Sunday, 20 June 2010

Précis: Chianti vs NZ Sauvignon Blanc

To choose a wine from Italy to take on the Kiwis,  just stick to a Chianti. It may be as unpredictable as the Azzurri - knocked out in the first round in 1974, in 1994 they famously lost their first match 0-1 to Ireland but still went on to reach the final while in 2002 they were eliminated by South Korea - but it's friendly and familiar.

For everyday glugging pick a young fresh Chianti Colli, Fiorentini or Senesi. Classico Riservas and some of the better wines of Rufina are often longer-lived so not really ideal for easy drinking, nor affordable.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is regarded by Oz Clarke as likely to be the best in the world. 

It probably is. Even cheap and cheerful examples can open up with fragrant herbaceous scents, offer weight on the palate and be packed with fruit like zesty lemons and limes.

As you climb the premium ladder the flavours intensify with fresh green capsicums, elderflowers, rich gooseberries, guava, mango, and ripe, heady and pungent asparagus. 

A draw then? 

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