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Unlike a lot of consumer products, with wine you tend to get what you pay for. That’s not to say that there aren’t great bargains available, but the difference in quality between a $5-dollar bottle and a $30 bottle of wine is usually quite significant.
New Zealand’s distinctive winegrowing regions each have unique soils and climatic conditions that are expressed in the wines produced.New Zealand Wine is a direct reflection of New Zealand itself – Bright, Different, Distinctive.
There are very good wines available for the shrewd buyer in the $15 to $25 range. This is where using medals and awards that wines have received; helps you make the best decision. The Grocery Wine Awards is the only New Zealand wine competition where wines must retail under a certain price ($25).
In terms of grape varieties, Riesling and Chardonnay will normally give better value for your dollar spent quality-wise than some of the higher profile varieties such as Pinot Noir and Syrah.
Explore Wine and Food Matching
A great way to learn more about different varietals of wine.
With food and wine matching, be adventurous. While there are no hard and fast rules, here are a few tips that help when selecting the perfect food wine. Look at the weight, flavour and texture of the wine which is related to the food. A big hearty Australian Shiraz may well swamp the delicate flavours of a lightly poached chicken dish, but could also be perfect with sautéed mushrooms with garlic and parsley.
There are a few combinations that aren’t so great. A red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon and a pan-fried white fish tends to be high on the ‘this doesn’t work list’. The red wine flavour swamps the flavour of the fish and red wine can sometimes give fish a metallic flavour which is very unpleasant. High acid wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling wine and Riesling don’t work well with creamy sauces, but having said that there will always be the exception to the rule.
When buying wines for gifts, sparkling wines are always a safe bet, as are food friendly wines that display award and medal stickers. Again, be bold and use the stickers to choose wines and varieties you haven’t tried before. Talk to your New World Wine department staff, they will be happy to help you make that stand-out selection.Wine Lab offers the Best of NZ Fine Wine Online.
New Zealand’s Maritime Climate is ideal for growing white grapes. Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough Sound have put New Zealand on the map for some of the best in the world. New Zealand whites now encompass a wide range of varieties of award-winning whites including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and more.There are huge variations and some White Wines taste sweeter than others because even though they have the same sugar level, the fruit reminds us of sweet flavours. For example, Sauvignon Blanc often flavours of fresh herbs and red capsicum, while Pinot Gris will remind us of ripe fresh pear. Both wines are sweet as each other in the amounts of sugar they have, but the Pinot Gris will appear to have a sweeter flavour.
Dry White Wines
Do not taste sweet. Varieties include
Medium White Wines
These types of wine are slightly sweet when you taste them and will leave a rich, slightly sweet aftertaste. These wines often “medium” or “off dry” on the label. Varieties include:
- Medium Riesling
- Medium Pinot Gris
- Medium Gewürztraminer
Sweet White Wines
These wines are very sweet and luscious and will often have on the label “Noble”, “Late Harvest”, “Late Pick” and “Botrytis”.
New Zealand’s warmer regions including Hawke’s Bay and Auckland are renowned for producing vibrant and complex Cabernet Blends. In the cooler regions, Wairarapa, Canterbury, Central Otago, Nelson and Waipara, winegrowers are producing elegant and distinctive Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is notoriously difficult to grow, yet is New Zealand’s fastest growing variety. As well as having a different flavor of red wines also contain a compound called tannin in varying amounts. Tannin is the product that provides the astringent character in black tea and will make the wine ‘taste’ bigger and fuller in your mouth.
Full Bodied Red Wines
These wines are rich and have masses of flavour. Varieties include:
Lighter Bodied Red Wines
These wines are softer and are often less intense in your mouth. Varieties include:
- Pinot Noir
- Some lighter styles of Merlot
International Wine Judges consistently express their amazement and excitement about the exceptional quality of New Zealand bubbly. For being relatively new to the sparkling scene, NZ winemakers have quickly learned how to craft Bubbles with blends that are most toast-worthy.
Sweet wines are often difficult to get right but New Zealand winegrowers have proven their mastery as more NZ Dessert Wines take out the top places in wine tasting ratings each year. With a variety of production methods trialed, including late harvest and freezing, the results are of utmost quality.
Natural Wine is made with minimal chemical and technological intervention, both in growing grapes and making them into wine. The term is used to distinguish a Organic Wine and Biodynamic Wine because of differences in cellar practices. All-natural wines are, however, farmed organically at a minimum and many growers are biodynamic in the vineyards as well.
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Our wine community wants to make sure future generations get to experience Aotearoa in the same way we do now, whilst enjoying some good wine. Choose New Zealand Wine to perfectly compliment your next gathering with friends, whether it’s a romantic toast for two, a dinner party, weekend barbecue or Friday drinks at the office, New Zealand’s variety and flavours are sure to fit your budget with dash of elegance and style.
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