Favorite foods and drinks (including pubs restaurants etc.)



For wine, I’d go with a nice hock. I know they’re not very fashionable, but they are very pleasant to drink in any weather and with most food.

A choice of spirit is harder. I like my whiskies. I’ve also developed a liking for gin. But, if I had to choose, I think it would have to be whiskies. Just don’t ask me to choose which one.


My favorite spirit is my bottle of 1964 The Glenlivet ‘The Winchester Collection’ 50 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, an $30k bottle @Nevervane


You know I’ve worked in wine for a fair few years now and I only heard the term “hock” for the first time like a month ago.

Spirit is hard for me too, gin’s the obvious choice because it’s so very varied (and then you can vary it again with the tonic) but I would miss whisky a lot.


At $30,000 a bottle, it had better be damned good. The most expensive whisky I ever had was $15 a measure.


Like I said, it’s not very fashionable. Once upon a time, you could not move in the drinks aisle for bottles of hock. Now, I have to look hard to find it.


You have not lived until you have tasted an scotch of that collection from that year and my boss got it for me on my promotion to vice president of Data Center design and prototyping mid last year.


When we lived in New Zealand, Mum and her mates would haul me around to various wineries and give me tastes. (She started letting me have wine at home when I was 16, since I did the cooking.) There are some beaut red wines produced on Waiheke Island, just off Auckland, but quite a few are available only by subscription, and I don’t think any are exported.

Among the sauv-blancs, my present favourite is Mud House, which has a guava/melon character with only a hint of citrus. The majority of the Marlborough S/Bs taste like grapefruit juice.


Not a massive fan of Mud House tbh, but I’ll drink it if it’s around!

Have you tried anything by Man O’War on Waiheke? I sell a lot of their Sauv and drink a lot of their Chardonnay. Their Syrah/Viognier is gorgeous too.


Man O’ War is new to me. An old yachty we spent time with was keen on Stonyridge wines, one in particular: Larose. It’s a Bordeaux-style blend and bloody expensive as I recall. Malcolm and Barbara served it one night and Mum liked it so they gave her a couple bottles– handsome sort of dinner gift.

Waiheke is a great spot to visit for wines because it’s geologically nuts and has lots of wee valleys and microclimates, which rewards good judgement in what gets planted where.

I was just searching for a winemaker Malcolm introduced us to, the son of a racing mate of his, named (I think) Chester (?) We went to his vineyard and there was a quonset surrounded by vines (not a tourist stop) and Chester came to the door with both arms purple to the elbows. He’d been hand-crushing grapes for a test batch. I think the name was Ohinetahi or Ohinewai, but it’s not showing up in searches. Anyhow, we bought a few bottles of red and it was magnificent, even very young.


Ah I wish I was somewhere like Waiheke drinking wine :frowning:


Waiheke is grand, especially at the head and tail of the season when the thundering hordes aren’t there. I really ache for EnZed and the sea. We had to move to the 'States rather abruptly and I felt like my roots had been torn out. I’ve been back several times since. Cried myself sore on the Air NZ flight returning.

If you’re there, another favourite place is Napier on Hawke’s Bay, where there are brilliant red wines, olive groves, and dear little shops and cafés. A friend who lives there introduced me to his favourites: Alpha Domus and Brookfields (which used to do some terrific food.) Villa Maria (which is in an old monastery or the like) has a very nice restaurant.

Another wine heartland is Central Otago, up around Cromwell and Gibbston. Pinot noir to die for. Mud House has a nice Central O pinot that’s not too dear. Another winery I recall is Mount Difficulty, locally known as Mount Diff: a notch or two pricier but well worth it.

I’ll probably dream about New Zealand tonight, and cry on my pillow.


And I doubt I ever will get to taste any it at that price.

You lucky, lucky person, you!


Where do you sommel? (Couldn’t find the verb for sommelier.)

I’m in Wyoming 50 k from the nearest town: the Great American Wine Desert. There are restaurants in Jackson that employ a sommelier, but not many. Wine buffs are few as well.

I have a case deal with the nearby resort, but they can only get wines on the state list: pretty limited. There’s also a guy with a tiny store in town who’ll order a case or two of the stranger stuff, with about 50% success. His terms are cost+10% which is generous. If I get something good that he doesn’t stock, I’ll leave him a bottle to taste.


The rarefied upper elevations of single malt are too rare for the likes of me. My pain threshold is about $75 usd, nd prices seem to be rising rather steeply. The first bottle of Edradour I bought was about $45 usd, two years since, and the latest was $67.95.

The Kilchoman was bout $50 usd for the Machir Bay and and $64 usd for the Sanaig, but shipping it from Scotland was a bite.

Malt of that quality is a special-occasion drink for me. I like a splash of Famous Grouse over ice while reading. Or, lately, pastís.


Ah I know the struggles somewhat; in my city there’s maybe three or four restaurants with really decent lists but we do have a good wine merchant nearby plus of course I can just buy from our suppliers sometimes hahaha

Honestly I buy a fair amount online for myself, though usually I have to buy a case to make it worth it. Now and then I find my favourite wines for a decent price on amazon which is always a shock, but it makes things easier!

One of my fave ever dessert wines is on amazon as is one of my go-to rieslings and sometimes if I’m really lucky this bomb-ass chardonnay

If you’re having trouble sourcing stuff, it’s well worth an investigate!


Don’t use Amazon, for various reasons. Wyoming law lets me buy 18 bottles a year by mail/internet order, although there’s no enforcement mechanism. I built two sets of racks in the basement, which hold about 15 cases all told. Plus floor space for cases of screw-cap wines that don’t need to be racked.

I re-stock the wines we drink most often —zinfandel, rhone blends, bordeaux blends, SA malbec, riesling/Müller-Thurgau, chardonnay (some unoaked), pinot gris, a viognier/chablis blend, NZ sauv-blanc, and sparkling— by ordering a case as needed. I also scout the shops for interesting bottles and buy two or three at a time.

I order cases direct from favourite wineries such as Ridge and Neyers about every other year, and stock vertical selections. Right now, I’m opening 2008-2010 vintages for special meals and guests. (I’m a buff on a budget.)

Don’t know much about dessert wines. A friend gave me a bottle of Aussie Muscat that’s 'sposed to be killer with a fruit tart. But Mum and her friends are usually into the coffee by then. So it’s gathering dust.


18 bottles a year? That’s … bizarre. I wonder what the reason behind it is.

I’m not much of a wine drinker. I fell out of it when my wife had her first major chronic illness, The medication she had to take was not compatible with alcohol. Before that we used to pick up whatever looked interesting. We found a lot of good wines, and a lot of wines that you could use to clean drains with!

I’ve only recently got back into wines. But, being on my own, I either have to scour the shelves for the rare half-bottles, waste a lot of wine or get stocious on a full bottle.


There are some devices– I have one called a Vacu-Vin— that combine a flexible cork with a slit and a wee suction pump, so you can exhaust the air from the bottle.

Restaurants use them for the more costly wines-by-the-glass, since it’s hard to predict when someone will order.

You can also pop the bottle in the fridge and take it out a few hours before you’ll want it.


I got a bunch of wild rice from an Ojibwa co-op. Really good.

Has anyone made a wild rice risotto? It’s not cheap, so I hate to bugger it up.


If it works as advertised, I just have to remember to drink the rest of the bottle!