Al Brown's Tipping Point wines
Mid-lockdown, the unstoppable Al Brown launched Tipping Point, a six-bottle release of relaxed, great-tasting wines.
Each bottle supports a non-for-profit close to Brown's heart – the Bumble Bee Charitable Trust, Sea Cleaners, Kea Conservation Trust, the Hauraki Gulf Conservation Trust, Wilding Free Mackenzie and Te Tira Whakamātaki. Each received $10k upfront from the launch, and your quaffing will help continue to support them.
The brandy-shaped bottles are unique and lovely, reminiscent of European table wines, and the wines are modern and relaxed. There is chardonnay, rose, pinot noir, syrah, as well as a 'bubbly' from Marlborough. For a unique drop, try Field Blend - a blend of pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and Gewurztraminer, which Brown describes as "A bit of fun... an interesting, elegant and very drinkable drop'. Perfect for the warmer days ahead. tippingpointwines.co.nz
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Taranaki's Juno new seasonal gin
For the past year, Taranaki's fine gin distillery Juno has been offering seasonal releases in a collection appropriately named Escape. The spring 2021 edition has just launched, alive with lemon and sea salt spray - think Mediterranean seaside holidays amongst the citrus groves.
Previous seasons travelled the world as well - to South Asia, the South Pacific, and the Southern Alps - and all four seasons are now available in one gorgeous four-pack, each label illustrated by a different local artist.
Juno is now putting the call out for artist submissions to design the labels for next year's releases. Go to junogin.com to learn more about how to enter, and read about the previous winners. Entries close on October 25.