RACHEL PINDER A Hawke's Bay winery is proud as punch to have had one of its wines chosen to toast the Queen for her 80th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth enjoyed a glass of Te Mata Estate's Woodthorpe Chardonnay 2004 when the Lord Mayor of the City of London toasted her 80th birthday at a spectacular dinner at the Lord Mayor's Mansion House last night.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended a National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral, followed by a short walkabout in St Paul's churchyard, before attending the dinner at the Mansion House.
The UK public selected a feast fit for a Queen following a seven-week BBC television series, Great British Menu, where 14 top chefs waged a culinary battle to have their dishes take pride of place at the royal table.
The winning menu was served at the Mansion House dinner. Wines from around the world were considered to match each course of the winning menu.
Te Mata Estate's Woodthorpe Chardonnay 2004 was selected to match two of the courses.
Chief executive John Buck said Te Mata wines are frequently served at New Zealand state functions.
"The selection for the Queen's 80th birthday celebration is acknowledgment of their standing in the UK. The choice of one of our Woodthorpe wines is especially fitting as this vineyard's name originates from Henry Woodthorpe, clerk of the City of London from 1801 to 1825.
"I think Henry would be proud to know that his name appeared on a wine served by his city to honour his Queen," Mr Buck said.
Woodthorpe's portrait hangs in the Mansion House ballroom, so presumably he gazed down benignly on the guests enjoying his namesake wine, which is described by the winery as elegant and complex with a delicate lemon colour and rich palate showing nectarine, pineapple and roasted cashew flavours with a long, fine finish.
- A number of celebratory events have been held, both around the Queen's actual birthday on April 21 and her official birthday on June 17.