So you’ve traveled 12,000 miles to watch a bunch of arrogant, overpaid louts lose to the French, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Here’s my guide to rugby world cup liquid redemption, kiwi style.
Let’s start with the basics. Huia Sauvignon blanc from Marlborough, the flagship sav (as they call it over there) region of NZ. This provides all the passion fruit and gooseberry you’d expect at great intensity yet with subtle poise and balance. Every bit as good as cloudy bay.
Staying in Marlborough, a short drive away you’ll find the byodynamic vineyards of Seresin. Their Chardonnay is not for the faint of heart, dripping with oak and buttery malolactic diacetyls, full in the mouth and with decent length. A real food Chardonnay if ever there was, that could hold it’s own in a head to head with a fish chowder.
And before we leave Blenheim’s environs for the cooler climes of the deeper south, let’s not forget to pop in at Te Whare Ra. These guys do a spot of everything, like most in this region to be fair, but their syrah is unlike any on this planet. Somewhere between the Rhone and Barossa, this is deep and full, yet complex and balanced, brambly and spicy, yet clean and fresh. We drank one with friends whilst staying in the Marlborough Sounds on our honeymoon. It was so good we drove back the sixty miles two days later for another.
To round us off, we’re going to need a decent Pinot, and where better place to find one than Central Otago. This region moves closer to old world in style, when compared with the likes of Marlborough and Martinborough, but although the earthy, farmyard notes are present, the fruit still packs quite a punch.
You can’t really go too wrong in choice here but I love Rockburn. Rich and velvety in texture and concentrated on the palate. Complex fruit and savoury notes and a touch of spice delivered in a red fruit parcel. You can drink this with food as I have with beef wellington (whilst in Wellington as s matter of fact) or indulge it’s demands for the spotlight it deserves and drink it on it’s own. In fact, it could be the perfect accompaniment to watching the Welsh beat the French (I hope). It will be 6.30 am back in blightie for that game which is far too early for Pinot, so I guess I’ll be on the sav. Enjoy NZ.