Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Five great whites for Easter

Surprising wines from New Zealand's three most popular grapes

Winery founder Rachael Carter of the glamorously named Soho brand featured as our Friday drinks interview last Friday and this week we moved south to North Canterbury over on this blog to meet Cameron Woodhouse, the new chef at Greystone. 

In the meantime, with Easter about to give the chocoholics in our lives a chance to break out the cocoa, here are five great white wines to enjoy over this holiday weekend. They range from Chardonnay to Pinot Gris to Sauvignon Blanc, all from the South Island of New Zealand. 

Have a safe and happy Easter.

2021 Soho Jagger Marlborough Pinot Gris RRP $28

A deliciously outstanding example of New Zealand’s fourth most popular grape, Pinot Gris, with  full bodied textural qualities appeal and flavours of ripe grapefruit, dried pear and notes of nectarine, all held together in a weighty wine with lively balance and fresh acidity. This wine puts forward an excellent and convincing case for Gris’ capability to make outstanding wines, when handled sensitively with great winemaking.  

2021 Wild Earth Central Otago Chardonnay RRP $35

Dry, rich, smooth and creamy textured with layered fresh acidity adding great tension to this  Chardonnay from Central Otago, a region with many more strings to its wine bow than Pinot Noir. This wine shows the fabulous potential of Otago's cool climate and relatively short growing season for making great quality Chardonnay with lively acidity and tension coupled with citrusy purity of flavour to make wines with succulence and a long refreshing finish. This is a top wine without a crazy price tag. 

2021 Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc RRP $24

Sauvignon Blanc is the stock in trade of every self respecting Marlborough winemaker and the vast majority of it tastes juicy, fruity and even with a hint of sweetness on the finish. Here is a wine that bucks that trend entirely thanks to its dry taste, light body and powerful aromas of fresh green plums, gooseberries and herbs. Its refreshing dry style makes a pleasant change from so many Sauvignons these days and the finish leaves a refreshing impression

2015 Dog Point Vineyard Section 94 RRP $38

Here’s a wine that has complexity to burn with a medium body, intense flavours and fully dry taste. This is a library release direct from the winery’s cellars where winemakers have held it back to highlight just how damned delicious a well made, well aged, 100% Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc can taste. In this case, it still looks and feels incredibly youthful but the acidity has softened to reveal a smooth side to Sauvignon, supported subtly by green herb notes and a lingering finish. 

2021 Main Divide North Canterbury Chardonnay RRP $21.99

Rich and flavoursome Chardonnay with enormous depth of flavour balanced by a smooth body and crisp acidity which adds a long finish with juicy notes in abundance.