The 2017 tastings diary

It’s been a big week of tastings, talks and turangawaewae, which is what the biggest wine conference ever in New Zealand was all about – Pinot Noir NZ 2017 event was held last week in Wellington, with record attendance numbers of over 600 people from all over the world.

This week it’s back to the writing desk. First up, my tastings diary for the year. It outlines when I plan to do a large-scale tasting of the wine styles outlined below.

Naturally, I am tasting most days and far more widely than the varietals and styles listed below, but these are a starting point and outline themes that (generally) work with the seasons. They also align with reports I write for Drinksbiz magazine.

February/ March 2017 – Sauvignon Blanc

April / May 2017 – Chardonnay

June / July 2017 – Pinot Noir

August / September 2017 – Syrah / Shiraz / Merlot / Cabernet & blends

October / November 2017 – Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc

December 2017 – Champagne & sparkling wines of the world

A large number of wineries, importers and distributors send me their wines automatically and wherever possible, I include samples in large scale, themed tastings. As much as possible, I aim to include the best wines in both print publications and here online – a challenge in these post-newspaper wine column days. But… the good news is that I do write regularly for four magazines: Capital magazine, Drinksbiz, Good magazine, Drinksbiz and NZ Winegrower.