"Life is too short to drink bad wine!" proclaimed Master of Wine, Adrian Garforth at a recent dinner he co-hosted with talented chef Ashton Keefe in New York City. As a Master of Wine (MW), Adrian belongs to an elite club of only 355 wine professionals around the world that passed a rigorous course of study in all aspects of wine. But Adrian's enthusiasm at dinner showed that wine experts don't have be stuffy and staid. Wine is meant to be enjoyed, take us on a sensory journey, and bring us together.
Zesty and refreshing, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is one of the superstars of the wine world. But there is plenty of variety within the category, from simple wines to those with more nuance and complexity. On the red side, Pinot Noir from New Zealand is also growing in popularity and offers a fresh take on this classic red. Adrian is also the CEO of Yealands Wine Group, one of New Zealand's most celebrated producers. Within the Yealands portfolio, The Crossings is a collection of wines from the Awatere Valley in Marlborough - a place where early pioneers crossed the fast-flowing Awatere River. The Crossings wines are described as an invitation to "explore Marlborough's adventurous side."
The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($15)
Sometimes grassiness can dominate the flavor of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, but that signature zest is more subdued and refined in this refreshing sip. Lively citrus flavors are bolstered by hints of tropical fruits and herbs. Crisp minerality adds superb structure and texture. A delightful apéritif and a great match with seafood.
The Crossings Pinot Noir 2015 ($19.99)
Pinot Noir is known as the "heartbreak grape" because it so finicky and only grows well in particular regions of the world. But winemakers can't resist the lure of Pinot Noir because it can produce wines of extreme elegance that eloquently express a sense of place. Burgundy in France is considered the pinnacle of Pinot Noir wines but several New World regions, like Oregon and New Zealand, have shown their skill with this persnickety grape. Not as austere as a Burgundian Pinot Noir, this juicy offering from The Crossings has ripe berry and cherry flavors and a subtle savory streak. A more playful, but still well-made Pinot Noir, this food-friendly red pairs well with meats, from lamb to roast chicken.