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July 15, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Bacchus Knows Best: Take Your Pick

So, with the 2013 harvest all done and dusted and bringing in record quantities of crops, there’s now a lot of wine to be made.

This then of course has to be sold, and enjoyed.

With over 700 wineries around the country it would be pretty tough for you and a few trusted mates to get through everything that’s out there. While it would be good fun giving it a go, sadly I don’t think course-related costs would cover the bill. With not many of us out there lucky enough to be in the financial position to take one of everything, each winery has to convince us that what they have in the bottle is superior to their neighbours’.

The easiest way for the wineries to do this is by entering their wines in shows and competitions until they have so many award stickers on the bottle that you can’t actually read the label, and have to peer through the gaps to see if you are getting red or white. I may be slightly exaggerating there, but with so many wine shows you get the idea—who really cares if some toffs in Hobart thought it was alright?

I generally check out independent reviews online to make my decisions, rather than relying on a wine’s awards. Raymond Chan is a good reviewer, and Wellington-based, so the reviews sometimes come with a little blurb about where he tasted it too. Handy… I know. Check him out at

Alternatively you could stuff the internet and let me tell you what has taken my fancy in the last few weeks…

I came across a bottle of 900 Grapes Merlot at New World for $8.99 on special (and then went back and got a couple more). It had silky sweet red fruits, vanilla and a generous weight to it that made it dangerous to drink. If you see it again at this price or even at $13.99, stock up!

I also re-visited a favourite of mine, the Lindauer Special Reserve Blanc de Blancs, which is at the top of my list simply because the wife and I think that ‘Girls Night Out’ ad (you know with the guys sitting at home crying?) is hilarious. At $19.99 it’s a bit of a step-up in price, but for a good bubbly it’s worth it! Being made from 100-per-cent Chardonnay grapes it had a creamy texture throughout the wine, underpinned by sherbet lemon and fresh grapefruit. The bubbles/mousse were also reasonably fine, making the wine somewhat softer and fresher than a few of the more aggressive bubblies that they have in the classic Lindauer range.

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