The New Zealand summer Christmas is at our doorstep, the festive season just a hop, skip & drink away, so it is time once again to deck the halls with boxes of wine.
Question is, what to fill up your glass with this silly season?
Instead of reaching for the usual suspects this Christmas (Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose) try something fresh and new to pair with your Christmas Quinoa and tofurky.
Here is a list of some of Central Otago's best summer sippers to suit all of your festive needs.
White Pinot Noir;
A different take on Rosé, this style of still Blanc de Noir, has minimal skin extraction from Pinot Noir grapes resulting in a Champagne coloured drop. It has peaches and cream on the nose, with a hint of citrus and tart berries. Gorgeous fruit driven palate with lively acidity, I can see this style becoming a Central Otago classic. And my favourite thing about white pinots is that they are the perfect match with oysters, sashimi, and scallops.
Wooing Tree Blondie - $28
Grey Ridge Blanc de Noir - $25
An emerging cult favourite in the hospitality scene because of its chameleonic ability to match with a vast range of cuisines.
Not to be confused with wine made from Oranges, this wine is essentially 'white wine made like red wine', where the skins, seeds and juice have been left to macerate and extract colour, flavour and tannins.
Orange Wine is not a new style, but an ancient one that is making a comeback it is beleived that this style of wine originated from Georgia, where wine has been cultivated longer than anywhere else in the world - 8000 years, by some estimates!
Weaver Estate 'Skin on skin' - $48
Valli 'Real McCoy' - $39
Pinot Gris Rosé;
Pinot Gris first came about as a colour mutation in Pinot Noir, so it should be of little surprise that it too can be made into a delicious rosé
Pinot Gris skins are a greyish pink so there is a little colour winemakers can extract by leaving the juice in contact with the skins for about 24 to 36 hours. The finished product is a pale copper coloured wine, often with a rose petal and pear nose.
This style is relatively new to Central Otago but has been produced for a long time in Italy.
Aurum Pinot Gris Rosé - $28
Black Ridge Breidecker - $20
A hybrid of Riesling and Seibel, Breidecker is a cool climate grape variety grown in the Rheingau and NZ. 'Fruit Salad in a Bottle' this off-dry style is easy drinking, and an easy summer style. An excellent companion to Christmas Brunch or Pavlova!