Central Otago pinot noir to die for: panel

A Central Otago pinot noir is among than 20 New Zealand wines have been chosen by an international panel for a book on the 1001 Wines You Must Try Before You Die.

Among the New Zealand wines listed are Central Otago's Mount Difficulty Pinot Noir, Goldwater Cabernet/Merlot from Waiheke Island and Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough.

The humble pavlova and some of the country's finest wines have also been chosen to sit alongside some of the best food from around the world in two books about what to eat and drink before you die.

Green-shell mussels, golden kiwifruit, pavlova, manuka honey, beech honeydew and whitebait are among the New Zealand foods included in the companion 1001 Foods You Must Eat Before You Die, listed as worthy of sampling.

Twenty-two New Zealand wines were selected among the 1001 wines.

Both volumes were compiled by a team of international food and wine connoisseurs.

The books are the latest releases in a series of things to visit, see or hear before you die, including gardens, classical recordings and natural wonders and are aimed at an international audience.

The food entries tell readers not only what foods to try but where they come from, how they have been and are used in cooking and gives detailed tasting notes to describe what to expect when you try them.

Not surprisingly the ongoing debate between New Zealand and Australia about who invented the pavlova is also featured.

New Zealand appears to get credit for the invention, with the book saying a recipe for pavlova appeared here as early as 1929.

Beech honeydew is cited as the country's largest honey export, particularly popular with Germans, while manuka honey is noted for its medicinal qualities as well as its taste.

Readers are advised to avoid misusing the golden kiwifruit in ice creams and sorbets where the seeds can produce a bitter taste if pulverised in a blender.

New Zealand's wine made more of an impact than its culinary cousins in the other volume.

The 22 New Zealand wines picked for the book sit alongside some of the most exclusive wines in the world as well as those chosen for their drinking and not thinking qualities.

*1001 Wines You Must Try Before You Die and 1001 Foods You Must Eat Before You Die are available now.