Lauraine Jacobs

Food Writer and Author of Delicious Books

Lauraine’s blog

20 July 2011


I have just finished a bottle of the newly released Brancott Estate ‘Limited Edition RWC' Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2011. The bottle, pictured above, is no doubt the flagship wine to go along with the exclusive sponsorship Pernod Ricard have invested in for the Rugby World Cup. Good on them. All the fans at Eden Park, the Wellington 'cake tin' stadium and all other rugby venues around New Zealand will only get to drink Brancott wines.

They are fine wines. That goes without saying and anyone who orders up a bottle like the one I have had will be well pleased with the gorgeous ripe fruity aromas. I did love this wine and even my husband who normally gets quite sniffy about my 'savvy' drinking habits tasted it and approved. (He prefers chardonnay, but then he is a man.)

But my nagging worry is that all the visitors who spend thousands getting here will not have a chance to taste the enormous variety of other splendid wines produced by our more than 600 other wine companies. The IRB and the RWC boards sold sponsorships to fill their coffers, and in the process sold out on a lot of what we do really well in New Zealand. My friend in Matakana, who is trying to attract rugby visitors to her wonderful winery and sculpture trail on the days they're looking for something else to do, is not permittted to mention the word 'wine' in her marketing material. What utter nonsense!

I can't blame Pernod Ricard for coughing up the bucks for the sponsorship but surely someone in the government who backed this whole performance and palaver should have been a bit more clever about all this silly exclusivity?

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