About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Matawhero 'Church House' BF Chardonnay 2011

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Gisborne, New Zealand
Owners: Kirsten & Richard Searle
Matawhero Estate Wines that has been owned by Richard & Kirsten Searle since 2008, has been replanted, revitalized and introduced to a new generation of wine enthusiasts.
This well crafted Chardonnay continues the well deserved worldwide acclaim for the Gisborne wine region. The premium grapes for this wine were sourced from the highly recognised Briant vineyard, which is situated between Patutahi and Manutuke, across the Waipaoa River from the Matawhero winery. The silt deposits that overlay the clay base provide ideal growing conditions for Chardonnay. The dominant clone used is 548, a new clone imported from France which is suited to barrel fermentation. The clone is usually early ripening and produces full-bodied, balanced, rich wines with complex aromas.
All of the grapes were machine harvested and promptly brought to the winery where they used a selected yeast strain ideal for barrel fermentation, which was carried out in a mixture of old puncheons and oak barriques until fermented dry. The wine underwent full malolactic fermentation and stayed on its lees until February - it was then stabilised, filtered and bottled.
In the glass you have a light golden colour with a green hue. On the nose you will find ripe melon and fig notes with a hint of oak. The palate is confident, rich and full with stone fruits and peach flavours with integrated layers of toasty oak notes, resulting in a charming and approachable wine, with great length and persistence on the finish. Chill and serve at 8-10ºC.
Drinking perfectly well this summer season; and over the next 2-3 years.
Perfect wine match with roast chicken, pork, lamb cutlets and aged, creamy cheese, enjoy.
An approachable, barrel fermented Chardonnay.



Vermentino is a white grape variety, primarily found in Italy. It is widely planted in Sardinia, in Liguria - where it is known as Pigato, it is also found in Corsica, in Piedmont where it goes under the name Favorita, and is also found in increasing amounts in Languedoc-Roussillon of southern France.
Different hypotheses about the origin of Vermentino have been forwarded, and only recently has DNA testing confirmed Vermentino to be identical to the Pigato of Liguria and Favorita of Piedmont, superseding some earlier hypotheses. The Vitis International Variety Catalogue has recently recorded Italy as its origin.  It is unclear if Vermentino is also identical to the grape variety Rollo found in eastern Provence, around Nice, which along with the variety Vermentino go under the synonym Rolle.


The most famous wine made from Vermentino is probably the DOCG Vermentino di Gallura (and Vermentino di Gallura Superiore) which is produced in the province of Olbia-Tempio, in the north of Sardinia. The grape is said to have been cultivated in this part of Gallura, often under the name Arratelau, since the fourteenth century. Elsewhere on the island the grape is used for a variety of white wines, including sweet and sparkling style wines. The grapes are amber-yellow in colour and hang in pyramidal bunches. The vines are often grown on slopes facing the sea where they can benefit from the additional reflected light.
Vermentino typically exhibits racy, citrus and mineral characters - made as a refreshing dry wine, usually un-oaked and with moderate alcohol. This is essentially a Mediterranean grape variety, retaining its acidity well even in relatively warm regions. It is the dominant white wine grape of Sardinia and Corsica plus straddling from Italy across to France. The variety is widely grown through southern France, where it can produce much livelier wines than some of those made from fuller-bodied varieties such as Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Viognier. Vermentino wines are generally light and crisp with a soft hint of colour, sharing many characteristics with the Malvasia grape to which some believe Vermentino is related. The resulting wines are relatively inexpensive and pair extremely well with fish and seafood cuisine.

Wine in Brief:




Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pask 'Declaration' Cabernet/ Merlot/ Malbec 2007

Grape Variety: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot & 22% Malbec
Growing Region: Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Head Winemaker: Kate Radburnd
Pask's 'Declaration' wines are crafted by Kate and her team in only exceptional vintages from prime parcels of fruit selected off their Gimblett Gravels vines.
In 2007 - Hawke’s Bay experienced favourable weather conditions throughout most of the growing season. They enjoyed a fine, warm Indian summer where selected bunches achieved what Kate describes as ultimate fruit maturity. Both yield and quality of the fruit was exceptional making the 2007 vintage for Pask a stand out.
The 3 different grape varieties used in this blend were harvested separately from their Gimblett Road vineyards and de-stemmed with minimal crushing and transferred into closed fermenters. Each parcel of fruit went through a slow, warm fermentation on skins extracting maximum colour, aroma and flavour profile. The wine then aged for 18 months in new French and American oak barriques for further palate development.
In the glass you have a deep red colour, thinning now with age towards the edges. The wine has a good aroma of dark berry fruits and a spiced, baked fruitcake note. On the palate, new layers reveal subtle earthy notes combine with tobacco characters and the heart of rich berry flavours. The spicy notes from the nose carry through the palate, mixed with oak and cassis characters all supported nicely by fine tannins, giving the wine structure and balance. Decant for 30-45 minutes and serve at 16-18ºC.
Drinking perfectly well this coming season; and also over the next 2-3 years.
Perfect wine match with roast beef, seasoned steak, bbq’d meats and hard cheeses, enjoy.
An approachable, full flavoured red wine.

Malvasia Bianca:

Malvasia Bianca is an ancient, highly valued Greek grape varietal vinified in a multitude of styles throughout Italy. Malvasia Bianca is one of the most widely planted, light-coloured grape varieties in Italy and the world. On the islands of Sardinia and Sicily, it makes rare, rich and wonderfully aromatic passito wines. Similar Malvasia dessert wines, made by drying the grapes before crushing, are found throughout central and southern Italy.
Malvasia Bianca is also used as a blending grape with Trebbiano in wines such as Frascati, Malvasia Istriana of Friuli, and the legendary Vin Santo of Tuscany.  Malvasia Bianca has a long history on the northwest region of Italy where it is known as Malvasia Bianca Piemonte or Moscato Greco.

The name Malvasia itself  is thought to derive from the Greek word Monenbasia, which means 'port with a single entrance'. And it is the Venetians themselves who are credited with using the term Malvasia to indicate the wines coming from the eastern Mediterranean. It was the time when the ships of the marine republics, along with luxury goods, spices and other merchandise for trading, were also loaded with these sweet wines, headed for northern Europe regions. It was because the wines of the Mediterranean were made sweeter and with higher alcohol, this meant they travelled better, lasted longer and consequently became more valuable.
Malvasia Bianca can be grown anywhere, in particular the drier styles appreciate cooler, sun-drenched hillsides with light, well-drained soils. Malvasia Bianca’s vines are moderately to very productive, though higher yields may sacrifice some flavour intensity.
Whether sweet or dry, Malvasia Bianca offers delightful aromas and flavours of honey and ripe pears with hints of spice. Round, lushly fruity flavours and a plush texture lead to a finish that is determined by the degree of residual sugar and the winemaking choices. The lightest versions offer a clean, crisp finish, while those aged in small barrels may display light tannins and a hint of vanilla, with sweeter, more opulent versions lingering on the palate. Highly flavoured wines of good to excellent quality and moderate acidity are used as a main base or as a blend in sparkling wines, as an enhancement of fruit character in Chardonnay wines, or for dessert-style premium wines.

Wine in Brief:



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Matching Wine with Tapas

Pairing wine with tapas just sounds fun - let alone actually being a great tasting experience.  The first wines that always come to my mind are a Fino or Amontillado Sherry which seem to go so well with almost every kind of tapas from olives to fish to chicken. Plus being especially good with salty tapas like anchovies, seasoned almonds and with spicy or garlic prawns. When you find the best match a Sherry served cold and fresh - just cuts so well through the salt, oils and subtle fats to release all the hidden flavours and cleanses the palate for the next bite or mouth full.
Another wine top of mind - is a lively Rosado (Rosé wine) as they can stand up well to the vibrant and sometimes robust flavours of tapas, with a favourite match of mine being with a good seafood Paella.
Youthful, Rioja red wines are also an enjoyable match - particularly if you are enjoying meat style tapas like chorizo and kidneys cooked in sherry or wine. In fact most tapas’ sessions can start with a chilled dry sherry, then move onto a Rosado/Rosé or a Spanish white wine like an Albariño, or a crisp dry Riesling, or even a Chablis, with seafood tapas and then move onto a red Rioja Crianza or light Syrah, or a Rhone-Valley red blend with meat or mushroom-based dishes.  Then for those slow cooked, roasted or BBQ cooked meatier tapas you can pair a Gran Reserva, a Carménère and even Cabernet based red wines.
Also don’t forget - along with crisp, fresh still white wines - also look to match certain tapas with a fresh Cava (sparkling wine) - which can pair extremely well with fried dishes such as calamari, croquettes, with fried fish and other seafood dishes.
The following matches are only suggestions, guidelines and starting points - enjoy the journey.




Sunday, September 15, 2013

Waipara Hills 'Equinox' Chardonnay 2012

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Waipara Valley, New Zealand
Head Winemaker: Simon McGeorge
Simon and his team have crafted this limited ‘Equinox’ range of wines to capture the special terroir of the region - and were named after the Equinox winds that blow hot and dry across the plains where they have planted their vines.
The Chardonnay grapes for this wine were handpicked from their ‘Home Block’ vineyard which was whole bunch pressed and cold settled before the slightly cloudy juice was transferred to barrels for fermentation. After 3 weeks the barrels were topped-up and regularly stirred until temperatures increased to initiate malolactic fermentation. The wine had 100% French oak; with 30% being new, after approximately 50% of the wine had gone through malolactic fermentation in barrel; they were cooled for maturation of 5 months before bottling.
In the glass you have a bright straw, gold colour. On the nose the wine is rich and beautifully integrated with fresh bread, stone fruit and dried spice aromas. These flavours coat the mouth from the first sip while the acidity keeps the wine fresh and bright. Stone fruit and citrus fruit characters burst onto the palate, accentuated by balanced fruit, oak, buttery notes, nutmeg and cinnamon oak flavours. The wine has a wonderful concentration, integration and freshness giving the wine great poise - balance and a lingering finish. Chill slightly and serve at 8-10ºC.
Drinking perfectly well coming summer season; and will age for another 4-5 years.
Perfect wine match with roast chicken, turkey, ham and pork, or with mature, creamy cheeses, enjoy.
A wine with wonderful concentration.



Glera is a white grape variety of Italian origin, which until 2009 was typically referred to as Prosecco. Glera is a rather neutral grape variety which is mainly grown for use in sparkling Italian wine styles, frizzante or spumante, from the various Prosecco DOC and DOCG areas, plus still wines also exist. It is grown mainly in the Veneto region of north Italy, traditionally in an area near Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the hills north of Treviso.
Glera is an old variety, with its former name Prosecco being derived from the village Prosecco near Trieste, where the grape in thought to have originated. It has been proposed that it was grown in Roman times and now ranks about thirtieth in importance among the country's some 2000 grape varieties.

Prosecco was traditionally used as the name for both the grape variety and the sparkling wine produced primarily from it. Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Prosecco di Conegliano and Prosecco di Valdobbiadene all had DOC status, and there was also an IGT zone surrounding it. When the higher DOCG status was sought for Prosecco di Conegliano e Valdobbiadene, it became a complication that the grape (which is now grown over a larger area) and the protected designation of origin had the same name. To resolve the issue, the old synonym Glera was officially adopted for the variety as the same time as the DOCG was approved in 2009. The change was also made to reduce the possibility of sparkling wines of other origin being labeled as 'Prosecco' by using the grape variety's name. The name change is a move along the lines of the reservation of the term champagne only for wines made in the Champagne region of France.
Glera is a white grape with lower acidity levels, and generally grown in warmer climates than those varieties used for methode traditionelle. Grapes with lower acid levels are said to be softer as a result of the lighter body feel that is sensed from the reduced grape structure. It is this softer structure that is precisely what is appreciated about Prosecco, it also carries less acidic mouth tang. As a result of the softer structure, Glera needs a less demanding process to infuse it with those precious bubbles. When treated with a secondary fermentation in bottle, a grape with these softer structural elements ends up cloudy both in colour and in flavour. Using the metodo Italiano method - Prosecco is not only softer than sparkling wines made with double fermentation, it also results in a more affordable wine.

Wine in Brief:



INDEX - Wine & Food Matching:

(Simply click on cuisine-image to view full article)

The above menu of wine & food matches are only suggestions, guidelines and starting points - enjoy the journey.