Julia Child once said: "I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food."
Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Gewurztraminer 2015 $25
This organically produced wine is golden and glossy in the glass and absolutely heaves with heady spices, musky pot-pourri and Turkish delight aromas. On the palate it's defiantly dry, with a touch of flinty, mineral and ginger-edged heat, layers of ripe stonefruit and has a long, indulgently exotic finish.
Sip with: Saag Chicken Tikka Masala
Soho "Maren" Marlborough Riesling 2015 $26
Whoa Nelly! This is a lime-laden kick in the face, a gum-numbingly fresh little riesling designed to put your tastebuds into a tangelo-laced tangle in seconds flat. At 11.6 per cent alcohol there's a squeak of sweetness, but it's mostly bone-dry. If James Rowan continues to turn out sensational riesling like this, pretty soon someone will put a price on his head.
Sip with: Salt and Pepper Squid
Mudbrick Reserve Syrah 2014 $60
Fresh peppercorn, cherry, violet, pomegranate and liquorice layers unfurl like a peacock's tail across the palate, leaving dried herb and dark berry flavours cloaked in furry tannins. Unlike some Waiheke syrahs that tend to the chunky side, this is an elegant example - the cigarette pants of syrah, if you want to get fashionista on it.
Sip with: Braised beef shortribs