When it comes to elaborate dinners, we’re sure the first thing that comes to your mind is the wine that accompanies it. Wine & Dine, as a culture, has been around for centuries now. The function of wine has evolved throughout time from a major food source to a cultural supplement, to food and togetherness, a cultural icon. No parties and great soirees are complete without a bottle of decanted, well-aged wine. Think about the times you can have a party of two - your bottle of wine and you! Just like the weekends, wine & dine sessions are looked forward to.
If you love drinking wine and love New Zealand wine, there are so many amazing flavours from the friendly wineries of New Zealand. Each wine has its distinct personality with a range of options for those people who prefer red wines or white wines. The variety also makes it easy for a group of friends to enjoy the different types.
Here are some of the best ones:
Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon blanc is a green-skinned grape varietal native to the Bordeaux area of France. Because of its early beginnings as an indigenous grape in South West France, the grape is most likely named after the French terms sauvage and blanc. It is likely a descendant of Savagnin. Sauvignon Blanc is usually strong in acidity, full-flavored with mineral, grass, and citrus aromas, and has a mild to moderately high alcohol content (12.5–14 percent alcohol by volume), depending on the environment. If you’re wanting to try something local, you absolutely must try Sauvignon Blanc. 80% of the wine grown in New Zealand is Sauvignon Blanc, and Marlborough in particular is world famous for it. We recommend trying the Mount Ridge Sauvignon Blanc.
Shiraz: Shiraz is the wine to drink if you like a robust, full-bodied wine. The wines are opaque and ruby-purple in colour, with intense jammy aromas and flavours of blueberry and blackberry, as well as large, ripe tannins. Smoked meat elements such as beef jerky and bacon, as well as black pepper spiciness, are also present. If you’re looking to try a Shiraz, the Mcguigan Black Label Shiraz is a delicious option.
Malbec: While this grape originated in France, it is now most popular in Argentina. In fact, nearly 70% of the world’s Malbec is produced in Argentina alone!. It's often found blended with other grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, which also comes from France. Some of the most famous red blends are Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin and Cabernet Franc. We recommend trying Craggy Range’s Te Kahu
Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir comes from the Burgundy region of France. It has rich flavors, thanks to the oak barrels it is commonly aged in. Pinot Noir is also one of the more expensive wines, making it out of reach for most people. If you do happen to find a bottle, make sure you enjoy it, it'll go quick! . We recommend having a glass of Crater Rim’s From The Ashes Pinot Noir
Gewurztraminer: Gewurztraminer has a wide range of scents, from rose to apricot kernel and tropical fruits, as well as pepper and sweet spices. When there is noble rot, aromas of dried fruits and honey appear as well. Simple Gewurztraminer wines having no identifiable provenance other than AC Alsace are typically medium-bodied, off-dry, or semi-sweet If you’re after a Gewurztraminer, Sea Level’s Home Block bottle is an excellent choice.
Pinot Gris: Pinot Gris' basic palate consists of lime, lemon, pear, nectarine, and apple. Depending on where the grapes are cultivated, this variety can develop subtle honey notes, floral aromas, and a minerality reminiscent of salt.
Pinot Gris bursts with lush, fruity, gently spicy flavours in New Zealand. Northern temperatures yield ripe, full-bodied, oily types, whilst the South Island delivers large aromatics with superb structure. We recommend trying the Beach House Pinot Gris.
Chardonnay: This dry, white wine is the most popular of the whites, and for good reason too! Chardonnay is the most diverse white wine grape in the world, able to adapt to many climates. With palates varying from fresh citrus and apple, to more tropical flavours as it ripens. There are many factors that can enhance the flavour of your chardonnay from climate, to ripeness, to whether the wine is oaked or not. If you’re into rich buttery wines, Bogle Chardonnay California is an excellent choice.
Merlot: This red wine is from the same grape family as Chardonnay yet it is vastly different, both in colour and taste. Similarly to Chardonnay, Merlot easily adapts to different climates, taking on the unique flavours and characteristics of each location. Colours range from medium ruby to deep purple and brick tones are developed as the wine ages. Merlot isn’t quite as popular as it once was, but it's still worth a try. It's a great wine for a with a rich beef or lamb meal.The Shy Pig Merlot is a great choice.
Riesling: This wine comes from the same Rhine River region running throughout areas of Germany, France, Austria, and Switzerland. . Riesling is a light-bodied, acidic white wine with a floral flavour profile ranging in colours from pale to deep yellow. We recommend trying True & Daring Riesling, this is a lovely North Canterbury riesling with an off-dry palate.
Rosé: Rosé wines are for the lovers of ‘best of both worlds’. Neither red nor white, Rosé is a light and fresh wine with just a trace of sweetness and an overall pleasant flavour. It is made in a similar way to red wine however with less time to ferment the grape skins. This gives the Rosé its distinct pink appearance. The Mansion House Bay Pinot Noir Rose is a lovely Marlborough dry Rosé, great for pairing with a fresh summer salad.
If you're looking for the perfect wine to enjoy with dinner, these are definitely some that you should consider. They have all the great characteristics to make a bottle of delicious wine, though they also have characteristics that will help them stand out among the others. These wines are easy to drink and offer some wonderful flavors to any meal. Wine Divine offers a wide selection of many of New Zealand’s best wines.