The winemaker for Marlborough winery Isabel, Jeremy McKenzie, paid a visit the other day and I was updated on this well-established winery’s new direction.
Air New Zealand has ended its sponsorship of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards after supporting it for 31 years.
At the 2016 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, eighteen wines earned gold in the chardonnay section.
“A record 99.7 percent of all wines entered in this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards have been sustainably produced,” advised a press release from NZ Winegrowers.
I salute the judges at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards. They awarded three gold medals to the Rosé class. That’s the highest number of gold medals they’ve awarded to Rosé in a decade.
“I’ve been invited to a party hosted by a well-known winemaker. Everyone is expected to bring a bottle. Most of the guests are very wine knowledgeable. Can you recommend a wine that won’t make me look like an idiot?” asked a friend with just a hint of desperation in her voice. Here are the options I gave her.
Why don’t more people drink Riesling? The answer, according to a recent survey, is that many people (my wife among them) think that Riesling is too sweet. Most Australian Riesling is dry which perhaps explains why Riesling is less popular in this country where it is more likely to be slightly sweet. The simple explanation for this difference in sweetness can be explained by the relatively lower acidity levels in the warmer Clare and Eden Valleys where much Australian Riesling is grown. Higher acidity levels, particularly in New Zealand’s cooler South Island wine regions, demand that the tangy acidity be balanced by at least a suggestion of sweetness.
During the last 25 years New Zealand has increased its production of wine by more than six times while export sales have gone from $4.4 million to more than $1 billion; a staggering increase. Although growth in quality is harder to measure than growth in volume there is little doubt in my mind that the quality of New Zealand wine has grown faster than the quality of any wine-producing country in the world over the past quarter century.
The world is oversupplied with wine. Heavy discounting is now the rule rather than the exception. A discount of 10% is no longer very interesting. The price now needs to drop by 50% or more to catch the attention of wine buyers.
I love Thai food. There are two Thai restaurants a dangerously short walking distance from my house. Both are BYO. Whenever we decide to have a Thai curry I’m torn between choosing Rosé and Gewurztraminer. Both are a long way ahead of my third choice, Riesling. Rosé and Gewürztraminer have sufficient strength of flavour to handle even moderately flavoursome curries. Rosé is made from red grapes while Gewürztraminer is a pink-skinned grape giving both wines a flavour boost when compared to white wine made from white grapes.