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Try a taste of kiwi ... Liquid News.

Byline: Fiona Ennys

SPEAK to any body who has been to NewZealand and they all say the same: It's just like Britain was in the 60s!

Now I don't know if that's really a recommendation. After all, we may have had the Beatles, but then we had to put up with listening to them on trannies (as it were).

But there's one thing I will concede about the place: the scenery is magnificent. Oh, and the wine is pretty damned good, too.

T he country's two islands present a range of climate and wine styles with something for every palate. But don't just take my word for it. Take a NewZealand Winegrower's ...

Some of the biggest kiwi names in the wine bizz will be showing off their wares at a fine wine tasting at Merseyside Maritime Museum on Tuesday June 3 from 2pm to 6pm.

And there's a bit of an incentive for ECHO readers to go along: Tickets for the tasting are pounds 15 but ECHO readers will get a pounds 5 discount - to pounds 10 each. (Call 0207973 8079 or log on to www.newzealandwineevents.co.uk for details).

You'll find some of the country's biggest name producers there - along with some you might not recognise.

Here are a couple of recommendations of wines you might spot from local expert Jon Atkinson of Scatchards.

He says: "Sauvignon blanc and pinot noir are the varietals that people expect, or anticipate, from NZ, which is why I think people will like the Ra Nui Wairau Valley (Marlborough) Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (pounds 11). It went down really well when we had it on tasting in store recently.

"It is a relatively boutique operation and their style is considerably more elegant and understated than some.

"This wine has a lovely mineral element that makes it very 'food-friendly'.

"Really boutique, however, is the Low burn Ferry Central Otago PinotNoir 2006 (pounds 18.75) for which the total UK allocation is tiny.

"Central Otago is the most southerly wine-growing region in the world and it has really thrown it's hat into the ring as a contender when it comes to getting the best out of this notoriously difficult grape.

"The Low burn Ferry is an excellent example."

Bothwines are available from localwine merchants Scatchards (tel: 0151 922 7346 or www.scatchardswine merchants.com) and are imported by Hellion Wines in Wigan (www.hellionwines.com).

As Jon says: "Cheers to the independents!"
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 29, 2008
Words:407
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