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Vancouver Wine Festival Tasting Notes: Sam Neill

New Zealand actor Sam Neill established Two Paddocks winery (twopaddocks.com) in the Central Otago region of his home country in 1993, specializing in Pinot Noir. He stars in the new ABC television series Happy Town, which starts April 28.

1. When and how did wine become a big part of your life?

If I could remember life without wine I would tell you . But somehow it's a dim and colorless memory . Wine has undoubtedly been important since I could afford to drink it, and has been indispensible ever since. I decided to actually produce wine in 1991, having had perhaps one glass too many one evening .

2. What do you look for in a wine?

Unalloyed pleasure. The first sip is all I need to know. And life is too short to struggle on with an inferior wine .

3. There are many myths around wine-drinking. Which one annoys you most?

Let us dispense once and for all with the idea that wine, women and song somehow mean the slippery road to perdition. In my view that combination, plus good food is as good as it gets! In moderation of course, as in all good things. Moderate moderation ...

4. What is the one thing you would do to change wine or winemaking?

I have had too many bad, corked bottles of good wine to allow any more patience with the cork. We changed to screwcaps 10 years ago, and have never looked back .

5. It’s your last supper. Choose the location, the meal and what’s in your glass.

Oh, why a Last Supper? Not just yet, please: Life's too much fun just now. But all right, if I must choose, a nice simple Shepherd's Pie, a green salad with balsamic, plenty of Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2006, at my own table at home. Am I allowed friends and family too ? Please...

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