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New release Pinot perfection from 2020 vintage

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

One of our favourite full bodied Martinborough Pinot Noirs is back in store and it's a tasty new vintage from 2020, which was a superlative year in the small, arid wine region of Martinborough. This little region is a Pinot Noir stronghold. This great red remains the most planted grape in this region, even if Sauvignon Blanc is catching up. Martinborough is home to approximately 1,100 hectares of producing vineyard land and is the southernmost, driest wine region in the North Island. The dry weather really came into its own in 2020, a summer in which water restrictions came into...

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Unibroue Saison 13 and the appropriation of beer styles...

Posted by John Shearlock on

Unibroue Saison 13 and the appropriation of beer styles...

The beer and rock combo isn’t exactly a new thing. Robinsons brewery has been making Iron Maiden beers for yonks and there’s a string of Motorhead beers made by Camerons, the latest of which is an APA following on from the imaginatively titled B*stards lager. These beers are commercial tie-ins triggered by the bands themselves and, as large outfits with big followings, a market opens up with just the mention of their name on the label. Today’s beer, however, is slightly different.Unibroue Saison 13 is a beer and rock mashup created through an apparent friendship. Unibroue brewmaster Jerry Vietz and...

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Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale in a... can

Posted by John Shearlock on

Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale in a... can

I do love that there are so many beers out there with their own little story to tell. Dale’s Pale Ale from Oskar Blues is one such beer in that it kick-started the use of cans in craft brewing when it was released back in 2002. That sounds pretty cool right - but then you remember that misspent youth swilling Hoffmiester out of a can in the early 90s and you think… “Wait a minute - wasn’t beer always available in a can?”For anyone alive today (that includes you even though the pandemic has sucked the will to live from...

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Blair Athol 'Old Malt Cask' 1995/25 YO (#18668)

Posted by John Shearlock on

Blair Athol 'Old Malt Cask' 1995/25 YO (#18668)

There are a few whisky encounters that will live long in my memory and one was my first introduction to Blair Athol. I had just started looking after the tasting programme at Regional Wines and I guess it coincided with that feeling of a whole new world opening up in front of me as I reacquainted myself with both whisky and whisky people. It certainly blew my mind and was my first knowing taste of sulphurous whisky, reminding me of reductive minerality often found in wine and a kind of complexity that I hadn’t associated with whisky until then. The...

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The best lower alcohol wine in the world

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

What is the best lower alcohol wine in the world? There are many producers trying valiantly to make good quality zero alcohol 'wine' but let's not go there in this blog because that's another story. When it comes to lower than standard alcohol wine, there is one clear contender.  Step up, Riesling. This much maligned grape variety lends itself more readily than most other grapes to making lower alcohol styles of wines because of its incredibly diverse and intense range of aromas, acidity and powerful flavours. Often thought of only as a sweet grape, Riesling is full of surprises, the...

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