Cloud Break California Chardonnay 2017 $23 (4 stars)

Here’s a barrel-fermented chardonnay that doesn’t feel like you’re licking a plank. Created from fruit sourced from different sites across Clarksburg, Lodi and Madera. The toastiness is there, yet it swings toward the creamy, buttery style while edged with white peach, hints of grapefruit, nutty nougat notes and caramelised characters. Made by Mark Rasmussen and […]

Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $44.99

Sonoma County should be called Cabernet County in my eyes, since it insists on churning out exceptionally earthy, concentrated cabernet like this. Kendall-Jackson are one of the most highly respected producers across the entire California coast and they have a signature cocoa, vanilla, smoky tone to their reds which work stunningly well with the powdery, […]

Smoking Loon California Merlot 2014 $21.90 (4 stars)

The glittery cap immediately appeals to my wannabe glamazon, while the intricate silver, cigar-smoking loon bird motif is semi-hypnotic. On the nose it’s incredibly fruity, chocka with raspberry, red plum and ultra-easy spices, sweet fruit and chocolate. If you’re still reeling from Miles’ rant in the movie ‘Sideways’ where he announces “I’m leaving. I am […]

Charles Smith Boom Boom Washington State Syrah 2015 $23.74

Made in mighty Mattawa city, Washington, this is a syrah that’ll definitely appeal to those who love a hefty lick of liquorice in their reds.  Loaded with buckets of spice which cuddles up to dark berries and soft cocoa notes.  Explosive?  I’d say it’s more touchy-feely, but darn tasty nonetheless. Sip with: Allyson Gofton’s Winemakers […]

Murphy Goode California Chardonnay 2014 $25

Super-creamalicous on the nose and palate, this is classic California chardonnay from Santa Rosa that I’m sure will appeal to both mama’s and the papa’s and cool kids alike.  Bursting with ultra-ripe peach, coconut, vanilla and layers of roasty-toasty almond, it’s also fresh, citrusy and a total trop-fest on the palate. Sip with: Baked, cornflake-coated […]

Cannonball California Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ★★★½

As Californian as tans, teeth and tiny dogs, this is a bold, bouncy cabernet that dials the spice and plushness up to high gear.  Named after what we kiwi’s call the ‘bomb’, one sip of this and you’ll definitely be in the deep end – with a cabernet crush that is.  Made from fruit grown […]

McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah 2014

McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah 2014 $24 ★★★★ If two of your favourite scents are berries and vanilla then you’ll probably be tempted to dab this behind your ears before you even sip it.  Vibrant, exciting and despite being soft and silky on the palate, it’s absolutely loaded with flavour.  Petite Sirah is known as […]

Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Syrah 2012

Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Syrah 2012 $35 ★★★★ This is basically the Sade of red wine, a smooth operator if ever there was one.  Soft, sweet boysenberry, cherry, chocolate and liquorice aromas and flavours lead to velvety, elastic tannins and a long, silky finish.  If you’ve never tried a Californian syrah and want to get amongst […]

La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2013

La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2013 $30 ★★★★ Fans of big, buxom, oaky chardonnay will love this California girl.  Creamy, mango and spicy peach-driven aromas lead to a flood of fig, dried pineapple and cinnamon-buttered toast flavours.  Soft, coconut characters round out the finish.  Make sure there’s a corkscrew in the house when you snap this […]

Elk Cove Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2014

Elk Cove Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2014 $33 ★★★★★ Hands down this one of the best American pinot gris I’ve tried.  Ok, so it’s the only American pinot gris I’ve ever tried, BUT it’s darn gorgeous.  Sourced from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, it’s exceptionally clean and precise and boasts quince and nashi notes alongside a […]

Contact Me

Mobile: +64 21 379 877
Send me an email!

For information on how to submit wines for review Click here


Thirsty Work

Thirsty Work is now into its 4th series with episodes available to watch on demand
For info on how to view any of our previous series episodes please email me


Thirsty Work teaser