Like most people who enjoy a glass of wine or two daily, I really have to watch my wallet when it comes to buying bottles during the week.
Fifteen dollars is my ballpark budget most days, but when the weekend rolls around I can always find an excuse to squeeze an extra ten bucks from somewhere (usually from the "carpet cleaning" or "car registration" section of the budget).
So this week I thought I'd tell you all about a bunch of snazzy sips to be had if you happen to find $25 floating around.
Loveblock Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2011 $23
Definitely a new favourite for me. I love the intense lychee, rosewater, sweet ginger and musky-soft spices in this wine.
It's juicy with a touch of sweetness and beautifully balanced - not to mention long on flavour and oozing personality and character.
Domain Road 'Duffers Creek' Central Otago Riesling 2012 $25
A waft of green apple, lime and hints of honeysuckle hit you as soon as you begin pouring the glass. In the mouth there's a burst of crisp, lemony, limey goodness.
It's tangy, tight and terrific - I think this has great cellaring potential too.
Mills Reef Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Syrah 2012 $25
Winemaker Paul Dawick has done a fantastic job here, for a young wine it's already boasting gorgeous boysenberry coulis, white pepper and smoky aromas alongside succulent plum and cocoa notes on the palate. Plump, plush and seriously tasty. www.millsreef.co.nz
Pukeora Estate Central Hawke's Bay 'Benches Red' 2009 $25
A blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and syrah, which has lovely toasty, smoky aromas with a sneaky snifter of prune and liquorice showing through and finishing with a warming, spicy-smooth texture. Good stuff. www.pukeora.com
Mt Michael Central Otago Rose 2012 $25
Pretty pink diamond colour, aromas of watermelon and hint of herbaceousness make me think of spring and summer. It's full and generous in the mouth with soft acidity and good length of flavour. A rose to slow down with. www.mountmichaelwines.com
Pencarrow Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011 $24
This is a pinot which definitely over-delivers where value is concerned. Lifted and cherry-heavy, notes of wild strawberry, spicy plum and lovely layers of spiciness wash over the palate. It's lush, fresh and elegant at the same time. www.palliser.co.nz
Tatty Bogler Central Otago Riesling 2012 $25
This is a downright delicious riesling crafted by the team at Forrest Estate. I love the ambrosia apple, lime and honeysuckle aromatics and the explosion of juicy mandarin and all sorts of zingy, zesty niceness. Fresh, crunchy-crisp and one glass is never enough. www.forrestwines.co.nz
Craggy Range Te Muna Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 $23
There's something about Martinborough sauvignon which gets me every time. There's a distinct white peach, white florals and lemongrass-type character which this wine has in spades. A splash of passionfruit and watercress, tight lines of acidity but a juicy, gentle palate texture make this sauvignon a superb match for paua fritters or oven-baked terakihi with lemon, olives and tomato. www.craggyrange.com
Wolf Blass Gold Label Barossa Valley Shiraz 2010 $25
Very pretty purple colour, subtle, elegant berry, spice and cocoa notes on the nose. Fresh, ripe, succulent fruit intensity in the mouth, the tannins are fine, powdery, and stretch from start to finish. Lovely concentration and character. Delicious. www.wolfblasswines.com