When The Glass Is Half Empty

Ask any wine connoisseur, and they’ll probably tell you that New Zealand is home to some of the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world. I’m not by any means an expert, but when avid grape lovers come to visit us and end up leaving with numerous bottles in their luggage (and even ship a few more back home), that’s probably saying something.

Five hours north of where we live lies a vast region called Marlborough – one of the most ideal places in the world to grow such fine grapes. Given the cool climate and shallow soil, it actually receives a ton of sunlight which then gives the fruit more time to ripen for longer. Apparently, this lends some subtle and interesting character while providing a crisp yet vibrant profile…

Whatever dude, I’m here for the free tastings. Where the cups at?

Choosing a more leisurely pace, Harold and I only visited five vineyards near Blenheim and had a good time juggling the many different varieties of white. From what I can faintly remember, Nautilus had a pretty clean selection and some modern shell decor. Wairau River offered the most in terms of quantity set amidst  gorgeous picnic seating, while the folks over at Hunter’s were extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Making our way over to No 1 Family Estate left me quite bubbly – they produce a small yet distinctive set of sparkling wines that most sweet-toothers will guzzle. However, it wasn’t until we had arrived at Te Whare Ra Vineyard that we found our top pick – Toru wine (a crazy blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris)!

Taking the champion bottle of white with us along with some olive pasta, we found a garden nearby and settled in for lunch and the obligatory afternoon nap.

White or red? Is there a favorite wine that you’d like to share, and if so, what do you recommend pairing it with?

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