Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Defiant in name and in life, a toast to John McGrath

This week, the Wellington hospitality scene and the world lost a great friend, brother, son, lover of life and author, John McGrath. He loved wine and he especially loved aromatic white wines, so here is a toast to the man that many of us called Five Star McGrath. He will be missed by many and his life will be celebrated on Saturday 2 September. Here's to you, John.

WIne of the week

2021 Domain Road The Water Race Riesling
RRP $27
Cool sorbet, hot day and promising flavours of lime zest in a dry, super fresh Riesling from the world's southernmost wine region, Central Otago. 
The Water Race Riesling takes its evocative name from the impressive water race constructed by gold miners in the 19th Century, who transported water around the gold fields in networks of hand dug water races that still flow along the contours of the hills in this arid area, now used to supplement orchards, vineyards and other crops in the region.
I have chosen this as my wine of the week not because it is an easy wine but because it has the qualities that make it a noble wine, as in, it is a dry Riesling from an edgy cool climate, which clearly has the potential to evolve positively for up to a decade, possibly longer. The name of the vineyard this wine comes from is Defiance, which is fitting for a Riesling vineyard that is situated in a region devoted nearly entirely to Pinot Noir.