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Cleanskin Sauvignon Blanc

Cost: $8
Alcohol Volume: 13% (7.7 standard drinks)
Pairing: Roti Chenai, a Grindr obsession, regret.
Verdict: ★★½ “It wasn’t the worst thing I have ever had in my mouth.”

While Lydia suns it up on Waiheke Island (it’s raining so we get the last laugh), I, with the help of a few friends after a messy Cinta BYO, reviewed the wine-equivalent of the meat scraps they use to make that really cheap mince: a bottle of Cleanskin.

As a staunch nationalist*, I’m a big fan of national celebrations. For example, that time when a wasted Robert Muldoon called a snap election, or when Rosita Vai won New Zealand Idol (I get drunk and DM Rosita on Twitter sometimes, sorry). These are occasions that deserve to celebrated. Another reason to celebrate is New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Day.

Despite Lydia and I celebrating Sauvignon Blanc daily, last Friday was something special. I could raise a glass with my fellow country people in celebration of fine New Zealand white wine. Or in this case, a bottle of $8 2013 Cleanskin sauv from New World.

After thawing the wine that I left in the freezer for too long and with Panic at the Disco (how great are they? #throwback) blaring in the background, we got down to business. In reaction to the wine’s unique aroma, there was universal consensus amongst the guests. Cleanskin was: “better than turps” and “I feel fucking wasted”.

The biggest shock of the night came when the wine didn’t get worse when consumed. Despite one guest stating that Cleanskin tasted like what you would imagine Apple and Citrus Spray and Wipe tastes like, the pink-ish sauvignon blanc was exactly what I look for in a BYO wine: inoffensive and better than Fat Bird.

The 2013 Cleanskin Sauvignon Blanc vintage paired nicely with Cinta’s classic Roti Chenai and was a fruitful talking point over dinner. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this wine as an icebreaker gift for your boyfriend’s extended family or a way to impress a date organised on an iPhone app (unless it’s with me) but if you’re scoffing back a $12 plate of Chaer Kuey Teow (or “CKT” if you’re struggling. No one wants to experience that awkward “you-not-being-able-to-pronounce-the-words” moment), Cleanskin is perfect.

With this column having reached the very bottom wine shelf in New World, I’m not sure where we go from here but I am excited/scared to share that experience with you.


*This is a joke.

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Ten things I wish my friends knew about being Māori

: 1). I wish my friends knew that when they ask me what “percentage” of Māori I am—half, quarter, or eighth—they make me feel like a human pie chart. I don’t know how people can ask this so nonchalantly, but they do. So I want to let you know: this is a very threatening