New Zealand has got an enormous amount to offer on the wine front. It is most well known for its Sauvignon Blanc coming out of the Marlborough region, but other regions and grapes are now becoming increasingly popular and important for New Zealand’s wine industry.
New Zealand Sauvignon
If you like your white wine with a zesty, aromatic edge, then New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is sure to be for you. Following in the footsteps of the French, New Zealand wine-makers started doing big things with Sauvignon Blanc in the 1980’s. By the 1990’s it had been established as the country’s flagship wine and really started giving French Sancerre a run for its money. New Zealand Sauvignon is a great match for fresh fish and seafood, as well as oily or citrus-based dressings, and differs from classic Sancerre, which tends to have stronger green pepper and gooseberry flavours.
New Zealand wine isn’t solely about Sauvignon Blanc however. On the white front, you’ll come across a range of styles of Chardonnay from clean, unoaked Chablis styles through to buttery rich oaky versions. Dry Rieslings are also increasingly produced. These taste great drunk on their own, or with spicier dishes or dishes with a touch of sweetness to them.
New Zealand Reds
If you are a fan of red wine, you simply can’t do a tasting tour of New Zealand wine without trying Pinot Noir. The cooler regions, including Marlborough and Central Otago are good places to start and make some top class examples of this usually difficult to grow grape. Try it with a lean meat, fish or cheese dish to get the most from it. New Zealand Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are also worth a taste and are grown increasingly in the warmer, Northern regions.
Diversity of Wines
The great news about New Zealand wine is that there is something for everyone. There are 10 key growing regions and each one is incredibly diverse in terms of its climate and terrain. From the warmer more humid regions of the Northland to the cooler, wetter more southerly regions, you’ll soon find that there’s a style of New Zealand wine being produced to suit all tastes and preferences.
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Louise Truswell works in and writes about the wine industry – writing about www.virginwines.com/wine-zone/new-zealand-wine>New Zealand Wine. If you would like to choose from a range of New Zealand wine or, simply, find our more, visit - www.virginwines.com
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