After a successful conference on the way that the environment affects genetic vulnerability to disease, I'm now off to Blenheim, via Christchurch, to visit the important wine region of Marlborough.
Last night, Sir Michael Rutter, who is probably the UK's leading child psychiatrist, and who chaired our conference, kindly invited me and a couple of colleagues out to dinner. We went to a new restaurant on the waterfront at the back of the railway station, called Custom House. It was bright, airy and noisy (like many modern restaurants), but the food was excellent.
As often happens in these situations, I was asked to choose the wine - something I enjoy doing - and so I opted for the Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (which is a lovely Sauvignon) and the Rockburn Pinot Noir 2006 from Central Otago. This was really nice: aromatic, ripe, expressive, if perhaps just a little oaky at the moment - both bottles of this went down really well. It was a fun evening, tinged with a hint of sadness because this meeting will have been the last ever Novartis Foundation conference (the organization for which I have worked for the last 15 years, and which Mike is a trustee for; I'm aware this probably needs some more explanation for many people, and I'll do this in another post).
The gratuitous seal picture is from our excursion to the Otago peninsula the other day. Actually, my cetacean taxonomy isn't what it should be. It's possible that is one of the sea lions found on the peninsula, but I'm not able to tell the difference between this and a fur seal, although I'm guessing the former is bigger.
Labels: New Zealand