Pete’s Top Winter Drops

Big kids Chardonnay

Classic, powerful, old school – but in a good way. The 2014 Man O’ War Valhalla chardonnay comes from Waiheke island, a 30 minute ferry ride east of Auckland. It’s rich and delicious and screams for a classic roast chicken or a decadent truffle risotto.



Nothing warms up quite like a peaty whisky from The Ise of Islay in Scotland. The Ardbeg 10yo single malt ticks all the boxes. Spice, purity and power all in one rich mouthful. I recommend breaking with a dash of water or a couple of ice cubes only.




It’s basically a negroni, but with rye whiskey instead of gin. Bringing a dark spirit in warms the drink, and you, right up. Perfect by the fire.

45ml Rye whiskey
25ml Campari
25ml sweet vermouth.

Stir ingredients with ice, then strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange twist.


Not too heavy red

The Macedon Rages is a region to watch, particularly for Pinot Noir. The Silent Way Pinot Noir from the 2016 vintage is dangerously slurpable. At the lighter end of the pinot spectrum, the red cherry fruit and freshness is screaming for a delicious wintery duck dish.


Medium Weight Red

When we think Barossa, we normally think massive as with fruit, alcohol and oak. The 2015 Head The Contrarian Shiraz is exactly that. Contrary. It is lithe, elegant, black fruited and although intense, has a balance that makes it very easy to drink.


Savoury Red

Nothing says savoury like Grenache. A good balance between spice, fruit and smashability. The 2016 Other Wine Co. Grenache is all of the above and more. It has more going on than a lot of other Grenache from McLaren Vale, and this means it is suited to some richer, heartier dishes. Makes me think of braised dished like Ossobuco.


The Big Kahuna

It’s nice to push the boat out from time to time. The 2015 Cullen Diana Madeline is a perfect example of when to say yes. This wine is all about finesse. Vanya Cullen crafts a beautifully balanced cabernet and merlot blend, made using biodynamic principles, that is equally as delicious to drink now, as it will be in 15 years time. Pull out a big glass, add a decant piece of aged cheddar and relax.