Tag Archives: Taste Magazine NZ

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Tracking trends

Albariño is Spain’s most prestigious white grape variety. It also does pretty well in Portugal where they call it Alvarinho. Just because it performs with distinction in Spain and Portugal doesn’t mean that Albariño will cut the mustard in this part of the world. A lot of distinguished Italian grape varieties, for example, only perform on the home ground.

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Winter wines

Our diet changes with the seasons so it’s logical that our choice of wine should follow a similar pattern. If you are the sort of person who drinks the same wine throughout the year ignore what I have to say. But if you are stimulated by change and like to get the most out of the wines you drink and foods you enjoy … then read on.

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Taste magazine 2015 Wine Awards

Annual Taste wine awards for Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sparkling Wine, Sweet Wine, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Reds other than Pinot Noir and New Varieties. For each group, Bob presents his top picks in the Under $20, $20 – $30 and Over $30 price brackets. Trophy Awards are also allocated to the overall Best Red, Best White, Best to Cellar and many other categories.

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Rose – a recipe for romance

“Ah, so you a wine expert Mr Bob?” quizzed the Singaporean taxi drive after a brief conversation as we headed into town from Changi airport. “What wine best to seduce women?” I’d never been asked that before but the answer seemed fairly obvious. “Rosé” I replied. “Preferably Rosé champagne but non-sparkling Rosé is also a good choice.”

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Wine Match

The prawn salad is a challenging dish for a wine match as it includes sweet, sour and bitter elements. However I think that the Yealands PGR is the perfect solution. This aromatic wine has a hint of sweetness supported by good acidity and a range

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Christmas wine selection

It’s always the right time to open a bottle of fizz. Most deserve to be served well chilled – you can also chill the glasses with a little freezer time or a good swirl with crushed ice. Be careful when you open the bottle. Drape a napkin or tea towel over the top before loosening the wire. High acid foods, such as oysters garnished with lime or lemon, will bring out the best in most bubblies. Forget the silver teaspoon, keep leftovers fresh with an airtight sparkling wine sealer.

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Bob’s picks for Christmas dinner

Sauvignon Blanc lovers beware! The 2014 vintage was a game of two halves: wines made from grapes picked before the rain (at best brilliant) and wines made from grapes picked after the rain (variable and at best average). This was a “before the rain” wine. I rated it as one of the best when I tasted an extensive collection of 2014 Sauvignon Blanc samples. Fantastic with seafood garnished with a squeeze of lemon.

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Best bubbles – Prosecco and Champagne

The French invented, perfected and continue to make the world’s best bubbles. I have attended many blind sparkling wine tastings. Believe me, the wines from Champagne stand out from the rest. To be labelled “champagne” the wine must be from a defined area in the north of France, only three grape varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) can be used and the wine must be made to exacting standards. Other countries, including New Zealand, use the same grape varieties and winemaking methods but they never make wine that is the equal of champagne. A limestone-rich soil that was once a seabed and a cool, marginal climate are the two trump cards that make champagne unique.

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Aromatic wines

An aromatic wine is one made from a white grape variety that belongs to the aromatic family of grapes. Aromatic grapes contain high levels of terpenes which sounds like something you might clean paint brushes with but is in fact a compound that gives the wine a distinctive floral-like aroma.

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Light white

Low alcohol white wines are hot! This wine category appeals to calorie conscious wine drinkers and anyone wanting to limit or reduce their alcohol intake without cutting down too much on the volume of wine they drink. From December 1 (my birthday) the alcohol limit will lower from 400 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath, to 250mcg for drivers over 20. That’s just one good reason to consider reducing your alcohol consumption.