A surprising couple of wines made the cut at today’s weekly tasting at Regional Wines in Wellington. It’s a staff in house tasting organised by yours truly each week, which means it is a collection of interesting wines we stock – and don’t stock – in order to highlight the new, the interesting, the great value, the collectibles and anything else that comes across our paths.

The reason I described these wines as surprising is that they were the clear  stand outs of the week and they also happened to be the lowest priced of all the wines we tasted. Unlike many wines of their type, this pair are also dry whites from our biggest wine region here in New Zealand (which means we’re talking Marlborough). When it comes to the X factor, these two had it in spades. And if X factor sounds subjective, it was a unanimous analysis from a wide range of palates on our tasting panel and X factor here means they are a good drink.

2016 Konrad Dry Riesling $18.15

If you talk dry but drink sweet, try this very good dry Riesling from Marlborough, which is New Zealand’s biggest wine region and home to this fresh white with its flavours of limes, lemons, green apples and white peach. It’s medium dry (with 7 grams of residual sugar per litre of wine, putting it firmly in the technical category of ‘medium dry’) and its light body, long finish and succulent mouthfeel all add up to a wine we felt cruised easily into the category of ‘very good drink’ and ‘exceptionally good value for money’.

And our second winner this week was from the same winery…

2016 Konrad Sauvignon Blanc $17.50

We all agreed this complex Sauvignon Blanc has freshness to burn and a surprising degree of complexity for a wine with no overt oak character. The flavours here are of ripe peach, passionfruit, green apple, citrus and crushed nuts; it has great concentration, a medium body and a long finish to complete the picture of a dry white that over delivers for the $.

Both wines are open for tasting at the counter at Regional and, more importantly, available for purchase in the store.

The commercial aspect of wine is one that’s often glossed over in many critical and analytical wine reviews, but it’s the bottom line after all: wine is made to sell and to make a living for someone. This pair are a couple of tasty whites that I feel are easy to recommend as genuinely very good value for money and a great drink. Which is what it’s all about.