Not many New Zealand retailers have sold more wine than Mac and his personal recommendations come from one of the industry's safest sets of hands. Regardless of the price point you like to shop in, Mac's Picks will always be great buying and totally delicious. You have his word on it.
Available from $22.99
It’s always a pleasure to taste a new vintage of this classic rosé - a wine that has been on high rotation in our home for many years. 2022 was a challenging year in Marlborough but the Two Rivers team have once again nailed the style that put this wine on the dry rosé map. Crisp and zingy in the classic Mediterranean style, it shows a fresh and zesty palate with dry flavours of strawberry, raspberry, and lime zest. Some watermelon notes bring softer, juicier notes into play, while some mineral nuances add a lovely saline touch of complexity on the finish. It’s one of those wines that builds in the mouth and those crisp flavours develop nicely as the wine opens in the glass. We almost always have a bottle in the fridge, and I am a real sucker for a glass of this with a good, old-fashioned, white bread ham sandwich.
Available from $19.99
If you like your chardonnay full-bodied and packed with flavour, this new release from Longbush is sure to tick a lot of boxes. 2021 was an excellent vintage in Gisborne and this genuine Reserve level wine has enjoyed plenty of attention in the winery. The nose is loaded with aromas of canned peaches, spicy oak and sweet citrus - while the palate brings an array of ripe stonefruits and creamy grapefruit into play. Barrel fermentation and full malolactic conversion adds plenty of weight and breadth to the palate and the finish is long and fresh with some ginger biscuit characters sitting over a nice line of soft acidity. It’s a textbook example of the generous chardonnay style that Gisborne does so well – and a resounding bargain if you can find it around the $20 mark. The newly released 2021 is already looking very balanced and integrated – but tuck a few bottles away for 3-5 years to see a whole new level of caramel complexity unfold.
Available from $11.99
I have long believed that Yalumba’s excellent Y Series range offers buyers the best quaffing value to be had in the Australasian market, with the tempranillo the best of the red wines in this over-achieving series. It’s a juicy, supple wine that takes the red fruits of European Tempranillo down a darker, glossier path. The palate is well-rounded and doesn’t take itself too seriously - but it’s impossible not to admire the sheer drinkability it puts in your glass. It’s made for easy, anytime drinking when something soft and accessible is the order of the day, but you don’t want to push the boat out too far. If you want a ‘one size fits all’ BBQ red for summer, this remarkably affordable wine could well turn into an instant favourite.
Available from $15.99
Here’s another big (15% alc/vol) wine to consider the next time you fire up the grill and get the gang around. The blend for this Victorian red is unusually dominated by ruby cabernet - a grape that was bred by crossing cabernet sauvignon and carignan. Rather than being a showcase for the drier / structured elements of those two founding varietals, ruby cabernet typically shows an exuberant array of glossy dark red fruits, and that luscious, silken mouthfeel you get from good examples is certainly on show here. This is velvet smooth, opulent wine with lots of mocha / licorice / leather flavours sitting over a core of black cherry fruits. It’s spicy, complex and very inviting – a great crowd pleaser that is sure pique the interest of your wine aware friends.