Before you launch into any good wine, make sure you grab a decent glass and not those awful goblets you nicked from Cobb & Co in the 80s. Acquire one with a good-sized bowl at the bottom, because swirling the bejeezus out of these babies definitely brings out the best …

Cicada Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2015 $25

Crafted by Kevin Courtney and his team at Riverby Estate in Marlborough, this is a hot-blooded, power gewurztraminer. There's nothing blousy here, just a magic melange of lychee, ginger, grain spirit and a flinty, dry-as-dry texture. If you've been hesitant about venturing back to this varietal, then brave it up because this is a wine that stands out.

Food match: Hollering for hot, spicy fish tacos ...

Cambridge Road Animus Martinborough Pinot Noir 2012 $38


A sniff of syrah was added to this pinot noir, which may upset some purists, but I think it really lifts this organically and bio-dynamically grown gorgeousness to another level. From one of Martinborough's oldest vineyards, planted in syrah and pinot back in 1986. I love the gamey, cranberry and rosehip tea aromas followed by the deep, savoury layers and its sexy, silky finish.

Food match: Serve with duck confit and mushroomy rigatoni.

Obsidian Vineyard The Mayor 2013 $45

Mayor Island (discovered and named by Capt James Cook in 1769) is actually the crater tip of a volcano, whose eruptions up until 6000 years ago resulted in rich deposits of obsidian all over the show. In a nod to their namesake, selected parcels of cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec were carefully blended by winemaker Michael Wood, to create an incredibly aromatic red, boasting mace, sandalwood, graphite, iodine and leather-clad prune and cocoa characters.

Food match: Serve with a rare scotch fillet and a dollop of blue cheese.