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February 22, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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Buying Wine in Wellington


The university year is about to commence and the desire to obtain wine should undoubtedly be the top priority on every student’s list at this time of year.

The month of February is a great time to give the white wine varietals some attention, as the warmer conditions demand wines that are lighter in body and can be lightly chilled.

Unfortunately we live in a country saturated by the highly over-rated variety, Sauvignon Blanc. It is important to remember that you can still be a dope cat even if you decide to dabble in other flavoursome varieties such as Riesling and Viognier.

We are fortunate in Wellington to have a large and diverse range of wine outlets at our disposal. The start of a new university year is always a time for students to pay homage to the mighty cask, and let’s face it: even the most pretentious wine drinkers have been guilty of giving the goon sack a good tonging.

It is now appropriate that I mention The Mill (corner of Victoria and Abel Smith Streets). The mind-blowing Grape Expectations is available here, as well as Sauvignon Blanc in 330ml aluminium cans. Enough said, go ahead and live the dream.
Aside from the chain alcohol stores, Wellington also has a number of independent ‘hidden gems’ that offer great value for money and are well worth checking out.

Wine Seeker (Victoria Street just down from Manners Mall) is ideal for students and is a small store that focuses on matching wine with your budget. The shop stocks plenty of wines from small-scale, top-quality producers and offers a free wine tasting daily.

Regional Wines and Spirits (corner of Ellice and Hania Streets, opposite the Basin Reserve) is a true ‘hidden gem’ and harbours an epic range with over 3000 different wines in stock. The store offers a free tasting every Saturday and constantly has wine specials that are high in quality but easy on the student budget.

Aspee Grocery Store (next to Scopa on Cuba Street) easily has the best value for money wine range of any of the numerous and infamous Wellington dairies. The selection is compelling and rich, with wines from all over New Zealand and the world. The Aspee’s central location also means that it is ideal for that last-minute wine purchase.

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