout the year from off the southern east coast. These are often quite good buying, and are worthy of attention. The fillets are small and quite thin but perfect for single servings. Flounder It will be flounder madness for the next four months as the quality improves and prices drop. Groper (Hapuku) This is still a bloody good time for hapuku as it is a bloody good fish and bloody expensive. Gurnard is always available and there is always a flush of gurnard in January so the cost should be right. There are usually some small ones in the market at an even better price also. Lovely fish you can’t afford to ignore, especially at this time of year. Green bone A terrible name for a wonderful fish. This is the time for this kelp fish. Hoki This is our largest commercial fishery and the annual hoki harvest finished at the end of September. There is always plenty of frozen, battered, crumbed etc around, although this is another fish on the dreaded red list.

Albacore The season for this underrated little white fleshed tuna starts in mid summer as the waters warm up. Another fish that is too good for the cat.

John Dory There is always a dribble of this best of fishes coming in so there will be a little available at a price, mostly as by catch.

Antarctic toothfish This is available

Kahawai January and February will be the

Zealfresh . 09 419 9165 . Unit 2, 84-90 Hillside Road,Wairau Valley, Nor th Shore


Market intelligence

best time for this delectable inexpensive fish that is at least as good as any other fish in the sea. Kingfish This is one of our best fish, especially for sashimi. It is damn hard to find as there is never enough quota. Later this period (February) is likely to be the best for kingis price-wise. Ling The fresh season for ling has just ended, but the frozen and smoked product is available. Monkfish (stargazer) I cannot give this fish enough raps. It has an interesting texture and flavour reminiscent of crayfish and more and more kitchens have caught on to its value. Mullet Lots of this beautiful fatty fish over summer and very economical, even smoked. Piper This fish is a winter fish and in recent years it has been damn hard to find in the marketplace even in season. Rays Cut the wings off and dry them. You could use the cartilage as an alternative to shark fin as the practice of cutting the fins off sharks and junking the rest is not exactly PC these days. Red cod must have mothers so someone can love them. A bloody awful fish! Do not be confused by anything masquerading as English or British cod; this is still just your good old crayfish bait.

Sharks Summer is the good time for doggies (rig, spotted dogfish etc) and school sharks, although they may not agree, but they are all great eating. Big sharks are a no no these days.

Warehou This is another southern species and the price is always reasonable.

FRESHWATER FISH Catfish are now available from the AFM; try them. Eel, longfin and shortfin The fresh

Skate If you know how to use them, great. Skipjack tuna Summer is the time for this little red fleshed tuna. Our people need to take a closer look at this tuna and push for it to be made available fresh instead of it going to the canning industry. One of the few tuna not red listed either. Snapper The season has started and it only gets better. The smaller plate-sized fish will be the best price. Sole Supply is still restricted in the North Island as this is mainly a southern fish, but it is a much underutilised, premium fish at a relatively low price. Spotted gurnard The best priced fish in the market.

season is all year in the North Island. South Island eel on again. Smoked eel is always obtainable. Koi That pretty pest of our waterways, the koi carp, is also now available from the Auckland Fish Market; well priced and worth a shot. Salmon, quinnat Some good fish available and the fish are larger from now on. The product from Mount Cook Salmon is excellent as the very cold fast water of the hydro-electric canal between Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, where these fish are farmed, tends to make their flesh firmer than pond-reared fish as the fish have to constantly fight the current.

Tarakihi November is the main time for this fish but there will still be a good supply over summer. And there is always the eternal frozen product, usually as ‘skin on’ fillets, and skinned and boned fillets, all in 10kg cartons and handy as back up.

Whitebait The bait season sadly done and dusted, bugger!

Trevalley This fantastic common fish is always very well priced. The main season is on and over summer the numbers taken increase as the fish school, with up to 60 tonnes taken in January alone.

Bluff oysters Done and dusted.

Salmon, quinnat (sea cage) Plenty of larger fish available and all three producers have good quality product.

Tuna Most of the tuna we see here is big eye tuna from the Fiji area although there are also a few yellowfin on the market.

Sardines We have lots around our coast and now you can get them. You can order direct at Salty Dog Seafoods on 0-9-433 7002. Can be supplied fresh or snapfrozen free-flow and you can designate the size.

Turbot and brill come from the west coast of the South Island and have always been a specialty in the area but now a few of these wonderful large flatfish are turning up in our other fresh fish markets. These tend to be a by-catch species.


Clams Restaurants will find the Golden Bay variety of cockle (littleneck) always in good supply. For my money northern cockles are still the premium shellfish and things have improved just lately with the quieter weather. Clevedon Coast oysters always good but not quite as good over the high season January to March – but still damn fine oysters. Farmed Flat (Bluff) oysters, are now available from Solander and a mighty fine

Solander . 0800 555 548 . . Cross Quay PO Box 5041 . Por t Nelson 7040


Market intelligence

oyster they are too. Effectively farmed Bluff oysters, these giants come in pottles under the Southern Glory Oysters brand.

Paua (farmed) This smaller version of the wild paua is now available at a much more realistic price these days.

Geoduck Sometimes called king clams so as not to frighten the punters, Geoducks are even more oyster than oyster and delicious and at an average weight of a mere 450gm, (that’s 1lb in the old parlance), somewhat more substantial than your average shellfish.

Paua (wild) This is the seabed and foreshore packaged in a shell. Use it all year if you have a robust bank account. Do NOT be tempted by the crooks coming to the back door, these #%*^& cowboys are destroying the stocks with half the paua harvest being illegal.

Kina Just the thing for that something extra in a sauce. Available live and there will be literally acres of them in late summer. Kiwi surf clams (hard shell) and Pacific surf clams (triangle shell) You can always get these very big, (for New Zealand anyway), shellfish but be aware that the meat to shell ratio is not as good as most other shellfish. Mussel (New Zealand Greenshell) This is our endemic mussel and a very fine thing it is too. We see so many now that we tend to take them for granted; well don’t. It also has a very high meatto-shell ratio, higher than any other. It is always available live in the shell and fresh or frozen on the half shell. Mussel meat is cool for bulking up that chowder. New Zealand scallops This is the season, so go get this lovely fresh fat New Zealand shellfish at least until the quota runs out. Octopus When it’s fresh it’s the best mollusc from the sea and there have been lots in lately. And its smart enough to wander out of the kitchen on its own. Pacific oysters will not be at their best and fattest from now. Supplies of this shellfish should be okay this year but next year looks like being a problem.

Pipi Very, very good eating, though usually only in local markets. The rain has been a real problem, but now supply has improved with the more settled weather. Queen scallops These are a deep water type and can be sourced all year; however they are usually only available frozen. Razor clams Call them what you will, horse mussels, Chinese scallops whatever. They are bloody tasty and bloody good for sashimi. As Kiwi chefs we have spurned this delicacy but we shouldn’t; try them. Solander is the best bet for supply. Squid The main season for arrow squid starts about now and it’s so much better fresh. The broad squid (sometimes mistakenly called female squid; this is a different species and I think the better eating one), is available often, also fresh. We can always get the frozen calamari product. Tuatua (deep water) Yes, you can get them now and forever. It is important to swim these and all other sand gathered live bivalve shellfish on delivery. Tuatua (inshore) I feel these have the best flavour. These are getting harder to source as inshore pickers are having a hard time of it at present due to compliance costs and the water is bloody cold too. Yellow eyed mullet, sprats if you will, are now more available fresh and not just for bait. Try them – great eating and great buying.

CRUSTACEANS Bugs Your imported seafood supplier should have these and they can be a good economic option. Crabs Quota for the tasty deep water spider and king crab has been allocated for a couple of years now; but it appears no one is that keen to go out and get them. A very few are turning up here and there. Tis the season for your paddle crabs. A top crab will always be a live crab; however for convenience New Zealand crabmeat is available from Foodchain in Auckland. A cheaper, lesser quality, frozen imported crabmeat (usually from Vietnam) is also available. Crayfish The main season should have started again, but bugger all in the market and exorbitant at $60 plus per kg for the littlies. It will not likely go down either as supply is short and the export market strong despite the high NZ$. Koura (farmed organic) The season is away. The only legal producer is still New Zealand Clearwater Crayfish in Marlborough. New Zealand prawns are available from the hot water prawn farm at Wairakei near Taupo. They have a more delicate flavour than other prawns and are definitely worth a shot. Imported prawn Ideally the only good prawn is a fresh one.

grill magazine would like to acknowledge our sponsors and the following for their support in the gathering of the unbiased information used in the collation of this column. The Produce Company, Wilson Hellaby and Neat Meat.

Solander . 0800 555 548 . . Cross Quay PO Box 5041 . Por t Nelson 7040


fish TAKE




irst the myths need to be dispelled. Myth one is that New Zealand has a rich fishery of enormous size and almost boundless reserves. No. Myth two is that our seas are a magnificent resource from which our hospitality trade takes remarkable produce of infinite variety and quality. No. Myth three is that management of our fishery provides us with a sustainable marine environment from which we can continue to access terrific kai moana. No. Three myths, in effect, all of which contrive to undermine this country’s capacity to make the most of our fishery for the foreseeable future. Firstly, let us deal with those myths and then we can explore the reality of our marine resource. The scale and depth of our fishery, in spite of the vast spread, is not as

rich as its majesty suggests. Granted superficially the numbers are rather impressive, with the area of New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, at 4.4 million square kilometres, the world’s fourth largest. Over 15,000 kilometres of coastline and 130 different species listed as ‘commercial’ and regularly harvested gives an impression of enormous bounty. But it is not the size of the ground that is important in fishing terms; it is the volume of fish it contains, otherwise known as the biomass. Put simply, seafood depends on land for its life source. The world’s great fisheries are a consequence of large river systems that draw nutrient off continental land masses and deposit it into the sea. But New Zealand is not a continent, and its river systems are short when compared with those of Asia,

By Keith Stewart

Europe and the Americas. They are also relatively pure and free from the fertile nutrients on which enormous marine biomasses, such as that which fills the Gulf Stream, survive. Quite simply the South West Pacific area (of which New Zealand makes up the largest portion) is the smallest of all the world’s fishing zones as listed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.1 New Zealand’s total seafood harvest, including aquaculture resources such as mussel and salmon farming, is just over 600,000 tonnes each year, of which 287,000 tonnes is exported. While New Zealand’s fishery is relatively sophisticated, with both inshore and deep water fishing technology of an advanced nature, New Zealanders are not amongst the world’s largest consumers of fish. We rely on meat from grazing animals and milk

fish TAKE

for the majority of our protein intake. According to the fishing industry the most valuable species are primarily exported, 90% in terms of value. Of this farmed mussels make up the largest portion by volume, with high value fish such as crayfish, paua, salmon and snapper making up 23% of the annual total exports of $1.4 billion. The balance is species such as mussels ($202 million), hoki ($152 million) squid ($75 million), orange roughy ($51 million), jack mackerel ($46 million), and ling ($42 million). Our largest export market is Australia, with Hong Kong, China, the US and Japan making up the top five markets in order of value. The average price paid for New Zealand exported fish is $4.88 per kilo, similar to, but less than the NZ$5.10 per kilo the United Kingdom gets for its 479,000 tonnes of seafood exports. For domestic consumption, of which supply to the hospitality trade has become a major feature in recent years, fish species are primarily sourced from the small inshore fisheries. The fishery is divided amongst Northern, Central, and Southern regions with each region providing different texture and flavour characteristics. Now with the increased demand for variation from new ethnic cuisines, especially the cuisines of Asian immigrants to New Zealand, we are finally seeing an improvement in both the supply and range of species available to chefs. However the New Zealand tradition of eating very little that is of interest from the sea is still being sustained by a general lack of innovation and imagination in the presentation of our range of fish. After an early burst through Dutch influence in restaurants post World War II, eel has virtually disappeared from the New Zealand repertoire, while sardines, kina, tua tua, monkfish

and ling remain virtually unknown to urban diners. The culture of caution that we have towards kai moana remains as a barrier to a full realisation of this country’s culinary persona. For those ready to try a little innovation, or just for those who want to understand something of what is out there, the following are the major inshore species available from our three – Northern (N), Central (C) and Southern (S) – regions. Albacore Tuna (N) available during summer, is an earthier, softer textured tuna that bakes well. Blue Cod (S) was once important in the Cook Strait area, but these days commercially it is almost exclusively a Southern region species. This fish has an excellent clean, pure flavoured white flesh. Blue Moki (C) fillets are fine and succulent, with slightly blue cast. Bluenose (C,S) is a chunky fleshed, sturdy flavoured, multipurpose fish. Blue Warehou (S) is most commonly caught off the West Coast. It has a low oil content and is strong flavoured. Gemfish (N) is a delicate fish with high fat content and needs careful attention. Ghost shark (S) is firm fleshed, mild flavoured and great for further processing. Grey Mullet (N) has pale pink flesh that is superb, sweet and plump when cooked fresh. It takes on more substantive flavour the longer it is out of the water and the high oil content makes it an ideal fish for smoking. Once the most common fish fillet in Auckland fish shops. The traditional flat bottom


sail powered fishing boats (mullety) laid the foundation of New Zealand’s yacht racing traditions. Hapuku (Groper) (N,C,S) is found around the whole coastline at moderate depths. It is a meaty, white fleshed, substantial fish. Jack Mackerel (N,C,S) is another species that is found in all regions. Oily and dark-fleshed, this fish is full flavoured, meaty and well suited to grilling and is often available smoked. John Dory (N) is found in most regions, but it is most common in the North. The most delicate of our common white flesh species, it is well suited to all fine food preparation. Kahawai (N,C) is a full flavoured, red-fleshed fish found in Central and Northern regions. Popular smoked, but also superb grilled, pan-fried and baked. One of the most exciting fish available and much underutilised, this fish also works well when soused. Kingfish (N) is a meaty, flavoursome and firm textured fish that is wonderful baked or char-grilled and one of the features of Northern cuisine in its many forms. Lemon Sole (C,S) is found from the Cook Strait region south and is one of the country’s fish delicacies. New Zealand Sole (S) is a Southern gem, fine and subtle flavoured, with a low oil content. Porae (N), a plump, succulent, white fleshed reef fish is little known outside recreational fishing circles. Another much underestimated species. Red Cod (S) is dull and tasteless.


fish TAKE

Red Gurnard (N,C,S) is firm, white fleshed, succulent and quite delicate. It is found in all regions. Rig or School Shark (N,C,S) was for a long time sold as lemon fish and a central constituent of the fish’n’chips business. It has now been displaced by hoki as many of the sources have been overfished. Once found all around the coast. Salmon (C,S) is an important farmed species, most frequently in sea cages in Marlborough, Stewart Island and Banks Peninsula. Salmon are also farmed in some fresh water rivers and ponds in the South Island. Sand Flounder (C,S) is found in parts of the east coast of the Northern region, but most common through the Central and Southern areas. Delicate, firm and fine, it is a very worthy fish. Short Finned Eel (N,C,S) is available all year round in the North but hibernates during winter elsewhere. Eels are mostly caught in fresh water rivers and streams. High in omega 3 content, firm and delicately flavoured, eel is much underrated domestically. Snapper (N) is the most popular fish in Northern New Zealand. It is relatively mild flavoured, sweet and firm fleshed and the only species many diners know by name. Squid (C,S,N) has become a staple of hospitality service seafood in the past 20 years. It is a major fish resource, providing foundation for fast food as well as sophisticated dishes. Stargazer (C,S), also known as monkfish, is rich flavoured and firm textured; a truly luxurious fish that is a pleasure to experiment with.

Tarakihi (C,S,N) is found in all regions, though most common in Central. It is also the most important white fish source in the Central region. Firm fleshed, mellow flavoured and very popular everywhere. Trevally (N,C) is a meaty, soft fleshed, flavoursome fish that must be bled on catching to avoid a strong, almost bitter flavour. An oily fish that smokes well, it is also popular for sashimi as a counterpoint to snapper. Yellowbelly (N) is the Northern flounder and both delicate and fine. Other species, such as orange roughy, ling, hake, various dories and hoki are all deep water catches, taken in areas off the West Coast and the Chatham Islands. All are bland flavoured fish that are popular in export markets where industrial fish retailers are enamoured of their innocuous character. In the cases of two of the most important economically, orange roughy and hoki, the trawl methods used to take them and questions about the science behind their management has both species on international ‘red’ lists. As a consequence, they are subject to bans in Europe and North America, which also puts at risk New Zealand’s otherwise excellent record for management of the marine resource. However, while New Zealand is acknowledged for the lead it has taken in developing sustainable management, it is in front of a very backward group. Fishing nations are notoriously ruthless in their exploitation of marine resources. Even of New Zealand, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation makes the point that good management is impossible to maintain as there is no reasonable evaluation of the size of this country’s marine resource.

(Endnotes) 1 FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 457 Review of the State of world marine fishery resources. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome 2005.

WINE taste


Sparkling savvies get savvy W

hen Mount Riley released Savée a few years ago, it was quite an innovative piece of winemaking and marketing – a sparkling sauvignon blanc from the Marlborough heartland of Kiwi savvies. While that wine has always been an interesting, refreshingly crisp and lively cafe sipper, the style has never really caught on with other wine producers, or with a wider public, until the oversupply of sauvignon blanc that washed over the industry following the obese vintage of 2009. Now there are wine producers inventing sparkling sauvignon blanc as a way to move excess litres of sauvignon blanc wine – they shove some bubbles in and give us another option approach. Not that this is a bad thing, and the high acid, crisp and feisty characteristics of standard Marlborough sauvignon blanc lend themselves well to the sparkling wine model. Especially for the easy drinking, light and fruity style of café drinking bubbles that works so well by the glass. So we ventured into the sparkling savvie pool for a quick and critical round-up of what precisely is out there behind this new wave of fizzy wine, and what we found was, as follows: MOUNT RILEY SAVÉE NV Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Méthode Traditionelle Compound cork 5 Fragrant and fruity with a sweet, passionfruit character on the nose. Bubbly, fresh and easy with pleasant fruit flavours, no hint of yeast, and a clean finish that has some pleasantly plump pastry notes. Tasty and tidy.

LINDAUER SAUVIGNON BLANC NV Sauvignon Blanc Plastic 4 Zesty nose has a hint of tomato leaf and asparagus, but the palate is all fruit and brash, lively bubbles. Clean and simple with a crisp manner. Good thirst quencher with a hint of citrus at the end. SILENI CELLAR SELECTION SPARKLING SAUVIGNON BLANC NV Sauvignon Blanc Hawkes Bay Plastic 5 Light in colour with an aromatic, hay and herbs nose that is very appealing. Flavoursome and fizzy, with a crisp edge and nice dry finish. Just a dash of minerality adds to its clean, bright character. TOI TOI MARLBOROUGH SPARKLING SAUVIGNON BLANC NV Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Plastic 4 Pale with hearty bubbles. Smells aromatically stuffed with citrus and herbs in classic Marlborough fashion. Fresh, very lively mouthful with a tingly acidity and clean, fresh finish. Mouthwateringly zingy, clean and bright with sweet fruit by the metre. SAINT CLAIR VICAR’S CHOICE MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC BUBBLES 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Plastic 6

Light colour with boisterous bubbles. Aromatic to the point of pungency, with tropical fruits, summer herbs and a hint of holiday T-shirt. Excellent flavour intensity that is packed with passionfruit character and a brash, loud bubble. Finish is full of flavour, long, intense and bristling. Begs for a beach and a sack of pipis. KIM CRAWFORD FIRST PICK SPARKLING SAUVIGNON BLANC NV Sauvignon Blanc Cork 6 Light colour with a steady bead. Aromatic nose suggests tropics and gooseberries in its fruity fastness. Sweet fruit impact with nicely gentle fizz, even and sustained. Minerality in the mid palate pushes through to the finish. Nicely balanced, well flavoured, smartly made wine that has all the advantages of sparkling style with sauvignon blanc panache. SHOOTING STAR NV Sauvignon Blanc Méthode Traditionelle Cork 7 Light gold with a steady, even bead. Creamy guava and crème anglais nose like some exotic summer pudding. Taste hits with a thwack of wonderful tropical fruit that is arrestingly delicious. Palate has a touch of silk and brilliance from the sparkle, while the flavours go round and over and through the palate to linger on in a delicious haze of summer. Unlike any sparkling before it, this is a completely new wine style, buxom and ravishing. Drinkers will either love it to death, or hate its flamboyant manner. I love it.



Champagne Taittinger Understanding excellence – appreciating quality By Keith Stewart



From left: Clémence, Vitalie, Pierre-Emmanuel and Clovis Taittinger.

ROMANCE One of the fundamental themes of the romance that is Champagne is that the region and its wines are so deeply ingrained in French culture that it is impossible for modern people to imagine France without Champagne, or Champagne without France. So it is with the house of Taittinger, which boasts a story that is deeply entwined in the roots of France, indeed in the taproot that is language. The ancestor of Taittinger, Thibault IV, Comte de Champagne after which the luxury cuvée of the house is named, was not only credited with introducing the husbandry of roses to the Champagne region – thus initiating that other hallmark of French savoir vivre, perfume – along with the chardonnay

grape, he was also known as le chansonnier, the poet. Not just because he turned a goodly verse in his day, but because he was the champion of langue d’oui, the language of the north, which has become the French language. In Thibault’s time, langue d’oui, where the word for yes is oui, contested the position of France’s lingua franca with the language of the South, langue d’oc, which, as we know, langue d’oui won. Taittinger Champagne began life as Champagne Fourneaux in 1734, making it one of the oldest of producers. Apart from gaining the respect of fellow champenoise, and creating a reliable brand, Fourneaux’ greatest claim to fame was his blending prowess, which laid the foundations of the house of Veuve Clicquot where he helped the

widow Clicquot following the death of her husband. It was during the First World War that the idea of Champagne Taittinger was formed by a young Pierre-Charles Taittinger, a cavalry officer on the staff of General Joffre, who was stationed at the Château Marquetterie in the heart of Champagne country in the Côte des Blancs, close to the town of Epernay. Taittinger either fell in love with Marquetterie, or formed the basis of a great idea, depending on who is telling the story, and after the war he returned to buy, first the house of Foret-Fourneaux, then the remarkable estate of Château Marquetterie on which to base its wines, and finally Place Saint-Niçaise in Reims, site of the home of the Comtes de Champagne in the 13th century.



Making wine taste rich Champagne is full of bubbles, that much is obvious. But what purpose do the bubbles serve? The short answer is that they give champagne its rich texture, its taste of luxury. The mousse as the Champenoise call it, is only a successful component in the wine when it delivers a creamy texture, and essential richness that is much more than a simple fizz. Feeling the mousse is a critical function of all professional Champagne tasters, and a particular pleasure for Champagne fans.

So Taittinger was formed, and it quickly became one of the grand marques of Champagne with an international reputation for finesse based on the importance of chardonnay and the wines of the Côte des Blancs that were sourced from Marquetterie and other newly acquired vineyards of the Taittinger estate. Throughout Taittinger’s history, these vineyards have been the engine driving the quality of the company’s best wines. COMMERCIAL NOUS Champagne is the most industrial of all the world’s fine wines, made in large quantities and blended to a standard of consistent reliability using the most precise processes. Since its early days at the beginning of the 19th century it was the focus of considerable technological activity in refining processes of viticulture, crushing, winemaking and clarification that for the most part have

become part of the tradition that is now known as the method champenoise. Modern champagne is an extension of that method, utilising new technologies and refinement of both its sense of style and the nature of its market. Taittinger was at the forefront of this extension, indeed it could be reasonably argued that Taittinger initiated the wine style that the world now recognises as Champagne. Not just the processes by which Champagne is made, but the style of the wine and the way it is marketed. Pierre-Charles Taittinger probably had the vision of what he wanted Champagne to be, especially Champagne Taittinger, when he bought Côte des Blancs vineyards as the basis for his blend, and then invested in the history of Thibault IV. He recognised the cultural imperative that Champagne’s history represented in its largest market, France, and then he set about delivering a style of wine that was not the full flavoured, sweetened

Champagnes of history that were almost purely drinks of celebration. Instead he looked for a drier, more sophisticated style that would sit comfortably throughout the great daily French occasion, the midday meal. In doing this Taittinger seconded the nose and considerable taste skills of the great Fernand Point, whose restautrant, La Pyramid was considered the greatest in France. Point was not only the inspiration for the post-war generation of culinary artistry that acclaimed France as the world’s home of haute cuisine, he understood the essential contribution made by finesse. Together he and Claude Taittinger, Pierre-Charles’ second son, evolved the style that is now considered the Taittinger standard; a refined, elegant wine that has excellent mousse texture (see caption on pic above), deep, fine flavour that is persistent and a dry, lingering finish. In effect, the ultimate all-round table wine for fine dining.

THE TASTING Taittinger – A modern champagne range Keith Stewart tasted the entire range of Champagne Taittinger currently available in New Zealand, as a sequence of samples from the ‘bottom’ of the range, the standard Taittinger non-vintage, to the top, Taittinger Comte de Champagne. TAITTINGER BRUT Fresh smelling wine with elegance and a nice harmony between firm fruit characters and mellow yeast. Length and quality of finish were perfectly enhanced by the rich mid-palate mousse. Very, very classy non-vintage that is way above what most houses have been offering recently. TAITTINGER PRESTIGE ROSÉ Fragrant and creamy, with a buoyant character right through. Uncharacteristically chunky in the mid-palate, but finishes fine and lengthy. Certainly packs a flavour punch. TAITTINGER PRELUDE GRANDS CRUS Again the fine balance between yeast richness, fruit intensity and fragrant bouquet lifts this well above the ordinary. Has terrific momentum for such an elegant wine, with a long but subtle finish. Silky textural points, good depth and excellent fruit intensity with a mesh of yeast details.

Taittinger also revised the way Champagne was marketed, with the same sort of revolutionary zeal that fired Madame Clicquot to send her salesmen off to Imperial Russia 150 years earlier during a trade blockade. Taittinger looked to the more sophisticated modern practice of marketing, rather than the old-fashioned word-ofmouth approach that was the accepted Champagne way. For the first time in the region’s history this meant placing full page, colour advertisements in leading magazines. The art of media brand building had arrived in Reims. The developments proved highly successful and Taittinger was soon established as one of the leading maisons of Champagne, with an international market. The wine also laid the foundations for Taittinger to become one of the world’s great luxury companies, owning a string of spectacular hotel properties, the Hermes luxury

goods company and other prestige brands. The luxury goods empire has since become the property of an American investment company, but under Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, Claude’s son, the family has remained in control of the Champagne house they built, continuing the tradition of elegance and depth, and continuing to innovate. This includes the development of a Grand Cru wine from selected grand cru vineyards, and the remarkable Folies de la Marquetterie, a wine against all accepted Champenoise practice – it is a single vineyard wine, unblended, nonindustrial, and a remarkable insight into what inspired Pierre-Charles Taittinger to create his own Champagne. • For the remarkable history of House Taittinger and an interview with Clovis Taittinger, fourth generation Champagne producer, go to

TAITTINGER MILLESIMÉ 2004 BRUT Big and bountiful, quite out of character with the rest of the range in its almost assertive fruit character. Feels weighty and substantial, with a creamy mousse and deep fruit notes throughout. Finish suddenly reveals some fine details of yeast and more subtle fruit. Seems in need of another 10 years before it takes on delicacy. TAITTINGER FOLIES de la MARQUETTERIE BRUT Simply beautiful wine, high toned, fragrant and consummately elegant, with a mess of delicious detail and fine harmonies of fruit, yeast and rich/dry textures. Begins with grace and ends very long and subtle, but at heart has enough momentum and careful intensity to be never less than enchanting. TAITTINGER COMTES de CHAMPAGNE ROSÉ 2004 Ravishing wine from first sniff to last trailing flavour. No lightweight but a firmly structured, perfectly crafted wine of immense character and stature, it has excellent fruit concentration, a perfectly pitched, silky textured mousse and dry, trailing finish that is stained with a memory of sweet, ripe fruit and fine pastry. TAITTINGER COMTES de CHAMPAGNE BLANC DES BLANCS 1999 Looks and smells brilliant, this is firm flavoured, precisely balanced wine that glitters in the eye and on the tongue. Depth and length are both impressive, as is the exquisite detail that has built around these. Quite simply one of the great champagnes.


COGNAC taste

What’s behind the glamour and allure of cognac? A

triumph of geography, cognac has long had the reputation of being the finest of all spirits, an attitude that the French have worked assiduously to maintain. In part the glamour of cognac, especially in British eyes, was its long-standing illicit nature – in many ways it was the cocaine of the British aristocracy during frequent years of war with the French in the 17th century, when ‘Fine Brandy’ from France was illegal and unavailable, except for that provided by smugglers. With the Cognac region’s close proximity to the Channel coast of England, it was the perfect high value product for smugglers who could easily make the short crossing to France and back over the period of a single night. For the carriageset, cognac had the wonderfully wicked reputation of not only being illicit, but allowed the comfortable middle class a sense of danger and inclusion in the noble sport of beating the government out of excise taxes. Cognac was not only dangerous, it was very fine – as fine as any spirit of the time. This was in part due to the particular

character of the Charentais vineyards where it was grown, and in part because the wealthy businessmen of the twin towns of Cognac and Jarnac had the wherewithal to double distil their raw wine into very fine, delicate flavoured brandies. The poor nature of Charente vineyards yielded rather insipid white wine compared with the glorious vintages made by their southern neighbours in Bordeaux. While no drinker in their right mind would have a glass of Charente, rather than a glass of Bordeaux, the very thinness of Charente wine made it the perfect base for distilling, as the lighter the base wine, the finer the spirit. This is as true of whisky as it is of brandy. Once established as a source of terrific brandies, cognac has subsequently been subjected to intensive research into the geography of brandy creation, which has resulted in a classification of the essential characters of brandies from particular areas, which are defined by the amount of chalk in the soil. The chalkiest is called Grande Champagne, which produces the

longest living, slowest maturing but most floral, fragrant and delicate of all cognacs. Next is Petite Champagne, which is a slightly less fine version of Grande Champagne. Then there’s a blend of the two – including no less than 50 percent Grande Champagne – labelled Fine Champagne. The next classification is the Borderies, the brandies which age more quickly, and are in character half way between the fine, fragrant cognacs of Champagne, and the hearty, fruity brandies of the Bois (forest) which is divided up into Fins Bois, Bons Bois and Bois Communs, the last being the least typical of Cognac’s brandy growing areas. When considering cognac, it is always finesse and detail that defines quality, which is inevitably a result of long ageing. This is reflected in the significantly higher prices paid for eau-de-vie from growers-distillers in the Champagne areas than from Bois growers. The simple truth is that cognac is brandy grown in chalk. Many of the growers do their own distilling, selling finished young eau-de-vie to major companies. These do some of their own distilling, but primarily the job of the great cognac houses is to age and blend brandies to develop house styles. These are the cognacs that give brands their character, as can be seen in the following tasting notes.

COGNAC TASTES Delamain XO Pale & Dry Grande Champagne Double pot distilled Cognac – France 10 Stunning nose is delicate and complex, with very fine floral notes, touches of butterscotch and a mineral heart. Superb intensity and detail throughout the very fine, long, stylish palate with a silky texture and wonderful trailing subtleties. The epitome of cognac style. Martell Cordon Bleu Double pot distilled Cognac – France 10 Dark with lashings of fruit and oak that are densely complex, generous, warm. Voluptuous palate is fine, toffee-ish, big and lush with juicy notes, hints of cocoa powder and impeccable finesse. A Sophia Loren beauty – a cognac on heat. HENNESSY XO Double pot distilled Cognac – France 9 Big, sweet banana infused nose with lots of oak influence and well detailed vigour. Very complex and mellow, with a matching palate that has weight, density and momentum without losing any finesse. Fine spirit is very long, persistently oaky. Rémy Martin XO Fine Champagne Double pot distilled Cognac – France 9 Fine, fragrant nose with some fruit hints and lovely traces of orange blossom. Palate is sweet with oak and nicely fluid through to a lingering

finish that is fine and light, with a strange whiff of cocoa powder. Frapin XO Grande Champagne Double pot distilled Cognac – France 8 Big, powdery nose has hints of Victorian roses and some funky, fruitlike characters. It doesn’t smell like Grande Champagne, but has more gentle characters on the palate, where it is very round, subtle and soft with an extremely long finish that is unusual in its bright acidity. Otard XO Gold Double pot distilled Cognac – France 8 Fat and fine on the nose with a distinct Jersey caramel character, with little wavelets of fruit. Palate has a wash of warm earth through it, and plenty of banana-like flavours, with a mellow, slightly chunky finish. A nice drink. Hennessy VSOP Double pot distilled Cognac – France 8 Dark coloured, full, ripe nose has floral and fruit characters, high toned and vigorous. Palate is equally vigorous, flavoursome yet fine, with floral edges and an exuberant finish. Rémy Martin VSOP Fine Champagne Double pot distilled Cognac – France 8 Mild, fine nose with a strong fruit influence and some florals. Slightly thick in character, giving it a weight to match its finesse. Palate is fine and almost gentle. A graceful, relatively simple cognac that is adorable drinking.

FRENCH LETTERS Those crazy acronyms on bottles of cognac have specific meanings. Well, sometimes they do. These are as follows: VS Very Special, which in the inimitable French tradition of overstating everything, means The Worst. Must be at least 30 months old according to French law, and 36 months old for New Zealand regulations. VSOP If you are frightfully British, this means Very Superior Old Pale, although fashion has deemed that pale is no longer a sign of quality, and more caramel is now added to appeal to Asian and American conceits. Minimum age of youngest brandies in the blend must be 54 months. VO Very Old (in truth, not very, actually under five). Required to be 54 months old. RÉSERVE Not seen often, must be a minimum of 54 months old. XO Extra Old, and it usually is. By law these cognacs must be at least six and a half years old, the oldest age definition under French AOC regulations, but in reality most XO cognacs are significantly older than this. NAPOLÉON is dead. The name means nothing on an ordinary brandy bottle, but it must be six and a half years old if it is cognac. VIELLLE, VIEUX or other French words meaning old, must signify cognacs that are at least six and a half years old.




The Specialist Winegrowers of New Zealand Understanding excellence – Recognising quality The dedication of time, care and life-long passion to their craft is the distinguishing characteristic of ‘The Specialist Winegrowers of New Zealand’. They are a select group of ultra premium artisan winemakers who have each chosen to specialise in single wine varietals or styles. Between them the group produces Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Blends, Methode Traditionelle, Syrah, Pinot Noir & Sauvignon Blanc.

Cabernet Blends



Mike Spratt, co-founder of Destiny Bay, Waiheke Island.

Chris Canning, chief winemaker at The Hay Paddock, Waiheke Island.

Nick Nobilo, winemaker at Vinoptima, Gisborne.

Methode Traditionelle

Sauvignon Blanc

Pinot Noir

Daniel Le Brun, champagne-maker

Sarah Inkersell, winemaker at

Steve Farquharson, co-owner of

at No1 Family Estate, Marlborough. Fairbourne Estate, Marlborough. Wooing Tree Vineyard, Central Otago. You can contact The Specialist Winegrowers of New Zealand at 021 527 380 (Brett Taylor) or These sought-after wines are highly regarded and will add interest and standing to the most discerning restaurant’s wine list.


Excellent, yes. The real thing, no Sam Kim on New Zealand méthode traditionelle


re we there yet? Are New Zealand méthode traditionelles as good as Champagnes? As we celebrate success of our world-class sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and Bordeaux-style reds, it is perhaps naïve to think that

Two fine expressions of New Zealand méthode traditionelle Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionelle NV Source: Bendigo, Central Otago Varieties: pinot noir; chardonnay Winemaker Rudi Bauer notes: focused, fresh and crisp with a beautiful balance and length. Colour: Pale yellow. Bouquet: Royal gala apple with a hint of lime, brioche. Palate: Flirtatious, moreish, enhanced by an invigorating cool, creamy acidity No 1 Family Estate No 1 Rosé 2008 Source: Marlborough Varieties: pinot noir Winemaker Daniel Le Brun notes: this exceptional rosé is made from 100% pinot noir. Delicate salmon-pink with a mass of tiny bubbles, the wine offers a seamless balance of subtle cherry and almond hints combined with a dry acidity. Dry, yet fresh and elegant, this wine leaves a lasting impression of opulence and splendour.

our bubblies are as good as the ‘real thing’. There an increasing number of excellent méthode traditionelles made in New Zealand. We use the same grape varieties (not so much pinot meunier though) and same fermentation and maturation techniques, yet you can always pick a Champagne from New Zealand examples. In fact, no other sparkling wines can match the style and quality of Champagne, even the ones made by famous Champagne houses in California and the Yarra Valley. However, it is most exciting to see the progress of New Zealand bubblies over the past couple of decades. In the early days, wines showed either too many fruit characters or oxidised notes without the all-important elegance. Now we are achieving better balance, fineness and length. Still, there are many méthode traditionelles showing overt fruitiness, excessive acidity and/or dullness. If a producer is going to the trouble of fermenting the wine in bottle and ageing on lees then the wine should display some yeast autolysis notes, a flowing mouthfeel backed by well integrated crisp acidity, leading to a fine, lingering finish. Yes, brands are critical in the sparkling wine category, as best demonstrated by the Grande Marques Champagnes. But these celebrated Champagnes do


deliver on quality as well. There are indeed some lovely examples to grace your wine lists. From the exquisite Blanc de Blancs, such as Cuvée No. 1 NV (RRP$35) and Deutz Blanc de Blancs NV ($43), to beautifully harmonised and complex Nautilus Marlborough Cuvée NV ($40) and Cloudy Bay Pelorus NV ($35), to the more robust and weighty style of Hunter’s Miru Miru NV ($27), Cloudy Bay Pelorus Vintage 2005 ($53) and Quartz Reef 2006 ($40). And poor old rosé. I am guilty, along with most consumers, of not ordering this scintillating drink often enough, even though I love it whenever I try a good one. One of my favourites is No. 1 Rosé NV ($44), which exhibits a beautiful pale salmon colour with strawberry and floral aromas followed by a seamless palate. Our méthode traditionelles will never be Champagne. We have a different climate and vastly different soils – we don’t have Champagne’s thick layer of 100 million-year-old chalk sub-soil. But I look forward to the day when our wines are spoken about with the same reverence and having the demand similar to that of Champagne. We’ll get there with grapes from better sites, older blending materials, better blending knowledge and the consumer backing.




Shades of white


ith the days lengthening and the temperatures rising, so my choice of beer is changing. As we head into summer I find myself moving away from the darker, maltier beers which satisfied me during the colder months, in favour of paler, racier, more refreshing styles. Usually that means a drier,

hoppier brew like a Pilsener lager or a pale ale, but there’s another family of beers which doesn’t rely on the hop to provide its ability to quench the thirst. I’m referring, of course, to wheat beers. In his latest column for Air New Zealand’s inflight magazine writer Gordon McLauchlan suggests wheat beers have a reputation for blandness. I disagree; in my opinion wheat – both in its malted and raw forms – is often responsible for some notably distinctive aromas and flavours in beers. Depending on the strain of yeast selected and the temperature profile employed during fermentation, wheat can produce a variety of aromas and flavours ranging from clove, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon, to apple, banana, plum and even bubblegum! And it doesn’t end there; wheat can also create a quenching tartness to balance the beer’s natural malt sweetness, in much the same way tannins and acidity balance the sweetness of the grape in wines. Modern golden wheat lagers provide the gentlest introduction to the world of wheat beers. Pioneered by American brewers, they exhibit the crispness but not the fruity, spicy notes of other wheat beer styles. Typically low in hops, they are ideal for those looking for refreshment without the bitterness found in other lager styles. A spritzy, unfiltered

example is brewed by Californian brewer Jim Matranga at the Golden Bear brewpub in Mapua near Nelson. Served fresh off the tap, it is his biggest selling beer. However, for the most traditional and characterful wheat beer styles you have to look to Europe; in particular the ‘white beers’ of Belgium and Germany. A proportion of up to 50 percent raw wheat in the mash combined with malted barley, crushed coriander seed and the bitter peel of Curaçao oranges gives Belgian white beer – witbier in Flemish, or bière blanche in French – its unique character. Typically pouring a full yellow-white colour with a fluffy white head, witbier is tangy and sharply refreshing, with perfume-y notes of orange, honey, apple and even Muscat. Although Belgium’s Hoegaarden is by far the most well-known example, Christchurch brewer Ralph Bungard has made a name for himself with a variation of the witbier style which favours lemon over orange peel. His zesty, spicy (gingery?) Three Boys Wheat is something of a Kiwi classic and a delightful summer quaffer. With a law forbidding the use of spices or other flavourings in beer, Germany’s numerous weissbier (white beer) brewers achieve distinctive banana, clove and bubblegum flavours by using special yeast strains


in conjunction with a mash containing a high proportion of malted wheat (sometimes up to 80 percent). In Germany, the term ‘kristalweizen’ identifies a mild, filtered, golden wheat beer, while ‘hefeweizen’ denotes a spicier, fullerflavoured beer that is served hazy, with the yeast mixed in. Deeper hued examples are often prefixed by the term ‘dunkel’ (dark). The selection of German weissbiers available here seems to have grown recently, with examples from Hofbrau and Erdinger, sometimes served on tap, supplementing the established Schneider and Schofferhofer ranges. New Zealand’s first example of the German hefeweizen (cloudy) style was Emerson’s Weissbier from Dunedin, but other locally brewed versions like Tuatara Hefe, from Waikanae, and The Hef, from Croucher of Rotorua have since arrived. All three exhibit the style’s classic combination of banana, bubblegum and spice and have rated consistently well in local beer competitions. As they don’t have to be transported half way around the world, the Kiwi beers tend to be fresher than their German counterparts. That’s a big advantage with wheat beers. Germany’s most robust wheat beer style is called ‘weizenbock’ (wheat bock). When christening these beers Bavarian brewers seem

to have agreed a convention; the names end in the suffix ‘us’. Hence Erdinger’s weizenbock is called Pikantus and Schneider’s Aventinus. Here in Kiwiland Emerson’s also produces a delightful example of the style each winter. Sadly the Dunedin brewery doesn’t adhere to the German convention; its beer is simply named Emerson’s Weizenbock! Originally developed as Christmas brews, weizenbocks combine chocolate, caramel and dried fruit flavours alongside the familiar clove, bubblegum and banana notes. Weighing in at around eight percent, they’re rich, dark, silky and warming and best enjoyed on a winter’s evening, perhaps with a meal of spiced roast pork, or as a contemplative beer to sip slowly with a book at bedtime. But perhaps not an inflight magazine. In his latest column Gordon McLauchlan writes, “A beer made from 100 percent wheat malt is, to me, a bit vapid, lacking in body, but never before have I drunk a beer which is a combination of wheat and barley malt…” Given the fact that almost all wheat beers include a proportion of barley malt, I’m surprised. And as for “a bit vapid” and “lacking in body”, Gordon’s obviously never sampled a weizenbock! Mental note: I must ask the folks at Emerson’s to send him a bottle. Cheers!


PRIDE – and PREJUDICE We have a lot to be proud of about our hospitality industry A nation of travellers, we return home and demand the level of service here that we received in countries where service is a long-term profession, and staff rely on tips as the bulk of their wages. It is all credit to our industry that we generally meet those high expectations. The hospitality industry has blossomed here. Not so long ago, coffee in many places was a dull, dripfiltered affair, and service could often be described in the same way. Now, travel anywhere in New Zealand and you will find great coffee, crafted teas, innovative food, and excellent service. Hospitality is a sector that is a rite of passage for many Kiwis. Probably a large proportion of the people you know – business leaders, teachers, doctors, academics – have done their time, and learned valuable skills, working in hospitality. These skills – working with people, teamwork, sales and problem solving – are the foundation skills for any successful career. Now for many, hospitality is much more than just a job; it is a career and a business. Pride in our sector, an influential contributor to the economy and a viable career opportunity, have overtaken old prejudices. Promoting hospitality as a profession to school students, employers and workers, is a key part of HSI’s work. So too is the supply of innovative and relevant products to support training in the workplace. Our Strategic Training Plan incorporates the Government’s key education priorities, including a stronger focus on higher level learning and improved literacy, numeracy, and language skills for priority groups – young people, Mâori, and Pasifika. To have the right people with the right skills in the future, we need to plan. Research from BERL predicts that 24,400 new people need to enter hospitality over the next four years. In terms of training, we believe we can, with industry partnership, meet that demand and ensure our Kiwi hospitality remains second-to-none.






n every room where haute cuisine is being discussed there is an elephant in the corner. It is a French elephant, and because of the deference to all things French by our culinary élite, it is a pachyderm that is politely ignored when key issues of the day are considered. Issues like organics, environmental damage and animal welfare. The elephant is foie gras, a luxury form of goose or duck liver, and its production remains the most extreme form of animal cruelty practised in the Western world. Yes, I know that foie gras is incredibly delicious, wonderfully silky and quite simply one of the great luxuries of world cuisine. But at what cost do we enjoy it, or even allow its production to continue, when the geese and ducks involved are subjected to extreme abuse in the name of flavour? Put simply, the cost is one of the very reasons haute cuisine claims such high status in our society – civilisation. We considered fine dining to be one of the arts of all advanced civilisations, whether Chinese, Indian, Japanese or European. Indeed, New World nations such as ours make much of their

sophistication by shows of culinary prowess. Watch us pose and preen our food for the thousands coming to the Rugby World Cup; watch us proudly exclaim our wines, our chefs, our top restaurants. Yet if we accept the barbaric treatment of geese in the making of foie gras, we also accept that we are less civilised than we claim to be. Animal welfare has long been one of the standards by which civilised behaviour is measured, and most advanced nations now take care to ensure animals’ welfare is at least considered even in our most extreme, industrial food production. So to allow animal abuse to continue in the name of haute cuisine is not just barbaric, nor only obscene, it is anathema to the very notion of haute cuisine being a ‘high art’, or even a respected craft. For those who are unsure of what foie gras production requires, the gory details are as follows: WARNING, this may upset the sensitive and could make vegans ever crazier than they already are.

A column for meat eaters who understand happy animals taste better.

While geese no longer have their feet nailed to a board so they cannot escape the gavage, the process of force feeding that enriches their livers, it is not a happy process, and remains one of the few involving eating that domestic animals refuse to volunteer for. Young birds are introduced to gavage at 12 weeks of age when they are force fed by a pipe down their throats which takes in the required amount of corn mash that is packed into their crops where it is processed by the birds’ metabolism. During gavage birds are kept in confined spaces, often in the dark, and the force-feeding process is their only supply of nourishment. They neither graze nor browse as is natural for these birds. Ultimately the birds’ livers are almost eight times larger than normal, and are in a state of cell deconstruction known as ‘steatosis’. In other words they have the livers of alcoholic humans, and are about as healthy. It is time to stop eating and serving this product of such disgusting animal abuse. And maybe time to revise our love of all things gastronomically French.

FARmers’ markets


Know your sauces and your sources By Jennie Crum Bob and Jennie Crum (right) are founding members of the Marlborough Farmers’ Market and Farmers’ Markets NZ.


our growers are now closer to you than you think. With the growing network of farmers' markets in New Zealand there is every reason to feature local produce on your seasonal menus to reflect the providence of our great land. I like to think of our mixed fruit orchard as an island in a sea of grapes. With cold winters and dry hot summers, Marlborough’s unique climate saw it produce a delicious patchwork of fruit and vegetables specialising in crops like sweet cherries and pungent garlic before the rise of the wine industry led to grapes transforming the valley into what is now largely a monoculture. Starting a farmers’ market in Blenheim in 2001 we hoped that by providing a local food market where the growers are also the sellers and there’s no middle man, growers would be able to make a living from a more diverse range of crops. I’d seen farmers’ markets in the US and liked the idea of encouraging consumers to support local businesses, keeping money circulating in the local community and reduc-

ing food miles. With growers standing behind their stalls we could finally ask questions about varieties of plums and pluots seen in supermarkets and labelled only “red” or “black plums”. In Santa Barbara uniformed chefs could be seen walking the rows of stalls pulling specially made carts to hold crates of their fresh purchases, great advertisements for their restaurant’s local cuisine! Having a nearby farmers’ market means we can sell our organically grown plums, blueberries, table grapes and feijoas at their tree-ripened best, get feedback from customers about the varieties they want and we’re no longer at the mercy of supermarkets and large exporters. There has been a noticeable growth in recent years in regional food movements – food patriotism if you will – with the term ‘locavore’ entering our vocabulary. These same locavores that come to our market in the morning looking for local specialties such as hazelnuts, pinenuts and lime-infused

olive oil want to see them as ingredients in meals they’re presented with when dining out in the evening. Chefs from top local restaurants are regular customers at our farmers’ market and in the best case scenario relationships can be formed where chefs introduce growers to ideas for new crops that they want to serve and that leads to a new line of food at the market. Several years ago cooking methods for globe artichokes surely took a lot of explaining to customers until a restaurant put them on their menu! During the winter months a soup competition was held at our farmers’ market. Each week different chefs would showcase both their talents and the local produce. The grower of Jerusalem artichokes and celeriac found his stock finally moving a lot faster when they were the star of that week’s hot soup. The eventual winner was Dave Anderson from the Bec Spa and Lodge who presented very tasty Marlborough mussel seafood chowder. I’ve become aware of the fine balance between the

needs of the two parties when growers and chefs interact. Growers need to be aware that restaurants need a predictable quality and consistent supply of product when they make a seasonal change to their menu and they need to keep costs down. The grower on the other hand doesn’t have time to make a whole lot of little deliveries and can get more money selling directly to the public. When negotiating a supply agreement, chefs and growers should look for a mutually beneficial outcome. Including the growers' brand on the menu – eg 'Heavenscent Asparagus with Nutt Ranch Hazelnut Dressing' – can compensate the grower for receiving only the wholesale price for the produce. Farmers' Markets NZ Inc runs a certification programme. A certified authentic farmers' market must have a minimum of 80% certified stall holders; ie they are the grower/producer, the producer is the seller, and the food is produced locally. That is the point of difference and badge of quality.

Jennie Crum, Farmers' Markets NZ, is from Windsong Orchard, Renwick.

To find a Farmers' Market near you go to


danny’s diary

To age or not to age? The usual question Once again Danny Schuster gets all the best jobs. This issue he gets to drink some of the world’s best aged red wines matched with dishes from one of LA’s finest restaurants.


he decision to age fine red wines of modern vintages from either the New or Old World regions, poses an increasingly difficult challenge for collectors and lovers of wine the world over. There is no doubt that recent winemaking technology, cellar regimes and even wine drinkers’ appreciation of full bodied red wines has changed considerably in the past quarter of a century. Techniques such as delayed harvests, severe yield reductions, the use of saignee in vats and concentrators on must and wines, as well as preand post-macerations of skins, and micro-oxidation of young wines, all aim at speeding up the process of wine’s evolution and maturation so that many red wines drink well early in their life. The recent trend in many key markets of Europe, the US and Asia favours the more opulent, richly flavoured wines of lower acidity and higher alcohol content. Made from super-ripe grapes, these wines are often dominated by generous fruit flavours, robust style and ample but soft textured tannins, a style that makes these wines hard to resist in their youth, (some three to five years after vintage). A review of the 95+ point wines from notable wine critics and publications around the world since the 1980s supports the notion that these modern version reds are the best. The question that remains is will they age into great bottles if compared to

the more traditional vintages of the past that in their youth displayed greater restraint of fruit opulence, greater acidity and a firm backbone of grained tannins, which gave them longevity and complexity with cellar time? In an effort to provide some answers to the question of longevity of modern wines a special wine dinner was held at Valentinos Restaurant in Los Angeles in late September 2010. Organiser Mike Miller, of Golden State Wine Co, invited a group of experienced wine collectors, wine merchants, restaurateurs and wine journalists to taste a group of notable wines, accompanied by fine food. The menu was designed and presented by Valentinos chef Nico Chessa; each course made to bring out the best of each wine to achieve a great culinary experience at one of the finest of LA’s eateries. The wines were selected and presented by the writer (Danny Schuster) in pairs from each Estate, a current and well aged vintage, with the older wine usually served from a magnum. Members of the Jonathan, LA City, Regency and Bel Air Country Club provided expert and, at times, lively comments on the wines, with Jo Tran adding the voice of retail caution from Vendôme Fine Wine stores, well supported by the food and wine editors from the LA Times and Spectator and Wine magazines. Judging by the enthusiastic response, the food was a great success with the focus on Danny Schuster is one of the great pioneers of the New Zealand wine industry.

danny’s diary

O’Shaughnessy Mt Veeder Cabernet (2007 and 2003), Napa Valley Up and coming brand amongst Napa reds.

A great example of Montalcino in a modern, textural style. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Napa Valley (Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 SLV and 1989 SLV/Fay)  This estate produces a very complex and superbly aged wine. Tenuta dell Ornellaia, Bolgheri, Tuscany (2006 and 1986) An intriguing and stunning pair of wines in two opposing styles.

Stonyridge Larose (2008 and 1994), Waiheke Island, New Zealand One of the finest proponents of the Bordeaux blend in New Zealand.

Moraga Vineyard, BelAir, LA (Moraga Red 2006 and 1996) Another great pair of wines in superb condition and perhaps most alike in style. Complex and well defined.

Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany (2006 and 1999)

Vega Sicilia ‘Valbuena’, Ribera del Duero (2005 and 1995)

A complex pair of wines made in the more traditional style. Both perfectly balanced. Tenuta dell Ornellaia ‘Masseto’, Bolgheri, Tuscany (2005 and 1993) A fitting finale to a great evening. Modern in style, Masseto is a pure expression of the generosity and opulence of fully ripened merlot. And as a bonus, one of the guests produced a pair of aged wines from the Opus 1 Estate in the Napa Valley (1993 and 1994). Reflecting on the wines tasted, there is no doubt that the fine reds made in a modern style should age well despite obvious appeal in their youth. In most cases their evolutionary time in the bottle may be shorter than for vintages long past, yet they should do well over a 10-12 year span

and produce fine bottles. It may also be said that there will be modern wines of recent vintages that will benefit from ageing beyond their first 15 years, especially if they are purchased from trade or producers early, are bottled in magnums and most importantly are balanced and kept under optimum cellar conditions. Last but not least, such well aged bottles will always be best enjoyed with friends and alongside fine food. As far as bottles aged for too long are concerned, there always is a wine auction, where the potential buyer will find out why you sold the bottle in the first place. Courage, patience and persistence are required by collectors of all things, especially wine. Good luck. FOR THE FULL TASTING NOTES AND THE FINE FOOD MATCHES, GO TO

ARNOLD PRODUCTS: 20 YEARS ON AND STILL KIWI AND STILL SERVICING KIWI FOOD SERVICE Proudly New Zealand owned and boasting a 20-year history of growth from a small West-Coast based operation to a nationwide supplier of cleaning and sanitation solutions to the hospitality and food service industry throughout New Zealand, Arnold Products is able to meet the needs of small businesses and larger companies alike. From cleaning chemicals and equipment, to sanitary disposal bins, rodent and insect control systems, paper products, odour control solutions, disposable goods, laundry products and detergents amongst many others, Arnold Products can cater for all the hygiene requirements of your business. In order to operate as a one-stop-shop, Arnold Products has forged functional

relationships with several other key suppliers in order to be able to pride as comprehensive a range of products as possible. Arnold Products consistently researches the changing and developing needs of the industry as a growing social awareness of environmental issues drives a desire for recognition and accreditation in this field. Arnold Products uses biodegradable ingredients and is constantly making use of new materials and information to incorporate ingredients that maximise activity and minimise environmental impact. Despite considerable growth since 1990, Arnold Products has maintained the simple management structure it has always had; keeping it simple, keeping it clean.

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fresh, local, seasonal produce presented with originality and flair second to none. As for the wines, the evening got off to a great start with ’08 Chablis 1er Cru, a focused and youthful white with a typical mineral edge in flavour and nervous acidity in a dry finish. There followed reds in pairs:



dirty deeds done dirt cheap



By Sarah Habershon


rease is an unpleasant fact of life in the hospitality trade; from the high-end to the dankest deep-fry operation. In so many shapes and forms, fats, oils and greases (FOG) feature throughout the kitchen system, from the finest infused top-shelf oils to the nastiest of tallow vats that have seen a few too many dogfish fillets. At the end of the day, it’s all the same stuff and what isn’t being scrubbed off the walls behind the dish-pit at the end of the night is, in large part, heading down the drain in the direction of the grease trap. The remainder goes almost literally up in smoke. The cooking process releases grease into the air to be sucked up by the extractor and plastered all over the interior of the duct system, rather like

cholesterol in an artery. The accumulated layers of oily scum pose a fire hazard and over time develop a distinctively malodorous pungency. Grease traps have been used since the Victorian era to remove fats from kitchen drains. It was surely discovered the hard way that fats, (which are among the more stable of organic compounds and therefore not easily decomposed by bacteria), have a nasty habit of congealing in the sewer lines and causing unwanted back-ups or even refluxes of waste material. These can be extremely expensive and unimaginably unpleasant to clean up. So it is an irrefutable certainty that prevention is better than cure, and a stitch in time

FCCL – FLEXIBLE, RELIABLE, COST EFFECTIVE AND ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL TO YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY. Filter Cleaning Contractors Ltd (FCCL) believe they provide the best grease filter and extraction system cleaning services in Auckland. So when it comes to the greasier tasks in your kitchen, Filter Cleaning Contractors Ltd cover all your bases. Through an established and ongoing quality management programme with regular servicing of grease filters, hoods, flues and fans you can ensure a healthy safe environment for your staff and patrons and significantly reduce the risk of fire. And these days it is a legal requirement to have an annual inspection (and cleaning if necessary) of these systems in order to obtain a building warrant of fitness under the Building Act. Most insurance companies now also require regular programmed cleaning schedules in place.

FCCL’s mobile services include: • Same day filter cleaning or exchange • Extractor hood, flue and fan motor cleaning • Ceiling and wall cleaning • Fryer cleaning and a mobile oil filtering service to increase the life of your oil • Cooking oil sales (canola, soybean, rice bran and cottonseed) • Free waste oil removal All FCCL’s services comply with local by-laws for waste collection and disposal. FCCL operate purpose-built equipment for thorough and costeffective service. Filter Cleaning Contractors Limited is flexible with services tailored to an individual client’s requirements, 24 hours a day if required. Your security is guaranteed with FCCL – (they hold keys and security codes for a number of clients). Their fully trained staff always wear blue overalls with the company’s name clearly visible and all their vehicles are sign-written. Call 09 376 6004 or 021 115 4889 Email:, or check out the website at

dirty deeds done dirt cheap

saves ghastly drain odours in the long term. Thus, rather than simply settle for a hot hosing of the immediate plumbing once in a while, urban authorities have made it a legislative obligation for restaurants and other industrial kitchens to take responsibility for their greasy waste. Luckily, in the present day, a vast array of labour and odour reducing devices are on the market to assist in the ethical disposal of the grease trap’s ghastly contents. And there is an entire industry of gunk guys, specialist contractors whose business it is to save the kitchen staff the wholly unappealing task of dealing with FOG themselves. Besides the gratuitous grossness of the grease trap there is also

the air filtration system to be dealt with, extractors to be scraped and ducts to be unclogged. Thank heaven for outsourced grease management systems! Needless to say, emptying a grease trap or interceptor is dirty and disgusting work, requiring great care and tolerance of some truly rotten odours. Old-school grease traps collect waste fats and essentially ferment them in their own foulness until it’s time to open and empty them. The resulting sludge is highly contaminated and akin in an olfactory sense to a threeweek-old rotten chicken. The rancid waste must be disposed of correctly in the interests of health and safety, and is unsuitable for recycling.


As technology advances and times change, interest in recycled oils as a source of energy has developed numerous schemes for recycling cooking oils that haven’t been allowed to evolve into rancid slop. Grease recovery devices allow filtered grease to be removed from the system and recycled before it goes rancid. Grease can be recycled into such useful commodities as animal feed, ingredients for paint, polymers and synthetic fuels. These systems offer compound benefits; not only does recycling aid in protecting the environment, it will also save the gunk guys from wallowing in rancid filth before lugging it off to the landfill. Surely this is, a dirty deed and it is all, in all, done dirt cheap.

Halton hoods with ultraviolet light technology offer a safer and more hygienic kitchen. UV-light technology breaks grease into smaller molecular units. The resulting substances will not stick to the ductwork, which helps to reduce both the serious risk of fire and the need for expensive cleaning of ducts. Discharge is possible at street level, saving on duct costs.


Ultra Clean Kitchen Ventilation WITHOUT UV-LIGHT TECHNOLOGY


Get in touch at Nationwide – 03 389 2231 Auckland – 09 533 0311



Two Wellington establishments – the old school and the new school

Old school – The Southern Cross

The Southern Cross has been wetting Wellingtonians’ whistles through a variety of incarnations over the past 100 years, immortalised in song and local memory. Although its student heyday as home of the $2 jugs is long gone, it’s clearly still a favourite for casual sunny afternoon refreshments. The garden bar, bedecked in greenery, is a lush environment for lounging with friends whilst inside offers a variety of spaces and tones to suit the nature of any visit without ever losing the casual keynote that underpins this Kiwi classic. The Bar Nun loves the Southern Cross’ versatile interior, but you’ll find her nestled in the courtyard making a dent in a shady couch. The internet is free! A splendid lure in a city sadly bereft of public wireless schemes. The simple menu well represents the tastes of the capital’s market with plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options and a focus on organics. Here’s an institution that really understands its people.

New school – Foxglove

Overall impressions are of a somewhat over-scrupulous attention to detail. Great service and an interesting (if a little hard on the collection plate funds) menu is offset by an awe-inspiring interior scheme, the most impressive aspect of which is the interior fern wall which lends a cool lushness to the atmosphere. The space has been broken up into segments of varying sizes by a clever system of shelving that allows air and light to move through the divisions so that even the smallest alcove does not become stuffy. The Bar Nun is slightly overwhelmed by the conceptual onslaught; the captains’ chairs, draping gauzy curtains, hundreds of miniature busts and bronze ornaments, objects of interest, bookshelves, record collection and wall of deer’s heads comprise enough interior inspiration for five or even six different bars, lending every corner a unique perspective. The outdoor area downstairs is wonderfully accommodating for small groups or larger parties; bonus points for the beautiful lighting, so often overlooked out of doors.





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Grill Summer Issue 2010  

Grill Summer Issue 2010

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