Living the dream in wine country
One of the great things about Queenstown is that friends are always keen to visit. It’s an excuse for those of us who live here to get out and live the life of a tourist.
A friend came down on the weekend of the rain and snow. We embarked on a mini wine trail and food festival.
First stop was Wet Jacket Wines in the old Woolshed. The building, the ambience, the staff, the other customers, a discussion about Labradors and of course the wine all provided a memorable experience. Wet Jacket is only 20 minutes from central
Queenstown but it feels like another world.
I’ve noticed when attending wine tastings in the past, there’s always someone who meets the dictionary definition of pretentious side. The couple next to us were visiting from Christchurch. They were hilarious.
I just love people-watching and concluded they are either a couple who have not been together long or a couple enjoying a well-earned break from children. They seemed full of the joys of life.
Joshua, the wine guide, asked what people thought of the pinot noir. The guy from Christchurch said he liked all wine. We laughed.
The American tourist told the group how he found it so complex. Everyone else nodded politely.
I wondered what he was on about, but kept my opinion to myself for a change.
Another Kiwi guy made it crystal clear that he wouldn’t normally drink pinot, as he has to have a strong shiraz, but he liked this one.
Next, we headed out to Peregrine. There’d been a power cut so it was wine tasting by candlelight. It was fantastic and really added to the atmosphere, as did the heavenly pinot gris. We were reunited with the Christchurch couple from Wet Jacket. They felt like good friends already.
Then it was off to Gibbston Valley Cheese for a cheese platter. For $20, we received three wine tastings, three wedges of cheese and crackers. Delicious cheeses, lovely wine, and great value for money. I will be back.
Finally, we visited Akarua Kitchen. It was a lovely day all round. I could not fault the wine or the service at any of the places we visited. There was not a bad wine or bad service experience.
The wine industry in this region should be proud of what it offers our visitors.
It’s been ages since I lived the life of the tourist. There is something energising about being surrounded by people with the happy holiday vibe. Daily stresses fade way; you live in the moment and feel so much better for it.
My friend’s short trip turned into a longer trip with the closure of the airport. We could have hit the town, but sometimes on a winter’s night staying home in front of the fire with a pizza and a movie is the best option.
It was like the slumber parties of my teenage years. With Central Otago pinot. Now that’s living the dream.
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