WINE COCK­TAILS CRE­ATE A STIR

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - DINING - DES HOUGHTON

So you thought cock­tail mix­ing was a hap­pygo-lucky af­fair com­bin­ing a splash of that with a squelch of this.

Cer­tainly not, in­sists Greg Row­don, chief wine­maker at Matua on the North Is­land of New Zealand, one of the coun­try’s most dis­tin­guished winer­ies and the first to pro­duce sauvi­gnon blanc.

To Row­don, cock­tails are more like sci­en­tific ex­per­i­ments, with very par­tic­u­lar flavours and tan­nins com­ing to­gether in glo­ri­ous col­li­sion with spir­its and juices.

Row­don, 37, is an hon­ours grad­u­ate in wine­mak­ing. For his mas­ter’s he wrote his the­sis on “the evo­lu­tion of volatile aro­mat­ics dur­ing mi­cro-oxy­gena­tion”.

He has re­ally started some­thing in New Zealand re­cently by rein­vent­ing the fruity san­gria with an added dash of pinot noir. And there is a twist of ki­wifruit, of course.

The so-called Sangritua is not just a pretty colour but a re­fresh­ing drink, with the pinot tan­nins pro­vid­ing a lovely “grippy” mouth tex­ture.

Row­don also likes the acidic, trop­i­cal fruit flavours of sauvi­gnon blanc to make drinks such as the “Ma­tooler” ( see be­low left).

He tells me his mother urged him to study wine­mak­ing when he was in high school.

“I’ve loved every minute of it,” he says.

MA­TOOLER (MATUA COOLER)

30ml Matua Re­gional Marl­bor­ough Sauvi­gnon Blanc 2015 30ml gin 30ml ap­ple juice 30ml pineap­ple juice 30ml le­mon juice 10ml sugar syrup Shake all in­gre­di­ents in a Bos­ton glass and then pour over ice into a wine glass. Gar­nish with a slice of or­ange and mint.

MARITZ (MATUA SPRITZ)

30ml Matua Lands and Leg­ends Marl­bor­ough Sauvi­gnon Blanc 2015 30ml Cam­pari 45ml or­ange juice 15ml sugar syrup 15ml pas­sion­fruit pulp Shake all in­gre­di­ents (ex­cept pas­sion­fruit pulp) in a Bos­ton glass , strain into a tall glass full of ice, add pas­sion­fruit over top to fin­ish and gar­nish with a slice or two of lime.

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