NZ Pinot Noir as good as Burgundy

If you want to buy red Burgundy wine, then there is only one sensible tactic. Go to the shop, buy one of each type, take it home, allow at least 24 hours to settle in, and then drink one bottle at a time. Once a bottle is opened, you will need to drink up, because it won’t keep for more than a few hours.

If you find something that you really like, go back to the shop at once and buy up the stock. Drink it up within say six months. You will need to repeat this procedure with each new vintage, and obviously you need cash in hand to buy up the stock. Red Burgundy is normally for rich people.

Watch out for the two vintage trick. They get a good vintage, so they push up the price. The next vintage is not as good, but they still try to charge the same high price. Just leave it on the shelf.

Let price influence you. For pheasant you want a full-flavoured Burgundy, but for salmon something lighter is OK. Obviously for the lighter wine we expect to pay a lower price.

There is no snobbery in the above. English and Scottish strawberries taste better than Dutch and Belgian strawberries, and everything tastes better than Spanish strawberries. It’s just a matter of buying it and trying it.

Exactly the same rules apply to pinot noir wines from New Zealand. Much of what you buy and try is going to be quite disappointing. Some of it will be great, so you know what to do. On this basis, we can safely say that New Zealand pinot noir is now just as good as Burgundy. They both have the good and the bad, with no ability to predict what’s what. Buy it and try it is the only sensible rule.