Wednesday, 11 March 2009

It's Business Time

How I’m expected to write a column while Flight of the Conchords is on telly I don’t know. So if I suddenly break into “Business Time” please forgive me. I’ve been a bit distracted by weather this past week. Normally I keep track of how the weather is panning around the nations wine regions leading up to harvest, but being based up in Hawkes Bay as I am, the feeling of nail-nibbling dread and impending mouldy doom that’s clouded the region every day for the last fortnight has had me completely consumed.
Today the thought had crossed my mind that I might’ve jinxed Hawkes Bay’s chances of achieving the vintage of the century by writing an article saying that I thought they were going to achieve the vintage of the century if the baking, dry 30-plus degree days continue; and lo, the dampness did cometh.
I guess it’s a bit like when you’re a teenager and you know there’s a party on the weekend, and you even get permission from your parents to go. So you get yourself so excited and wound-up thinking about how great and AWESOME it’s going to be that when the night actually arrives, your mates forget to pick you up so you have to walk and by the time you get there everyone has left for another party, but a girl semi passed out in the kitchen slurs that your boyfriend took off with that slapper who works at Video Ezy before passing you a hipflask of rum which you drink because you’re so heartbroken. An hour later you end up ringing your dad to come pick you up and right in the middle of him saying how disappointed he is that you woke him up at 1am you promptly throw up in the front seat of his Cortina and he grounds you for a month. But the nights that you think “ok, I’ll just go to this shindig and see how it goes” end up being absolutely epic experiences, relived in wistful memories for years to come.
But today winemakers and grapegrowers are upbeat. “The wind we’re having is keeping the rot in check” says Rob Beard of Maimai Creek vineyards in Meeanee, Napier. “But things are looking good, it’s going to be an excellent harvest”. “(the 2009 vintage) is going to sort out the experienced from the not so” says Bob Newton of Newton Forrest Cornerstone Vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels. Hmmm. A hiccup in the weather has the old guard cool and the newcomers worried, but that’s just business. “It’s business” croon the Conchords. “It’s business time. And you know when I’m down to just my socks it`s time for business, that’s why they call it business socks”. Sorry , couldn’t help myself.

Sip This...
Sacred Hill Basket Press Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet 2008 $20
A new-release red that’s an old favourite with its spicy, savoury aromas and hearty, rib-sticking character. Sourced from fruit grown in Hawkes Bay’s Gimblett Gravels region, it needs to be paired with food to be enjoyed fully and it’s a winner with garlic pepper steak.