Abraham Lincoln once said, “Folks who have no vices, have very few virtues.” I have three vices du jour – hence my virtuousness runneth over …

Mon Cheval Waipara Gewurztraminer 2016 $30

Whoever said racehorses were a great way to lose money, clearly didn't own Under Cover Lover, the racehorse who earned her owners enough cash to start their dream as winegrowers in Waipara's Weka Pass. I love the ginger, musk and lychees combined with luxurious, exotic citrus and spices.

Sip with: yum moo grob, a tangy Thai crispy pork salad.

Karven Bianco Vermouth 500ml $44.95


The lift of fresh orange zest, intense spices and a mouthfeel so smooth and seductive, it's no surprise that good vermouth has been used for centuries to aid digestive health and fire libidos. Created from local grapes and botanicals like kawakawa and horopito sourced from near the Riverhead distillery, it's an exceptionally good aperitif.

Sip with: a smile.

Champagne Marion Bosser Extra Brut Blanc de Blanc NV $60

Enjoyed by first-class passengers on British Airways, and recent winner of the Chairman's Trophy at the Ultimate Wine Challenge in NYC, this sensational Champagne from a tiny vineyard in Hautvillers is made by Bernadette Marion-Bosser (who rebuilt the brand back in 1994) and her daughter Elodie, the winemaker. With brioche, nutty nougat and creamy, lemon notes, this elegant Champagne had me swooning from the first sip.

Sip with: oysters, any way