I’m super-proud to be the co-founder and CTO (Chief Tasting Officer) of WineFriend, the best personalised wine delivery service this side of the black stump. We help our customers navigate the vast number of wines out there in the marketplace then we match them to wines that unique and awesomely tasty. Read more about WineFriend

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Brookfields Ohiti Estate Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

May 29, 2020

Brookfields Ohiti Estate Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 $20 If I were going to choose the most exciting cabernet sauvignon wines from New Zealand that swing in for $20, then the Ohiti Estate from Brookfield’s would be right up there.  Bold, plummy, bursting with earthy, roasting pan meatiness and showing a plumpness on the finish … Read More

Squawking Magpie Stoned Crow Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2014

May 29, 2020

Squawking Magpie Stoned Crow Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2014 $49.95 Well dip me in pepper and call me spicy!  This Gimblett Gravels pioneer just blasts past the competition when it comes to solid syrah.  How?  For starters the peppercorn, violets, blueberries, cherry and tobacco notes, earthy shadows and layers of leather mean it delivers on the … Read More

Elephant Hill Reserve Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2017

May 29, 2020

Elephant Hill Reserve Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2017 $54 If anyone knows how to make exceptional syrah, it’s Steve Skinner. He’s been shepherding Elephant Hill’s fruit from their Bridge Pa, Gimblett Gravels and home vineyard at Te Awanga into the bottle for many many years and his skill is on show here. Blueberry, black pepper, dried … Read More

Maison Noire Home Block Hawke’s Bay Chenin Blanc 2019

May 29, 2020

Maison Noire Home Block Hawke’s Bay Chenin Blanc 2019 $28 If you’re looking for a fresh, creamy, apple-packed wine that delivers a cleansing slap around the chops then this Hawke’s Bay grown chenin is just the ticket.  Ultra-juicy and stitched together with a solid, mineral thread and finishing with a squeak of peardrop and almond.  … Read More

Mills Reef Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec 2018

May 29, 2020

Mills Reef Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot Malbec 2018 $24.95 Shiny and new from the Mills Reef crew (love me a wine rhyme) is this cracking blend of 61% merlot and 39% malbec from Hawke’s Bay’s superstar Gimblett Gravels sub-region.  Cold-soaked for 5 days after being gently crushed has maximised extraction of colour and texture from … Read More

Maison Noire Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2019

May 29, 2020

Maison Noire Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2019 $23 This is one of my absolute favourite new release chardonnays from Hawke’s Bay.  Grown in the limestone-rich soils behind Te Mata peak, on the Waimarama Road, it’s a succulent, citrus-soaked style that shows skilled use of oak and great attention to detail.  Grapefruit, pineapple and peachy punchiness on … Read More

Podere dell’Anselmo Terre di Bracciatica 2018

May 27, 2020

Podere dell’Anselmo Terre di Bracciatica 2018 $39.99 Well, well, well, if it isn’t my old friend malvasia bianca. Previous vintages of this wine have been blended with trebbiano, but this is 100% MB, baby. Huge lemony notes mean it’s rather chardonnay-like up front, yet there’s a vanilla and briôche note bursting through onto the mid-palate … Read More

Eaton Thistle Hill Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

May 26, 2020

Eaton Thistle Hill Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018 $48 The Hickman family have been growing grapes on their farm ‘Taimate’ since 2006, and their sauvignon has been singled out by winemaker Mike Eaton as being ‘so good, it deserves ‘single vineyard’ status.’ Delicately hand-harvested, the whole bunches are gently squashed in a traditional basket-press … Read More

La Vedetta Swanti Barbaresco 2018

May 26, 2020

La Vedetta Swanti Barbaresco 2018 $35.90 A savoury, juicy, slightly peppery blend of 85% nebbiolo and 15% freisa (a lesser-known red grape) from Barbaresco in the Langhe region, that will definitely appeal to those who like an earthy yet tart style of red.  Aged in stainless steel, the fruit notes (cherry, raspberry, cranberry) are firm … Read More

Le Filigare Chianti Classico 2016

May 24, 2020

Le Filigare Chianti Classico 2016 $33.10 This Tuscan blend of 90% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo and 5% Colorino creates a vibrant, zesty, smashable red wine stitched together with leather, hints of tobacco and espresso characters. Silky, soft and very very easy to drink. http://www.csiwinesnz.com

Castello Monterinaldi Rosato 2018

May 24, 2020

Castello Monterinaldi Rosato 2018 $24.80 100% Tuscan sangiovese has been used to create this lovely fruit-forward rosé which erupts with cherry, raspberry, cranberry and spice notes.  Fresh, frisky and fanging with flavour, it’s a beautifully balanced example that’ll win friends and influence people. http://www.csiwinesnz.com  

La Vedetta Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo 2018

May 24, 2020

La Vedetta Barbaresco Langhe Nebbiolo 2018 $39.95 Located in a world heritage site in Barbaresco, this wine made from 100% nebbiolo, was fermented in stainless steel to capture the ultra-bright berryfruit, spices and bold cocoa characters.  It’s a saucy, fresh and velvety-smooth to sip.  Lightly styled but full of flavour, it’s a lovely introduction to … Read More

Thirsty Work is a television show that unearths some of the personalities behind New Zealand’s successful and innovative Wine and Beverage Industry. Broadcast on Food TV (SKY ch.9), Thirsty Work soaks up New Zealand’s beverage landscape.  Not just vineyards, but barrel halls, tank rooms, cellar doors, wine stores, supermarkets, breweries and backyard vignerons.

Missed Series 4 of Thirsty Work? Fret not, just  click  here to zoom directly to view on demand.