Auckland Day Four: America’s Cup Viaduct Harbour

Today’s adventure was a walk down to the newer part of the harbour, which was built up to host the 2000 America’s cup. According to the literature: “New Zealand has a long history of involvement with the America’s Cup Yachting Regatta and was only the 2nd country in 100 years to win it from America at San Diego in 1995. We first hosted it here in the year 2000 when we defended the cup but lost it in 2003 to the Swiss challenger Alinghi. Views of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and Wynhard Quarter can be see. At the Wynward Quarter are the Auckland Fish Markets, as well as many new bars and restaurants.”

We walked over Wynhard lift crossing (a draw bridge that that raises for large vessels to pass through) and had breakfast at a little deli inside Seafood Central — veggie quiche, and a breakfast slice (like brkfst pizza). Then we walked through the fish market, which has the most amazing selection of fresh and smoked fishes we have ever seen. Between the market and the next building, there is a full service restaurant. Inside the other building is a bar that offers a very specialized wine tasting experience, Big Picture Wine, which we–of course–had to check that out.

It began with a session in the “aroma room”—an area with tables set up with sniffers of every possible scent that a can be associated with wine…some great, some not so good, i.e. horse, leather, and various earthy scents. If you sniff any of these, return the wine! It was an interesting experience in identifying scents – I did well with fruity scents, and some spices like cloves and nutmeg. Not so much with most of the others. Bob was good with scents like honey and coffee.

After this experience, we were ushered into a film room where we watched a 30-minute film covering six New Zealand wineries and their specialties; as we watched, tastings of each were in front of us for evaluation. We learned about: Drumsara, Central Otago, 2010 pinot noir; Villa Maria Estate, Marlborough Single Vineyard Southern Clays 2010 Sauvignon Blanc; Waimea Estate Nelson 2010 Viognier; Alana Estate, Martinborough, 2009 pinot noir; Babich Wines, Hawkes Bay, Irongate 2011 chardonnay; and Man O’War, Waiheke Island 2010 ‘Ironclad’ (a classic Bordeaux red blend). Interesting way to taste wines from various regions.

After the tasting, we returned to the seafood market where we tasted some smoked fish and bought some goodies from the deli, including octopus salad, shrimp and avocado salad, and seaweed salad. Then, of course, we had to have a glass of wine to wash down the smoked fish aftertaste! Followed by taking a bus back to our digs and enjoying a supper of our seafood bounty with some nice wine.

View of Sky Tower from the Viaduct Harbor

View of Sky Tower from the Viaduct Harbor

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