Two wines, two countries, one region

These wines were provided as media samples. I received no other compensation. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

The temps in Texas were still in the 80s in November. In fact, they hit 80 again last week…a few days before it snowed. The lesson being you always need to have a variety of jackets and wines on hand.

Two samples I tried recently were from New Zealand. Well, sort of. The grapes were from New Zealand. One producer was, one was not

Matua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

When it comes to Monday wines, you’d be hard pressed to find a grape that does better at that price point ($8-14). Matua Sauvignon Blanc ($12) is no exception. the Marlborough region is synonymous with the grape and for good reason. They chose grapes from over 100 vineyards, from Wairau Valley to Awatere Valley for their varying characteristics. The wine is lively with tropical notes, grapefruit rind, and hints of green. Lemongrass came to mind. Abounding with minerality, it is an ideal quaff for hot afternoons or as an apertiv.

image001Dave Phinney looked to the same valleys to make his New Zealand wine for the Locations line. He sought the passion fruit and grassy notes from the Wairau, the minerality form Awatere, and the Waihopai for its gravel soils. With the varied vineyards, Phinney makes a unique, elegant take on New Zealand’s flagship grape. Pale yellow in the glass, the nose is classic gooseberry and tropical. On the palate, the notes are softer. Pink grapefruit, white flowers, candied lemon peel. While the price point is slightly higher that most at around $20, it is money well spent.



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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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