Meet Melisa, Marketing Manager in Marlborough … sorry, I just had to get this out of my head!
Melisa Beight is one of the lovely ladies who is writing for Sip NZ Wine. She was a commercial litigator in Auckland and London for 14 years before she recently landed her dream role as Marketing Manager for Whitehaven Wines in Marlborough. Melisa is super passionate about the New Zealand wine industry and she had been dreaming about and plotting her career metamorphosis for some time.
Before I share some of Melisa’s interviews, I better introduce her to you in a quick Q&A session.
If you were a wine, what wine would you be?
Champagne (bubbly (unless flat), an expensive habit, great with friends…).
Why did you decide to work in the wine industry?
I absolutely love wine, wineries and vines; I am interested in science, how the climate and soil affect the grapes, the creative, artisan aspect of winemaking, and the sense of community and spirit in the wine industry. When I was working in London, I used to dream of sunny Waiheke and I was absolutely determined to pull off a career coup but didn’t know where to start. I feel very fortunate that my dream job recently materialised (in accepting this award, I would like to thank the universe, Sue White and Simon Toneycliffe!).
Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
Champagne and, well, anything; Pinot Noir and dark chocolate with whole almonds.
Share a fact about you that only a few know:
I am very easily distracted and can spot (and be distracted by) a flickering light at 100km.
Hidden gems and favourite spots in your region?
I am new to Marlborough, so I will have to update this in 6 months – but to date, my favourite cafes in Blenheim are Ritual, 23 Grove Road Coffee House and Raupo. Scotch is a good spot to meet friends for a drink. Rock Ferry (winery) is great for lunch and makes a delicious organic Chardonnay. And there are two surprisingly good clothing stores – No. 4 and Thomas’s (which stocks lots of NZ designers).
Things you still want to do:
See Argentina, learn to sail, learn to fly a plane, get my children’s books published, and be appointed to a board.
Last book read:
The Italian Wife by Kate Furnival.
Advice on buying wine:
Cellar doors and tastings enable you to try different wines and unusual grape varieties. Be brave – if you don’t like it, tip it out. I also keep a note in my phone of wines I like, so I can track them down later.
Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
My future husband! (note to self: edit if offers from eligible/ineligible suitors become unmanageable).