Published on December 5, 2023.
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean that has quickly earned a reputation and a significant presence in international markets by dominating the markets with their Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noirs. The country may be a newcomer to the wine world (in 1960, the country had less than 400 hectares) but the precise, pure flavour of the wine has captured the attention of wine drinkers. New Zealand wine is distinctive for its purity, vibrancy and intensity. The long ripening period – a result of cool temperatures – allows flavour development whilst retaining fresh acidity, a balance for which New Zealand wines are renowned.
New Zealand Sauvignons have set an international benchmark for the Sauvignon Blanc style whilst dazzling wine critics. Sauvignon Blanc was commercially produced for the first time in 1979 and is now New Zealand’s most widely planted variety. Sauvignons tend to be fresh, crisp and fruity, complimenting the strong flavours of seafood, shellfish and white fish.
Although it was introduced in 1800s, Riesling saw an influx in plantings in the 1980s becoming the fourth most planted white varietal in New Zealand. Riesling thrives on the bright days, cool nights and long, dry autumns becoming the perfect climate for the aromatic and succulent varietal. In Marlborough, the Rieslings are citrus heavy with a great level of spice.
Pinot Noir from New Zealand carry an intense and expressive fruit-driven flavour. Wild herbs, chocolate and oak flavours can also be found in varietals. Best served with salads, light seafood and chicken dishes as well as spicy cuisine such as Thai.
On the nose is typically varietal, with pure aromas of melon, pears and citrus zest. The palate is supple and juicy, with luscious tropical fruit and a fine mineral thread, leading to a fresh and sustained finish.
A pleasingly bright and restrained example: gently leafy aromas, followed by a crisp bite of lime with notes of green pepper and gooseberry.
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About the author
Chloe looks after all copywriting and proof-reading for Drink Warehouse UK, working with the Marketing team to deliver educational content to all our customers. She has spent many years in the hospitality sector, moving from behind the bar to now helping venues to stock their own. You can find more from Chloe about beer, cider, spirits, wine, non-alcoholic, soft drinks and RTDs all over our blogs, website, social media and Set The Bar magazine.