Monday, 14 July 2014

Everything’s Hunky Dory: A new white from Waitrose

What’s this? A white wine from New Zealand you say? Surely a Sauvignon Blanc... Well no, not this time.

Waitrose are pretty darn good in the supermarket wine front; they recently upped their game when they launched their new online store, Waitrose Cellar, which stocks a range of 1200 still and sparkling wines and spirits. These come complete with tasting notes, videos and customer reviews, and they even throw in free delivery on every case order. Anyway, I'm no stranger to an aimless wander down the booze aisle (check out my previous confession), and this time I spotted a number of green signs saying 'NEW'. Seizing the opportunity, I thought I'd try one out.

Hunky Dory, The Tangle 2013 (£11.99) is a Marlborough white consisting of a trio of grapes; 45% Pinot Gris and 45% Gewurztraminer and 10% Riesling. The grapes are grown on a mixture of organic and sustainable vineyards in one of New Zealand's sunniest and driest areas. This bright but relatively cool climate gives the grapes the advantage of a long and slow ripening season, intensifying the flavours and helping to give that 'zing' that we associate with New Zealand whites.

Mike and Claire Allan are the power couple behind Hunky Dory. Mike's love of fishing on the peaceful open waters - that explains the label - mixed with the fact that Claire's a mega foodie sums up the exact kind of wines they set out to make; a range that expresses the relaxation and enjoyment that you get with both food and wine. Sounds pretty perfect, huh? “Good wine. Good food. Good friends. Simple.” Who can argue with that?

The grape line up is like the who’s who at a celeb party – these are the trendy ones that everyone wants to get to know – so I had high expectations for this wine. Gewurztraminer seems to be the most noticeable out of the three; but the other two help boost it's fuller fruity flavour. 

On the nose it's a hit of citrus and honeysuckle, then in taste you pick up juicy apples and a lot of things which you might associate with Asian cuisine; jasmine, lychee, a touch of mandarin. There's also a gentle gingery spice which creeps in on the finish, making it an excellent accompaniment to Thai/Asian dishes (which is what Hunky Dory recommends).

It is very citrusy, probably more than I was anticipating, but it doesn't try to compete with other fragrant foods - it simply compliments the flavours and makes your mouth crave more (it's a decent 14% though, so don't neck it!).

Whilst it’s a lovely wine, and one which paired beautifully with my dinner (seared tuna, with a lime/peanut/chilli dressing in case you were wondering), I think the price may be a little steep. At £11.99 I was expecting something more exciting, something that made me go "ooh!" rather than just slip down with ease.

Don't poo-poo it though, it's worth a punt, and if you've got a little wine collection on the go, Waitrose Cellar informs me that it will further improve if carefully stored for up to 4 years..

.. It'd never last that long in my house.

Have you tried Hunky Dory? Have you bought any of the other new ranges from Waitrose? Drop us a comment.. 

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