I love saying that I’m a Kiwi and it’s fun to live in a country during its teenage years. A time when Aotearoa is determined to be unique, but to fit in; trying to be wild, but in control; searching for itself but looking for connections. In the world of wine, we are comparatively very young and again, we are sorting out what our real identity is, beyond simply the Sauvignon Blanc that propelled us onto the world stage.
This website is trying to establish the Taste of the Nation, using a questionnaire to build a picture of our nation’s wine tastes. Have a go at taking the test if you like. I found it a bit disappointing as it didn’t ask enough about taste preferences. Perhaps I’m just a bit disappointed that I emerged as being likely to enjoy Sav Blanc, which doesn’t sound nearly exciting enough to me. But then I am a New Zealander and we aren’t really into flashy now are we?!
Had a laugh reading the Sunday Star Times Magazine yesterday – an essay by Leah McFall examined the trend of people kissing each other hello in New Zealand. Now I’m guessing this must be a big city trend because the only people we kiss hello to are some good French friends. Anyway, McFall goes on to comment on Kiwi’s “hardwired reluctance to touch” and our “good old New Zealand fear of intimacy” in a country “where for generations we’ve done nothing more intimate than wave at each other across a paddock.” She explains that this forced distance has lead to the evolution of our own unique, very subtle body language that can speak volumes and is perhaps the most expressive in the world. The bit I could relate to was the farmer she described who only had to raise his finger at a passing ute to say “I’m okay, you’re okay, milk solids are up five per cent this month.” And then there’s the eyebrow lift, the chin jut.. it’s great to be able to laugh at ourselves. We still don’t know what to do when people pop in for a visit in the afternoon – take the English approach and offer them a cuppa or follow the Aussies and get out the booze? Best keep both tea bags and a bottle of vino handy over the long weekend!