This year’s tast­ing is ev­i­dence that the rapid rise of New Zealand bub­bly shows no sign of slow­ing down, writes RALPH KYTE-POW­ELL.

Cuisine - - CONTENTS -

Sparkling wine, Cham­pagne $100 & un­der, Cham­pagne over $100 and NZ Sweet Wines

AL­THOUGH THE AN­NUAL Cui­sine sparkling wine tast­ing en­cap­su­lates ev­ery type of bub­bly ex­cept Cham­pagne, New Zealand’s wines are al­ways the main fo­cus. This is un­der­stand­able, given that this is a Kiwi pub­li­ca­tion, but an­other fac­tor de­ter­mines our di­rec­tion, and that’s the qual­ity of the New Zealand prod­uct. Panel­list Si­mon Nash MW was highly im­pressed. “Th­ese wines set a very high stan­dard,” he said. “It’s in­ter­est­ing to re­flect on whether any­body imag­ined 20 years ago that they would be so good, so soon.” The progress in iden­ti­fy­ing vine­yard sites, mas­ter­ing viti­cul­tural and wine­mak­ing tech­nique, un­der­stand­ing blend­ing, and build­ing an en­vi­able body of ex­per­tise and in­tu­ition has in­deed been rapid. New Zealan­ders should re­joice at hav­ing th­ese wines at their doorstep. What will the next 20 years bring?

Akarua’s 25 Steps vine­yard in Cen­tral Otago

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