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words on wine with lindsay nash

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Christmas: There will have to be bubbly. There’s nothing wrong with Lindauer Brut at under $10, but for something with more body and complexity try the Lindauer Blanc de Blancs (under $20). Best value for money above this is probably Deutz on special around $28, with a touch more yeastiness and intensity. There are dozens of fine sauvignon blancs under $15. A gold medal winner at the recent Air New Zealand wine awards, Peter Yealands 2014 has a whiff of sweaty armpits, intense sweet fruit and a gentle finish (about $15). But I’ve just recently been introduced to the black label Villa Maria range of sauvignon blancs, all about $28. If, like me, you prefer the tropical fruit of the Wairau valley over the more herbaceous style from the Awatere Valley, you’ll choose the 2013 Reserve Wairau Valley, leaping from the glass, bursting with sweet fruit but with the expected spine of acid, not in any way an aggressive wine. It might overpower fish but would be fine with cured meats and turkey. With strong meat from the barbie try a grunty shiraz. The Gold label

Wolf Blass Shiraz is great value at about $20, blackcurrant and spice, suave underlining oak and a long finish. A step behind is the Yellow label version, also a 5 star wine, often on special under $15. Another Air New Zealand gold medal winner was the 2013 Matua Single vineyard Syrah (same grape, different name), my pick of the tasting. This is a huge wine, aromatic, opaque, full-bodied but beautifully balanced ($70). With the ham I’ll have a Riesling while the others sip their 2012 Mud House Pinot Noir (about $20 special). Riesling with a bit of age is honeyed yet minerally too. The Crossroads 2010 will be perfect. At our annual St Francis “blind” tasting, the most popular choice was

the 2014 Seifried Nelson Gewürztraminer. It’s a gently sweet wine, with floral and ginger flavours, great with any spicy food. Also highly regarded was the Brown Brothers 2013 Trempranillo, ($16.99) with bold fruit and mouth filling plum and savoury flavours. A sticky (sweet wine) for “afters” is essential. Consider the Villa Maria Cellar Selection Late Harvest Riesling (about $25 for 375ml). As noted last month, a slightly chilled sweet sherry would go well with cheese, nuts and cake. Visit Pleasant Valley for their Amoroso or Oloroso ($16.95). At the Gold Medal tasting, in your interests, dear reader, I tasted

35 of the 110 wines on show. There were several finds under $25. Coopers Creek 2013 “The Limeworks” Chardonnay has a rich aroma, and a sweetly fruited, creamy flavour. Stoneburn (from Hunters) 2013 Marlborough Riesling ($15) is an off-dry style, fragrant, raisiny, with gentle acid. Peter Yealands Reserve 2014 Pinot Gris ($20.99) has a spicy pear aroma, loads of fruit, and an off dry finish. Of course, some say you can drink bubbly throughout the meal. Why not! A merry Christmas to you all!

Free Fire Alarms

The Trusts are offering every household within their boundaries a new smoke alarm. Vouchers were being delivered to every private letterbox late last month. Residents have to present the voucher and a household bill to show they live within The Trusts’ boundaries at a West Liquor or Village Wine & Spirits store and they will receive one of the new smoke alarms. ‘“We are giving away smoke alarms because we are owned by

Furniture designed and made to order Furniture repaired and restored

22 The Fringe DECEMBER 2014 – JANUARY 2015

the people of West Auckland and they are entitled to expect us to use profits for the good of the community. It is delivering on our slogan of “Giving Back,” says Simon Wickham, CEO of The Trusts. It is estimated that of the 38 people who die in house fires each year, about 30 are in houses without a working smoke alarm.

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