What does grown up feel like? Are we there yet? Is this it? How will we know when we’ve matured?

Thanks to the colleagues and acquaintances who along the way have told me to “grow up” and “act my age”. Fair enough.  Wine is harder to judge. Have you ever tasted a wine at maturity?

This weekend a rare opportunity presents itself, at the NZ Boutique Wine Festival, to taste mature wine. There’s young wine too, good wines, uncommon wines. Wines made with passion by people who care. People who have sacrificed and focused everything, to make wines of interest and exception.

Get along and you will gain the chance to taste two flights of wine, Te Hera Estate who make a terrific Martinborough Pinot Noir and Gillman Vineyard, who make a marvellous Cabernet-based Red. These flights spanning years, vintage after vintage, poured by the producer into your glass and quite possibly into your heart.

I hope that excites you, it excites me. So get your tickets, quickly, cos I apologise for telling you about this so late and last year it sold out.

Last year, oh it was wonderful!

A small event, I guess there’s a clue in the word boutique, it’s not just that there are small wineries there, it is a small event. For people who really want to be there. Last year was terrific. People who make the wine, who planted the vines. Who’s homes and dreams are at risk when they bottle and offer their very best efforts to you in bottles and labels that don’t enjoy the polish of expensive marketing campaigns and clever agencies.

God it’s good this little festival. Take a few hours to wander about. Taste the wines. Enjoy the differences. These are NOT supermarket wines. They don’t taste like every other glass of whatever your fancy is. They are like meeting your lover, like spotting an old and loved mentor across the room after years of distance. They don’t necessarily make immediate sense. They do make a connection, they will make memories.

That is the point. These are wines made by people who have chosen to be boutique. Who believe that small isn’t just perfectly formed, it is delicious. Great wineries, like Cambridge Road and No.1 Family Estate, huge favourites of mine, worth the price of entry on their own.

So I’d like to suggest that you go along. Well come along, I’ll be there. We can talk wine. Go to the tastings, Jo Burzynska did a fabulously eccentric and enjoyable one last year matching wine to music. She’s back and I hope she hasn’t changed a thing. Except the wine. Because she is tasting boutique wine and that can’t be the same, one year after the next. It changes. Like you have, like I have.

Last year for example, I wandered up diffident, uncommitted. This year however, I am really excited to go. It is a great and rare event. Come with.


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What: Boutique Wine Festival

Where: Imperial Lane, 7 Fort Lane, CBD, Auckland

When: Sunday 12 June 2016 11:30am – 7:00pm

Tickets: $39 (includes a classy Speigelau glass and free UBER). You can purchase tickets here.

About The Author

Timothy Giles

Timothy known as Giles, drinks. He does other things, runs, swims and rides unfeasibly long distances, probably to make up for the drinking. Oh and he's a gardener. He's into permaculture which reflects what he drinks most, which is organic, biodynamic and natural wines and craft brews. Giles eats too, but always has a drink to start.

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