Find us at Winetopia Auckland

By: Jon Church

We’re super excited to be part of Winetopia Auckland this year.  In it’s 3rd year, Winetopia is a celebration of New Zealand Wine, boasting a massive representation of 60 amazing wineries from iconic wine regions. 

We’ll be playing a special Winetopia version of Winoceros, giving you just a taster of the full game.  Sharpen your NZ wine knowledge in a fun and interactive way.

There will also be an opportunity to pair your sumptuous wines with delicious food offerings from a selection of award winning artisans, all washed down with sultry live entertainment.

You can find the Winoceros herd at stand 34, opposite the main stage, on 22-23 June. 

Tickets are selling fast! so get over to the Winetopia website and grab yours without delay,


Do we need more information on wine labels?

By: Bob Campbell MW

There is mounting pressure to add more nutritional information on wine labels after beer producers have started printing nutritional panels showing sugar content, preservatives, carbohydrate content and total kilojoules/calories on their labels.

When exporting to other countries, labels must comply with the label laws of those countries. That doesn’t seem to be a two-way street.

Label information required on the domestic market includes:

  • Country of origin (if made from grapes or concentrate from more than one country these should be listed in descending order)
  • Product name (“wine”, or wine type such as “sparkling wine”, of a variety or generic name such as “port”)
  • Alcohol by volume (+/- 1.5% for wine and sparkling wine)
  • Content (e.g. 750ml)
  • Producer (name and address of producer, importer, packer or vendor in New Zealand or Australia).
  • Sulphite (if more than 10mg/kg)
  • Allergen declaration (if milk, milk products, egg, egg products, fish products or other allergens are used)
  • Standard drinks
  • Lot identification (if more than one bottling)

Labels cannot:

  • Carry health claims
  • Encourage excessive consumption
  • Have special appeal to minors
  • Claim to be low in alcohol or non-intoxicating
  • Be false or liable to mislead consumers

When exporting to other countries, labels must comply with the label laws of those countries. That doesn’t seem to be a two-way street. A bottle of 2014 Cos d’Estournel plucked from my cellar does not carry a product name, sulphite declaration, allergen declaration or show standard drinks.

The EU has given wine producers one year to come up with a self-regulatory scheme that improves the amount of nutrition and ingredients labelling information given to drinkers.

In the US, wines with less than 7% alcohol by volume are required to carry a nutritional label. The alcohol level in most wine is significantly higher than that and don’t, therefore, require a nutritional label. However growing pressure from consumer groups could change that.

NZ Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan told that the wine industry was not looking at following the beer industry’s lead and that there was not a lot of real estate left on wine labels.

Do we need extra nutritional information?

I’d find residual sugar information quite useful, although it is a slightly simplistic measure of a wine’s apparent sweetness, which is also influenced by acidity, pH, tannins and alcohol level. Residual sugar and alcohol level would then allow keen consumers to calculate calories. It would also relieve the frustration of searching for a truly dry riesling or pinot gris when too few wines give reliable information on sweetness level.

The Real ReviewBob Campbell MW

Claret Confiscation, Bob Campbell MW

By: Bob Campbell MW

Some years ago I was invited to a small dinner party that included a few wine industry guests. I searched through my cellar for a special wine that wine enthusiasts might appreciate. I chose a bottle of 1970 Chateau Lascombes – a Second Growth Bordeaux from a very good vintage. I am a big fan of Lascombes but had never tasted the 1970.

I should have become slightly suspicious when the host took the bottle and placed it on his sideboard without glancing at the label. I didn’t expect the wine to have been served during the first course but became mildly alarmed when it didn’t appear during the main. Surely it must be served with the cheese? We finished with crème caramel. There was no cheese course. It finally dawned on me that the host was not going to open my wine.

If the host has gone to some trouble to match the food with decent wines I can understand that he or she might be reluctant to add or substitute a newcomer. In that event, the host has an obligation to warn guests that the wines have been carefully selected to match the food when they are invited to dinner. In Britain, a host might write the donor’s name on a gifted bottle and promise to share it at a later date. I’ve never seen that happen in this country. It’s more common to get a “thanks” as your precious bottle disappears into a cupboard.

the real review


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