Drinking in fresh air

November 5, 2022
2 mins read

PHIL PARKER has retired his trusty reusable merino wool filter mask and is now ready to drink up just for you!

Now that the masks and mandates are largely gone it’s time for a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively.

So far (touch wood) I have escaped the virus and I am very grateful for the double jabs and two boosters – plus a sensible mask policy. But now, I can largely retire my trusty reusable merino wool filter mask and go about in public bare-faced for a change.

It’s so refreshing to be able to go to a café, shop or supermarket without fumbling in my pocket for the ever-present mask. Here’s to a return to some sort of normalcy!  I’ll drink to that!


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Poppies Martinborough Rose 2021 $55
Crisp, crunchy and dry. A full-flavoured and rich palate of watermelon, cherry, almond and plum. All dressed up in an elegant tall bottle with a glass stopper. Great as a slightly chilled aperitif.
Available: poppiesmartinborough.co.nz

Columbia Crest Columbia Valley Washington USA Chardonnay 2020 $23
Crisp and elegant with subtle flavours. Light oak influence with lime, marzipan, creamy yeast and soft acids. Good food match for a rich and creamy chicken, seafood, or pasta dish.
Available: Pt. Chev Organic Wines, Caros

Cupcake Vineyards Monterey County California Chardonnay 2020 $28
Another surprisingly subtle style of chardonnay from the USA. Creamy yeast, with tangy lemon curd, nougat and toasted almond. Match with oysters or a creamy pasta.
Available: Herne Bay Cellars  blackmarket.co.nz

Pegasus Bay North Canterbury Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2019 $100
(I mistakenly reviewed this wine as the 2021 vintage last month). Pegasus Bay’s premium pinot noir nails it again. Cherry, poached tamarillo, dark chocolate and umami soy all play on the palate – with a soft and lengthy finish. Food match: venison or rabbit. Veg option – pasta with truffle and mushroom sauce.
Available: Caros,  pegasusbay.com

Knappstein Clare Valley Shiraz 2020 $23
Ripe and plummy Aussie great value shiraz, with black currant, blackberry, leathery spice and dark chocolate. Would be a fab match for a hearty venison casserole.
Available: blackmarket.co.nz

Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz McLaren Vale 2020 $100
Integrated palate of spiced plum, black cherry, cassis, herbs and leather all bound up in medium tannins. Match with hearty beef dishes or spicy ratatouille.
Available: widely

Penfolds Grange 2018 $1000

Recognised as one of the world’s great wines, Grange is the iconic wine of South Australia. This vintage is 97% shiraz and 3% cabernet sauvignon. Aromas of blackberry fruit, chocolate and baking spices. A dense and juicy ripe palate of plum pudding, liquorice, cassis, spiced poached Black Doris plums and blackberry with hints of Baba Rhum and cranberry. Medium tannins and a long finish. One to cellar while planning the ultimate food match!

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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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Korero Te Reo

PHIL PARKER is all for embracing diversity, especially when it comes to wine varieties from all over the world.
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