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September 30, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Bacchus Knows Best

Throughout the year, I’ve passed on a few tips on how to pick cheap wine that is not just good, but also something interesting and special that is bound to impress.

A quick recap if you’re just joining me: stay away from heavily oaked wines, Central Otago wines and Pinot gris, as these three, for various reasons, seem to add $$$ to the price of the juice in your bottle. While you can pick up a Pinot gris fairly easily, they are yet to establish a regional style within New Zealand, and unless you’ve tried the brand before it could be dry or extremely luscious #russianroulettewine.

Instead, go for young, fresh wines—especially as spring is trying to sprung.  Countries that have dirt-cheap land and labour also produce quality wines at a much cheaper price—I knew there was an upside to the Spanish and Greek economies being in the poop.

I know it’s easy to smash back a bottle of $8.99 Aussie Shiraz from the supermarket, but I implore you head to any number of specialty wine shops in Wellington, and let them steer you in the right direction; they’ll be able to tell you much more than the staff at your local New World Metro.

Before everybody gets down to the business end of their studious year for the next little while, I just want to put a light at the end of the tunnel—as faint as it may seem from here—and share a few wine tips for summer.

Real men drink rosé: What you may think is a candy-floss, girly drink can be made in dry, textured styles, and is a really refreshing taste for summer. Try those made in Hawke’s Bay from Cabernet Franc and Malbec grapes. When the sun is shining, pack a picnic basket of your favourite antipasto offerings and a bottle of the pink stuff—there is nothing wrong with four blokes sitting in Aro Park watching the Sun go down.

Bottles for the beach: If you love that thin sandy line between the ocean and our home terra firma, you’re going to love my next favourite. When summer hits, there’s nothing better than fish ‘n’ chips at the beach with a bottle of bubbly. It doesn’t have to be a good bubbly, because as scientific studies* have proven beyond a doubt, the combination of sea air, sand and ambient temperature combine to make a nicer wine. A nice crisp pilsner would also work, but the natural acidity in bubbly cuts through any excess oils or trans fats from your chips, so why not keep it classy?

Have a great summer,



*Based on absolutely no scientific data whatsoever, although could be a good basis for someone’s thesis next year…?

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