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 $23.99
You will love or hate the iridescent labels and heavily patterned glass, but I am very confident that the contents of these glitzy bottles will impress the most discerning prosecco fan. Produced from 100% glera from the famed Veneto region in the northeast of Italy, this is a bright and lively wine with a pretty bouquet in the apple / pear spectrum and a vibrant palate that shows some very attractive almond cream nuances. Prosecco is all about relatively simple flavours and good palate length - and that’s exactly what is on offer here. That subtle hint of nutty complexity elevates the conversation to a higher plane, and if you’re a fan of the ‘show pony’ bottles, Brilla has everything you can ask from DOC Prosecco in this price band. Enjoy with a deli-platter, shellfish or whenever a glass of bubbles is the order of the day.
Available from $17.99
This is a very good example of Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc from what was a troublesome vintage in Marlborough. It’s a typically punchy and wildly aromatic sauvignon from vigneron Michiel Eradus, with the passionfruit characters synonymous with the Awatere Valley in full effect. Tangy lime and sweet citrus flavours drive the nose, and the palate follows through with good fruit / acid balance. A touch of saline minerality adds further interest on the finish. We produce so much great sauvignon blanc in this country that I am sad so many of the leading commercial labels can be thin and disappointing. If you’re a sauvignon fan who is locked into one of the market leading brands, you’d be well-advised to give this 2022 Eradus release a crack. It might cost a dollar or two more than your usual squeeze, but I suspect that you’ll be very pleased you chanced your arm.
Available from $29.99
Johanneshof have a well-won reputation for their Alsace influenced aromatic wines and winemaker Warwick Foley has earned his right to sit at the very top table of New Zealand Gewurztraminer production. The 2022 is another excellent release; a rich unctuous wine that brims with lychee, ginger, and Turkish Delight aromas. Medium styled, but with a nice acid line countering those sweeter notes, this really is everything that you want weighty New Zealand ‘Gewurz’ to be. It’s bold and quite ‘in your face’ but carries that palate power with elegance and grace. The classical food match here is spicy Asian dishes, but I’d suggest trying it as an aperitif with a pre-dinner cheese board.
Available from $17.99
My life wouldn’t be the same without a glass of Spanish Tempranillo on hand. After discovering its supple charms about 15 years ago, my home life has been peppered with countless bottles that have been opened over casual meals and BBQs; while watching the footy on TV, or generally enjoying myself with family and friends. Effortlessly satisfying, tempranillo is a friendly, easy-going red wine that seems to fit in with whatever I am doing at the time – and it is looking like Zorzal will be on high rotation as we head into the spring and summer social season. Vinted from 35-year-old vines, Zorzal is loaded with spicy red fruits that sit on a nicely rounded palate that shows some touches of smoky oak. It’s a great example of how wine does not need to be dense and concentrated to be rewarding, and I can almost guarantee that your last glass from a shared bottle will be your best.
Available from $34.99
Brightly framed and beautifully perfumed, this is quality pinot noir from a winery with a long-held reputation as one of Marlborough’s better producers. The bouquet is very pretty with floral notes underpinning the primary spicy cherry and plum aromas. The palate is supple and silky with soft tannins cradling those black and red fruits. Subtle notes of forest floor / mushroom add an extra dimension, while a nice line of firm acidity holds everything together and ensures the palate remains long and fresh. I thought this was lovely wine, and after some years focusing on export markets, it is great to see Whitehaven enjoying wider domestic distribution once again.