Wemyss Tasting

Yesterday, Jim from Wemyss hosted a Whisky tasting at our Victoria Park Whisky Corner. Jim, the Chief Financial Officer at Wemyss, is in New Zealand on holiday his mother and his wife, who’s a Kiwi. He flew up from Napier for the afternoon just to visit us, dressed in his best tartan.

 

As an independent bottler of whisky, Wemyss (pronounced ‘weems’) is a family owned business based in Scotland and has a long association with whisky dating back to the turn of the 19th Century when John Haig built his first distillery on Wemyss land. Wemyss approach to whisky aims to select only the very highest quality of malt whiskies and in doing so make them more accessible and understandable by using the tasting and aromas of individual whiskies to identify each bottling. With that in mind, we tried blended whiskies named ‘The Hive’, ‘The Spice King’ and single malt named ‘Eastern Promise’ from Speyside. Later in the evening, we opened ‘Lemon Zest’.

The tasting wasn’t all whisky; we also tasted Darnley’s View Gin. Wemyss’ sister brand gin is named after the first meeting of Mary Queen of Scots and her future husband Lord Darnley at Wemyss Castle in the 1565, 204 years before Captain Cook discovered New Zealand. The Original Darnley’s View Gin is made with six different botanicals; with juniper, lemon peel and elderflower make this gin unique. The principle botanicals in the Darnley’s View Spiced Gin recipe are juniper, cinnamon and nutmeg. The spiced gin was enjoyed with ginger ale and a slice of orange; a refreshing twist.

We later tried Lord Elcho, Wemyss’ range of blended Scotch whisky, named after another slice of Wemyss family history.  Lord Elcho, Earl of Wemyss, is a distant relative of William Wemyss. Lord Elcho was an influential figure in Scottish history, famous for his role in the Battle of Culloden in 1745.

Jim also pointed out that Wemyss had a cocktail section on their website. While Whisky traditionalists prefer to enjoy their whiskies neat, Wemyss has a fantastic range of cocktail recipes, put together by leading mixologist Jason Scott from Bramble Bar in Edinburgh.

The Wemyss Whisky Brand was officially launched at our Glengarry Victoria Park site at our May Malt Club last year. This is a relatively new brand for Glengarry and is exclusive to the group. Can’t wait for another Wemyss night.

Jak

Tasmanian Whisky

I visited our close island neighbour in 2013 to see what the Tassie boys are brewing. Landing in Hobart I hooked up with Bill Lark at Lark distillery to have a look at what he and many others are doing over there on our West Island.
Bill’s Whisky store and visitors centre is based in the centre of town while his and the other distillers are based further out in the country. So it was off on a motorcycle tour with Bill and his fellow distiller Mark to see a few distilleries.
Whisky production in Tasmania is cranking with yet another small producer setting up shop. The new Redlands distillery has been setup just out of Hobart. Joining the ranks of Larks, Nant, Sullivan Cove, Overeen, Helleyer and others distilling on the island.
Redlands is built on the historic 1840, farm with the original buildings surrounding it.

With the guidance of Tasmanian Whisky legend Bill Lark a state of the art micro distillery has been constructed in the old stables building. With barley grown on site this is a truly end to end production , complete with a malting drum, and malt floor and the 900 litre still, production is underway.
Small 100 litre casks will start to be filled and stored in the old brick buildings

The visitors shop has already been setup with local Whisky and beer with platters and refreshments to enjoy after a tour of the beautiful grounds and distillery.I look forward to returning to sample the fruits of there labour. James Reid the distiller is busy establishing this site which has huge potential.

 

Our ride took us across country to Nant. A restored water wheel Mill is now grinding grist for Whisky making. The distillery has accommodation and a fine restaurant. We tried some exceptional whiskies here which are all for sale on site.

 

 

The next stop was to sample a rare 100% rye whisky made on a farm by Peter Bignell and known as the Bellgrove Distillery. This one is to watch out for but a very small production.

We toured the Lark and Sullivans Cove distilleries the next day. They are a short drive from Hobart. The Lark operation was well setup with brewing and distilling all together and small half size barrels being stored away safely some meters away in a warehouse.

 

 

 

I was impressed with the Sullivans Cove product here they have a converted Brandy still producing fine Single Malt from Beer brought in from the local brewery. They age in full size casks a mixture of American and French oak. This one is available in store while the others will require a bit of negotiation to bring into New Zealand. Hopefully this year.

 

The Tasmanian countryside is not too different to back home here with the addition of the Gum trees. The wines were excellent as well and we enjoyed some great seafood meals.

 

 

 

MacKinlay’s Shackleton Story

It has arrived the stunning re-creation of the original malt shipped to Antarctica in 1907 by Shackleton to fortify his “Nimrod” expedition.

MacKinlay’s

Adandoned to the Antarctic winter in early 1909, three wooden cases of this fine MacKinlay’s malt, originally distilled at Glen Mhor Distillery in Inverness, were buried in the ice beneath Ernest Shackleton’s hut. Unearthed a century later by the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, in 2010 a single crate was flown to Canterbury museum in Christchurch, for conservation. From here 2 bottles were loaned (since returned) to Whyte and McKay the owners of MacKinlay’s to analyse and re-create.

The task was performed by no other than the legendary Richard Paterson of Dalmore.

The first sampling in New Zealand will be Thursday 28th February at Glengarry Victoria Park were we will explore the components including another Rare whisky from Glen Mhor before the unveiling of this replica MacKinlay’s.

 

Come join us to sample a whisky heralded as a gift from heaven for whisky lovers.

 

For the full story  Click Here

 

Stock will be in store next week, a real collectable Whisky.

Cheers

Jak

Replica Packaging

 

 

Pinot 2013

Welcome to About Wine
Glengarry are well represented at the Pinot 2013 in Wellington this year follow us here. Retailing fine wines requires keeping up with the latest producers and all the new releases. As well as trending in styles and consumer tastes. So here we are amongst it.

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I have just received a copy of Keith Stewart’s book “chances and visionaries” the stuff the wine industry in New Zealand is made of.
Day one we were introduced to the event with much enthusiasm by the guest speakers including Sam Neil who was so Kiwi and down to earth.
Monday morning session for our group was Central Otago and as I cheery picked through the 2010’s on offer I was totally blown away with the quality, my team were diligently taking notes while I caught up with old friends
Then a spectacular lunch and back to taste other vintages, excellent as now some older vintages surfaced. So many great wines and a relaxed format making it so easy to get around

Video Tasting Notes

Hi, As you have probably seen I have been making some little video tasting notes to share on YouTube. It was fun doing them and the first three are loaded up on there and also linked directly from our website. These are the first ones which are also displayed to the side of this Blog as well but being the first I have put them here if you would like to view them latter.
 Adnams Beer                   Woodford Reserve         Nga Waka
My team also did a few and they also enjoyed the experience. Their videos will be launched shortly and we will be doing them as often as we can to bring our stories to you.

Our first Whisky Club night is Scheduled for Feb 28th and we will be show casing the 2nd release of the Shackletons replica whisky. This will be great night so put it your diary. I also hope to do a Burns night at Devonport Dida’s on the 25th Jan if all goes to plan so watch this space.

Old Still

We hope you enjoy them and I would appreciate your feedback, or perhaps an Oscar nomination..
Cheers
JAK

Wine and Food Matching

A No Nonsense Guide

Food and wine go together. Wonderfully. Whether relaxing after work with a bottle or entertaining clients at lunch, the permutations are endless which is why so much has been written on the subject.

Much of it, as with much wine writing, is impenetrable and unpalatable to the amateur. This no nonsense guide to matching wine and food however will enable you to hold your own in dining situations with friends and work colleagues,  and help you display a grasp of the basics when entertaining clients.

While wine and food and matching is entirely subjective, being dependent on your own opinion, tastes and preferences, different world cultures have also developed their own unique cuisine and wine styles to match.

In Italy, local grape varieties such as Sangiovese are selected to make the perfect wine to consume with local produce. The same goes in Spain with Temparanillo and in France with Cabernet, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Other varieties, like Shiraz, have found homes across New Zealand and throughout the world.

Brave new world

 In New Zealand we are fortunate in enjoying a great cross-section of cultures created from the customs and traditions of the immigrants who have settled here. These influences have created a huge selection and variety of cuisine.

We are blessed with a climate that produces some of the best raw ingredients in the world – including seafood, vegetables and meat. Add to this our global outlook as a nation and we are willing to explore eclectic tastes when it comes to wine consumption, seeking out wines of different styles from around the world.

But to the budding wine enthusiast, trying to select a wine for an occasion or meal can be overwhelming.

Here are some basic guidelines for food and wine matching. But do not let them stop you from experimenting, be bold!  You will be rewarded with wonderful and personal taste experiences. And remember, the only rule is that there is no rule!

White with white, red with red

 A basic truism is white meat with white wine, and red wine with red meat. While a cliché, it’s a good starting point. Let us consider red wines first.

Reds

The general rule that red wine should be served with red meat has some basis in truth.

Red wines have a tannin structure that comes from the skins of the grapes and the stalks. It’s like a drying taste in your mouth – next time you eat some grapes chew the skin for a while and you’ll see what I mean.

Matched with red meat, the tannin structure in red wine helps to break down the fatty proteins in meat. Tannins are not present in white wines.

Different red wines have different tannin contents. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most tannic wines due to the thickness of the Cabernet grapes and the colour extracted by extra contact with the skins.

Pinot Noir is generally less tannic with the exception of some of the more extracted styles now coming onto the market. With less tannin, Pinot Noir matches well with lighter red meats like spring lamb. Matching a red wine with the perfect tannin structure for the meat allows the two to marry and cleanse your palate, leaving you ready for the next course.

Of course there are exceptions, like veal – a red meat that is often best matched white wine – particularly a Chardonnay. While a red meat, veal is very delicate in texture and does not stand up well to the tannin structure in red meat. So a white wine is a better accompaniment.

Spicy red meat dishes also don’t work with tannic wines. Spice and tannin just don’t match. You are better served by a sweeter wine – which will complement the spice – like a Riesling, Pinot Gris or Gewurztraminer, or even a cold beer if you’re having a curry.

With fruity aromas and flavour, lighter reds such as Pinot Noir and Petit Verdot (aka Beaujolais), Sangiovese and Temparanillo offer a large array of accompaniments like wild meats from game birds and rabbit, as well as pork and lamb.

New Zealand lamb and Pinot Noir is a classic match, but try tuna, salmon and trout for some additional culinary magic. And, don’t forget the pizza and pasta dishes that have been washed down with Sangiovese wines for centuries by the Italians.

The red grape varieties of Grenache, Merlot and Mourvedre fall into the group of medium-bodied styles of red wine with fruity, spicy and oak influences. These wines are made for the stronger meats – try beef, lamb, game birds, venison and sausages. You can also enjoy spicy dishes, hard cheeses and Cheddar with these reds. The many blended red varieties of Merlot and Grenache also fit into the medium-bodied red category.

Full-bodied reds made from Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon suit all of the meats mentioned, plus stronger variants of sausages, salami’s and hot dishes.

These wines are often more tannic than other red varieties, with bite and a hard, rough texture, so meaty pasta dishes and curries are great partners.  These big full-bodied reds can be drunk with hard strong cheeses. Classic full-bodied wines like these develop over time and turn into silky and smooth reds.

Roses

Roses are becoming increasingly popular. Fun and easy drinking summer wines, they are usually medium-sweet and best consumed young. These lighter wines are slightly sweet and fruity and go particularly well with chicken, but my own favourite pairing is with oysters or other shellfish.

Spicy Asian and Japanese cuisines are also good pairings. Roses can be made from various different varieties with Pinot Noir and Cabernet increasingly being used these days in the blends. While rose wines are often better with soft cheeses, you can also have fun with hard ripened cheeses.

 Match Like with Like

 Match heavier weight foods with heavier weight wines. Beef stew with a rich powerful wine, a delicate fish dish with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc

  • Spicy dishes with a Spicy wine – Indian with Gewurztraminer
  • Sweet wines with sweet food – a late harvest wine with apricot tart
  • Butter sauces with a creamy buttery chardonnay
  • Acidity with acidity – a salad with a lemon dressing, match it with an acidic white – a young Riesling.  Acidity subdues acidity.

But there’s an exception – salt.  Salt is no friend to wine. Sweet wines though do balance salty foods, so a sweeter pinot gris with a saltier dish.

All Whites

The tannin structure of red wine leaves white meat looking pale in comparison. As a general guideline

Light Chicken Dishes              Light Style Chardonnay

Creamy Chicken Dishes        Heavier Chardonnay

Fish and Seafood                    Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Viognier, Pinot Gris

Lighter variants, often referred to as aromatics because of their strong perfumey aroma, include Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. These wines pair well with pork and shellfish, as well as with vegetarian dishes and salads. Feta and goat cheeses also match nicely. Aromatic wines are good for starting a meal. Non-vintageChampagnealso makes a great starter!

Medium-bodied white varieties

Verdelho, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris and Viognier are best accompanied by chicken and seafood. The softer styles of cheeses also pair well. While the New Zealand wine industry produces many styles of Pinot Gris, they tend to be fuller and more austere than the aromatic style of the rest of the world.

Viognier can be found in both medium and full-bodied styles. Fuller styles have a fruity apricot textured flavour. The white variety Viognier (originally from the Rhone in France) is often blended with Shiraz (15%), to create a very exciting lighter red style.

All of the white wines mentioned above are suited to Japanese, spicy, Asian, pasta and Chinese dishes, though some wine drinkers may prefer to match more aromatic dry wines with delicate Asian foods, and the heavier, fuller whites for extra spicy and flavorsome dishes.

When it comes to sweeter white wines, lighter styles like Muscat and Riesling are still suitable to drink with shellfish and perhaps takeaway and vegetarian food. They are even better with desserts; fruit salads, ice creams and puddings and soft cheeses including blues.

The heavier Sauternes and stickies with intense rich flavors are best suited to fruitcake and soft cheeses.

Red wine with red meat

  1. White wine with white meat
  2. Match like with like
  3. Drink what you like
  4. Don’t forget to experiment

Finishing touches

 To finish off there is port, a perfect after dinner nip with cheeses and Muscatelle raisins and my favorite blue cheese. Or do as the French do and have a soothing glass of champagne to finish off the evening. This also cleanses the palate.

Matching one wine with an entire meal or matching wine with a buffet becomes a little tricky. Try these guidelines:

  • White wine is more flexible than red wine
  • Beaujolaisis as flexible as a white wine

Choose a wine that matches the meat component of the meal

 A little of what you fancy

 Everyone’s tastes are different, so what is a perfect match for one person may not be as good for you. These are guidelines, but at the end of the day, if you would prefer a Sauvignon Blanc and you are having steak – go for it. Drink what you like and enjoy!

Don’t forget to experiment

 Matching food and wine to enhance each other can truly enhance your dining experience. As your taste is uniquely your own, don’t forget to experiment and work out what is best for you.

 Game set and match

 These are not the last words or hard and fast rules. How can they be when there are so many variations of wines and foods? My advice is to use these guidelines as just that; a guide, and if you’re feeling particularly inclined, take note of the combinations you experiment with. You will soon be musing over you own perfect match.

A Little about me..

I am Jak Jakicevich the man behind the Glengarry wine stores.  There are 17 Glengarry wine stores, plus our website (www.glengarry.co.nz where you can get more advice on wine and personalised recommendations). Additionally, there is the group’s Dida’s food store and Dida’s Wine Lounge and Tapas Bar in Auckland’s Jervois Road, Ponsonby. Dida’s Victoria Park and Devonport as well. Where wine and food are brought together.

Glengarry is an innovative wine retailing expert, educating generations of wine enthusiasts.

I am a third generation of the Jakicevich Croatian immigrant family, one of the original wine industry pioneers from 1940’s New Zealand.

Dida (grandfather) Joe Jakicevich founded Glengarry Wines as a vineyard in West Auckland. Opening one of New Zealand’s first Licenced Wine Reseller store in Jervois Rd Ponsonby in 1945 which has traded continuosly up to today by the family.

My parents Anthony (Tony) and Monika taught the family to enjoy wine at the table at a young age, often as a small reward for a day’s hard labor in the vineyard. This fuelled a passion in all the Jakicevich siblings and laid the foundations for us working together in the family owned Glengarry  business.

Today fourth generation family members are involved in all aspects of the business and particularly on the frontline in the stores where they are learning about the business first hand and from the bottom up.

Wine of the month

Whats been your favourite wine this month?   Mmm that’s a hard one. If its champagne it has to be Charles Heidsieck NV Rose . For a value and easy drinking Pinot Noir it would have to be  the Growers Mark Marl.Pinot Noir 2011 a steal at the moment for $12.99..And here is a teaser..What grape variety have I posted in the picture?

Glengarry North Shore Malt Club

The Takapuna Glengarry store had a history of great wine clubs and tastings over the years and the tradition has been brought back with the first Single Malt Club night.

Where is this?

Thanks for the keen attendees who came to learn about Single Malts. It was a course designed for beginners with an in depth chat about production processes and the regions of Scotlands Single Malts.

The whiskys tried were from across all regions and a very nice little line up, Jura boutique Barrel probably the favourite but there were also stars like Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich.

We were also priviledged to have Greg Ramsey drop in and give us a little bit of background on the NZ Whisky story and we tried the NZ whisky that knocked off Ardbeg Uigedail at the recent NZ vs Scotland challenge in Scotland. A 1988 cask strength bottling.

Look out for the next Takapuna Tasting, Great fun!

Cheers

JAK

We tired Glenrothes 1995, Hazelburn 8yo, Laddie 10, Jura 10, Caol Ila 12, Jura Prophecy,and Boutique 1995, Bunnahabhain 12, Bowmore 18 Milford 18, NZ Whisky 1988 and some awesome Didas Cheese.

 

Bruichladdich Releases 10 Year Old

The First Bruichladdich 10 Yr Old Whisky

From the first whisky distilled by the new owners in 2001 finally we have a new pure 10 year old whisky. And its a cracker as was unanimously agreed by 50 of us as we celebrated its first showing at the Glengarry Single Malt Club night. We were fortunate to have two Scottsman from Bruichladdich to present this to us alongside a great line up of other B’laddie drams. Douglas Taylor and David Keir were here to promote the distilleries offerings at the Dramfest held in Christchurch last weekend. They were delighted to be able to share their Whiskies with our club and we were treated with Videos from the owners and Master distiller Jim McEwan and some wonderful stories from Islay.

The Organic Malt was well recieved and showed up really well for a young Malt with beautiful citrussy aromas and floral notes on the nose, a delicate and fine whisky with virtually no peating but a definite taste of Barley in there.

The lineup was extensive including Islay Barley 2004, a 12 Year old, a Rum finished 17 yr old, a Fino Olloroso 1998, and the other special treat the PC 9 !!

I will finish off the tasting notes when I have downloaded a few pictures…

More Soon…

The 1966 Bunnahabhain Dinner

Celtic Heartlands Series
The legendary master distiller Jim McEwan celebrates the very finest Single malts he can find with the Celtic Heartlands releases. The second series released around 2002 had a 1966 Bunnahabhain selected. One of my favourite distilleries I always wanted to try it but not in a big line up or structured tasting. I wanted to experience it with a small group of Whisky lovers with a meal that culminates in a celebratory tasting of this venerable Malt.

Bunnahabhain 1966
Cletic Heartlands

This Thursday my wishes came true and I was joined by my fellow club members and loyal staff for such an event. The Chefs at Dida’s cooked a feast while we started off the night with the release of one of our latest Craft beers “Hancock & Co.”. The Grand Pale Ale with its big hoppy aromas and flavour was an instant hit, a bitter mouthfilling beer and then the Bismark Brown Ale which has the most amazing Malty hearty taste.

A fine meal must have some great wine and I chose the Isabel Estate Chardonnay 2009 and Pinot Noir 2006. These are current releases as they only release wines when ready. The Chardonnay with the scallops was my match while the Pinot Noir attracted the most attention with Zane Winskill from my team expounding its virtues. A Marlborough Pinot to convert the most one eyed of Central Pinot lovers over.

But now the main meal of short ribs and roast chicken had settled and we warmed up with the Bunnahabhain 12 year old, remember these are not your typical peated Islay Malts, they are very much unpeated with just a whisper of smoke. This is classic and at 46.5 ABV perfectly balanced. We had to give the 18 year old a try next and the length and power of this one was just what we needed to prepare for the Main event.

With the lights turned down and my usual mood music ” Brave Heart” playing I ceremoniously opened the 1966, with a good generous pour as there were only 18 of us to share the bottle we all sat there staring at this glass of golden spirit..

It was absolutely Shit Hot! Rich with raisin and sultana flavours also vanillan spice. It had been aged in an Oloroso Sherry Butt and a fine one it must have been. The colour of red rich amber and gold and as my good friend Roy Swensen beside me pointed out there was an olive green gold tinge showing on the fringes, a sure sign of high quality. Quality for sure the taste was such a pleasure revealing layers of complexity indeed I could detect a smoky note after a while and the malty characteristics as well evolved after the Sherry notes melding together into a truly harmonious and balanced malt. Over the next 30 minutes we quietly enjoyed the ’66 with each of us having a chance to share a few words about our personal impressions, this was a great thing to do as we all had a little bit to add to the experience.

This was a truely special night to remember and one of the finest single malts I have ever tried. Thanks to my friends for sharing with me and thanks to Jim McEwan for finding and celebrating this rare and exceptional old Single malt.

Slainte
JAK