Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Smelling the roses right under our noses

The heading of today’s blog wasn’t intended to rhyme but perhaps it’s my brain processing the podcast I listened to this morning called How to Fail. It was an interview between podcast journalist Elizabeth Day and poet Claudia Rankine, who talked about what connects and divides us. The podcast How to Fail talks a lot about how to succeed, which led me to thinking about how we think about both failure and success. It’s an incredibly apt topic right now with referendum results passing and failing to pass, in the process disappointing and dividing New Zealanders on the legalisation of  euthanasia and (so far) the failure of the cannabis referendum to be legalised. Special votes have yet to be counted so we can but live in hope. And then there’s that other election. If anything stands to divide people in a profound fashion, it’s the election in the United States next week.In the meantime, the weekend looms and I have been doing a taste tour of sparkling wines from all around the world to write my annual bubbly report for the magazine Drinksbiz, out in early December. I have high hopes for most sparkling wines because I’m a sucker for a great champagne or traditionally made sparkling wine, which is one made using the same winemaking methods as champagne makers do. And like many, I can be prone to preconceptions, hoping that wines from far away taste more exotic, more complex and better, but that’s not always the case, as my top wine this week shows. It fails to be called ‘champagne’ because it is not made in the Champagne region and only sparkling wines made there can be labelled with that highly successful generic brand name ‘champagne’; the lower case ‘c’ being the generic name for wines from the place.

But Hunter’s MiruMiru is a huge success in its own right. It succeeds in emulating a great wine style, using a name that resonates more strongly with New Zealanders because Miru miru translates to bubbles in Maori and has been trademarked by Hunter’s Wines for their sparkling wines made in the traditional method. We can’t travel to France’s great Champagne region right now, so one of the upsides of this is that we have have to look for successfully fun experiences closer to home. This wine ticks the box perfectly.

Wine of the week

Hunter’s MiruMiru Rose NV $35

Jane Hunter and her winemaking team make MiruMiru Rose NV mostly from Pinot Noir which is 55% of the blend with the balance 42% Chardonnay and 3% Pinot Meunier. All three grapes were fermented separately before blending prior to tirage (the addition of sugar and yeast to start the second fermentation in bottle where the bubbles dissolve into the wine. This is a dry, fresh, subtly toasty style of pink bubbles which contains 6.4 grams of residual sugar per litre and is a deliciously full bodied expression of sparkling freshness. A beautiful wine.
Hunter’s Wines is a member of Methode Marlborough.