Wines Down Under

Coming from one of the greatest wine regions in the world, it is hard for other regions to compete in my opinion. However, one needs to be open minded. The winery just might produce something unique and extraordinary.Aboard the Golden Princess by Princess Cruises from Melbourne, Australia around New Zealand, I had the pleasure of trying the below wines.

After an excursion, I was ready for a drink. Something refreshing, fruity and bubbly. I chose the sparkling wine from the Wines Bar. I went with the Mouku Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. According to Wine-searcher.com, the Marlborough wine region on the South Island is the ‘most important’ of New Zealand’s wine regions. We did not have a chance to stop at this region on the cruise but the popular Kim Crawford winery is also located in this region.

During a group wine tasting event held in one of the three formal dining rooms, I had my first taste of a Kim Crawford Pinot Gris. I can recognize the label of the wine but I never purchased a glass. The ship was holding a wine tasting event and professionals would speak on the wines they were serving. They charged attendees $13 per person. Elite guests did not have to pay. Unfortunately, it was too loud at my table to understand what the presenters were saying about the wine. I typically do not like Pinot Gris. It’snot the kind of wine I would personally order when I could just have water. I think it’s just too light in body and flavor profile. Kim Crawford produces aRose, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

In Gisborne, another popular wine region in New Zealand and its furthest western region, we decided to visit wineries as our excursion. We arrived via a tender and boarded a tour bus. Our first stop was, Matawhero. It was surrounded with other wineries. This property had open space with plenty of parking, yard games, outdoor seating and a two-room tasting room with plenty of seating and tables. The tour bus unloaded and we sat in the corner with newlyweds, Jodie and Dale, and solo traveler, Carol. We tried the below wines and snacked on a plate of cheeses and bread.

2018 Pinot Noir
2018 Pinot Gris
2017 Chardonnay
2018 Merlot

Of all the wines, I would probably say that the Chardonnay stoodout the most for me. I am not a fan of Chardonnay but this bottle wasn’tbuttery or creamy but had a nice light, crispness to it. Not needing anotherbottle of wine to add to my collection at home, I did not plan on purchasingany wine bottles during this trip.

Our next stop was Bushmere Estate.This vineyard had a large tasting room and a permanent tent propped up to host us and hold special events. The staff of three waited on us, told us about the wines but our table was a bit rowdy so hearing exactly what was said about the wine was hard to hear. The spread was incredibly impressive with pork belly,chicken, pickles, figs, cheese and more. I was surprised to try their Montepulciano but am impressed they had something quite different to offer than the previous winery.

Pinot Gris
Gewurtztraminer
Classic Chardonnay
Rose
Montepulciano


The final wine I tried while on holiday with Princess Cruises was during a delicious dinner at the Crown Grill on St. Patrick’s Day. With an 8-ounce filet mignon and two lobster tails, I had the Penley Estate Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra, Australia. The winery is owned by two sisters but they have a long history of winemaking. It was a tasty cab and it went perfectly with my special dinner. Not that the wine wasn’t good enough to take a photo of it, but the plate!!!

Whether it was white or red, Australian or from New Zealand, it was all smiles from us!

2 thoughts on “Wines Down Under

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