Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mayhem at Masterton book launching; police hold back crowds

Hedley's Bookshop in Masterton, a Wairarapa treasure that deserves to be more widely known, was the venue for the launch at a merry gathering last Wednesday evening of my book The New Zealand Wine-Lover's Companion, published by Craig Potton Publishing. David Hedley kindly said a few words, I said a few more words, then we drank a toast (with wine kindly supplied by Palliser Estate of Martinborough) and cast the book adrift on the fickle sea of fate.

It has already had its first review, thanks to my friend Raymond Chan of Regional Wines & Spirits, Wellington. Raymond had a hand in the book's preparation, for which I am most grateful, and very kindly wrote the following (unsolicited) review to put on the Regional Wines website in advance of a promotion there next Saturday, November 7.

Further information about The New Zealand Wine-Lover's Companion is available on the Craig Potton Publishing website,



I must declare a personal interest in this book. While I was undergoing tough times during cancer treatment earlier this year, Karl approached me asking to peruse a section of his manuscript for a proposed book. His words were so much fun that I wanted to see more of his work. It brightened my days over a bitterly cold winter and probably helped in the process of recovery. So I read Karl’s manuscript in entirety, offering some suggestions and a few minor corrections.

It’s an A-Z guide that is perfect for dipping in an out of, gleaning interesting facts about many different facets of wine that are applicable to anyone in New Zealand interested in wine. It has entries on grape varieties, different wine styles, New Zealand and important international wine producers, people and history, all who or which have made an impact on the New Zealand wine scene. There are explanations of technical jargon and even a layman’s guide to the pronunciation of some of the more difficult words and names.

Whilst not comprehensive or fully detailed in wine science, it offers a wonderfully broad overview in assistance to a beginner in wine as well as bringing a sense of nostalgia to the experienced wine professional, in its entries, showing how long Karl has been interested in wine. His style of writing is very approachable and his wry humour and wit evident in much of the book. You really couldn’t expect anything else from a journalist who has been a wine writer for NZ House & Garden, The Evening Post, the Sunday Star-Times, Cuisine and National Business Review. Karl served as the Editor of The Dominion for some time, but now freelances from the Wairarapa, close to many of his friends in the wine industry.

I recommend this delightful book for your own enjoyment; it should also make an excellent gift. Karl will be instore at Regional Wines on Saturday 7 November, from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm, at the same time as the tasting of a range of Craggy Range wines, promoting his book. We will have the book for sale at $29.95, no extra for signed copies on the day!

2009 Craig Potton Publishing, Nelson

- Raymond Chan

1 comment:

Vaughan said...

Congratulations, Karl.