Inside a trade tasting

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Obsessive tweeter Ryan Opaz, IT advisor to the wine trade, recently suggested to me that a film of a trade tasting might be of general interest. It so happened that the first one I attended with my Flip video camera was yesterday's presentation of new releases from New Zealand in the spectacular (for once the word is literally true) penthouse at the top of New Zealand House in London. Relish that view!

BUT it was rather exceptional since London is currently in the grip of a two-day tube strike, which meant that attendance was much lighter than usual, as I report in rather hushed tones since I felt as though I were speaking in a library.

The Chardonnays have got a lot better, it seemed to me, since I wrote a mild rant two years ago that they tasted more like Sauvignons without the Sauvignon flavour. And some of them are really good buys. I was also taken by the taste and structure, if not the price (£40?), of a 2008 Pinot Noir from a new Central Otago producer. Richard Guthrey used to sell his fruit to Carrick but now has his own small winery and own brand, Remarkable Wines, presumably named after the mountain range pictured in Central Otago's toothsome 2007s, The Remarkables. I'll be publishing tasting notes on the 75 wines I tasted yesterday in these ideal tasting conditions soon.