These superb wines will get you through the cold months

June 13, 2023
1 min read

Here we go, folks. Another jolly bumper edition, featuring some fab wines from NZ Italy and USA, quaffed and written about by PHIL PARKER.

Main Divide North Canterbury Riesling 2020 $22
Great value medium sweet, classic riesling from North Canterbury with 12.8% alcohol. Soft acids, beeswax, pineapple, poached apple, ripe mandarin and a hint of crème brulée with a little spritz of CO2. Match with seafood or mildly spicy Asian dishes.
Available: Fine O Wine, Pt Chev Organic Wines,

Bogle Family Vineyards California Chardonnay 2020 $29
If you’re a fan of buttery, toasty fruit-led Chardonnay (as I am), then this one’s for you. It’s my go-to regular chardonnay at home. Aromas of pineapple, toasty vanilla oak and hint of herbs. In the mouth it’s fresh cut ripe pineapple, peach and spice, toast, creamy yeast, toasted hazelnut and a crisp finish. Nice with creamy pasta and chicken dishes.
Available: Pt Chev Organic wines, Dhall & Nash

Bogle Family Vineyards California Chardonnay 2021 $29
Slightly softer, with almond croissant, creamy and peachy with slight minerality. But very much on point with the house style from Bogle. Food matches as above.
Available: Pt Chev Organic wines, Dhall & Nash

Main Divide North Canterbury Chardonnay 2022 $22
Definitely on the funky, reductive chardonnay spectrum. Flinty and crisp, with hazelnut, super-ripe grapefruit, peach, nectarine, with a crisp and dry lengthy finish. Food match: a rich, creamy chowder or seafood pasta.

Sartori Amarone Della Valpolicella DOCG 2018 $64
Honestly. This is one of the best reds, local or imported, that I have sampled in a long time.  Reminds me very much of Montepulciano Brunellos that I was lucky enough to sample in Tuscany many years ago. Soft and gorgeous. Supple, and ripe with spiced cherry, dark plum, baba rhum, almond toffee and a hint of tawny port. Buy now. Before I do. Food match – Italian tomato-based pasta. Or by itself.
Available: Dhall & Nash

Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso 2020 $56
A very different style from the Sartori, this wine is more savoury and assertively tannic – with soy, cigar, liquorice, and earthy, spicy flavours. Match with spicy tomato based vegetarian or beef dishes.
Available: Dhall & Nash

Main Divide North Canterbury Merlot Cabernet 2020 $22
Not as intense as the Bolgheri Rosso as above, but a bold red blend with a funky, yeasty nose. Dark plum, cherry, liquorice, leather, soy, truffle and a hint of herbal.  Match with slow cooked beef bourguignon or rich ratatouille.

Sartori Rerum Recioto Della Valpolicella Clasico DOCG 2018 (500 ml) $56
An intense sweet Veronese red traditionally made from grapes left to dry in the sun on racks before pressing and fermentation. A blend of obscure native Italian grape varieties is used to make this 13.5% alcohol in a ruby port style. Flavours of black cherry, spice muscatel and toasted almond. Food match: Almond cake, desserts and biscotti.
Available: Dhall & Nash


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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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