Hey folks, I needed to take a little break this week, and turn my attention again to the world of wine media. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about New Zealand wines, check out Thirsty Work, with two seasons on Amazon Prime in the U.S. It’s hosted by Yvonne Lorkin, a wine reviewer and columnist. She’s friendly and peppy without being too annoyingly perky. And she loves wine and great food!
As I watched the first two episodes of Season 1, I was blown away by just how much I don’t know about New Zealand and all its various wine regions. Each show covers three wineries or breweries within a single region. There’s so much there beyond sauvignon blanc and pinot noir. Alpha Domus in Hawke’s Bay focuses on syrah (funny how they don’t call it shiraz in New Zealand, hmmmm) and Bordeaux blends. Clearview Estate is known for their reserve chardonnay.
Along the way, meet some amateur winemakers putting together brewing contraptions in their garages. Taste an interesting pairing with Chardonnay: Huhu grubs? Meet a couple from Central Otago who started their own winery “in a fit of madness in [my] mid-50s”, and their French winemakers who moved around the world to try something totally new. And say hi to a Deaf guy who’s making one of the most popular craft brews in the country. Just make sure he can read your lips when you tell him how good his Pilsner is!
Sadly, a lot of these wineries don’t ship outside of New Zealand. But now armed with a bunch of new place names, I know where to start searching. The scenery is gorgeous. There’s plenty of great food on display. (I am so tempted to make hare Wellington now.) Each episode is just about a half hour long, so you can have just a quick sip or plow through an entire season. And now I totally have dreams about traveling to New Zealand, trying amazing wines (maybe even the grubs), and enjoying a country that actually had a thorough and reasonable response to coronavirus. Sanity should be rewarded. With liberal purchases of booze.
Any other wine TV shows or movies I should check out? Please let me know!