If you don’t like this … try that
I’ve had an epiphany. All my life I’ve hated marmite. I think it has something to do with a lavatorial comment made by my cousin when I was a kid. For whatever reason I’ve had to put up with “how can you not like marmite?” for more than half a century.
Last week my wife, Marion, was eating a slice of toasted Vogels bread smeared with marmite and topped with freshly sliced tomato and basil leaves. She was obviously enjoying it so I asked for a bite. I loved the mix of nutty Vogels, salty marmite and juicy tomato flavours. In fact, I loved it so much I’ve had it for lunch ever since (writing that made me salivate).
I get a thrill when a student in my wine class tells me that they had a Gewürztraminer, Riesling or Syrah that knocked them out despite the fact that they’d never liked wine made from that variety. I love to open doors. I encourage vinous promiscuity.
Here are some recommendations for people who don’t like any of the listed grape varieties. I hope they encourage at least a few people to jump the fence.
The main objection to Sauvignon appears to be high acidity. Choose a moderately soft wine like Rapaura Springs or match the wine with an acidic dish such as seafood garnished with lime or lemon to pull the perception of acidity down in the wine.
Riesling objectors mostly dislike any sweetness, although some find the wine too acidic. Mahana is bone dry but does have lively acidity that can be tamed with a high acid food (believe me, this works).
Sweetness and bitter tannins are the two big turn-offs. Maude has neither feature.
Gewürztraminer is a bit like raw oysters, you either love them or hate them – there’s no middle ground. This rich, complex, spicy medium/dry wine is not as perfumed or as “in your face” as many. It’s also delicious.
Sweetness can be a stumbling block with Rosé. This wine does have a hint of sweetness, but serve it well chilled and marvel at its silken texture and subtle power.
I can’t imagine how anyone can not like Pinot Noir (or marmite now). The Palliser is soft, seductive and deliciously accessible – perfect Pinot Noir for beginners.
The biggest objection I encounter against Syrah is price – Syrah is NZ’s most expensive varietal wine. This wine from Church Road is fantastic value – I spotted it for $24.99 at Glengarry.
These wines can be fairly astringent when first released, but this very approachable example has got “drink me know” written all over it.