Pretty Paddock Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $10.99 (3 stars)

Classic punchy passionfruit, crushed herbs, green capsicum and pea pod flavours are all crammed into this bottle alongside gum-numbing acidity and long, prickly-fresh length of flavour. A squeak of white pepper and a lick of lemongrass makes this a good little ‘after work’ quaffer. www.vineonline

Swan’s Flight Marlborough Semillon 2013 $18.50

Crafted by Georges Michel’s winemaker daughter Swan, this is a superb ‘cheese board’ wine for those late afternoon loungearounds.  Toasted, smoky notes indicate a touch of barrel fermentation across freshly-baled hay, dried herbs and soft, lemony, limey flavours. Sip with a chunk of sheeps milk pecorino or tangy goats cheese

Haha Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2016 $13.99 (3.5 stars)

Highly scented and precise on the nose, fresh-cut pear, poached quince and powdery, talc-like characters leap from the glass.  It’s also a very full, generous gris, soaking the palate with pipfruit, honeysuckle and spice.  Don’t chill this down too much or you’ll stifle all those fruit layers.  Sip with bacon-wrapped dates as a nibbly treat. […]

Snapper Rock Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Snapper Rock Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 $15 ★★★★ A perfectly friendly, fruity, passionfruit-packed sauvignon boasting layers of lemon, lime, white stonefruit and all manner of tangy, tropical tastiness. Classic Marlborough sauvignon here, and a great little wine that often comes down a few more dollars on special.

Nikau Point Select Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Nikau Point Select Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $13.99 ★★½ The Nikau Point brand has recently been given a spruce up, meaning it looks a tad more stylish on the table, which is always a good thing with a sub-$15 bottle.  This is a lightweight red that has layers of dried herb, berry and spice […]

Mansfield & Marsh Methode Traditionnelle Sparkling Wine NV

Mansfield & Marsh Methode Traditionnelle Sparkling Wine NV $14.95 ★★★★ This is my new favourite bargain bubbly.  It’s lifted and lemony on the nose, awash with creamy, nutty notes and has some delicious bready, biscuity complexity on the finish.  There’s even a smidge of apple and oatcake happening too.  Superb value here, and if the label […]

Artero Tempranillo 2014

Artero Tempranillo 2014 $14 ★★★★½ How crazy is it that a wine this cheap can scoop a gold medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards AND a gold medal at the NZ International Wine Awards.  But it is absolutely deserving. This Spanish stunner has lovely, comforting aromas of blueberry, cherry and medicinal notes.  Juicy and […]

Mud House Marlborough Pinot Gris 2015

Mud House Marlborough Pinot Gris 2015 $14.99 ★★★★ Scented with apple strudel, poached pear and all sorts of enticing spices, this pinot gris has serious ‘drink me’ factor.  Layered with white fruits and showing a tangy, layered flavour profile – this definitely ticks all the boxes for fruit, style and sippability.  Widely available.

Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $14.99 ★★★★ Named after the mud-block house that original owners John and Jennifer Joslin built on their Marlborough vineyard, this wine has, over the passing decades and through multiple ownership changes, gone on to do great things.  Now firmly in the hands of a winemaking team headed by Ben […]

Torresella Prosecco DOC NV

Torresella Prosecco DOC NV $14.99 ★★★ This is for lovers of sparkling wine so dry it’s practically skeletal.  Aromas of green apple, lime, flint and oyster shells lead to a nicely balanced, lean, chalky mouthfeel containing hints of citrus and shows good length of flavour.

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