NZ North Island Grog Files

New Zealand – North Island

Soft Drinks

L & P

Type: Soft Drink

Rating: 3 sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.cokecareers.co.nz/products
(yeah, Coke bought ‘em.  That’s globozation for ya.)

Notes: It would be wrong to have a page about the drinks of New Zealand and not mention Lemon & Paeroa.  It’s the New Zealand soft drink and we’re really not sure why it hasn’t become a world-wide sensation!  Like you’ll see in other places on this page, New Zealand does not save their best efforts for “the good stuff” because even their widely distributed common drinks are just excellent.  L&P is a great example of this.  An inexpensive (for NZ anyway) drink we first encountered in the Cook Islands and ever since had a hard time keeping onboard our ship.  Not because we didn’t buy a lot; the crew just kept drinking it the second it came onboard.  It’s non-alcoholic so even the kids can have it and is just an excellent lemon drink.

Breweries:

Mac’s

Type: Brewery

Rating: 4 sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.macs.co.nz/

Notes: This Brewery produces the basic inexpensive (relative to other local drinks at least) beer you’ll find all over New Zealand and as such, we weren’t expecting much here.  We were wrong because this stuff is excellent!  With a light and refreshing taste it goes down so easy that it is quite simply addicting.  Not hard to go through two bottles before you realize it.  As a lighter beer, it’s a great one to enjoy by itself.  We may have also tasted the cider which was alright but really, when given the option we just did like just about everyone else and went for the gold.

Tui

Type: Beer

Rating: 3 sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.tui.co.nz/Tui-Brewery/Tui-Brewery-Home/

Notes: This is a good beer that lives in a land of great beers.  We bought it, we drank it, heck we’ll even say we enjoyed it and that’s no small thing.  Being as we’re not really “beer” people, a beer has to be on the strong side of decently good to hit this mark.  We had quite a few nights working in New Zealand that were capped off by a few Tui’s and those nights were appreciated. But hey, the truth is that here in New Zealand, “really good” isn’t good enough because they have some fantastic drinks out here.  Especially for the price, Tui’s won’t do you wrong but there is better out there.

Wineries:

Crab Farm Winery

 

Type: Winery

Rating: 4 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://crabfarmwinery.co.nz/

Notes:  Focuses on fruit & warmer-weather light drinking wines.  Does it very well.  Awesome malbec-based rose.  Port is OK but their dessert riesling was fantastic.  Also, the atmosphere at the winery was just great.  Worth visiting.

Abby Winery

Type: Winery

Rating: 3 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.abbeycellars.com/

Notes:  Off label “Quail Lane” was an excellent inexpensive wine for New Zealand.  Abby is primarily focused on reds and does a good job at it.  They are one of the few wineries that produced a malbec and they made a good one.  Tiffany liked the cabernet sauvignon, which is rare for her.  Dessert wine caused dissent in the group: Mom liked it, Tiffany didn’t, Greg thought it was ok but lighter than a typical desert wine.

Ngatarawa

Type: Winery

Rating: 3 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.ngatarawa.co.nz/

Notes:  Of their 3 dessert wines we liked the late harvest gewurztraminer best (and snagged a bottle) but Mom preferred the sherry, which she purchased and we thought was OK.  We all agreed that the late harvest riesling was quite nice.  For the region, their prices were better than average.  Light sweet whites went over well but reds were unremarkable except for the syrah which Greg said was a decent wine.

Trinity Hill

Type: Winery

Rating: 3 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.trinityhill.com/

Notes:  Dry whites and Reds.  Overall pretty good.  Bought a bottle of the montepulciano red, which was Tiffany’s favorite.

Canadoro Winery

Type: Winery

Rating: 3 Sheets to the wind

Contact: 011 64 06 306 8801 (no website we could find)

Notes:  Late harvest riesling was worth investing in for the price.  sauvignon blanc (had an oak taste that Tiffany did not like) and pino gris were not all that good.  Cabernet sauvignon was decent.

Junction Winery

Type: Winery

Rating: 2 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.junctionwines.co.nz/

Notes:  Lighter and fruitier wines that favored dry over sweet.  Not really our style.

 Alpha Domus

Type: Winery

Rating: 2 Sheets to the wind

Website: http://www.alphadomus.co.nz/

Notes:  Won’t go wrong with them but they didn’t knock it out of the park either.  Decent wines but expensive for the area.  Late harvest Riesling was our favorite. They had 3 brands:

1) Pilot = Off brand.  Didn’t have available for tasting.

2) Alpha Domus = Their standard stuff, the “navigator” was particularly good but pricy for the area.

3) AD = Premium stuff – late harvest Riesling was great and their port-style was alright.

Drinkable wines all around.  Reds need aging to be good but after a few years would be strong bold wines.  Primarily blended wines, which is unusual for this country.

Esk Vineyards

Type: Winery

Rating: 1 Sheet to the wind

Website: http://www.eskvalley.co.nz/

Notes:  Meh.  Light drinking wines that favored dry and took out the fruit in order to make that happen.

Palliser Wines

Type: Winery

Rating: 1 Sheet to the wind

Website: http://www.palliser.co.nz/

Notes:  Drinkable but not exceptional.

See how the South Island measures up by checking out NZ South Island Grog files

 

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One Response to NZ North Island Grog Files

  1. Ronni Norte says:

    CRAB FARM WINERY – Best wine at 11:00 am, noon, 1:00 pm, 2p, etc!!!!!

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