You should be drinking New Zealand Wine.

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

Do you like wine? Here is why you should be drinking New Zealand Wine.

New Zealand wine in Japan is a relatively new thing. If you go into your local restaurant you’ll be lucky if you find a bottle from New Zealand. Most people seem to think good wine comes from France, maybe Italy, Spain, America and… some other places.

And everybody knows the best wine comes from France, don’t they?

Doesn’t it?

Actually, New Zealand makes some of the best wine in the world. And when price comes into play, perhaps THE best wine in the world.

But do they really?

First things first. Personal preference is paramount (PPiP). The best wine is the wine YOU like the most.

Having said that, let’s look at (probably my favourite white grape) chardonnay. The chardonnay grape originated in Burgundy (Bourgogne) in France, and the Burgundy region is still considered the benchmark of quality. You are almost guaranteed to find Grand Cru or Premier Cru Bourgogne on any list in the top restaurants around the Japan, and they are likely to be the most expensive white wines on the menu.

So how do kiwi chardonnay match up against the best?

Funny you should ask.

Pretty good, actually.

In 2018 there was a tasting conducted in London attended by many famous trained wine industry professionals. This tasting was completed blind, meaning the tasters didn’t know which wine was which, and the wines were selected of the best from around the world. In the end, France came first and second. New Zealand wines came in third and fourth… but the wine that came third was twenty-five cheaper than the wine that was voted first.

Twenty-Five times! (rounded in my head).

Let’s look at another blind tasting, this time in Pasadena in 2011. This was a Pinot Noir tasting, another Burgundian grape variety, and the organisers collected bottles from all over the world. One of these bottles was a 1990 Domaine Romanne Conti ‘La Tache’, valued at the time at $5500US. A bottle. And again, once all the votes were tallied the winner was an $80USD bottle from Martinborough in New Zealand.

From my own experience, in 2017 I was lucky enough to be selected to attend the very first Family of XII Wine Tutorial, where a small group of wine professionals tasted wines from New Zealand and around the world. When it came to the pinot noir phase, there were three of the twenty in front of me that I liked the most If I had to choose one, at the time it would have been the one in the middle, but they were all so close I know that I might chose a different one if I was to do the same tasting today.

Full disclosure: When the wines were revealed the one I preferred was from France (I never said they didn’t have their moments…).

It was Domaine Romanee Conti Richebourg… but it was roughly one hundred times more expensive than the other two!

It’s true, I did like it more… but DEFNITELY NOT one hundred times more. It is also very important to note that my preference was by no means universal. Other members of the tasting (including a Master of Wine) didn’t rate the three I like very much at all. Remember: PPiP.

That’s just chardonnay, though results like these show that New Zealand makes THE best wine in the world! …but so does France. And Australia. And Italy, Spain… the list goes on.

Luckily, most of the world is unaware how good kiwi wines are so the price performance is some of the best.

It won’t stay that way for long!

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