Wine is not just a very pleasant drink (provided you choose well!), it can also be a great way of bringing back memories of – hopefully – happy times. That was certainly true when we opened a bottle of wine from the Central Otago region of New Zealand’s South Island recently. Although it was more than 4 years since our trip there, we immediately started reminiscing about our stay and, in particular, our wine visits in the expert company of Lance from Queenstown Wine Trail.
I can’t remember all the vineyards we visited during our stay but the quality of the estates we did drop in on was so high that we were convinced that this was an area whose wines were well worth seeking out. And the wine that prompted this Blog -Peregrine’s delightful Pinot Gris (Great Western Wine, £19.50) – certainly did not disappoint.
Pinot Gris is a grape variety that, under its Italian name, Pinot Grigio, can often be thin and uninteresting. Not here! The 14% alcohol makes it beautifully mouth-filling but without the accompanying ‘burn’ you can find with wines with this strength. Peach and pear flavours come through joined by lovely sweet spices – cinnamon and ginger – and a crisp, clean finish with hints of citrus. I found this to be a wine that offered something new every time I went back to it during our meal (Baked Brill with a Mushroom Sauce) and then over the course of the evening until, all too soon, the glass was empty.
My wife is often saying – and I agree – that, if only New Zealand was 3 or 4 hours flight away rather than 24, we’d go there more often – and not just to enjoy the wines. But, as it is, we’ll just have to buy bottles like this Pinot Gris and dream instead.