Not everyone likes the lush fruity intensity and crisp
acidity of typical Marlborough sauvignon blancs. There are
lighter ones for the faint hearted, and full on pungent ones
for the bold. And for connoisseurs who often avoid sauvignon
blanc, there are unusual, interesting ones like, in this
tasting, the Hawkes Bay Alluviale.
Pinot gris tends to be a wine people either enjoy or can't be
bothered with. Apart from appreciating a few stylish
versions, I have to admit I fall into the latter camp,
especially when they are sweet and unbalanced by high alcohol
that leaves a burn in the mouth.
Sometimes you come across wines that are quite different from
the run of the mill and this line-up includes an unusual
variety, an unusual treatment for gewurztraminer and an
unusual but delicious and versatile late harvest sauvignon
It is often difficult to match wine with Asian foods,
but recently a few wines have appeared, such as Spice Trail,
which are blended specially to complement these cuisines that
are often not wine-friendly.
There appear to be more brands of pinot noir than any other
New Zealand wine, so there's a lot to choose from. They may
come from Central, of course, but also Waipara, Marlborough,
Nelson, Wairarapa and even from Hawkes Bay.
Pinot gris comes in several styles, from lush, oily wines
with firm structure to new, lighter, lower-alcohol, crisp
versions ideal for summer lunches. An extra year's bottle age
has benefited some of these wines.