Title: Wine Tasting
Location: Southern Cross Bar
Description: The second wine tasting party to be held at Southern Cross this month. This time with a range of cheeses selected by Yours Truly.
The event was hosted by Anker at Southern Cross on the Spring Equinox national holiday from 12 until 5pm. The wines, five from Australia, five from New Zealand, were supplied by Masahide Kubota, owner of Hana Wine in Kami Hatchobori.
The cheeses were supplied by Jupiter the import food shop in Shareo although they have no idea about that. I just popped into Jupiter on my way to the bar and bought Gouda with cumin seed, Gruyere, Mature English Cheddar, Stilton, and a smoked cheese. I also brought along a French blue cheese.
One of the staff, Asami Oki, a Jogakuin Daigaku senior and one of my students, made her debut today as one of the bar staff at Southern Cross. She’s confident and outgoing so I think she’ll do a good job. 頑張って！
The Australian wines consisted of one sparkling white, two whites and two reds. The sparkling wine came from Victoria, the rest were from South Australia:
- Dreamtime Pass, Sparkling NV, Chardonnay
- d’Arenberg, Olive Grove ’07, Chardonnay
- d’Arenberg, The Stump Jump ’08, Sauvignon Blanc
- Peter Lehmann, Barossa Shiraz ’08,
- Black Opal, Cabernet Sauvignon ’09
The New Zealand wines all came from the north eastern part of the South Island, four from around Marlborough and one, the Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon, from the Wairarapa wine-growing region:
- Staete Landt, Sauvignon Blanc ’00
- Staete Landt, Sauvignon Blanc ’07
- Julicher, Riesling ’08
- Stonecutter, Pinot Noir ’09
- Main Divaide, Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon
I started off combining the sparkling wine with Gruyere cheese and I think it worked pretty well. Meanwhile, Anker moved from the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs to the Australian (The Stump Jump) and was disappointed with the latter. It was a bit hard on The Stump Jump though, because “New Zealand is home to whatmany wine critics consider the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc” [Wikipedia].
I tried The Stump Jump first and it went better with the spiced Gouda than with the Gruyere. I realized what Anker was getting at though when I switched to the New Zealand whites later on in the afternoon. It was more than just Kiwi pride!
I wouldn’t say no to any of them, but there was a sharpness to the Staete Landt Sauvingnon (2000, I think) that I guess comes from an early harvest. This was a wine that would work well with Gruyere.
As for the reds, I was so busy enjoying the Cheddar and Stilton with them that I don’t remember so clearly which was which..
Southern Cross reduced the entrance fee for the event by ¥1000 and invited guests to make a donation to a joint New Zealand and Japanese earthquake appeal, which I thought was a nice gesture.
Unfortunately, word doesn’t seem to have spread very far about the Southern Cross wine tasting parties and there were only a handful of people present. They are very informal occasions and a great opportunity to try several wines without needing to know anything about wine at all, except that you enjoy drinking it.
Check out the Southern Cross Hiroshima website for upcoming wine tasting events.