Twospoons is proud to present a new “regular” feature from Ben (erm…Bob) the wine reviewer, who will be reviewing wines exclusively from the affordably-priced aisles of classy wine stockists such as Pak’n’Save, Countdown, and if he’s feeling like a bit of luxury, New World (if you’re from New Zealand, you’ll know that these are big-chain supermarkets) – so basically, Bob will be reviewing wines you’ll actually be able to afford. Now, don’t let the charming denim and expression put you off – Bob works for Pernod Picard NZ, one of the largest companies responsible for the alcohol you sip, chug and, well, dare I say it, sometimes chuck (out! goodness gracious, what did you think I meant?). If you’ve ever heard him talk about wine, you’d entrust the safety of your tastebuds to him when it comes to the grape scene. I’m honoured to have him post regular features, which will hopefully help the average Joe pick something that is fantastic yet affordable, or avoid the bank-breaking (haha, sort of literally now) yet awful. Without further ado, I’ll let Bob introduce himself and what the wine reviews will entail…
They say he’s part devil, part legend, all man. A rouged borderline narcisist with the wit and charm of forty bastards. He’s also quite apt at writing in the third person and would seem to know his way (or at least know how to bluff his way) around the wine scene. Now, before I begin it would seem prudent to at least try and explain what I am, and am not going to do here; my place here isn’t to rave about “oaked flavors”, “petrol notes”, and all the other jargon lost on anyone not consumed in the quasi-snobbery of the wine “scene” while giving reviews and suggestions that are well.. fundamentally useless (touch wood). I plan to explain some of the ins and outs of wine that won’t cost you the earth. Also to save you from enduring some of the truly terrid wines lurking out there.
First, something I feel compelled to at least breeze over – age does not necessarily make a wine good. Many people fall for picking the oldest wine they can find which is a misconception. Basically the vintage (year it was made) isn’t so we can see how old the wine is, but to see when it was made. Example: Wine X 2005 may be lackluster, 2007 may be amazing.
Well to start things off I’ll give you two wines and a cocktail. The two wines I had to review were Mud House riesling, and Wild South riesling. I’ve decided to compare two of my beloved rieslings. Rieslings are nice white wines that tend not to taste and smell of feline urate, more over they tend to be quite drinkable even for people who tend not to like wine, like Zo for example.
Now, onto the wines…
The Mud house 2006 Malborugh Riesling
For $11-$14ish this is a pretty solid buy with a nice aroma for those who must sniff their drink and a semi-sweet-kinda-fruity-flower-punchy taste for those who like to down it. I rated it 7 as it seemed to pull its punch a tad making it’s flavor weaker than I feel it could have been, however that can be a very good thing for people not so used to wine – Zo was able to drink an entire glass of this (that’s alot for Zo to drink of anything except for water :P). However for entertaining it may or may not be so good as it goes down rather quickly, yet is easy to get into so overall I’m agnostic on the punch pulling side of it and have to say this is an easy wine to like even if you can’t love it. I would serve this with fish, or another mild dish that doesn’t leave much of an after taste for risk of overpowering the wine. The crux of this bottle is a solid buy and a good fail safe, even if not amazing.
Wild South 2008 Malborugh riesling
I managed to score this for $11 at pack n’ slave Riccarton, however this was on sale from $17 which is still good value for this particular wine. At $11 it’s a value orgasm – in fact I may well bare the rain tonight, walk to the shop and buy some more..so far I can’t think of a reason not to. The flavor is strong yet yummy which makes for a rather moreish sipping wine. Great whether you intend to down the bottle by yourself (in this case, no one can fault you for doing so), or sock it to some guests at the dinner table. As with all good rieslings the taste is semi-sweet and fruity yet with a man sized kick to crush any doubters. If you will, imagine nectar graced by Chuck Norris, and our old pal, ethanol ^_^ I’d recommend it with light meals (chicken, fish, etc), desserts, breakfasts, or even on its own. The only thing I can fault it with is not having that…je ne ces qua, in other words it’s so close to perfect yet not which may leave the more experienced (or picky) wine-O feeling teased. It’s the feeling of climbing to the top of the mountain, but having a view of only clouds; it’s what I expect, but maybe, just maybe, there is another mountain with a better view out there…or maybe not. Either way this near perfection is sadistically, unbearably (and intoxicatingly) good!