Autumnal drinking pleasure – what to drink this month

May 4, 2022
2 mins read

Recommendations for late autumn drinking cheer from our resident wine expert PHIL PARKER. Get stuck in while you can!

Here we go folks, as we head into cooler days and think about getting out the winter duvet and popping the electric blanket back on the bed. My wife swears we’ve had an early autumn, with lots of leaves dropping and feijoas popping up all over Auckland from late March. So, before we start preparing ourselves for winter hibernation, here are some grand autumn drinking suggestions.

This month I’m featuring wines from two South Island family producers, the Donaldson family’s Pegasus Bay from North Canterbury, and the Ibbotson family’s Saint Clair from Marlborough. Great wines to enjoy and share with your besties as the temperatures drop. Cheers!

Main Divide North Canterbury Gewürztraminer 2020 $21
From Pegasus Bay’s great value second-tier label. Unctuous and lush, with a herbaceous and floral palate. Flavours of grilled grapefruit, lychee and preserved pineapple in a medium sweet style with a long finish. Great with Vietnamese or Malaysian cuisine.
Available: Widely

Main Divide North Canterbury Rosé 2021 $21
Made from a variety of grapes, this rosé is herbaceous and crisp with notes of strawberry and cherry and a hint of rhubarb. Tangy with a clean dry finish. Would make a very nice entrée palate cleanser or aperitif.
Available: Widely

Main Divide North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc 2021 $21
Zesty typical sav profile. Rich and crisply acidic with flavours of gooseberry, green bell pepper, grapefruit and passionfruit and a nudge of herbal grassiness. Fab with Vietnamese cuisine e.g., fresh veg or prawn rolls.
Available: Widely

Main Divide North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2020 $25
Consistently great value pinot, one of my favourites. Soft, smoky and savoury, with red fruits and cherry. Silky soft tannins and lengthy spicy, umami palate. Food match venison or rabbit. Veg option – pasta with truffle and mushroom sauce.
Available: Widely

Saint Clair Vicar’s Choice Marlborough Pinot Gris 2019 $13
A lovely fruit bomb and a refreshing change from the lean ‘n’ mean pinot gris style. Off-dry with soft acids, lime citrus, apple juice, quinine and a tangy finish. Great as an aperitif or with seafood or Thai foods.
Available: Countdown

Saint Clair Origin Marlborough Chardonnay 2019 $22
Herbaceous, with stone fruit characters and a soft finish. Flavours of peach, nectarine and subtle toasty oak, finishing with a yeasty brioche aftertaste. Nice chilled as a picnic wine or a friendly BBQ white wine option for the Savvie averse.
Available: Fine Wine Delivery Co, Countdown

Saint Clair Hawkes Bay Cabernet Merlot 2019 $21
Soft and ripe with typical cabernet notes of blackcurrant, fruitcake plum and hint of dustiness. Medium tannins and a lengthy finish. A good match with slow cooked beef or a rich ratatouille.
Available: Countdown



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Originally a physiotherapist, Phil's fascination with the fermented grape juice led to the launch of his wine tour company Auckland Fine Wine & Food Tours at the turn of the century. A seasoned and well-respected wine writer, Phil's oenophilia led to the publication of his wine region guide to New Zealand, The Mad Keen Wine Buff's Road Trip (Random House).

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