Where am I?

Ausweis aus Auckland

May 08, 2006 at 10:18 PM | categories: New Zealand | View Comments

"Michael, the boys and I are getting together for a tasting on Sunday. Give me a call if you're free." It was one of the guys I'd met at the First Glass tasting. He has a team of four registered in a blind tasting sometime in June, and really wants to wine. So they're getting together at every opportunity to practice - or that's his excuse, anyway.

The tasting took place at one of their homes, on a nice back deck overlooking a culvert. I didn't take any pictures, but it was fun. We had a blind sample of about twelve wines, and I did noticeably better this time around. I think it was just a question of parameters: when given a sample of unlabeled wine, I tend to think in terms of trick questions. Yes, this tastes like a nice Mosel Riesling, but what if it's really an atypical Semillon from Argentina? But it turns out that in this circle, at least, the questions are meant to be straightforward. That makes it much easier, but it's still tough to guess a vintage year for an Australian Shiraz.

After the tasting, I took a walk around the marshy area by the hotel. It gets fairly rural fairly quickly, but note the crane: a luxury high-rise apartment building is going up, next door.

hotel from marsh purple flower yellow flower

typically kiwi trees another mushroom takapuna beach

Monday was the last day of class, and I plan to clear out of Auckland, Tuesday morning. I haven't fixed any real plans yet, but I'm going to start by driving north, to see the Kauri trees in the Waipoua forest preserve. Then I may head south: I'd like to see Napier, but I don't know if I'll have the time or energy to drive that far.

Monday night, Alastair Tagg came by for a drink and stayed for dinner. Here's a picture for Carolyn:


Finally, here are a couple pictures of the coffee bar on the ground floor of the Spencer Byron, just for Shelly. Note the actual books: I always wondered what hotels do when I leave spare books behind. library bar - definition library bar - library

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