Tag: blogger

Blogger Spotlight: Mel Chesneau from Styled Canvas

Today I’d like to introduce you to one of my favourite bloggers, Mel Chesneau from Styled Canvas.

Mel’s blog is about life being our blank canvas and she styles hers well as an interior design blogger, writer and stylist and mum of three kids.

Hi Mel, please tell us a little bit about yourself, Styled Canvas and your background. What brought you to New Zealand?
I’m a Sydney girl who left a job in television to backpack around Europe in the late nineties where I met my (French) husband in a Flea Market. I lived with him in France for about a year before moving back to Sydney and then realized that I couldn’t live without him. It then took us about ten months of living apart before he could get all of the necessary documents to move to Australia. We married at a friend’s property in the Hunter Valley, a wine region in NSW. We’ve now got three beautiful children, two boys and a girl.

We were lucky enough to be transferred here from Sydney for my husband to head Nespresso back in 2011 and our little girl was born a couple of months after arriving. We’re pretty chuffed to have a kiwi in the family.

I started my blog in July 2012 under a different name as a creative output and I had no idea how much it would consume me and how incredibly passionate I’d become about it. It’s also led me to a freelance writing career. Early this year I undertook a huge rebrand of the blog, which included a name change to Styled Canvas to properly reflect the style.

What’s your favourite New Zealand wine?
Not your every day wine but always a treat, Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir.

If you were a wine, what wine would you be?
A Pinot Noir. Some of the good ones are smooth and green at the same time – and I’d like to stay young.

Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
A stinky blue with a Riesling it’s unusual but surprisingly good. Here’s a post I did on a cheese platter some time ago where I got some advice from my father in-law in France who is in the wine business.

Mel Chesneau of Styled Canvas

Share a fact about yourself that only a few know
Don’t tell my Dad but when I was a teenager, sometimes I’d sneak a glass of wine with my friends and top the bottle up with water so that he didn’t know (like he didn’t).

Hidden gems and favourite spots in your area
Farro Fresh and Ponsonby Central for everything food, cheese and wine. I love to shop locally for homewares at Wallace Street corner shops Herne Bay and finish off with a bite to eat at Dear Jervois.

Things you still want to do:
Travel! I miss the freedom of it, that and writing novels. This will no doubt happen once the kids have grown, so I don’t wish that time here anytime soon, but it’s a nice thing to look forward to in many years to come.

Last book read
Oh reading! Sadly I’m not doing enough of it lately. My last read was “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini. Absolutely heart wrenching.

Advice on buying wine:
Go boutique.

I usually celebrate special occasions with a bottle of …
French champagne.

Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
I’d love to share a glass with Lee, my dear friend whom I went backpacking to Europe with. We barely see each other now. We live in different parts of the world, but she’s one of those friends that I know will always be there and that I have a wonderful time with each time our paths cross.

Now head over to Styled Canvas and check out Mel’s great work. You can also stay in touch with her via Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest & Twitter.


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Meet Elissa – Sip NZ Wine Contributor in Wellington

I’m so pleased that Elissa Jordan joined the Sip NZ Wine tribe and is going to keep us updated with what’s happening in the capital.

But before I’ll share some her posts with you, let’s find out a bit more about her.

Hi Elissa, thank you so much for joining the team…

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background:
Originally from a very small town in northern Ontario, Canada, I spent most of highschool planning to travel the world. First a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, then a Journalism Diploma got in the way.

Finally, I was off, 30 countries in the first three years with some of the highlights including a climb to the top of Mt Fuji, a dive to the depths of the Red Sea and a (loooong) bicycle ride from London to Paris. I settled in London a while before relocating to Wellington in 2010, making a wee pit stop in India for a further yoga teaching qualification.

Currently I spend my days as a project manager and business analyst, my evenings and weekends as a yoga teacher and everywhere in between studying towards my WSET diploma certification.

What brought you to New Zealand?
I met a Kiwi in London and we moved to New Zealand together.

Why and when did you start to learn about wine?
I started learning about wine in January 2012, as my New Year’s resolution. It was meant to be a single year of exploration, just enough so I could pick a bottle from the shop and have a reasonable understanding of what I had bought.

By this stage I’d been in New Zealand 18 months and I still didn’t know my Waipara from my Wairarapa – everything still felt so very foreign. That first year wasn’t only to get a better handle on wine, it was also to get a better handle on the geography of my new home.

What’s so special about New Zealand wine?
I reckon it’s the people: work ethic + sense of humor = something special.

What’s your favourite New Zealand wine?
Martinborough Pinot Noir.

Are there any parallels between yoga and wine?
Yes! Balance, appreciating it more as you learn, falling over.

If you were a wine, what wine would you be?
Well, according to three separate online quizzes I’m either Champagne, Merlot or Chardonnay.

I would  probably go with Chardonnay – especially when it’s described like this: “Fresh, spirited, and classic – you have many facets to your personality. You can be sweet and light. Or deep and complex. You have a little bit of something to offer everyone… no wonder you’re so popular. Approachable and never smug, you are easy to get to know (and love!).”

Why did you decide to start your wine blog “Winey Little Bitch”?
When I made a new years resolution to learn about wine, I set up my blog to keep myself accountable. I’ve kept it up as a tool to help with my WSET studies.

Also, my memory is shocking, this way I have a record of what I’ve tasted and what I liked.

Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
Good company! That way if the food and wine pairing is a flop the night is still a success.

Hidden gems and favourite spots in Wellington?
My go to place for a long while was Arbitrageur Wine Room and Restaurant. Sadly they closed end of last year. Loretta, Salty Pidgin and Ortega Fish Shack and Bar have all helped me cope with the loss.

Things you still want to do:
I’m an A-type personality. That makes for a very long list.

Last book read:
Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki – Haruki Murakami

Advice on buying wine:
Find a retailer (or two) you trust. I’ll buy based on a producer or a meal or the person I’ll be sharing the wine with. But if I’m shopping at a place I trust, those times when I’m confronted with choice paralysis I can get a recommendation from someone who already knows the wines I enjoy.

Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
I’ve got some pretty spectacular friends in different pockets of the world, if I could share a glass with anyone, I’d just scoop up a group of them.

Thank you so much Elissa. Keep an eye out for her first post on Sip NZ Wine next week and in the meantime head over to her blog Winey Little Bitch, follow her on Twitter and if you’re based in Welli join her group Winey Little Tasting Group.


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