I just made a huge post about exercise and eating well.  Life is all about balance so here’s my wine post.

Let’s cut to the chase: I like wine.  I like New Zealand wine. I also like drinking good wine, but not paying top dollar for it.

So, here are my top pics for NZ wine, taking into account price (so best value), along my take on overall quality irrespective of price.

Price has the normal price range one can find it for sale (the lower number being less common) along with the recommended retail price (RRP) in New Zealand (based on memory).

A full table listed below.  Click on the wine name for tasting notes etc from the winemaker, or on the wine type to see more about that grape/wine style.

WHITE WINES

Price Rating (out of 5) My notes
CHARDONNAY
Stoneleigh $23 ($13-23) 4 At $12.95 a MUST buy.  Full body, buttery taste (just how I like it!) for a mid priced Chardonnay
Pegasus Bay $33 ($33) 5 IMO, the best Chardonnay in NZ
Main Divide $23 ($16-23) 4.5 Main Divide was Pegasus Bay’s 2nd label, but now consistently puts out excellent wines too
Wither Hills $32 ($25-32) 4.5 Excellent wine, hardly ever on special.  I got a case for $12.95/bottle once (must have been a mistake!)
SAUVINGON BLANC
Oyster Bay $21 ($13-21) 4 Great NZ sav (wins lots of awards in the UK every year as the top sav).  Buy it when its $12.95! :-)
Wither Hills $21 ($13-21) 4 Very “NZ sav” like.  As above, a steal when $12.95
Astrolabe (Voyage) $23 ($21-23) 4.5 Never on special, but an awesome wine!
Pencarrow $17 ($11 – 17) 4 This is a very easy drinking wine.  It’s actually Paliser Estate’s’s 2nd level sav, but I prefer it
Montana Reserve $21 ($13-21) 4 One of those good buys when its as low as $12.95
Montana Classic $18 ($9-15) 3 Good buy at (and often) under $10.  Good “3rd bottle” for the night.
Shingle Peak $17 (10-17) 4 Often on sale for $9.95, in my view one of NZs best savs, so a real bargain!
RIESLING
Main Divide $19 ($17-$19) 4.5 Semi Sweet.
Late Harvest
Pegasus Bay Aria $34 5 DIVINE!  Very hard to get some years, so buy it when it’s first released.  Cellars well.

RED WINES

PINOT NOIR
Mt Difficulty, Roaring Meg $28 ($22-$28) 4.5 Outstanding Otago Pinot at a great price
Wither Hills $35 ($28-$35) 4.5 One of NZ’s best.
MERLOT
Stoneleigh $21 ($13-21) 4
Oyster Bay $23 ($13-23) 4
Matua Valley $16 ($13-$16) 3 Matua Valley now own Shingle Peak too, so you will see the products cross marketed on web sites.
Montana Reserve $21 ($13-21) 3.5 Once again, often on special for $12.95 and a steal at that price

SPARKLING WINE

CHAMPAGNE
Charlies Heidsich $69 ($69) 4.5 My fav champagne.  Qantas business class use to serve this, which was where I was first exposed to it.
Méthode champenoise
Lindeuar reserve (Blanc de Blanc) $19 (10-19). 3.5 Wait ’till Christmas and buy it when it’s on special.  Then it’s only $2  more ($9.95 vs $7.95) than the standard Lindeuar, and so worth it!


Lindauer  is NZ’s most exported wine.

In New Zealand we are fortunate to be able to live in a society civilised enough to sell wine in Supermarkets, so one can get VERY good prices there.  Just wait till the wine you like is on special and buy a case (or two).  This means the wine I like that’s often around $20 a bottle I buy for much closer to $10 (around $12.95 on “super special” often).

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