OUR OWN SWEET WAY
Try new flavour combinations and find a new favourite, says JOHN BELSHAM.
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.
The sparkling wine tasting panel also tasted the NZ sweet wines.
Riverby Estate Marlborough