OUR OWN SWEET WAY

Try new flavour com­bi­na­tions and find a new favourite, says JOHN BELSHAM.

Cuisine - - NZ SWEET WINE -

THE STORY of sweet wine pro­duc­tion stretches back into an­cient his­tory. In­deed there is ev­i­dence that Ar­me­nian wine­mak­ers were pro­duc­ing ‘stick­ies’ from vi­tis vinifera grapes around 4000BC, near Mount Ararat where Noah al­legedly rested his ark after the flood and planted a vine­yard. Revered for their qual­ity these wines were one of the most fre­quently traded com­modi­ties, of­ten con­sid­ered more valu­able than gold.

That liq­uid gold car­ries a dif­fer­ent mean­ing to­day as any­one who makes sweet, late har­vest or botry­tized styles can at­test that the vol­umes and prof­its are di­rectly cor­re­lated; small. How­ever, when the rare op­por­tu­nity arises, wine­mak­ers jump at the chance to make one as sweet wines still ring all the bells of cre­ativ­ity. It is a style of wine that tran­scends time as they are also very mod­ern and rel­e­vant to our cuisines to­day. With a won­der­ful line-up of New Zealand ‘stick­ies’ in this re­view, we en­cour­age you to jump in with aban­don. Try a sweet with salty, blue cheese, wasabi-crusted pork or a fresh, spicy Asian dish how­ever there is no limit to great food matches; ex­per­i­ment with bold, con­trast­ing flavours to find a new favourite.

TAST­ING PANEL

The sparkling wine tast­ing panel also tasted the NZ sweet wines.

Riverby Es­tate Marl­bor­ough

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