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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Mahi Marlborough Chardonnay 2019

June 19, 2021

Mahi Marlborough Chardonnay 2019 $29.90 Erupting with fresh peach, grapefruit and bucketloads of toasty textures, this is a masterclass in how to make ultra-sippable chardonnay that’ll wow the crowds. Fresh, perky, yet showing depth and substance, this cashew, apricot and brulee-boosted example is creamy, richly structured and darn dangerously easy to drink. Smooth and juicy. … Read More

Esk Valley Artisanal Series Hawke’s Bay Gamay Noir 2020

June 18, 2021

Esk Valley Artisanal Series Hawke’s Bay Gamay Noir 2020 $25 With less than 5 ha of gamay (full name Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc) planted in all New Zealand, it’s one of the rarest styles seen in our market. It’s mainly recognised as the red grape grown in Beaujolais to make their famously fresh, juicy, lightly-styled signature … Read More

Yealands Single Vineyard Marlborough PGR 2020

June 17, 2021

Yealands Single Vineyard Marlborough PGR 2020 $26 The nose is a tsunami of apricot, jasmine, ginger, nashi and lychee-laden loveliness and it all washes across the palate like a spring tide. This has always been one of my favourite blended whites because it has something for everyone, delicious balance and firm, generous textures on the … Read More

Junction Wines Central Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2020

June 14, 2021

Junction Wines Central Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2020 $20 Crafted from 100% pinot noir by Leith Ashworth from fruit grown on the junction of SH2 and SH50, just outside of Takapau in South Central Hawke’s Bay, this rosé is cleansing and crunchy-crisp, awash with watermelon, soft cherry and raspberry, a whiff of white pepper and a … Read More

Mahi Boundary Farm Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019

June 10, 2021

Mahi Boundary Farm Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019 $35 Stacked solid with citrus and layers of lemongrass and bruised basil, this sauvignon also boasts a deep, almost creamy character in the mid-palate which gives it weight and woah-inducing goodness. The length of flavour is standout, like it literally does. not. stop. giving. Rich, beautifully balanced and … Read More

Paritua Bridge Pa Syrah 2018

June 10, 2021

Paritua Bridge Pa Syrah 2018 $49 Boasting so much violet perfume on the nose you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s potted colour in a bottle. Those iron-rich, Bridge Pa soils inject powerful graphite and damson plum notes, hints of tar, smoke, blueberry and pepper then kick into gear. The tannins are supple and snuggle the … Read More

Valli Waitaki Vineyard North Otago Pinot Noir 2019

June 10, 2021

Valli Waitaki Vineyard North Otago Pinot Noir 2019 $79 The Waitaki wine region sits right on the border of North Otago and South Canterbury. Hard country. Richie McCaw country. Its extreme climate produces pinot noir with huge florality (yes it’s a word), a soft, saline layer compliments cheek-puckeringly prickly astringency and has cherry, raspberry, pomegranate … Read More

The Mahi ‘Alchemy’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2019

June 9, 2021

The Mahi ‘Alchemy’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2019 ($39.90 There are two versions of Alchemy. One’s the medieval practice of faffing with converting base metals into gold and the other is fiddling with finding a universal elixir. The Mahi ‘Alchemy’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2019 ($39.90), sourced from a small parcel in their ‘Badlands’ vineyard, has neither faff or … Read More

Carrick Central Otago Pinot Blanc 2019

June 9, 2021

Carrick Central Otago Pinot Blanc 2019 ($35) Pinot Blanc is a  white mutation of pinot noir (hence ‘blanc’) and Carrick grow it on their tiny, certified organic ‘Cairnmuir’ block. It’s packed with white peach, flecked with fennel and licked with lemon, plus it’s multi-layered and magical to drink, with incredible texture with just the right … Read More

Weekend Wine Reviews 29th May 2021

June 8, 2021

Drinks matches for Canvas Annabel L Sat 29th May 2021   Nutty cumin Dukkah Wow. wow and triple whammy wow. The Smith & Sheth Cru Heretaunga Syrah 2018 ($40) was chosen as one of just 12 wines to feature in the exclusive, Gimblett Gravels Vintage Selection for 2018 from a tonne of contenders. It’s ultra-elegant … Read More

Canvas Magazine Matches Saturday 29th May 2021

May 30, 2021

Drinks matches for Canvas Annabel L Sat 29th May 2021 Nutty cumin Dukkah Wow. wow and triple whammy wow. The Smith & Sheth Cru Heretaunga Syrah 2018 ($40) was chosen as one of just 12 wines to feature in the exclusive, Gimblett Gravels Vintage Selection for 2018 from a tonne of contenders. It’s ultra-elegant and … Read More

Yakutin Family Wines Matakana

May 28, 2021

From Kazakhstan with Love… Oleg Yakutin, owner of Yakutin Family Wines (a 1 hectare vineyard, marked by an ancient brick chimney on Matakana Road, Warkworth), is the first Kazakhstani winemaker in New Zealand. A corporate marketing career in a past life fed his love for fine food and wine, so when the time came for … 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.