January’s almost over; the kids go back to school next week and routine will reign again. But this is no time to slip into a rut when it comes to wine. Push the boat out with these babies.

Champagne Lanson Black Label Brut NV

I first tasted Lanson (Lon-son) in the mid 90s and it's been a firm favourite ever since. Winemaker Herve Dantan has crafted this classic blend of 50 per cent pinot noir, 35 per cent chardonnay and 15 per cent pinot meunier into an elegant, lemon shortbread-scented sparkler with a finely tuned creamy, nutty character in the mid-palate and a long, toasty finish.


Paddy Borthwick Falloon Block Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2014


The Borthwicks are Wairarapa pioneers in farming and grapegrowing, and that they're able to produce such fresh and fabulous pinot noir at this price is testament to their vast experience on the land. Classic black tea, seasoned leather, black guava and spicy cherry flavours merge with a gutsy, grippy, youthful texture. The wine has solid persistence of flavour and works beautifully with thyme-roasted field mushrooms.



Ant MacKenzie ToNo Hawkes Bay Moscatel 2014
Here's a snappy little sweetie for fans of super-fruity, tropical taste sensations. Sourced from Ant's Craft Farm vineyard in Havelock North, muscatel is a grape that oozes stonefruit and musky spices - so if you're a fan of sweeter sparkling wines such as asti spumanti, think of this as just like that minus the bubbles. It's a zesty, tangy aperitif that'll kickstart your tastebuds into action for any occasion.
Price: $17.95