It’s Friday and that means it’s time to pop open a bottle of wine and enjoy a glass or two. Invivo Wines, a popular New Zealand wine brand, is now available in the US and is a great pick for tonight — and any other night.
As the brainchild of Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron, Invivo Wines launched their first wine in 2008 and their wines have since taken home many medals. And finally, it can be found on New York City shelves.
Invivo Wine will be offering their three most sought after wines: Invivo Sauvignon Blanc, Invivo Pinot Noir and the Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc, which is now one of the world’s fastest growing wines.
With this expansion into the US, Invivo Wines has named Nigel Barker its new “Glambassador”. Downtown sat down for a talk about Barker’s love of wine, what being a “Glambassador” means and his favorite way to enjoy a glass of delightful Invivo Wine.
When you tasted Invivo the first time, how was it different from other wines you’ve had?
Nigel Barker: Let me paint the picture… I was in New Zealand shooting America’s Next Top Model, one evening after filming we gathered at my cousin’s house and I had invited one our producers to join us for drinks. She brought with her a bottle of Invivo Pinot Noir and it was absolutely delicious. Our producer Rachel went on to explain that she was friends of the wine makers and she described their ideology behind the brand which I loved. Needless to say, great taste with a great idea, I wanted to know more and drink more. The rest is history!
You became friends with Invivo Wines’ founders afterwards, how did this happen?
NB: My curiosity got the best of me and personally I always seek out local wines wherever I am in the world. So I asked to be connected with the wine makers who were these two young men basically setting out to turn the wine business on it’s head by producing fabulous wine at a even better price without all the pomp and fanfare.
For 5 years you’ve had them send the wines over to the US, now that it’s available here, what are you most excited about?
NB: Having enough to share and not having to squirrel it away only to bring out and drink when I am alone! But seriously, I have had a fun time with our more clandestine method of smuggling the vino into the country but it’s going to be wonderful having it at my local wine store now.
When they asked you to be “Glambassador” for Invivo Wines, what were your first thoughts?
NB: “I need a glass of Invivo to think about this, or rather a case to mull it over, this is a big and glamorous decision after all!”
What does being a “Glambassador” entail?
NB: Well as the title suggests, I won’t be just the face of the brand but I am tasked with throwing glamorous parties, tastings and events all around the country.
Why do you think New Zealand wines are becoming so popular in the US?
NB: It’s not just the US but a global phenomenon. I believe it’s because you consistently get delicious wine from New Zealand and when the average person goes to their local wine merchant the choices can be quite daunting so if you know a certain wine from a specific country always hits the mark you are more likely to buy it again.
Where does your love of wine stem from?
NB: Growing up in England, my parents served wine every night with dinner and both lunch and dinner during the weekends. I believe I was offered my first glass at age 14. I don’t remember whether it was love at first sip but it was also a rite of passage, exciting and steeped in history. As I grew up and eventually starting traveling and working all over the world, one of my favorite things to do was and is to visit vineyards and taste the local wines. I am currently in the process of building a proper wine cellar in my home upstate New York.
Which one is your favorite Invivo Wine?
NB: I don’t have a favorite wine, just child and she’s too young to enjoy Invivo yet. However, it really depends on what I am eating, what the season is, what the temperature is etc. The great news is that there is a fab Invivo for every moment. Right now at the Barker household we are guzzling down the Sauvignon Blanc by the case. And why you ask, well simply put it’s delicious and easy to drink. But more specifically, I love citrusy zesty wines that are dry and crisp and my wife and I are both pescatarians.
What’s your preferred way to enjoy a glass of Invivo Wine?
NB: With my dog Memphis as he just likes to watch me drink.