Monday, July 13, 2009

What kind of wine do you pair with a kabab?

No visit to New Zealand is complete without a thorough sampling of some of their delicious wines, so Sandy, Jim, Jake and I headed up to Napier last weekend. A few hours north and east of Wellington, Napier's a fun little town that's known for its big 1931 earthquake that measured 7.8. Then the town was rebuilt in art-deco style. 

Matariki Wines was named after a constellation the Maoris (indigenous NZers) used to predict what kind of weather the coming year would bring. Matariki symbolizes the mystery of nature, and the legend is pretty interesting.

We hired a tour guide to drive us around to several wineries and had the chance to sample other little treats such as tasty olive oils and some yummy little stuff called dukkah (little flavoured crunchies that you dip your bread in after you dip it in oil). Yum.

It was a bit chilly, and there were no grapes on the vines, but we still managed to have a great time. :) Which leads me to...

I need sleep! 
After two weeks of late nights visiting with Jim and Sandy, and getting up early for both work and play, I'm ready to make it an early night tonight. Many of our late evenings have involved mudslides and playing Quiddler (think: scrabble but with cards). Jim and Sandy are off wandering throughout NZ on their own this week. Their plan includes both North and South Islands before we see them again this weekend. We wish we could provide them with nicer weather -- temps have been under 10 degrees C (40ish F) acompanied by some wind and rain. But then again, apologizing for the weather is another Kiwi habit we've picked up.

I wasn't going to embarrass Jim by talking about his obvious and utterly ridulous man-crush on Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords. But I just can't resist. We should never have told him that Jemaine, who's from Wellington, can be spotted around the city occassionally.

The real kabab
Speaking of Jemaine, I have a bone to pick regarding a discrepency in the video "Part-Time Model." He's singing about a kabab (and yes, we pronounce them to rhyme with "crab.") But I don't think he's holding a kabab. Sure, Americans would call that a shish kabab (of course this one rhymes with "blob.") But all the kababs I've seen here are comparable to gyros. See what I'm talking about at the 2:00 mark:

Is Jemaine turning his back on his own culture? Or is he using an inaccurate prop to avoid confusing the short-attention-span HBO market? Write a comment and set me straight.

By the way, Jake has recently developed an obvious and utterly ridulous addiction to kababs. And he's not ashamed.

Update from the jobfront
Now in the fifth week of my new job, I'm really enjoying it and learning a lot. I'm helping the company manage its three websites using a content management system that's new to me, but not too different from what I've used in the past. But there is a lot yet to learn about this company, this industry and our target market (NZers), that I'm still entrenched in the orientation/learning phase, and anxiously looking forward to adding some real, research-based value. I'm getting there.

Jake's job continues to be pretty sweet. In his (our) near future is a client assignment in the Cook Islands! Woohoo! As well as the annual KPMG ski trip up north. Hard to beat that.

1 comment:

she will have her way said...

Hi! I stumbled accross your blog, and I have the answer to your question. I am a New Zealander, and we call BOTH items kebabs, at least we do in the south island...