Sipping in slippers

PHIL PARKER acknowledges the change in seasons with some indoorsy sipping and supping options to keep you warm.

Here we go, folks. As the evenings grow cooler and the days shorten, we can focus more on eating indoors. Here’s a bunch of fab wines with food match suggestions. Bon appetit. And cheers!

Ara Zero Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (Vegan)  2022 $17
Has just won ‘Best of Show Sauvignon Blanc’ at the Mundus Vini Non-alcoholic Wine Competition. At no more than 0.5% alcohol, it has a soft savvie profile of passionfruit, guava, fresh black currant and a raisiny crisp citrus finish. A great autumn picnic option for the designated driver.
Available: Pt Chev Organic Wines, First Glass Wines

Ara Single Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (Vegan)  2022 $17
A soft take on the typical Marlborough sauvignon. Dominant flavours of fresh black currant, green bell pepper, soft citrus acids, herbs and a hint of passionfruit. Match with seafood or mildly spicy Asian dishes.
Available: Countdown,

Astrolabe Taihoa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2021 $39
This limited-production wine is whole bunch pressed with native yeast, and barrel fermented with yeast lees stirring. Complex and multi-layered and could pass for a crisp chardonnay. Soft acids with a rich palate of canned peach, nectarine, ripe kiwifruit, clover honey and ripe pineapple. Match with roast chicken or creamy pasta.
Available: Caros

27 Seconds Waipara Riesling 2021 $19
Great value medium sweet style riesling, 10% alcohol. Packed with ripe mandarin, honeysuckle, canned apricot, and clover honey. A soft, tangy, slightly crisp finish. Match with seafood, medium spiced Vietnamese dishes, or as a pre-dinner drink. 100% of the profits go to an NZ charity combating international slavery. Read the full story and buy here:

27 Seconds Waipara Pinot Gris 2021 $22
Earthy and complex. Rich flavours of musk, pineapple, rock melon, orange peel and a medium dry finish. Would be great with creamy pasta, chicken dishes, and spicy Asian seafood. See above.

Ara Single Estate Marlborough Pinot Gris (Vegan) 2022 $17
Rich and ripe off-dry style, with guava, honeysuckle, Braeburn apple, rock melon and a hint of marshmallow. Yummy. Fab as an aperitif or match with Asian foods, scallops, or slow-cooked rich pork dishes.
Available: Glengarry

Ara Single Estate Marlborough Chardonnay (Vegan) 2022 $17
Crisply elegant and young. Leaning towards a sauvignon blanc profile, with lime citrus with a hint of toasty oak. Apricot and nectarine, and a crisp dry finish.  Match with creamy, cheesy lasagne or seafood.
Available: Available: Fine O Wine, Pt Chev Organic Wines, Glengarry

Shaky Bridge Central Otago Pinot Noir Pioneer Series 2021
These two pinots are grown in one of the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in Central Otago. Opens up with cigar, toasty oak, black currant, sultana, dark chocolate, cherry and spice. A hint of spice and savoury mushroom/roasted meat. Medium-bodied, elegant and classy pinot noir. Worth cellaring for two to three years. Match with roasted meats and vegetables.
Available: Caro’s,

Shaky Bridge Artisan Series Central Otago Pinot Noir 2019
Soft, spicy and elegant and very drinkable right now. Cherry, blackberry, Black Doris plum, molasses, and a hint of thyme and savoury yeasty tang.  Match with rich mushroom dishes.
Available: New World,





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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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Last of the fab summer wine

Witchdoctor's wine guru PHIL PARKER has a selection this month that will take you through the last flush of summer drinking.
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