When the skies cloud over and rain beats down on the windows, there’s nothing quite like cosying up with a good glass of wine. Whether you’re enjoying a romantic night by the fire, hosting a dinner party with friends or escaping on a weekend minibreak, here’s our pick of the best luscious homegrown wines made right here in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Nautilus Cuvee Marlborough Brut NV (Marlborough)
Nautilus has been crafting its signature Marlborough Brut NV since 1989 so it makes sense that they’ve utterly perfected the recipe. Made from 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, this luxe sparkling is aged on its lees for three years to develop toasty, biscuit inspired undertones. Pair it with pan fried king fish and a chilli watermelon salad for a zesty winter dish.
Greystone Pinot Gris 2016 (Canterbury)
With its bright golden hues and complex palate, this Greystone classic has a fresh, full-bodied nose of white stone fruits and florals. You’ll also pick up subtle layers of nutmeg, pear and peach, plus hints of cream for a smooth finish. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a spicy Asian inspired meal on a chilly winter’s night.
Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Marlborough)
If you love aromatic wine you’ll adore Cloudy Bay’s Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyard pushes the boundaries of traditional winemaking to pioneer a sophisticated style of New Zealand Sav Blanc drawing on wild fermentation and an French oak ageing process. The 2014 version unfolds with a complex medley of citrus and stone fruit, enhanced by exotic floral notes on the finish. Our personal pairing is Vietnamese style ginger crab, with a splash of wine thrown into the wok to enhance the flavour.
Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2015 (Nelson)
Organically grown. Dry farmed. Wild yeast fermented. These are just some of the things that set Neudorf’s Moutere Chardonnay apart from the crowd. The result is a beautifully complex wine with hits of lemon, grapefruit and pear. It sounds a little summery but its buttery characters make it perfect for pairing with a fresh baked asparagus and broccoli frittata served with caramelised beets.
Framingham Wines Noble Riesling 2016 (Marlborough)
Concentrated and luxuriously viscous, this gem from Framingham Wines is a fantastic pick for those who prefer a low alcohol content. You’ll pick up tones of zesty lemon, orange marmalade and honey, with notes of apricot and a lingering finish. This one’s fantastic for jazzing up a cheese platter, or serving with desserts like tart lemon meringue pie or vanilla infused poached apricots.
Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2015 (Central Otago)
Straight from the foot of the Pisa Range, this complex pinot noir features aromas of fern leaf, rhubarb and rose petal. A palate of graphite and gravel give it a bit of a kick, while fine tannins create a silky finish. This mineral inspired streak calls for strong flavours like pan roasted dry aged steak served with a creamy sweet potato mash and caramelised carrots.
Craggy Range Le Sol 2015 (Hawke’s Bay)
With a luscious mid-palate and fine tannin finish, this dark Syrah has luxe purple hues that are enhanced by Craggy Range’s famous gravelly soils. Just one sip and you’ll soon realise why Hawke’s Bay is coveted as New Zealand’s best place to grow Syrah. Save this one for something special, like braised rabbit with charred onions and winter root vegetables.
Stonyridge Vineyard Larose 2015 (Auckland)
Inspired by Bordeaux, this classic Cabernet-dominant blend is crafted from grapes grown on the sun-drenched north-facing slopes of the vineyard. 10 months in 100% French oak barrels give it a rich flavour that complements prime aged red meats, red wine infused game dishes and earthy winter vegetables. This one’s not cheap, but the good news is that Stonyridge also crafts a fantastic selection of affordable wines that you can enjoy without breaking the bank.
Do you have a favourite winter warmer? We’d love to hear about your top picks.