“Oh that’s such a cruisy job – wanna swap?” is something I hear regularly when I meet someone new and they find out what I do for a living.  They must think it’s all just wine tasting day in day out, making a telly show and going to the occasional flash party.  They don’t see the screaming weekly deadlines, the soul-sucking sitting around in airports, the horror of realising you’d booked your crew to fly Jetstar and they’re going to arrive in Queenstown 2 hours late if at all.

The gst and PAYE, the dubious semi-rural internet connections, the website which is months out of date (meaning my ‘social media platforms are operating at less than optimal levels’) and the constant strain of trying maintain some semblance of normality at home (when I am home) for my children and long-suffering husband.  The cooking, the housework, the pressure of producing vaguely nutritious lunchboxes each day and the ferrying kids to and from sport/dancing/drama and afterschool tuition (“because your child needs more problem-solving strategies for their line of attack in terms of the maths curriculum”)

They don’t see the supermarket shopping, the state of my skirting boards, the keeping on top of school notices and the “your child wants to do waterpolo so can you sign here, pay $100 and also be a parent-helper” forms.  The begging babysitters at short notice, the ‘knock on every door down your street to ask for money because our school needs some new tambourines’ fundraisers, the numerous presents for the kids friends birthday parties, the doctors appointments, the cat vaccinations, the gardening, the banking and insurance and bills, bills, bills.

“Then you really should get a nanny/cleaner/PA… because your life would be SO much easier if you did” is then what they tend to say if I ever do get the chance to vent my spleen about how staggeringly crap it is being middle class.  Are these people on peyote?  While I really love my job, it can sometimes be a bit of a financial stretch just to keep my 8-week hair appointments let alone pay someone to scrub the shower, swing past school to collect the kids or sort out my spreadsheets.  Sheesh!

Actually now that I’ve taken a few moments to think about it, those last few paragraphs are little more than a petulant, post-Christmas rant from a woman who should know better. She should, in fact, calm down, take a deep breath and get over herself.  Because life is good when you are loved.  Always be thankful for what you have.  Learn to say no more often because money isn’t everything and suck it up Yvonne, it’s pride not money stopping you from getting help with the cleaning.  Stop complaining, spend less on your hair and more on your sanity and the world will be a better place.  Cheers!  I’ll drink to that.

Sips of the week

Haha Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 $16 ★★★★★

Wow!  This is intense, concentrated stuff.  Each glass is packed with passionfruit, lime and blackcurrant leaf loveliness on the nose and palate.  Punchy and pungent, with a glorious, gum-tingling texture – it’s darn flash and should definitely be in your fridge this summer.  www.hahawine.com

Mountford Estate Pinot Noir 2009 $72 ★★★★★

Absolutely gorgeous fresh berry aromatics combined with musky, perfumed, pot-pourri and rhubarb crumble characters in the mouth.  I love the luscious raspberry, 5-spice and cherry cola succulence.  It’s pricey, and higher in alcohol (14.5%) than most, but it’s sensational nonetheless.  www.finewinedelivery.co.nz

Isabel Vineyard Marlborough Pinot Gris 2012 $22 ★★★★

This is one of my new favourite pinot gris styles because I love the juicy, marmalade, peach and quince flavours and the rich, deeply textural mouthfeel.  It hits that balance between mid-palate generosity and dryness, cleansing crispness and long, luxurious length of flavour.  www.glengarry.co.nz

Gladstone Estate 12,000 miles Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2012 $19 ★★★½

A superb sauvignon showing peach fuzz, passionfruit and citrus aromas that lead to punchy, cheek-sucking acidity, blackcurrant leaf, pineapple and herbaceous flavours and an intense, lime-laden finish.  I’d love to taste this again in 12 months time when it’s had a chance to soften slightly.  www.gladstonevineyard.co.nz

Brancott Estate Special Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Gris 2012 $28 ★★★★

Wild passionfruit, elderflower, white peach, basil, white pepper, nectarine and lime – it’s all in here.  Brancott have been doing interesting things with sauvignon gris (a singular grape variety, not a blend of sauvignon blanc and pinot gris) recently and the results get better every year.  www.brancottestate.com

St Andrews Sparkling Cider 750ml $15

Restaurants and bars across Hawke’s Bay have been enjoying sole custody of this cracking new cider – but that’s all changed now that the nation can buy it from their snazzy new website.  Deeply golden and boasting subtle, fruit-wax and pure apple aromas, it’s produced from apples grown on John Parsons’ St Andrews Road orchard, made by chief cider maker Andrew Condon, and bottled by chief bottling officer Tim Nowell-Usticke of Wineworks fame.  Deliciously dry, elegant and cleansing, it’s focussed and fabulous.  More please!  www.standrewscider.co.nz