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 absolutely crammed with fresh blueberry, peppercorn, soy and cola characters. In fact, it’s such a luscious, sexy, spice-saturated thing, I feel the urge to abandon this tasting note in favour of launching into an interpretive dance. So pause and count to ten please. Thank you, that gave me time to do enough firebird leaps, jazz frames, floor rolls and flea slides to fully express my joy. Serve in a large, swirlable glass with Annabel’s dukkah and some dèveloppés. www.smithandsheth.com

Pasta with spinach walnuts and goats cheese

Goats cheese, spinach, walnuts, pasta – absolutely four of my favourite things! So why not make it a fab five by sipping the superb Matawhero Gisborne Sauvignon Blanc 2021 ($23) When the stars align, Gisborne can create superb sauvignon blanc, this proves it. Brand new (like they literally took just 7 weeks to bring it from bunch to bottle) and bursting with soft green herbs, lemon pith, gentle stonefruit notes and fresh minerality, this is a mouthquake from the East Cape. Matawhero.co.nz

Roz’s Candied Walnuts

I don’t need much of an excuse to hurl myself face-first into a fistful of sweet nuts (oh hah hah) but the newly released Greywacke Marlborough Chardonnay 2017 ($40) just made it ridiculously easy. Nothing ever happens quickly in the world of Kevin Judd, (owner and winemaker at Greywacke), and that’s a lovely thing. Sure it’s taken 4 years for this wine to arrive and you still have to print out and post or email back a paper order form for his wines, but it’s worth it because the butterscotch-dusted, peach crumble-crammed, creamy, toasty complexity of this chardonnay is outrageously good. Outrageously I tell you. If I could rate this 6 stars out of 5 I would. www.greywacke.com

Drinks list review – ALMA


The Dutch invented gin and the British began the tradition of adding tonic, but twas the Spaniards who perfected the art of using gorgeous garnishes and serving it in an enormous, ice-filled wine goblets. Spain consumes the most gin per capita in the world, and while you may consider yourself a tad flash at mixing a G&T, there is nowhere on the planet that does a better one than a Spanish bar.  Alma has Spanish style. Alma has a ‘gin menu’. Nineteen of the best New Zealand has to offer (helpfully grouped by ‘region’) joined by premium gins from Larios in Málaga, Maros in Barcelona and Lola y Vera from Madrid. The beer menu is compact and features brews from Emerson’s, Urbanaut and Citizen alongside Moritz from Spain, and there’s a hefty amount of vermouth styles from Padró i Família and, as expected, a tonne of different sherries. The good folk in charge of the list have kept to theme classifying wines into Cava (fizz), Blanco (white), Rosado (rosé) & Tinto (red) categories, and I love that while the majority of the wines are from across all Spain’s major regions, they’ve happily included local producers who are growing great Spanish grapes too. So Nautilus Marlborough Albariño is featured alongside tempranillo-based wines from Black Barn, Smith & Sheth, Elephant Hill and Dry River. Almost all of them are available by the glass too and that’s a superb way to explore, without going offshore. Buen trabajo Alma!