My greatest mission in life is to make wine more accessible - more acceptable on more occasions. I believe that the myths and mystery that seem to tag alongside wine, serve to make people uneasy, with the end result of 'if in doubt, leave it out'.
So I'll start by saying don't worry if you have little or no wine knowledge - you don't need it. Just try different wines when the opportunity arises and you'll start to work out which styles you like. And that really is all you need to know. Friday evening in the supermarket there's probably someone pouring tastes of something or buy a glass of something you haven't tried before next time you are out. Read the odd wine review in the newspaper or take a look at the results from a recent wine competition (check out www.wineshow.co.nz). All these things help to make you feel more relaxed and at ease with choosing wine.
Of course that's easy for me to say - I try several thousand wines a year, run a big international wine competition and have been up to my ears in wine for the last twenty-plus years. And I do know that when you are confronted by shelf upon shelf of labels, it is daunting. Particularly as you are perhaps going to be sharing that bottle with friends - you want them to enjoy it and credit you for your choice of purchase.
So rather than saving wine for high days and holidays, bear in mind there are so many different styles out there that you can find a wine for every occasion. I'm not suggesting breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday, but hey - at least dinner a couple of times a week? And as with all things, a little moderation is probably a good thing. I've always struggled when having to fill out medical forms or visit the doctor and have to answer 'how many glasses of wine do you drink in a week?' I do answer totally honestly; they just don't know the size of the glass.....
We've been working with Belinda Jackson for more than eight years on various wine related demonstrations across our Food Shows in New Zealand. The reason we regularly engage Belinda is that she's both a popular and professional presenter. Audiences relate to her relaxed style that fuses learning with pleasure - minus any 'wine-snobbery' or 'stuffiness' that can intimidate. Belinda is an expert on wine and wine styles and prepares thoroughly prior to her demonstrations. We receive excellent feedback from visitors on her sessions and plan on continuing our association with her in the years to come.
Dona White, CEO - North Port Events Ltd www.northportevents.co.nz
in the papers
Top 100 moves to top of south The Marlborough Express, Wednesday April 22, 2009
Marlborough is synonymous with wine and now it is set to be synonymous with an international wine competition.
Director of the Liquorland Top 100 International Wine Competition Belinda Jackson said that, after four years in Wellington and several years in Auckland, the judging of the competition would be held in
Marlborough this year. [read this article]
My job: Belinda Jackson, Wine consultant The New Zealand Herald, Wednesday September 24, 2008
Name: Belinda Jackson
Describe your job
I oversee the industry aspects for the Liquorland Top 100 International Wine Competition. That starts with encouraging entries from wine producers, importers and distributors. I then co-ordinate the entries, organise the judging process, taste the wines and write up the notes. [read this article]
Small town, big task, no problem! The Marlborough Express, Tuesday August 28, 2007
Liquorland's minister of wine organises the firm's big wine show from her home in Renwick. The ministry role (yes, it's on her business card) is just one job that the wine consultant Belinda Jackson does
from the small town in heartland Marlborough wine country. [read this article]