We’re regulars at Cellar-Vate’s Winemakers’ Dinners, because we love meeting the winemakers, we love New Zealand wine, and we love having it matched with tasty tasty food. But we’re not just patriotic racialists, oh no. We’ll drink wine from anywhere! And that’s why we’re excited about the upcoming European Wines Tasting in the Cabinet Room above the Backbencher next Wednesday October 22 at 6pm:

The thriving wine industry in New Zealand and Australia has provided us with a vast array of superb wine to savour or cellar, but it’s easy to forget about the ancient viticultural traditions of Europe. As imports of European wines grow steadily, there is now a great selection available. However, the regional denominations and classifications can be intimidating, and the New Zealand wine industry’s focus on single varietals means we are often cautious about buying European wines because we don’t know what they are made from. This is a shame, as European wines often represent great value, and due to their food-friendly nature are great to enjoy with friends and family. This tasting is an opportunity to learn about some unfamiliar grape varieties, which grapes you should expect to find in wines from different regions (and therefore how the wine should taste), and to navigate some unaccustomed flavours.

Tickets are $40 for seven wines matched with six small courses with matched wine, and bookings are still available if you email becs[at]cellar-vate.co.nz. We’ll see you there – we’ll be the ones holding out our glasses for a top-up.

UPDATE: Here’s the menu for tomorrow:

  • Il Follo Prosecco
    On arrival
  • Colle Secco Trebbiano2006
    Spaghetti with parsley, olive oil, garlic and preserved lemon
  • Fattori Pinot Grigio 2004
    Sauteed calamari, yellow capsicum, white balsamic, zuchinni, tomato concasse, garlic, olive oil
  • Colle Cavalieri Montepulciano 2006
    Smoked chicken, mushroom, olive and tomato rigatoni
  • Chateau Beauchene Cotes du Rhone Grand Reserve 2006
    Roasted pork belly, balsamic glaze, slow roasted tomatoes, whole roasted garlic bulbs
  • Chateau Larroque Bordeaux 2005
    Chargrilled porterhouse, rubbed with rocksalt and thyme, with bitter chocolate jus and skin chips
  • Domaine Georges Michel Autumn Folly 2004
    Cheese platter