A great shiraz is a great shiraz however you say it, finds MARY- THERESE BLAIR.

Despite being a New Zealand resident for almost 15 years I am constantly told I haven’t lost my accent, to which I (half) jokingly reply, “Why would I?”. I don’t know how other nationalities fare, but having an Irish accent outside of Ireland is akin to a superpower. Turns out it’s not always helpful, as during this tasting our judges looked blankly as I described one wine as a “maunch panda”. Asking me to clarify as this was a descriptor that our judges had never previously heard, I slowly repeated “porch…pounder”. But even this had to be further clarified: it is an Americanism that describes well-priced wines traditionally drunk with gusto on the porch or with friends while barbecuing vast quantities of red meat. A collective “Ahhhh” of recognition came from the judges followed by unanimous agreement that this selection does indeed include quite a few examples of great-quality, excellently priced shiraz. That’s good news in any accent.