Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Counting the cost and sharing out the chardonnay

Tony from nb Holderness keeps impeccable records about their expenditure on boat related costs and analyses the differences year on year based on the duration of their cruising and where they travel.

David and I don't keep records - I had intended to but when I did a mental calculation of the collection of the early receipts both last year and this year the possible totals were too scary. So, in my usual cowardly fashion, I gave up before even starting.

This morning I commented on Tony's blog along the above lines and also noted that we found that food cost more in NZ than in the UK, and in particular I can often buy good NZ wine cheaper in the UK than here at home.

Tony has done some investigation and calculations:

Your thoughts on the cheap wine in the UK got me thinking. The population of Wellington is 450000 and the total for New Zealand is 4.4 million. The population of Greater London is 8.6 million. Therefore there is a much greater market here. A 40' shipping container will hold 12000 cases of wine and it only costs about $6,500 to ship it to London. Actually it will be a lot less to a regular shipper as I got those figures from a one off enquiry. It turns out that in 2012 NZ produced 194 million litres of wine. Only 57.7 million of them came to the UK but the total export of your wine was 178.9 million litres (all 2012 figures). That fact means that every person in New Zealand has only 3.4 litres to drink. I reckon that you are drinking somebody else's share!

Only 3.4 litres - what is he thinking of? Me drinking somebody else's share - what is he thinking of? I am only here in NZ for 7 months of the year now, so 5 months of my consumption has to be counted in the UK. Of course, children don't drink, and a huge number of people drink beer or spirits and another group of people don't drink alcohol - how strange!

So in my defence:
  • I am not usurping (or uslurping for that matter) anyone else's share in fact, given chardonnay has lessened in popularity I am helping to keep the vineyards and market afloat! 
  • I am also making sure that I am not consuming anyone else's share of the ubiquitous sauvignon blancs or pinot noirs that NZ is famed for - as those who know me know I am faithful to good chardonnay. 
  • There's always plenty of bottles left on the shelves in the supermarket when I leave (and in all the other supermarkets I don't go into all over the country) so clearly some people are not drinking their fair share, shame on them!
I do hope that Tony wasn't suggesting that I bring a container of chardonnay over to the UK with me - firstly, it would never fit on the boat and secondly the container would sink or block the cut and some smart boater who understands salvage rights would take unfair advantage.

In the interests of readers knowing how dedicated I am to finding good chardonnay, I have included some photos taken on a recent trip to the Toast Martinborough event, an annual wine, food and music festival that is extremely popular - I was invited to go with the IQANZ group that I do short term part-time consultancy assignments for.. Their boss couldn't go, so I was given his ticket - a very generous gift as they are not cheap and included train and bus travel to Martinborough, brunch and 50 Toast Martinborough francs (= $NZ50) to purchase wine and food throughout the day, a sunhat, and sunscreen - fortunately not needed as the weather was overcast with occasional short showers. I was pleased about the weather as, much as I like sitting drinking with friends in the sunshine, it is debilitating to say the least ...

It was a great day - a very long day that started with catching a train to Wellington at 7am and ended with my getting a lift home from the station at 9.30pm, and it was a huge amount of fun with a lovely bunch of people - AND I was very pleased I didn't have to get up in the morning to go to work unlike the rest of the team ...
At Palliser Estate - first port of call for brunch with the first chardonnay of the day (yummy), even though they were freely pouring their lovely bubbles.

With the team at Escarpment, to pace myself for a long day, I had a coffee as well as a chardonnay (average).

The entertainment at Escarpment

Nicki, Kim and Jo - I don't remember seeing them tilted over so it must have been Dave W who was on n angle ...

The whole team at Ata Rangi, I think - you've seen one vineyard, you've seen them all ... Jo is excellent at selfies and I guess it helps if you are tall. From left to right the team are Justin, Nicki, Kobus, Karen, Matt, Kim, Dave, Chris and me as the ring-in. Very good chardonnay.

As I took Kevin the boss's place, I had to make his end of year speech. I think at this point I was saying that the year had been successful because he had a very big boat (but it's not a narrowboat so it doesn't count ...) At Dry River, I think.

On the way back on the bus from Martinborough to Featherston to catch the train. Dave is also very good at selfies - it was chilly by then and we were all pleased to be sitting in a warm vehicle. Still awake and very happy with the day.

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