New from New Zealand

Here’s a slideshow I put together from my recent trip Down Under along with my Top 5 Takeaways from a week or so spent studying the ways of the Kiwi. 

1. The relatively unknown Central Otago wine region is making some rocking pinot noirs. Standouts were Kim Crawford SP (small parcels) 2007 Central Otago and Felton Road Winery 2010 Block 5 Pinot Noir.

2. There’s a reason Marlborough has become known world-wide for sauvignon blanc. This region produces zippy, tangy wines that go with a variety of food.

3. Price isn’t everything. My hands-down favorite of the trip was Monkey Bay 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, which is around $10. Crisp, floral, not too much of the cat’s you-know-what. A super wine and a super value.

4. Greenshell mussels > blue shell mussels. (Although it probably is for the best they dropped the old name of green lipped mussels.)

5. Get ready to be surprised by Kiwi sparklers. It’s still a fledgling industry, but I predict Marlborough will emerge as a bubbly contender with its fresh, delicious sparkling wines. The brut we tried at Huia Vineyards was yeasty, delicate, elegant, a real treat.

Lake Wakatipu from the air /Photo Michelle Locke

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