Friday, December 8, 2023

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50 STUNNING Wines Under $25?! Of COURSE You Want the Details (Including Some Insider Tips for Selecting the Perfect Drop)

It’s a hard job but someone’s got to do it – Kelly Bertrand checks out the best of the 50 Under $25 wine list at this year’s New World wine awards

If there was a theme for 2023 it would be all about stretching a hard-earned dollar for all its worth – and there’s not a place where that’s truer than the supermarket, especially in the wine aisle.

Cossie lives crisis or no cossie lives crisis, finding a wine that absolutely slaps is always a tricky one because how the hell are you supposed to find ‘the one’ with the sheer selection, different ‘quality’ levels and the plethora of gold stickers that LOOK like awards but actually just say stuff like ‘locally made!’ or ‘my mum thinks this is the best!’.

(Oh my God am I describing a dating app or wine shopping… and does one lead to the other!?)

Anyway, New World’s released their annual Top 50 Wines under $25 today and well that might not help your Tindering (or WILL it) at least the next time you pop to the shops you can be guaranteed of a vibe of a wine that’ll keep you AND your mortgage broker happy.

Only the best-of-the-best from the 1,200-plus entries made the cut, says Co-Chair of Judges Sam Kim.

“Our independent panel of wine experts tasted and scored the entries over three full days, first awarding the gold medal winners, then tasting through these wines again and again to determine the 50 best for this list.

“All the judging was blind – meaning we didn’t know the brand or price point of any entry, so consumers can trust that every winning wine really measures up.”

Head to New World’s website for the full list, but as someone who had a ‘lil sneak peek at some of the winners (any excuse right) here are my personal highlights:

Bubbles – Lindauer Special Reserve Brut Cuvée 

Don’t come at me – I’ve said before and I’ll say it again if you’re judging Lindauer on its label and your 18-year-old self’s life choices, you’re missing out on a lovely bubbles that, in this blind taste test, had the fancy judges swooning. It’s not heavy or, God forbid sweet, but it does have a depth of flavour that’s quite satisfying without being too much. I’d happily have a few celebratory glasses.

Rosé – Les Jamelles Clair de Rosé 2022

This was always going to be the category where I would judge the harshest (listen to me, who do I think I am, Bob Campbell?!) but as an, ahem, enthusiast of rosé, I am exacting when it comes to my rosé of choice (dry and French, always). I’m happy to report to all my fellow basics that this ticks those two boxes beautifully.

The Hunting Lodge Expressions Chardonnay 2022

This one is a PERFECT choice for anyone who is trying their best to get on a cheeky chard buzz but has been scarred by their mum’s bright yellow cask disasters and haven’t been able to move on. As a non-chardonnay drinker myself I was a bit sceptical but I really enjoyed this Hawke’s Bay drop. It has a hint of butter and a hint of oak but mostly it’s crisp, clean and delicious.

Chaffey Bros La Resistance GSM 2021

What’s a GSM you ask – a grenache, syrah and mourvedre blend that absolutely smacks of the Barossa Valley and it’s simply stunning. This one is for the lovers of a good Kiwi pinot noir, but for those of us who love the pinots a little deeper and even a smidge peppery. This is one of those wines you drink and you’re jazzed about stumbling on a secret that’ll make you look very knowledgeable at your next dinner party.

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