The Shout NZ November 2020

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NOV/DEC 2020 |

Whether you’re new to enjoying wine or a seasoned connoisseur. Whether you prefer white or red or like your wine sweet, dry, light or full bodied - there’s always been a Giesen wine for you. Now with a refreshed look, the Giesen crest remains a tried and true mark of quality. Wherever you see it, you’re sharing in 40 years of passion and craft. So, the next time you choose wine, look for the mark of quality.


Our unique Kiwi craft beer is brewed from the finest local ingredients. We add a splash of magic, and a dash of rock n’ roll – then lock it all in, delivering our beers ‘Brewery Fresh’ for you to enjoy!


NOV/DEC 2020

The Shout NZ Editor, Charlotte Cowan



As we slowly creep towards the summer months and the end of 2020 (thank goodness), thoughts turn to tog season, sun-filled beach days and sipping a refreshing adult beverage on the deck. It’s clear that over the past year, there has been a dramatic shift in the drinks that consumers are purchasing. Gone are the sugar-filled, calorific, high ABV RTDs, and in are the ‘better for me’ drinks such as hard seltzers, beer seltzers, 0% wine, beer and cocktails-in-a-can, and gluten-free beer. The variety of options that offer lower sugar, calories or alcohol have hit the market in a big way – and while five years ago, an RTD was consumed by an 18-year-old at a house party, these new offerings appeal to all ages and genders. I have explored the mindful drinking segment on pgs 11-14 and I’m sure, in six months, there will be even more to discover in the category, so watch this space. Other great reads in this issue include beer expert Michael Donaldson’s take on the evolution and endurance of Pale Ale in New Zealand on pgs 22-24, Cameron Douglas MS’ tips on creating a great wine list for your bar on pg 20, and Tash McGill’s insights into her area of spirits expertise – whisky – on pgs 26-28. This is our last issue of what has been a very tumultuous year for us all. The team at Intermedia NZ wishes to thank you all for your continued support throughout 2020 and we hope that 2021 will bring renewed prosperity for the hospitality industry. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to subscribe to our online magazine and weekly eNewsletter at and like/follow us on Instagram and Facebook @theshoutnz. And if you have an unsung local pub or bar that you’d love to share with our readers, please email me on and I’ll be sure to feature it in the magazine or on our website! Happy holidays and we will see you in February!




4 INDUSTRY NEWS AND INSIGHTS 10 ON SHOW This month’s must-try new releases


New Zealand’s whisky industry may be tiny, but it’s mighty, writes Tash McGill



Special report on ‘better for me’ beverages and mindful drinking

History, culture and character combine to make mezcal worth exploring





Queenstown Mexican bar and restaurant, Margo’s

Tasting notes from Cameron Douglas MS


Tips for on-premise on choosing varied wine options

Brad Golchin from Wise Advice reveals the best options for your clients and your business


Beer expert Michael Donaldson shares insights into the endurance of this classic style

PUBLISHED BY The Intermedia Group (NZ) Ltd PO Box 109 342, Newmarket, Auckland 1149 Managing Director Simon Grover Group Publisher Paul Wootton

Associate Publisher Craig Hawtin-Butcher

Publishing Assistant Eclypse Lee

Editor Charlotte Cowan ph 021 774 080

Art Director Adrian Tipper

Sales Manager Brigitte Kolver ph 027 294 5113

Production Manager Jacqui Cooper Subscription Enquiries

For more amazing liquor news (and even a few giveaways), make sure you follow us on Instagram and Facebook @theshoutnz and sign up to our weekly eNewsletter at



news Oliver Deane (L), William Deane (R), with Sgt. Mutinda Ndivo from the Big Life Foundation

Part Time Rangers sold to Brown-Forman New Zealand RTD company Part Time Rangers announced last month that it had reached an agreement to be purchased by global spirits giant BrownForman Corporation. Part Time Rangers was founded by brothers William and Oliver Deane in their family kitchen in 2018 and now offers a range of six pre-mixed low-sugar and lowcalorie alcoholic drinks. The company’s mission is to support organisations that make a real difference to wildlife and the environment and a portion of profits are donated to animal conservation initiatives across the globe.

Both Deane brothers will remain with the company following the sale, and its charitable support of wildlife conservation and environmental preservation projects will continue. Brown-Forman is a 150-year-old global spirits company based in Kentucky, USA, with spirit brands including Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia, Woodford Reserve, and el Jimador. William and Oliver Deane say that the agreement to be purchased by BrownForman is a validation of the brand’s mission and the support of the Part Time Ranger community.

New charity wine brand launches to support young New Zealanders’ mental health

Mike King - Mental Health Advocate, Nathan Nola - Founder of Hope Wines, Mike Dawes - CEO of The Key To Life Charitable Trust


“When we started Part Time Rangers from our family kitchen two years ago, we hoped that there was a community out there that shared our passion for goodtasting natural drinks that helped make the planet a better place. “Our growth since then has exceeded our wildest dreams, and the sale of the business to Brown-Forman will now allow our mission to grow. “This process took many months including visiting Brown-Forman in Kentucky to be sure that they understood, valued and supported the mission and direction of Part Time Rangers.”

A new charity wine brand launched last month, in partnership with one of New Zealand’s most recognisable mental health charities, I AM HOPE. Hope Wines, founded by Nathan Nola, was created to assist the I AM HOPE Gumboot Friday initiative, supporting young New Zealanders’ mental health. New Zealand children currently wait an average of 10 weeks to see a mental health professional in the public health system. The average wait time using the Gumboot Friday fund is seven days. The fund is available to all New Zealand youth under 25 years of age. Hope Wines was created as the founders recognised that Kiwi children should be allowed access to free counselling by registered mental health practitioners whenever they need it. NOLAS and Mike King’s Key To Life Charitable Trust/I AM HOPE will donate $1.00 from the sale of every bottle of Hope Wines to The Gumboot Friday fund. “This year has been an absolute disaster for most charities on the fundraising front due to COVID-19 and in particular for us, our Gumboot Friday,” says I AM HOPE Founder, Ambassador and Trustee, Mike King. “We are grateful for the opportunity, its legacy funding for us, to keep the Gumboot Friday fund consistently topped up. “It’s a tough period for everyone at the moment, especially our kids, this funding is going to save lives,” he says. Nathan Nola says that Kiwis purchase wine every day and having a glass of wine or beer is a part of the culture. “Any wine consumer can have the choice to make a difference, by purchasing a brand that is giving back,” he says. The Gumboot Friday Range currently has seven different varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, Shiraz, Pinot Noir Rosé and Pinot Noir.


New data reveals Baby Boomers could save New Zealand’s hospitality industry New research from Barcats has revealed that COVID-19 is no deterrent for New Zealand’s baby boomers who are increasingly signing up to work in pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafés. Jeffrey Williams, CEO and Founder of Barcats – a New Zealand-based hospitality platform which connects venues with job seekers – says they have experienced a 550% national increase in over 50s joining the hospitality community over the last six months. “Since March 2020, Christchurch has experienced the biggest leap in signups from over 50s, with a significant 875% increase, followed by Auckland with a 325% increase,” he says. “Mature workers often have a strong work ethic and are super-reliable and this is exactly what we need in the industry right now when venues are battling with staff shortages due to a lack of incoming backpackers and working holiday makers.”

Williams says mature workers will play a key role in rebuilding the country’s hospitality industry and more venues need to be flexible in their approach to hiring to make this work. “They will need to embrace the casualisation of the workforce and offer shorter shifts such as splitting the chef role into two or three jobs throughout the day,” he says. In 2017, more than 70,000 working holiday visas were granted for New Zealand and many of these people worked in local bars, clubs, restaurants, cafés and hotels. Williams says that with strict border closures in place, we won’t have access to this vital workforce for the foreseeable future. “We’re faced with a significant staff and skills shortage in the hospitality industry that will ultimately impact the number of businesses that will be able to re-open and sustain through the summer and Christmas periods,” he says.

“We’re definitely seeing an increase in demand for hospitality staff with over 40 jobs listed in New Zealand in just the last couple of days.” Barcats is currently offering practical training for the over 50s through its partners Ananas, Lion, Aspire2, Up Education and Nestle. “More venues need to give this experienced generation and untapped workforce a chance to help rebuild our industry,” says Williams.



New look for Giesen Estate wines Giesen has announced a new look for the labels of its Giesen Estate range. The classic range, including eight varietals from Sauvignon Blanc to Merlot, has had its labels “styled and refined”, all still featuring the well-known - but updated - Giesen crest. “With our range of wines growing and changing, we think to take our heritage and quality signified by our existing crest, and give it an update,” says Kyle Skene, Giesen Group General Manager. “Since our first vintage back in the 1980s, our wine labels have always featured the Giesen crest. While its shape and colour have changed over time, it has always included the same elements.” The crest features the Southern Cross, a ship symbolising the Giesen brothers’ journey to New Zealand and a swan symbolising the swans on Lake Ellesmere where they first landed in Canterbury. As well as the crest, the labels continue to feature the Giesen Brothers’ Land, with splashes of wine indicating their vineyard locations. Perhaps the biggest update to the labels is the colour, which now matches the colour of the wine. “Now you can easily spot a red, rosé or white from a distance!” says Skene. The new-look Giesen labels are being rolled out into stores nationwide now.

WHAT’S ON November 20-21 BEERVANA Sky Stadium, Wellington November 28 BEERS AT THE BASIN Basin Reserve, Wellington November 28 SOUTH ISLAND BEER FESTIVAL Ilam Homestead, Christchurch Clive Jones

New Chair and board members for New Zealand Winegrowers Marlborough winemaker Clive Jones has been elected as the new Chair of the New Zealand Winegrowers Board. Jones has more than 28 years’ experience in the wine industry and he takes over from John Clarke, who has been on the New Zealand Winegrowers Board since 2006, and Chair since 2018. Jones has been based at Nautilus Estate in Marlborough for the last 22 years and currently holds the role of Winemaker/ General Manager. He says he is excited about the future of New Zealand wine, with exports on track to reach $2 billion per year by the end of 2020, but adds that it is imperative the industry continues to work together to ensure ongoing success. “I believe the New Zealand wine industry needs diversity across region, variety and size of business to be strong. 6 THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020

December 5 SOUTH ISLAND FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL Hagley Park, Christchurch December 5 WANAKA BEER FESTIVAL Three Parks, Wanaka

“A cooperative and united approach, combined with an absolute focus on quality, has served us well in the past and must continue to ensure our success in the future,” he says. Jones also welcomes four members of the wine industry as new representatives to the New Zealand Winegrowers Board. They are: Misha Wilkinson, Owner and Director of Misha’s Vineyard; Tim Rose, Director at Rose Ag; Emma Taylor, consultant Viticulturist; Michael Henley, Chief Executive at Aotearoa NZ Fine Wine Estates. “It is the first time that two women have been elected to the Board of New Zealand Winegrowers, with five being nominated in these elections,” says Jones. “The diversity of knowledge and experience that the new Member-elected Directors bring to the table ensures we have representation that truly reflects our industry.”

January 30-31 GINDULGENCE Frank Kitts Park, Wellington January 30 THE GREAT KIWI BEER FESTIVAL North Hagley Park, Christchurch January 30-February 1 CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT NOIR CELEBRATION Central Otago February 6 THE CENTRAL OTAGO CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL Pioneer Park, Alexandra February 12-14 GINCREDIBLE - THE BAY OF PLENTY GIN FESTIVAL Tauranga, Bay of Plenty

industry insights

Visit the vines In September last year, we penned a column for The Shout NZ about how wine tourism was on the rise in New Zealand. How, of all international holiday visitors, 27% visit a New Zealand winery, and annually we had over 700,000 visitors who spent over 3.8 million dollars. How the international wine tourist was spending more, staying longer and visiting more regions than the average visitor. Now, only a year later, everything has changed. The impact of COVID-19 has been huge on wineries who relied on international tourists visiting their cellar doors, taking part in their vineyard tours, dining in their restaurants and staying in their vineyard accommodation. More than 300 New Zealand wineries offer nearly 500 wine tourism experiences, and many of these were made for international travellers who were looking for premium experiences and memories. With the impact of COVID-19, we have all been challenged to look at the world a bit differently. New Zealanders are not currently able to escape on overseas holidays, and so are motivated instead to get out and explore their own backyard. New Zealand Winegrowers have launched a domestic wine tourism campaign called ‘Visit the Vines’ to inspire New Zealanders to discover our picturesque wine regions, taste in our winery cellar doors, enjoy a long lunch in our restaurants, stay in luxury vineyard accommodation,

Amber Silvester Communications Manager, New Zealand Winegrowers

and explore other visitor experiences. The theme of our Visit the Vines Sip, Dine, Stay, Play initiative aligns with the Tourism New Zealand’s ‘Do Something New, New Zealand’ campaign, encouraging everyone to discover something different, without leaving the country. Kiwis still have an appetite for adventure, and anecdotal feedback from wineries tells us that New Zealanders are making the effort to get out and support or shop local. We hope to see this only increase with summer and the holiday season just around the corner. Check out to see suggestions for short break ideas, and special winery offers, and keep an eye out on social media on @nzwinegrowers to be part of the Visit the Vines action.

Is a springboard summer ahead? As we come out of the second COVID-19 wave and partial lockdown, New Zealanders are clearly sick and tired of being restricted from spending their hard earned (working from home) dollars on the experiences and products they know and love. The most recent data from Stats NZ paints an interesting, if not too unsurprising, picture. A lockdown means people spend less on hospitality (hospitality food and beverage card spending from March-May was down $1.39b on 2019) and following lockdowns, pent up demand can see a spike in activity (July 2020 saw $91m more spent than July 2019). The question many in the beer and hospitality sector will be asking themselves is ‘Will a strong domestic demand this summer help us out of a long hard winter?’. The signs so far are pretty good. With national data for September when Auckland was still at Level 2 showing food and beverage spending for hospitality was almost on par with 2019. So, if we can focus our efforts as a sector in providing those good honest kiwi hospitality experiences, the captive domestic market is there for the taking. This summer, New Zealanders will likely be taking a good look at themselves. By this I mean they will be traveling to places around the country they may never have seen before. Looking for those experiences international visitors so often grace our shores for. The difficulty here will be for those businesses in the larger urban centres. Which are more likely to see an exodus of customers in search of a summer getaway out of town.

Dylan Firth Executive Director, Brewers Association of New Zealand

To this end, it is up to brewers and hospitality businesses to take advantage of a captive market this summer and target those looking for a destination. Because it is likely that next winter as unemployment increases and households tighten their belts it will be hard out there for many and less discretionary spend by consumers.


industry insights

New Zealand Distilleries - getting it out there I make it a habit to check out the New Zealand distilled spirits offerings on the shelves whenever I go out for a drink or dinner. I would always expect to see some New Zealand product behind the bar, and in fact, in a recent survey of DSA members we found that 82% of distillers sell their products through bars and restaurants - the most common channel to market after internet sales. Unfortunately, unless it is a dedicated gin or whisky bar, sometimes New Zealand is a second thought, with little room for more than one or two New Zealand spirits displayed amongst the usual international bigname offerings. Getting a serious foot in the door outside a distillery’s own region is difficult. Only 37% of our members have a New Zealand distributor, and only 41% of distilleries have specific sales expertise within their (often small) teams. Our distillers spend their first few years in business focussing on setting up their distillery and developing their dream product; pushing sales can be the least favourite thing on a distiller’s mind even though it is a survival necessity. The New Zealand spirits industry is an emerging sector on the cusp of a huge explosion of new products and new producers, following the global trend in spirit sales. As more New Zealand distilleries come into the market in the next two to three years, the access to available shelf space will become more and more difficult. Global and New Zealand

Sue James Chairperson, Distilled Spirits Aotearoa

distributors will always claim a significant proportion of shelf space. Quality is not debated - New Zealand products stack up robustly in competitions, such as in the latest NZ Spirits Awards, which specifically compares spirits available in the New Zealand market in a blind-tasting competition. The good news is that local pride is strong, with a solid and increasing local support base flying the flag for their neighbourhood distilleries. Seventy-eight per cent of distilleries range their products in independent bottle stores (versus 68% in large chain bottle stores), and the biggest support comes from those bottle stores in their own locality. The more mature distilleries are also eyeing up new markets overseas, with 41% of New Zealand distillers already exporting their products. We expect that in a few years our bars will be finding a little more room for local distilled spirits, leveraging sales on the international recognition of our brands.

Summer sense, senses and sensibilities What a year! I acknowledge the unexpected hardship and struggles for so many, but also the sector’s tenacity and camaraderie as we continue to weather the storm. Some of the sense, senses and sensibilities of this year will shape our summer and put us in good stead for the new year ahead. Global and local boutique producers, distributors, suppliers, and retail and hospitality outlets are working together to ensure their businesses remain sustainable, customer needs are met, and people remain employed. As an industry, we have stood strong together. As a country, we have regained a sense community with Kiwis reconnecting with each other and supporting their ‘local’ bar or retailer and a ‘buy NZ-made’ ethos. Positive consumer behaviours have reinforced our moderate and responsible drinking culture, with Kiwis looking at ‘what’ and ‘how’ they are drinking. Over lockdown, 36% didn’t drink at all, and 35% were drinking less for health and wellbeing. Post lockdown, 22% reported they were continuing to drink less. Government data shows the amount of alcohol available for consumption per person over the legal purchase age continues a steady downward trend – now at its lowest in over 20 years. Harmful drinking, especially among young people, has also fallen with more choosing not to drink or if they choose to drink, drink less than ever before. Our sensibleness is driven by common sense as well as our senses. The global ‘better-for-me’ trend is firmly in New


Bridget MacDonald Executive Director, New Zealand Alcohol Beverages Council

Zealand. Low-carb beer sales went up 60% over lockdown, low-alcohol and craft beers are trending, and beer and spirits-based seltzers low in sugar and alcohol have taken off. In addition, a shift to ‘premiumisation’ means Kiwis are discovering that a ‘sip and savour’ approach is best to enjoying a lovingly crafted beverage. We might not be able to travel abroad, but we can tantalise our taste buds. The recent New Zealand Spirits Awards put the spotlight on indigenous ingredients, with Kiwi gins bursting with botanical influences of Manuka, Kawakawa, and even hemp aromatics! An exotic, scintillating sensory experience for local palettes and global markets. As we head toward the summer season, “no, low and slow is the way to go” to stay safe and social – it’s always okay to choose a no or low alcohol beverage or simply sip and savour your drink slowly. A sensibility that makes sense, don’t you think?


30ml Campari 30ml sweet red vermouth (we recommend Cinzano Rosso) 30ml gin (we recommend Bulldog)

60ml Campari Top with soda water Serve over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a wedge of orange.

Add Campari, vermouth and gin into an ice-filled mixing glass. Stir well and strain over ice/ice cube in rocks glass. Use a twist of orange to express aromatic citrus oils over the drink then discard and garnish with a slice of fresh orange.

30ml Campari 30ml sweet red vermouth (we recommend Cinzano Rosso) Top with soda water. Pour Campari and red vermouth directly into a short glass. Fill with ice cubes. Add a splash of soda water. Garnish with an orange slice or lemon peel.

30ml Campari 30ml s weet red vermouth (we recommend Cinzano Rosso) Top with Italian prosecco (we recommend Cinzano Prosecco) Build in a rocks glass with ice and stir. Garnish with a slice of orange.


product showcase ZEFFER 0%* CRISP APPLE CIDER The first locally-produced 0% alcohol cider in New Zealand, Zeffer 0%* Crisp Apple Cider is crafted from local Hawke’s Bay apples and fermented, before the alcohol is carefully removed using highly advanced spinning cone technology. This process removes the alcohol while having minimal impact on the flavour. A refreshingly off-dry cider, 0% Crisp Apple is lightly sparkling and full of flavour with a delicate sweetness. It’s also vegan, glutenfree and has only 39 calories per can. RRP $12.99, 4-pack Contact: (06) 650 1836

ZEFFER SELTZER Premium alcoholic cider seltzer crafted from the best ingredients – Zeffer Seltzer is available in Watermelon, Guava, and Orange & Grapefruit. All made using pure sparkling water, real fruit and Zeffer’s freshly crushed Hawke’s Bay apples, Zeffer Seltzer is delicious, light and refreshing and only 94-99 calories per can. RRP $28.99, 10-pack of 330ml cans Contact: (06) 650 1836

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DRINKS BY THE DRAM 12 DAYS OF WHISKY GIFTPACK Drinks by the Dram have unveiled the perfect gift for the whisky enthusiasts in your life – The 12 Days of Whisky. A specially-curated selection of some of the finest whiskies - from single malts to single grains, blended malts and more, this giftpack features award-winning names such as Starward, Buffalo Trace and Glenfiddich that are all wax-dipped and handsomely labelled. RRP $99.99 Contact: Proof & Company at


PLANTATION RUM EXPERIENCE PACK The Plantation Rum Experience Pack features six elegant rums that perfectly showcase the diversity of each country’s terroir and unique style - from fruity Barbados, to funky Jamaica, to the decadent South Americas. Each rum is aged in ex-bourbon barrels at their country of origin, and then skilfully blended by Master Blender, Alexandre Gabriel, and aged further in small French Oak casks, previously used for Ferrand Cognac. The result is the perfect expression of rum. The Experience pack contains Plantation 3 Star, Original Dark, Grande Reserve, Gran Anejo, XO 20th Anniversary and Peru Vintage. RRP $109.00 Contact: Proof & Company at auckland@

DRINKS BY THE DRAM CHRISTMAS TREE BAUBLES Drinks by the Dram believe Christmas trees lack a certain something, and that something is baubles containing 30ml drams of vodka and whisky! Drinks by the Dram’s Baubles are individually packaged, each one housing a wax-sealed dram of top-notch liquor. No longer will your Christmas tree ornaments be a mixture of wooden snowflakes covered in glitter that gets everywhere and baubles lacking any delicious fillings. You can keep the tinsel though. No way to fit drams inside of tinsel (yet). These boozy treats by Drinks by the Dram will ensure a very Merry Christmas. RRP $15.00 Contact: Proof & Company at

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Health and wellness




hile trends come and go, and tastes change with the seasons, one of the significant recent shifts in consumer behaviour has been the rise of ‘mindful drinking.’ The idea behind this change largely comes from people ‘drinking less but better,’ and has grown demand for beverages with lower sugar, lower calories, low or no alcohol, as well as those that are gluten-free or contain more natural ingredients. According to research, 50% of drinkers choose their alcohol beverage based on how it impacts the healthy lifestyle and seek options that are refreshing and lighter in sugar and calories* and across the country, producers are responding to these demands with a range of different products that fit the consumer desire for something a little ‘healthier.’ And while these types of beverages aren’t health products, they do allow for consumers to have more options should they be conscious of their intake of something - from sugar, calories or alcohol, to any number of ingredients. In the past, the beverage options of this kind that were available have been extremely limited, and often simply didn’t shape up to others. But now, thanks to innovation and continued product development, the amount of ‘better for you’ beverages on offer is huge and of high quality. *Trendsights - Health and Wellness: “Better for You” Alcoholic Drinks, June 2019

noo t r -suga aland w o l From l, New Ze oking o lo alcoh ers are t suit ha um cons erages t ry ra ev for b ontempo r c ffe their es and o focused yl e lifest for thos llness ZERO ALCOHOL we riety d a n v a There are a lot of reasons that consumers lth king. a n e i r h look for alcohol-free products - from d on dful n i pregnancy, to being the designated driver, m and to having an allergy, or simply enjoying the taste but not the effects that alcohol can have. Whatever the reason, people who aren’t drinking alcohol don’t necessarily just want to drink water or soft drink when they’re at a party, or out at a bar or pub. Duncan Shouler, Chief Winemaker for Giesen Group, which launched New Zealand’s first 0% Sauvignon Blanc earlier this year, says while some people are “a bit mystified by the concept” of no-alcohol, there are more consumers who are thrilled by the new innovation. “We’ve had so many lovely comments and personal stories about why people are excited to drink Giesen 0%,” he told The Shout NZ. “Some are embracing sober driving or alcohol-free days during the week, some have been unable to drink for years and are really excited to feel like they can ‘take part’ again, and some people have shared their battles with illnesses like cancer that have meant they’re not able to have alcohol. “We’ve been really humbled to offer an option that means lots of people don’t have to feel like they’re missing out any more.” Shouler says that while making noalcohol wine is challenging, the global demand for the product means that wineries need to grow and adapt to the

Duncan Shouler, Giesen Chief Winemaker


Health and wellness changing trends. “Anything that challenges the wine industry to keep growing and changing, and to be more versatile long-term is good for the industry,” he says. “In our case, we found removing alcohol also meant we were able to make Giesen 0% very low-calorie, at just 16 calories per 125ml serve, which is about 80% less than a 12.5% alcohol wine. We’re always looking out for ways to innovate and improve, so anything that helps our creativity is counted as a positive in our team.” Shouler says that with the reception Giesen has had with the 0% Sauvignon Blanc, it’s clear that New Zealand will continue to embrace the no-alcohol trend – and so will they. “The 2020 vintage we’ve just had was fantastic and we’ve incorporated some of the things we learnt after our first blend of Giesen 0%, so we know we’re continuing to improve even within our own no-alcohol options. It means the calibre of alcoholremoved wines is just going to get better and better.” The power and popularity of no-alcohol beverages is also seen in the beer category, with brands big and small offering something for all different types of shoppers. DB Breweries spent almost $3 million launching Heineken 0.0 here in 2018 and in February this year, they announced the release of DB Export Gold 0.0% into the market. “We are seeing a growing trend towards products with lower alcohol and carbohydrates, with nearly one in every 10 beers bought in New Zealand now being either a lower carb, or a low or no alcohol product,” said Peter Simons, Managing Director at DB Breweries, following the Export Gold 0.0% launch. “This emerging market is an exciting one. People are curious about 0.0% beers. Research by Colmar Brunton on the category showed that a majority (81%) of mainstream beer drinkers would consider drinking a 0.0% beer. “We believe that a new 0.0% alcohol option is a positive thing for Kiwi beer drinkers, and we’re proud to offer more options in this growing sector,” said Simons. For those who prefer cider, Zeffer 12 THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020

recently released the first locally produced 0% alcohol cider in New Zealand. Zeffer 0% Crisp Apple is crafted from local Hawke’s Bay apples and fermented before the alcohol is carefully removed using highly advanced spinning cone technology. “We wondered whether people would assume that a cider with the alcohol removed was simply a sparkling apple juice and this is not the case at all,” says Jody Scott, Zeffer’s head cidermaker. “It tastes just like a crisp apple cider and, of course, we’ve made it in the same way we would any of our ciders, using our signature cidermaking style of using local apples and crafting from freshly crushed juice, not concentrate.” Finally, 0% spirits is a category expected to show exponential growth over the next few years. In the past 12 months, it has seen tripledigit growth globally and according to GlobalData’s Top Trends in Alcoholic Drinks 2020 report, based on current trends, the category is expected to grow 23% by 2024. Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirit Co – launched in 2019 - recently announced it secured $16m in growth capital, which the company says is the most material investment the nonalcoholic spirit category has seen. It is also the most awarded non-alcoholic spirit in the world. “Lyre’s was created to shake up the drinks category and put the choice back into the consumer’s social occasion to drink freely,” says CEO and co-founder,

In New Zealand, the ‘Better for You’ trend is well and truly here with sales predominantly captured by the light RTD category which increased in value by 27.7% in the year ending 02/08/20, equating to an increase of $38m in retail sales value - Nielsen NZ

Mark Livings. “Our business anticipates and matches the trends of the consumer and culture and our current product innovation is being developed to match alcohol spirit flavours and styles.” What this all shows is that the nonalcoholic sector is not a passing fad, nor one that props up and down according to the latest Dry July style campaign. We can expect to see more 0% wine, beer and spirits popping up in retail and on winelists in the coming months and years. LOW SUGAR AND CALORIES A mindfulness about how much sugar and calories are in alcoholic beverages has grown significantly as of late. And a category that is set to explode because of this is hard seltzer. Alcoholic carbonated water has been a huge trend in the US, and in the past year has begun to enter the New Zealand market too, with several producers, big and small, launching seltzers. “The term ‘seltzer’ has become a catchall for fizzy, flavourful refreshment,” says Brandy Rand, IWSR COO of the Americas. “Brand owners are realising the marketing potential of the term and are strategically using it in marketing campaigns, branding and packaging, even for drinks that may not traditionally be considered a hard seltzer.” The IWSR says that in doing so, the drink resonates with consumers who are looking for beverages that deliver on a seltzer’s attributes – typically a slim can (for on-the-go convenience), 100 calories or less, glutenLyre’s is the most awarded non-alcoholic spirit in the world

Health and wellness Native Sparkling was NZ’s first locally produced hard seltzer

free, sugar-free and with fun, unique flavour options. “It’s developments such as these that indicate to us that seltzers have developed into a lifestyle movement,” says Rand. The first to produce and release a hard seltzer here in New Zealand was Native Sparkling. The Wellington-based company launched in June 2019 but wanted to “Kiwify” the term hard seltzer, so called their product a ‘hard sparkling’ instead. They now have five flavour combinations – Berry & Blackcurrant, Lemon & Yuzu, Apple & Feijoa, Kiwifruit & Lime, and finally Peach, Mango & Passionfruit, which was launched last month. “RTDs have the connotation of being loaded with sugar and a high percentage [of alcohol],” says Native Sparkling’s Brooke Hobson. “Hard seltzer is embracing the other end of the scale, which is being coined as a ‘better for me RTD’.” Hobson agrees with Rand and says the focus of Native Sparkling is on lifestyle, rather than targeting a specific age of consumers. “Kiwis are becoming more conscious of what they’re putting into their bodies,” she says. “The lifestyle is about enjoying a drink or two that’s lower in sugar, carbs and calories in our amazing backyard.” The big Kiwi liquor companies have since

jumped on the seltzer bandwagon, with DB introducing Tui Hard Soda earlier this year and launching two new ‘beer seltzers’ - Club Setter and Pure Piraña – into the market last month. Made using the same ingredients and processes as other beers, with extra filtering giving the liquid its clear colour, and natural flavourings providing the taste profile, Club Setter (developed locally by the team at DB Breweries) and Pure Piraña (from DB parent company HEINEKEN N.V) are the first of their kind available in New Zealand. “The debut of beer seltzers onto supermarket shelves nationwide is the biggest thing to happen to the beer category since the arrival of craft beer,” Chris Anderson, Merchandise Manager, Deli, Chilled, Beverages, Alcohol, Foodstuffs North Island. “Since beer seltzers are made the same way as beers already available on store shelves, they are grocery compliant and enable us to deliver an alternative alcoholic beverage choice which aligns with the taste profile of today’s conscious consumer.” And hard seltzers have been seen to appeal to a wide variety of consumers. “Research shows that hard seltzers are proving popular across all ages and demographics,” says Bridget MacDonald,


Health and wellness Executive Director, NZABC. “Consumers who are health-conscious and those who are looking for a lower ABV/ sessionable alternative to beer or wine. “[They] are also proving to be one of the most gender-neutral products in the alcohol industry, with almost a 50/50 gender split – in comparison, traditional beer drinkers are two times more likely to be men than women,” she says. In the same slim-lined cans, you will find new innovations in ‘soft seltzers’ as an alcohol alternative. San Pellegrino, most commonly known for its iconic greenbottled sparkling water, has launched San Pellegrino Essenza – sparkling mineral water in three flavours, Tangerine & Wild Strawberry, Dark Morello Cherry & Pomegranate and Lemon & Lime Zest. With 100% natural ingredients, no artificial flavours and zero calories, the Essenza range has all the attributes of a hard seltzer – just without the alcohol. “More and more Kiwis are making better decisions and choosing no and low alcohol and ‘better for me’ drinks to suit their personal circumstances, situation and lifestyle,” says MacDonald. Outside of seltzer, other RTD producers also understand the importance of having low calorie and low sugar options. Finery is one, recently expanding its all-natural vodka soda range to include non-alcoholic options. Finery Managing Director and Founder,

Finery's range was created to have a guilt-free conscious drink option

Jane Allan, says Finery’s range was created to have a guilt-free conscious drink option at the ready that still tastes fabulous. “Our range is not for over-consumption, it’s for considered drinking,” she says. “Our range is subtle, not sweet and we have avoided using sweeteners. Our approach has been to take classic cocktails and reproduce them with a raw whole food approach.” Allan says that, as with food trends, mindful consumption has carried across to beverages. “Society has been educated for many years now about eating and drinking better, it makes sense that alcohol is also doing its part for this movement.” She says that with alcohol consumption on the decline, “mindful drinking will become a way of the future”. GLUTEN-FREE The gluten-free product sphere has exploded in recent years, and gluten-free options of many of our favourite foods are now readily available. Scott’s Brewing Co. are the producers of New Zealand’s first gluten-free beer, a brew that came about after owner Phil discovered gluten was making him sick. “He was fighting fit, but couldn’t drink regular beer, and as any southern-raised Kiwi bloke would attest, couldn’t be doing with that!” says Scott’s owner and Phil’s wife, Tyla Scott. “With only one offering all those years ago on the market, from Australia, he set about converting the back shed to a gluten-free micro-brewery, and after much tinkering, trial and error, came upon something consumable and quite delicious!” Scott says that gluten-free is becoming more common amongst consumers. “Over the past 12 years of our brewing


“MINDFUL DRINKING WILL BECOME A WAY OF THE FUTURE.” JANE ALLEN, FINERY gluten-free beer, and a world of wellness education about what we all put into our bodies, it’s become very important to our customers to know what goes into all our beers, to make the right choices for themselves,” she says. Scott’s gluten-free beer is based on a blend of gluten-free grains and all care is taken to ensure all other beer ingredients are gluten free too, explains Scott. “Having coeliac disease can be restrictive, and many processed foods can have hidden gluten in them,” she says. “But many ingredients in food and beverage are naturally gluten-free, it’s more about being informed and having that trust in the brand you support, to be on their gluten-free game. Gluten-free beer is still relatively niche.” Mindful drinking – the concept of being intentional with decisions around alcohol and having a healthy relationship with it – looks like is here to stay. With a global focus on health and wellness and what we are putting into our bodies, liquor producers must continue to adapt and create new innovations to support this shift in our drinking culture. What’s next? There are so many possibilities, watch this space. ■ By Charlotte Cowan with excerpts from a story originally published in National Liquor News by Brydie Allen.

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ne of the first books I read about sparkling was The Glory of Champagne by Don Hewitson. In it, Hewitson wrote about the evolution of sparkling wine - from still to bubbly, the failures and successes, important dates, people and houses (producers) with many that still exist to this day. I did not consider at the time of reading how important Champagne was and remains to the people of France, how desired a glass of Champagne could be and how much happiness it could bring to an occasion, any occasion. Most importantly he explained the importance of the texture, the mousse of the bubbles, the leesy, yeasty autolysis and how the weight, richness and delicate flavours came from the only permitted grapes – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Such is the popularity of sparkling wine today that the development of bottled fermented sparkling styles from producers around the world has become one of the most competitive categories on restaurant wine lists and retail shelves. Many fine examples from outside of France rival the original styles and at price points that make sparkling wine very affordable. The varieties used can range from Riesling in Germany to Pinot Grigio or Blanc in Italy, Chardonnay or Shiraz in Australia and the classic varieties from France in New Zealand and the USA. New Zealand is no exception. In fact, many of the wines from Aotearoa rival the best of France with a serious, savoury developed autolysis, pristine high-toned acidity, generous core of fruit and perhaps what separates the best of New Zealand from France is the purity of flavour. Very good New Zealand nonvintage Méthode Traditionnelle are often best drunk upon release and up to 10 years if well stored. Vintage wines will last nine through 20 years or more.





Cameron Douglas is New Zealand’s first and only Master Sommelier. An experienced wine writer, commentator, judge, reviewer, presenter and consultant, he is academically in charge of the Wine and Beverage Programme at AUT University in Auckland and is Patron of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association. Douglas consults to a variety of establishments, taking care of their wine lists, wine and food pairings, and staff training matters and he currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas. 16 THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020

tasting notes QUARTZ REEF CENTRAL OTAGO MÉTHODE TRADITIONELLE BLANC DE BLANCS 2015 There’s no mistaking the complexity, delicacy and detail in the bouquet with aromas of sweet citrus, white flowers and white fleshed tree fruits. There’s a core of extended lees autolysis with a toasty brioche and whole wheat bread aromas. Fantastic on the palate with even more complexity than the nose suggests, flavours that mirror the nose and a fine mousse. Lengthy finish. Excellent drinking, excellent gift. Points 96 RRP $79.00 Distributor: Vintners NZ Phone: (03) 445 3084



NO. 1 FAMILY ESTATE CUVÉE NO. 1 MARLBOROUGH MÉTHODE TRADITIONELLE NV Complex and layered with a core of toasty, nutty richness. Aromas of baked citrus and grapefruit, white blossoms and baked goods. Explosive, yet tempered mousse, fine bubble and high acidity carrying flavours of citrus and stone fruits, toasty fresh bread and peach. Crisp, perfectly balanced, dry, lengthy and delicious. Drink now and through 2030. Points 95 RRP $36.00 Distributor: No. 1 Family Estate Phone: (03) 572 9876




HUNTER’S WINES MIRU MIRU MARLBOROUGH MÉTHODE TRADITIONELLE NV Complex, toasty and fragrant with aromas of oaty bread and buttered brioche, red apple, citrus and peach. Bold explosive mousse with a coarse silk texture, high acidity and flavours that mirror the nose. Fresh, crisp, dry and just a little bit elegant. A lovely expression and ready to enjoy from today and through 2025+. Points 95 RRP $28.90 Distributor: EuroVintage Phone: (03) 572 8489



HUIA MARLBOROUGH BLANC DE BLANCS 2017 Seductively complex with aroma of honeysuckle and developed autolysis, white strawberry and apple, some stone fruit moments and mild toasty core. Delicious on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose plus peach and sweet grapefruit, lemon pith and mineral. An elegant mousse, sweet acidity and long finish. Delicious!. Best from today and through 2024+ Points 95 RRP $45.00 Distributor: Negociants New Zealand Phone: (03) 572 8326


NAUTILUS CUVÉE MARLBOROUGH BRUT NV Pristine, fresh, pure, savoury and delicately complex. Citrus, white peach, savoury fine lees autolysis with toasted brioche and oaty flavours. Tense and youthful, explosive mousse, long and dry. Points 95 RRP $39.00 Distributor: Negociants New Zealand Phone: (03) 572 8326


NAUTILUS VINTAGE ROSÉ MARLBOROUGH 2017 Red fruited bouquet with a fine, delicate floral scent of roses then baked goods autolysis. A plume of silky textured mousse, citrus and cherry flavours invade the palate with a taut youthful finish. Points 94 RRP $49.00 Distributor: Negociants New Zealand Phone: (03) 572 8326


MARGRAIN LA MICHELLE MARLBOROUGH METHODE TRADITIONNELLE 2016 The first La Michelle was 2006. The elegance continues with this vintage - a complex, integrated and yeasty autolysis with a core of baked stoned fruits and strawberry, apple and citrus moments with a whisper of spice. A fine mousse with small bubble, refreshing acid line and flavours that mirror the nose. Quite floral, very elegant and lengthy. Best from today and through 2024+. Points 94 RRP $45.00 Distributor: Red+White Cellar Phone: (06) 306 6293


SQUAWKING MAGPIE HAWKE’S BAY BRUT MÉTHODE TRADITIONELLE NV Complex bouquet with an intense autolysis of brioche and oat, strawberry, peach and ripe citrus. Equally complex on the palate with bakery goods, some mineral - chalk, white strawberry, stone fruits and very leesy. Fine bold mousse, lengthy finish and nicely complex. Best drinking from today and through 2026+. Points 94 RRP $29.95 Distributor: Squawking Magpie Phone: (06) 878 1800



tasting notes KUMEU RIVER CRÉMANT NV Complex and enticing bouquet with aromas and flavours of white fleshed fruits and sweet citrus. Sweet, fresh brioche and just baked bread aromas. Explosive mousse in the first second on the palate then softens to a silky smooth and persistent texture. Apple and white peach, soft leesy autolysis and lengthy dry finish. Delicious today and through 2025+. Points 94 RRP $50.00 Distributor: Vintners NZ Phone: (09) 412 8415


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OTAGO BRUT MÉTHODE TRADITIONELLE 2016 Seductive aromas of ripe citrus flesh, stone fruit, stony mineral and layers of baked-goods-autolysis effect. Complex, full-bodied, spicy, fresh crisp and dry. Baked stone fruit, orange pith and brioche with a bold refined mousse. Points 94 RRP $45.00 Distributor: Red+White Cellar Phone: (03) 442 0556


MARLBOROUGH MÉTHODE TRADITIONNELLE 2011 Toasty, bready, rich and ready core with aromas of brioche and nut, roasted stone fruits, citrus peel and baked apple. A powerful mousse engages the palate first with flavours of oat and whole-wheat bread, baked apple then lemon. Dry, lengthy, crisp and delicious. Best drinking from today and through 2026+. Points 94 RRP $49.00 Distributor: Co Pilot Distributors Phone: (03) 573 7035





BRUT NV A really lovely bouquet of lite red berry fruits with cherry and strawberry then a leesy bready autolysis and soft toasty core. Dry, full-bodied, crisp and dry with flavours that reflect the nose. Firm youthful mousse with a satin texture carrying the flavours with a refreshing finish. Well made and ready with best drinking from today and through 2028+. Points 94 RRP $38.00 Distributor: Hancocks Wine, Spirits & Beer Merchants Phone: (03) 445 0897


BLANC DE BLANCS MÉTHODE TRADITIONNELLE 2015 This 100% Chardonnay has a very captivating bouquet with aromas and flavours of white peach and red apple, fine lees toasty quality and developing complexity. On the palate in particular the wine has a light weight, elegant fine mousse with a satin chalk texture balanced and contrasted by the fruit and non-fruit flavours of white fleshed stone fruits, apple and citrus. A lovely wine with great balance and length. Drinking well now and through 2025. Points 94 RRP $40.00 Distributor: Kono Beverages Phone: (03) 520 9230


MARLBOROUGH MÉTHODE TRADITIONNELLE NV Complex, toasty and persistent aromas of baked goods and stone fruits, citrus, white peach and apple. Dry, refreshingly crisp on the palate with flavours of tangerine and lemon pith, apple and white peach. A fine leesy, toasted baked goods layer with a firm textured mousse that eases into a satin mouth feel, high acidity and crisp, lengthy finish. An excellent aperitif style, balanced, ready and well made. Drink now and through 2026+. Points 94 RRP $32.00 Distributor: No. 1 Family Estate Phone: (03) 572 9876

Send in your Sauvignon Blanc now for Cameron Douglas MS to taste and share your tasting notes in our February issue. Visit for details. 18 THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020

tasting notes 15 LEVERET ESTATE



HAWKE’S BAY MÉTHODE TRADITIONNELLE IQ7 NV Toasty, leesy and fruity with aromas of apple and lemon, some strawberry and peach. A brioche and oatmeal bread layer adds complexity and depth. Crisp and dry on the palate with the lees and baked goods flavours emerging first. Peach and grapefruit, baked apple then lemon. Bold fine and expressive mousse, plenty of acidity and lengthy finish. Easy to enjoy and well made. Drink now and through 2025. Points 93 RRP $31.50 Distributor: The Wine Portfolio Phone: (07) 552 0795

16 AKARUA CENTRAL OTAGO BRUT NV Vibrant, youthful, fresh and floral. Aromas and flavours of white strawberry, apple and citrus pith. The mousse is equally fresh and lively adding a crunchy texture as well as carrying the citrus and tree fruit flavours. A lovely aperitif style, crisp and refreshing, a touch of chalk and salt. Best drinking from today and through 2025. Points 93 RRP $35.00 Distributor: Hancocks Wine, Spirits & Beer Merchants Phone: (03) 445 0897

17 18

17 MATAHIWI ESTATE WAIRARAPA BLANC DE BLANC NV Precise, fresh and fruity core with flavours of red apple and white peach, grapefruit then white flower suggestions. Plush, fleshy and fruity on the palate with a bold explosive mousse, a touch a sweetness and crisp refreshing finish. Well made, ready for summer 2021 and throughout the year. An easy cover all bases sparkling wine. Points 92 RRP $24.99 Distributor: Matahiwi Estate Phone: (06) 370 1000


HAWKE’S BAY MÉTHODE TRADITIONNELLE IQ3 NV Distinctive aromas of peaches and lemon with a fine layer of leesy autolysis. Crisp, fresh and dry on the palate with flavours of grapefruit and peach, apple and lemon and a repeat of the fine leesy high notes. Crisp acidity with a fresh and bold mousse. Ready to enjoy from today and through 2023. Points 91 RRP $29.95 Distributor: The Wine Portfolio Phone: (07) 552 0795


A really lovely bouquet with aromas of apples and citrus, lemon pith and orange peel. Crisp, thirst quenching and with high acidity and a lighter palate weight. Soft yeasty moments and flavours that reflect the nose. Balanced even mousse - not too bold. Just dry on the finish. Well made. Best from today and through summer 2022. Points 90 RRP $21.99 Distributor: Hãhã Wine Company Ltd Phone: (06) 833 7814


MARLBOROUGH SPARKLING SAUVIGNON BLANC 2020 An exacting bouquet of fresh herbs and tropical fruits, white flowers and, sage, grapefruit and apple. Crisp, fruity, refreshing and dry. Refreshing, plump and juicy mousse with a salivating saline mix. Just dry, well made and ready to enjoy from today and through 2021. Points 90 RRP $18.90 Distributor: Negociants New Zealand Phone: (03) 578 8695


19 THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020 19



bar high


Cameron Douglas MS shares tips for bar owners on how to create a varied and wellreceived wine list.

urating an interesting and profitable wine list for a restaurant has specific requirements around target audience, style of cuisine, capabilities of the front of house team, talent in the kitchen and pricing for bottle and by the glass sales. To make decent, yet fair, profit is the obvious goal – with all the listed complexities and challenges making this a complex situation. A bar operation where the clientele can range from loyal regulars, locals looking for a place to gather with delicious food and easy to drink beverages, through drop-in guests is an equally challenging situation, in subtly different ways. In addition, recent events mean the time to capture the attention of locals who cannot travel overseas anymore and want to spend local is here. Bars have evolved to be more than simply pubs (aka a place for a beer, rum & coke and shepherd’s pie and chips). While there continues to be a market for this style, they are fast becoming venues where the menu and wine programmes, especially wine by the glass, are evolving to appeal to an audience of well-informed and beverage savvy palates. It’s important to keep the food and wine selections priced for the regulars, but the world of wine especially is showing that there is also interest in looking beyond the usual list of mainstream producers, and contracts with the big suppliers. Bar focus is as varied as restaurant – while some bars are known as places for a quick beer and catch-up, a good feed that doesn’t cost the earth somewhere to watch the footy on a giant flat screen, there are also places where some really well-made thoughtful food should be accompanied by wine that speaks more than just the varieties and brands we all know to something more sophisticated and complex without being too expensive.


CHARDONNAY The peaches and vanilla cream style with its full-bodied slippery texture has a 20 THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020

following and should command a place on the wine list. A range of other styles and regions, ranging from Northland to Otago, from lean and clean to toasty and complex, should be considered. If the average by-the-glass price on the list is currently between $12-$14 a glass and the clientele is varied, it’s a good idea to have a few wines for $15-$18 dollars included. Some will happily pay that if was offered something special – such as a glass of Te Mata, Bilancia, Odyssey or Man O’ War. PINOT NOIR Pinot Noir is another variety that calls for more than basic brands on a list. Misha’s Cantata, Pegasus Bay Vergence and Te Kairanga all offer fantastic drinking for a decent price. Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are easy food and wine pairing varieties, and if the opportunity to offer both local and international brands is available the addition of California and French options such as Le Crema and Domaine Parent can add interest. PINOT GRIS Drier styles of Pinot Gris are often more food-friendly and appetite-stimulating than off-dry or sweeter, more alcoholic styles (though the customers will determine the popularity). For example, Greystone or Nautilus expressions are excellent alongside seafood and fish dishes.

“THE WORLD OF WINE ESPECIALLY IS SHOWING THAT THERE IS ALSO INTEREST IN LOOKING BEYOND THE USUAL LIST OF MAINSTREAM PRODUCERS.” OTHERS Popular or well-known brands are of equal importance in a pub-styled bar environment as not so well-known they are safety-zone-wines for those customers who might not be comfortable with different brands, or perhaps even the pronunciation of varieties or styles. Viognier (vee-on yay ) or Gewürztraminer (gee-verts-tram-e-ner) are common examples of wines that are fantastic with food, and to drink, but not ordered as much as they should be perhaps because pronunciation challenges or lack of understanding – the training and upskilling of service staff here is key. Bars have become more than just easy places to gather and are fast becoming venues where the dining may be more sophisticated. So too should the wine lists. ■






HAYMAN'S London Dry Gin


A perfectly balanced marriage of crisp juniper and fresh citrus and warming spice, giving way to a dry finish.


Gin has experienced significant growth in recent years, The Junipers NZ Gin Awards was established as a way of showcasing and celebrating the best of the best from this exciting category. After receiving an overwhelming 150+ entries in its first year, a judging panel of esteemed New Zealand gin distillers have tasted and debated their way through the entries. As Principal Sponsor, Super Liquor are proud to reveal all the medal winners.









The National Distillery Company, NZ Native Gin

NY Distilling Co TOT Navy Strength Gin

Rutte Sloe Gin - Best In Class Malfy Con Limone Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Sloe Gin 1919 Distilling, Pineapple Bits

Hayman’s London Dry - Best In Class Fords London Dry Gin Rutte Celery Gin Rutte Dry Gin Tanqueray

SILVER Beefeater London Dry Beefeater 24 Gordon’s Star of Bombay Tanqueray No.10 The National Distillery Company, Hemp Gin

BRONZE Aviation Gin Broken Hearts Angel’s Share Dry Gin Chase GB Elephant Dry Pickering’s Gin Plymouth Rifters Original Dry Gin The Botanist Gin The National Distillery Company, Verdigris Thomas Dakin Warner’s Distillery Lemon Balm Windspiel Premium Gin

SILVER Little Biddy Gin, Black Label Little Biddy Gin, Gold Label Long Cloud Wines & Spirits, Hemp Gin

BRONZE Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin Fenton Street Gin, The Artist Half Hitch Gin Hendricks Original JK & Co, No.6 Gin Little Biddy Gin, Classic Method and Madness Irish Gin Opihr Peninsula Gin Reikorangi Triple Distilled Dry Gin Rifters, Quartz Gin Scapegrace Black Sugarbird Pino and Pelargonium The Cannabis Co Jilungin Dreaming Hemp Gin The National Distillery Company, Adorn The Proof Pohutukawa Victor Gin Kaffir Lime Waitoki Washhouse Gin

SILVER Hayman’s Royal Dock Navy Strength Kyoto Distillery, KI NO BI SEI Pickering’s Navy Strength Gin The National Distillery Company, Navy Strength


SILVER Malfy Gin Rosa


Little Biddy Gin, Cask Aged (Pinot Noir)

Blush Boysenberry Gin Broken Heart Spirits, No.9 Love Potion Pinot Noir Gin Chase, Pink Grapefruit & Pomelo Gordon’s Lemon Hayman’s Sloe Gin Larios Citrus Malfy Con Arancia The National Distillery Company, Hemp & Honey Verano Lemon Verano Watermelon Whitley Neill Pink Grapefruit Whitley Neill Quince



Broken Heart, No 3 Sailors Ruin Elephant Navy Rock Rose, Navy Strength Gin Scapegrace Gold Sipsmith VJOP

MATURED GIN GOLD Fenton Street Gin, The Pioneer


Black Barn Barrel Aged Gin Little Biddy Gin, Cask Aged (Bourbon)

BRONZE Curiosity Gin, Recipe #23 Hayman’s Old Tom Gin The National Distillery Company, Old Tom The White Sheep Co, Sheep Milk & Honey Gin


Beer expert Michael Donaldson takes a look at the evolution and endurance of Pale Ale in New Zealand.

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Michael Donaldson is an author, beer writer and judge. He wrote Beer Nation – The Art and Heart of Kiwi Beer, Richard Emerson’s biography The Hopfather and The Big Book of Home – A Kiwi Guide. He is the chair of judges for the New World Beer & Cider Awards, the editor of Pursuit of Hoppiness and a three-time winner of the Brewers Guild Beer Writer of the Year Award.

beer feature


azy IPAs: can’t see through them and sometimes you can’t see past them. The haze craze is all the rage at the moment and it’s easy to think that all punters want is the latest ‘juiceʼ. EPIC BREWING Try telling that to Luke Nicholas of Epic Brewing... “Our Pale Ale is still our biggest seller and always has been,” he says. “Our Thunder APA is our second biggest seller. Blue, our low-carb Pale Ale is going really well and we’re just about to re-release our Hopshine Pale Ale because that does really well over the summer.” Nicholas says it’s easy to forget that a rock-solid Pale Ale at around 5% ABV (Epic Pale Ale is 5.4%) is still an important part of any brewery’s portfolio. “We’re seen as an IPA brewery but more than half of what we make is a Pale Ale of some kind,” he says. “IPAs are great but they are not as social as Pale Ale – and coming into summer when people do a lot more socialising outside because there’s more daylight, a few IPAs can take their toll. Pale Ale is a little more user-friendly.” Nicholas launched his brand with Epic Pale Ale 14 years ago – it’s tagged The Original on the label – and the multiaward-winning beer is still going strong, despite the rise of IPA, the hazy juggernaut Epic’s Luke Nicholas

and the increased number of sours and dessert beers on the market. Apart from his core Pale Ale customers, he says many people are coming back to the style because they want a break from the ever-changing new-release phenomena. “A lot of people left Pale Ale, went on a journey, came back and had Epic Pale Ale and said, ‘wow, it’s still a really good beer – I just forgot’.” Conversely, there are customers who have discovered Epic through their hazy offerings and have worked their way back towards the core products. “Hazies are a good entry into beer – they’ve caught imagination and attention because they are so intensely aromatic, and they look great. They are not challenging in terms of bitterness – they are interesting and approachable and allow people to go on a journey into craft beer.” But after a while, some people just need to get off the haze-train. “After a while when they’ve had more and more of these beers they say, ‘you know what – I could just go a Pale Ale’.” The Epic Pale Ale recipe hasn’t changed over the years – despite people telling Nicholas it must it have. It remains a wellbalanced, American hop-driven beer – and is now in six-pack cans. “The beer hasn’t changed, just people’s palates. It used to be seen as too bitter and now people think it’s more malty because they’ve got used to hops,” says Nicholas. EMERSON’S The fact people are now so used to bold American hops became a bit of a problem for Emerson’s and is one of the reasons they discontinued their flagship 1812 Pale Ale. The beer is as old as the Emerson’s brand and started out as a very Englishstyle Pale Ale – chewy malt and a rich orange marmalade character to the hops. But over the years, as palates changed, so did the beer. It was tweaked and refined until, like a piece of elastic, stretched too far and something had to give. This year, Emerson’s took the bold step to remove 1812 from their portfolio, replacing it with a beer called, simply, Emerson’s Pale Ale which comes in a tartan can that ties it into its Dunedin heritage. “1812 was a bloody good beer – but it was more an old-fashioned style of Pale Ale,” says Greg Menzies, Emerson’s Sales and Marketing Manager. “We wanted something more modern and the new Pale is a more hop-forward style made with American hops. It’s more fruity and plays to New Zealanders’ love of hops.”


Emerson’s Pale Ale

Menzies said it was also getting more difficult to tell the 1812 brand story. The name comes from the last four digits of the original phone number at the Emerson’s brewery and has nothing to do with Beethoven. “It was getting harder to tell that story,” Menzies says. “So we thought that since we’d done so well with Emerson’s Pilsner, we’d simply have Emerson’s Pale Ale.” The new Emerson’s Pale Ale (5% ABV) is available in six-packs at a competitive price of around $23.00 and Menzies said it’s going great guns – attesting to the market’s enduring love of both Emerson’s and Pale Ale as a style. “Each week the sales of it keep going up, demand is there,” he says. While the new beer is a hit in supermarkets, Menzies says there are occasional kegs of 1812 available for those who still want it on tap. They did that partly because of demand from local Dunedin pub Albar, where 1812 was a staple. For Emerson’s fans it means they have the best of both worlds. THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020 23

beer feature

Kaiser recently added a Pale Ale to its range

PARROTDOG Another brewery thinking about giving their Pale Ale a “refresh” is Parrotdog. Dead Canary is a 5.3% Pale Ale that harks back to the British roots of the style with an English malt base, but it uses New Zealand hops. The brewery is growing its hazy offering – the Birdseye Hazy IPA six-packs have been a runaway success and they will soon release Yellowhammer, a sub-5% hazy pale ale. As a result, Dead Canary is struggling to keep up, says co-founder Matt Kristofski. “Dead Canary has been with us as long as our flagship Bitter Bitch and while Dead Canary used to be regarded as a balanced but hoppy beer, it’s now as a little too balanced,” he says. “There’s still a market for it and we’ll keep it on but one of the options is a refresh of the recipe.” GARAGE PROJECT When comes to Pale Ale, a brewery like Garage Project doesn’t spring to mind. They are more renowned for their Fresh IPA series as well as the more weird and wonderful offerings such as the Surrender to the Void – a vanilla boysenberry cheesecake Imperial Stout – or the fruited sours from their Wild Workshop. But co-founder Jos Ruffell says their Hapi Daze Pale Ale, which first came out in 2011, is a massively under-rated beer in terms of popularity. At just 4.6% ABV, it packs loads of New Zealand hop-driven flavour and is marketed for its “friendly” nature. “It’s one of most successful Pale Ales on the market in terms of volume,” Ruffell says. “It’s a quiet achiever for us, it keeps 24 THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020

on growing and doing its thing without too much fanfare.” He also notes that while they call Garagista an IPA “others might call that a Pale Ale” and they also have Turbine in the mix alongside recent Hazy Pale Ale releases. No matter what Pale Ale you’re looking at, chances are that these days it will come in a 330ml size, usually a sixpack, almost certainly in cans, and it will reasonably well-priced. The days of overpriced 500ml bottles are long gone. BEHEMOTH BREWING COMPANY But one Pale Ale you won’t see in sixpacks is Behemoth’s Chur – with brewer Andrew Childs bucking the multi-pack trend and keeping it as a single-can option priced at $3.99. The recipe and the format are everchanging to adapt to consumer demands. “I like to think we stay ahead of the curve,” Childs says. “It was our first bottled beer but the 500ml is gone and so has the 330ml bottle, it’s only in 330ml cans. We had the option of a six-pack but I wanted it to be as accessible as possible so that people can just grab a can. “And we’re always refining it; depending on what the New Zealand hops are tasting like each season, we change the proportions of them. “It ticks along in the background really well in grocery where it’s $3.99 for 330ml of relatively hoppy beer, which is a good price. And it’s always a constant keg seller.” Behemoth, along with Garage Project, are the masters at creating new beers with the brewery churning out 59 different beers last year. But despite the constant demand for new and exciting beers, Childs would never countenance a portfolio without his rock-solid Pale Ale. “I’d never get rid of it – it fills a nice gap in the market and it’s part of our identity as well.”

“HAVING A VERY SESSIONABLE PALE ALE IS VERY IMPORTANT.” DAVID MCKINNON, GIESEN GROUP. KAISER BROS The importance of having a Pale Ale in the core range is emphasised by Canterbury brewery Kaiser Bros. They recently revamped their core range and introduced a mixed six-pack. As well as adding an obligatory hazy, the brewery introduced a Pale Ale for the first time. Brewed with New Zealand hops, it’s 5.2% ABV and sits nicely in that hoppy-meetssessionable window. It’s been a work in progress for the Giesen-owned brewery. “For people entering into craft beer we don’t want to blow them out, so having a very sessionable Pale Ale is very important in that regard,” says David Mckinnon of the Giesen Group. “We’ve been working on our signature Pale Ale brew for a few years now, and locking it up into a can has worked wonders for trapping that brewery-fresh energy we strive for.” Supermarket scan data seen by The Shout NZ reveals that for many established craft breweries, while the latest Hazy IPA gets the publicity and Instagram tags, it’s their core range Pale Ale that does the hard yards. For many, their Pale remains their single biggest seller. With so much that’s new and ephemeral, it’s easy to forget that Pale Ale is an enduring classic for a reason and remains a rock-solid consumer favourite, regardless of brand. ■

The haze craze is all the rage at the moment

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Mat Thomson opening the barrel at the Glengarry Malt Club. Photo: Aroha Jakicevich


Tash McGill is a spirits and hospitality writer who regularly hosts tastings and education classes for those wanting to know more about spirits and their uses - from cocktails to culinary food matches. She has been in the spirits and cocktail industry for more than 10 years, writing, tasting and judging competitions. 26 THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020

here’s nothing quite like seeing Mat Thomson, of Thomson Whisky, take to a barrel with his cooper’s hammer. He picked up the empty barrel - which was originally from America - way back when, but brought it out for a special viewing at The Glengarry Malt Club last month. It was a return home of sorts, he said, given that his curiosity about making whisky got a good kickstart by attending The Glengarry Malt Club back in the early 2000s. Returning to the Malt Club in 2020 with Thomson’s brand new limited edition release of FIVE (their five year old New Zealand Single Malt) inspired Mat to bring along the barrel that FIVE was aged in. Much like a five-year-old at showand-tell, the film set carpenter turned whisky-maker, cooperer and copper pot still maker came alive with the cooper’s hammer in hand, swiftly raising the hoops

and allowing the staves to breathe and fall gently open. The whisky enthusiasts gathered round. A five year old whisky may not sound very old at all, but it’s about the same collection of feelings a parent might express getting a firstborn off to primary school – accomplishment, possibility and incredulity at where the time has gone. Time is a big deal in whisky circles, especially given that every passing year not only ages whisky in the cask but also adds another distillery or two to the somewhat extensive list of New Zealand whisky distilleries. For Thomson, who started in 2009, bottling some of Willowbank’s old stock, the release of a five year old whisky made by their own hands and in the cooper pot still that Mat shaped by hand, is cause for celebration. With an already impressive collection of 13 international and homegrown whisky medals and awards, this year, Thomson Manuka Smoke took

NZ whisky The Cardrona Single Malt Whisky “Just Hatched”

Alongside the geographical boundary, there are another six key markers of ‘identity’ that make bourbon unique: • Bourbon must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn. • Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 (US) proof (80% ABV). • Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. • Bourbon may not be introduced to the barrel at higher than 125 proof (62.5% ABV). • Bourbon which meets the above requirements and has been aged for a minimum of two years, may (but is not required to) be called Straight Bourbon. • Bourbon aged for a period less than four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging. If an age is stated on the label, it must be the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle. out the top prize for New Zealand whisky at The Drammys and the Thomson South Island Peat Single Malt claimed gold in the New Zealand Spirits Awards. But the real celebration for our tiny whisky industry was Cardrona Distillery’s phenomenal win pre-lockdown, taking home the award for best New Zealand’s Best Single Malt Whisky 12-years and under at the 2020 World Whiskies Awards in the UK. The “Just Hatched” is a banger of a whisky, bottled at cask strength which gives the quality of the spirit a chance to truly shine. With a little shy of four years in the barrel, these sherry and bourbon cask releases are remarkable little snapshots in time of what will be a stellar whisky for the world, but also here in New Zealand. Despite the constraints of lockdowns and travel restrictions, New Zealand has managed to hold both the New Zealand Spirits Awards and The Drammys in 2020, by a whisker. These awards are judged blind, so it really is remarkable that alongside some of the great international brands, 13 medals were awarded in 2020, to seven different New Zealand distillers. In 2019, only four New Zealand distilleries won medals at the NZ Spirit Awards.

Perhaps coming out of the referendums, you might think there’s been enough talk about legislation but as the United States found, as well as Scotland, Ireland and Australia have followed suit – when the industry is beginning to find it’s legs, regulations can actually help. Especially in the business of alcohol, distillers tend to pay taxes on their product long before they have the regulations to protect, extend and enhance the industry. That moment may have arrived for New Zealand. Distilled Spirits Aotearoa (DSA) is a New Zealand distillers offshoot of the Spirits Council and has provided the means for the discussion of New Zealand whisky regulations to commence. Now, with a premium price and market available overseas and at home for anything New Zealand made, it’s time to decide exactly what whisky made in New Zealand should be. The challenge in front of the DSA is to create a set of regulations that are

2020 NZ SPIRITS AWARDS NZ Whisky medal award winners: • The Cardrona Single Malt Whisky “Just Hatched” Dramfest 2020 • Thomson Whisky Rye & Barley • Thomson Whisky South Island Peat Single Malt • Waiheke Whisky Bog Monster • Waiheke Whisky Cantankerous • 1919 Distilling Kirikiriroa Release • Batch10 Manuka Smoked Whisky • Divergence Single Malt NZ Whisky – Virgin French Oak • Dunedin DoubleCask Single Malt 40% • Oamaruvian 100 Proof 50% • Oamaruvian Revolution 46% • The Cardrona Single Malt Whisky “Just Hatched” Single Sherry Cask • The Cardrona Single Malt Whisky “Just Hatched” Solera • Thomson Whisky French Oak & Manuka Smoke • Thomson Whisky Two Tone • Waiheke Whisky Moss • Waiheke Whisky Sweetwater • Waitui Whiskey 6YO


WHAT IS A NEW ZEALAND WHISKY ANYWAY? The Bourbon Institute was formed in 1958 to lobby the American government for internationally-recognised regulations that would protect the industry and the consumer base. At the time, Mexico was producing a large amount of Mexican bourbon, undoubtedly for a cheaper price. On May 4, 1964, it was passed into law that bourbon was a distinct product of the United States of America. THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020 27

NZ whisky not cumbersome to creativity but will also protect a benchmark of quality and consistency for consumers. New Zealand may have toyed with prohibition as a referendum issue for nearly 60 years, but it’s remarkably easy to purchase distilling equipment. It’s making something high quality and worthy of awards, then labelling and distributing it that is the hardest part. Some considerations include how much copper must be included in the still – 100% or just enough? 100% copper pot stills will create a significant barrier to entry for those who want to make whisky but it could be argued that is a good way of protecting a small market and those who have already invested heavily. In addition, whisky requires a lot of grain, particularly barley. That’s something New Zealand is currently running a deficit in. According to United Wheatgrowers NZ and Federated Farmers of New Zealand, we’re only growing 70% of our requirements, so the more whisky distilleries that start, the more grain we’ll need. Can whisky really be New Zealand whisky if the grain was imported from the UK, Australia or Scotland? The question here is about source – how important is the grain vs the quality of the spirit distillation vs the time spent in the cask? While some believe it’s all about the barrel, many would reason it an impossible equation to answer. There’s also precedent, where other imported products are ‘finished’ or the final stages of production, be it maturing, finishing and cutting for ABV happen in New Zealand. In other industries those products are technically able to be labelled ‘Made in New Zealand’. Robert Auld of Auld Distillery is a third generation grain farmer who believes there’s a valid case for saying New


“WE’RE ONLY GROWING 70% OF OUR [BARLEY] REQUIREMENTS, SO THE MORE WHISKY DISTILLERIES THAT START, THE MORE GRAIN WE’LL NEED.” Zealand whisky should be made with New Zealand grain. “If it’s New Zealand whisky, it either is or it isn’t and that’s everything in the bottle,” he says. Lastly, the size and scope of the export market brings into question the importance of colouring. Common practice in Scotland in order to protect against counterfeit product in export markets, consistency on the shelf for consumer and general brand – distillers will add a natural and flavourless colouring agent to their whisky. This large scale commercial practice may not seem important for smaller distillers who intend to make excellent whisky for friends and family or the local market, but for those with an eye to building an international export market for all this award-winning New Zealand whisky, this common international practice may be required here also. The final solutions are still being debated, negotiated and reckoned with – probably over a BBQ and a dram or two this summer, while it’s too hot to run the stills. WHAT’S ON YOUR SUMMER WHISKY LIST? For on-premise this summer, it’s going to be a scorcher, albeit socially distanced.

While specialist whisky bars can often carry an explorative, nuanced and absurd list of whisky curiosities it’s important to keep your whisky list focused and intentional, no matter how your venue is set up. Here are some top tips for serving drams this summer…. Pay attention to your customers first and foremost. If you have customers who drink spirits neat or on the rocks, you can push your selection a lot further. But if your customers are usually beer, wine or cocktail drinkers… Go six deep on your list - two at entry level, two at mid-weight for flavour and price and two at the high-end top range. 1. Work with your suppliers to build up from your well pour. 2. Make sure to feature a refreshing, sweet enough bourbon or rye citrus cocktail on the list. 3. Include at least one sherry cask finish and a big peaty Islay. 4. Assuming you have a solid bourbon in the well, be sure to put an Irish on the shelf. 5. Keep everything approachable. 6. Make sure all your staff know the key tasting notes. If your customer base is cocktail-savvy, you probably already have a couple of classic whisky cocktails on the list. Be sure to have a great whisky sour lined up for summer and a Manhattan for those long, balmy summer nights and… 1. Build out your list as above but add a couple of recent and unusual releases such as beer barrel finished whisky or a unique wine finish. 2. Make sure to include at least one curiosity bottle – something new world from England, Taiwan, Sweden or the West Coast of America. 3. Be sure to include at least one of the New Zealand award winning whiskies, because people are going to love local this summer. 4. Arrange a rep to come in a do a tasting for your locals and to run a training session with your staff. ■



Finished in 30 year old port casks to enhance and develop its taste without losing its original characteristics. The Balvenie Portwood is a creamy, silky Scottish single malt. The fruit, honey and spice notes are followed by a gentle nutty finish.


As Principal Sponsor, Super Liquor are pleased to announce the big winners for

The New Zealand Whisk(e)y Awards 2020. We would like to take the opportunity

to thank everyone involved, especially the judges, whisky experts and distillers. We would like to congratulate all the medal winners for their huge achievement as we continue to champion fantastic whiskies from around the world.


Thomson Manuka Smoke


Thomson Local Folk & Smoke Thomson South Island Peat



Canadian Club 12YO Mars Iwai Tradition


Canadian Club 8YO Canadian Club 20YO Crown Royal

INTERNATIONAL USA GOLD Wild Turkey 86.8 - Best in Class Jim Beam Single Barrel Woodford Reserve Malt


Baker’s 7YO Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon Bulleit Bourbon Gentleman Jack Jack Daniel’s No. 27 Jim Beam Devil’s Cut Maker’s 46 Wild Turkey Rare Breed Woodford Reserve Double Oak Woodford Reserve Rye


Jack Daniels Single Barrel Rye Jack Daniels Single Barrel SL Selection Jim Beam Black Jim Beam Double Oak Old Forrester Legent Maker’s Mark Old Forrester Statesman Wild Turkey Longbranch Wild Turkey 101 50.5 Woodford Reserve



Bushmills 10YO Connemara Green Spot Single Pot Still Redbreast Single Pot Still 12YO


Bushmills Original Jameson Black Barrel Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition Jameson Irish Whiskey Jameson Whiskey Maker’s Series Jameson Whiskey Maker’s Slane Irish Method & Madness Single Grain Irish Whiskey Method & Madness Single Malt Irish Whiskey Method & Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Redbreast Single Pot Still 15YO Series Distiller’s Safe Teeling Single Grain Teeling Single Malt The Cooper’s Croze Tullamore Dew Yellow Spot Single Pot Still 12YO



Chivas Regal Ultis Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Glenfiddich Project XX Experiment Grants Rum Cask


Chivas Regal Mizunara Glenfiddich IPA Experiment Grants Smoky Johnnie Walker Black Johnnie Walker Green Johnnie Walker Gold Mackinlay’s Blended Mackinlay’s Shackleton

SCOTLAND BLENDED 12YO+++ SILVER Ballantines 17YO Chivas Regal XV Chivas Regal 18YO Royal Salute Blue 21YO


Ballantines 12YO Chivas Regal 12YO Chivas Regal Extra 13YO Rye Cask Chivas Regal Extra 13YO Sherry Cask


Glen Grant Arboralis The Dalmore Cigar Malt


Auchentoshan American Oak Auchentoshan 3 Woods Bruichladdich Classic Ladddie Glenglassaugh Evolution Glenglassaugh Revival Glen Moray Speyside Elgin Classic The Glenlivet Captains Reserve The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve The Glenlivet Nadurra First Fill Batch 915 The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso Batch 816 Scapa Skiren Single Malt


Laphroaig Select - Best in Class Glenglassaugh Torfa Lagavulin 16YO Laphroaig 10YO Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2011


Bunnahabhain 12YO Bowmore No.1 Bowmore 12YO GlenDronach Peated Jura Journey Jura 18YO Lahoroaig Triple Wood Laphroaig Quarter Cask Port Charlotte 10 Scottish Barley The Dalmore 18YO The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Batch 717


Jura 7 Wood Jura 10YO

SCOTLAND SINGLE MALT UNDER 12YO GOLD Talisker 10YO - Best in Class BenRiach 10YO


Aerstone 10YO Sea Cask Aerstone 10YO Land Cask Glen Grant 10YO

SCOTLAND SINGLE MALT 12-16YO GOLD Caol Ila 12YO - Best in Class The Dalmore 15YO


Aberlour Highland Single Malt 12YO BenRiach 12YO Sherrywood Longmorn Single Malt 16YO Oban 14YO The Balvenie 14YO Caribbean Cask The Dalmore 12YO The Glenlivet 12YO


Auchentoshan 12YO Dalwhinnie 15YO Deanston 12YO GlenDronach 15YO Revival Glenfiddich 12YO Glen Grant 12YO Glenkinchie 12YO The Balvenie 12YO Doublewood The Glenlivet French Oak 15YO

SCOTLAND SINGLE MALT 17-20YO GOLD The Glenlivet 18YO - Best in Class Glen Grant 18YO


The Dalmore 18YO


Deanston 18YO GlenDronach 18YO Allardice


The Balvenie 21YO Portwood - Best in Class Glenfiddich 21YO


BenRiach 21YO GlenDronach 21YO Parliament The Glenlivet Single Malt 25YO





ine to b m o ter c g. c a r d cha explorin n a e ultur ry worth c , y r o Histo l a categ a mezc





epending on the species, a single agave can spend up to 35 years in the ground before it’s harvested, pulped, processed and distilled into mezcal. But three and a half decades is nothing compared to the history of Mexico’s national spirit. Spanning centuries, it’s the annals of mezcal that make it a favourite among successful Mexican venues, including Melbourne eateries La Tortilleria and Los Hermanos. “We’ve always talked about tequila as the ambassador of Mexico, when, in reality, it should be mezcal,” says La Tortilleria’s Gerardo Lopez. “The history goes back to before the Spaniards arrived.” The opportunity to see production in process captivated Los Hermanos’ Bruno Carreto, who also co-owns Benzina Cantina and operates a dark kitchen in Melbourne. “You realise how much care, attention and responsibility goes into making mezcal,” he says. “And also the intergenerational knowledge that goes into producing the spirit. The amount of work that goes into making a small amount of alcohol is everything that gets promoted in society: it’s small batch and environmentally conscious.” Carreto also appreciates the role mezcaleros (distillers) play in society. “They’re really respected in the [local] community,” he says. “They’re the ones who provide booze for weddings and quinceañeras.” No two mezcals are the same: each is the artefact of agave species, terroir and

production method. For this reason, the spirit parallels Mexico itself, with its diverse regions and cultures. “Agave is very unique to different regions,” says Lopez. “From the very, very hard mezcal in the north, which represents the arid, dry parts of Mexico to the mezcals from the south that are more full of flavour. It’s also attached to the people and the producers. The processes could be different. There are [producers] that use the very traditional way, others follow a more Western way.” Then, there are producers who follow a specific method passed down through generations. “A lot of that comes back to cultural beliefs that existed in Mexico,” says Lopez. “As you start multiplying the different combinations, you end up with so much variety. There’s a whole world to explore.” Both Lopez and Carreto have spent time visiting producers, particularly in the region of Oaxaca on Mexico’s southwest coast, which produces the monster’s share of mezcals available internationally. These trips are important for a number of reasons. Aside from the espadin variety (and the blue agave used for tequila), agave is difficult to farm. The plants take many years to mature and once harvested, they’re good for one use only. The boom in mezcal’s popularity has created an issue of supply, with producers feeling the pressure to pull up crops to meet demand. “You’ve got to do research and make sure the producers are doing things in a socially and environmentally

SERVICE TIPS Lopez recommends starting drinkers new to mezcal with an espadin joven or young espadin. “It’s not too strong and the flavour is not too complex, but allows you to enjoy the flavour of the agave as well as the smokiness of it,” he says. “And that’s a good entry point.” For people who are looking for something special, Lopez suggests an artisan mezcal: “I think a bartender can easily tell which one is better for the clientele, but the other one has a story to tell. It tells a story of producers that are still very hands on; I think people on the other side of the bar want to hear those stories.” Both Lopez and Carreto enjoy mezcal on its own with a slice of orange, gusano (agave worm) salt and chilli — the traditional way. “We also have it with dried pineapple and dried mango, so anything that is sweet and sour,” says Lopez. Carreto recommends experimenting with other fruits, too. Think watermelon with a little basil and chilli. “I personally find mezcal is something you will have as a digestif or before you start your meal,” says Lopez. “People pair it well with beer. In Mexico, both are taking off and they go hand in hand.” Fruit-driven, hoppy and hazy Australian IPAs make a great match, says Carreto, who likes to create an environment where drinkers don’t feel the urge to shot mezcal, as many Australians have learned to do with tequila. “It has to be room temperature,” says Carreto. “We serve it in a flute or a tasting glass. I can’t drink mezcal out of a shot glass; it doesn’t feel right.” And, when someone does knock back an artisanal mezcal in one go? Carreto thinks: “Man, that took 35 years to grow.”


Mezcal responsible way,” says Carreto. “To be sustainable, you have to let some of the old plants go to flower so they can seed [and reproduce]. But, then all the sugars in the plant go into making the flower, [which] sort of takes away the beautiful flavour of the plant. There are all these conflicts and the producers are very aware of this.” The immense range of mezcals makes it hard to list universal characteristics. One property that is pervasive is smokiness. Evident in both the nose and on the palate, it comes from ancestral production methods, which Lopez likens to barbacoa. Otherwise, describing the variety of mezcals available is no easy feat. When approaching a new mezcal, Carreto looks to the agave variety for a hint of what might be in store. “When I look at a mezcal, if it’s an espadin, I already have a flavour profile,” he explains. “It might be more botanical with rosemary, star anise, cloves and cardamom.” Origin can also provide an indication of what to expect. “When you go up further north, like to Durango, that’s more arid, desert conditions. The properties tend to be woodier, drier and more herbaceous,” says Carreto. “A lot of the flavour profiles come from the earth: [whether] the plant has been at an altitude or exposed to sun,


rain or drought. It gives the particular plant from that region its unique qualities.” The difficulty for venues is acquiring less commercial brands. When it comes to artisanal and ancestral mezcals, productions sizes can be small. “The farmers will commit to something with the hope the whole pallet or container of mezcal will be sold,” says Lopez. “It’s hard for someone on the other side to commit and say, ‘Yes, I will sell the whole pallet’, when the market is still not quite there.” Even with its ancient origins, there’s more on the horizon for mezcal. “Growing up in

Mexico, I would not hear about mezcal,” says Lopez. “It’s really in the past five to 10 years that there is more appreciation for it. We’re rediscovering our own culture. Back in the day, tequila bars were the thing. Now, there are mezcalerias that specialise in different regions and different types of mezcal. I will say it: consumption of mezcal will surpass tequila in a few years.” With a little effort from the drinks industry, we won’t be far behind. ■ Story by Madeline Woolway, originally published in Hospitality magazine.

Tequila is a type of mezcal made from blue agave using specific methods in the state of Jalisco

There are nine mezcalproducing regions throughout Mexico, from Durango and Tamaulipas to Geurrero and Oaxaca

Lopez covered the production of mezcal while hosting This is Mexico for Australia’s channel Ten

In Mexican mythology, there are more than 400 rabbits, each associated with a feeling mezcal is said to be able to imbue




As we move towards the end of a tough 2020, The Shout NZ is dedicated to supporting New Zealand bars, pubs and clubs. never-ending explosion of tastes, sights and smells, Margo’s in Queenstown is on a mission to create a memorable experience. James Ace, Managing Director at Future Bars, owner of Margo’s (amongst other QT venues), shares the highs and lows of the South Island hospo industry in 2020. How would you describe your bar and its atmosphere? From the moment you walk up to the front door, Margo’s is bold, colourful, and bursting with energy and personality. The drinks are very much inspired by Mexico with lots of margaritas, mezcals and tequilas! Be prepared for some exciting experimental flavours as we draw further inspiration from the wider Latin communities. What are the positives and negatives that have come out of 2020 for your business? To say that we were taking our growth and prosperity of what we had been building over the last nine years for granted, is an understatement. With all said and done, with no ability to trade due to something as crazy as a pandemic, 2020 has been a completely whack experience. At one stage I thought we may just lose everything. In the same breath, my instinct quickly inspired me to focus on how we can come out of this unique scenario in an even stronger position than when we started lockdown. It’s kind of weird, but I am loving the challenge and it truly is a fascinating and memorable journey. What does it take to be a successful bar owner? Understanding the true meaning of the term ‘hospitality’, and this being the basis of your culture and business operation. By doing so, this will naturally transpire into your staff, and then on to your customers. If you’re a true ‘hospitarian’ as a business (bar) owner, it will take your customers about one-and-a-half seconds from the moment they walk through your front door to feel and identify that you really do give a sh*t and your purpose for the business is to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience. Yes, you


need your business to be financially viable too, but people who care will generally do it better! What do you look for when hiring bar staff? Self-respect, communication and professionalism. Some of which can be trained but more often than not you can very quickly tell when meeting or interviewing a potential employee if they’re going to be a good culture fit for your business. Albeit advantageous, hiring a person based on being the right culture fit will nine times out of ten outweigh someone who has better skills or more experience. For us, this has been proven time-andtime again. What will be the biggest challenge for Margo’s in the coming months? For us here in Queenstown, I’m really intrigued to see how attractive Queenstown as a destination will be for the domestic market over the summer months. Kiwis generally flock to a North Island beach for a bach and some salt water! Therefore, I think we’ll continue to rely heavily on weekend trade and pray that Air New Zealand keep those direct flights coming in at affordable prices from the major domestic airports. Once perceived as over-priced and potentially a bit of a tourist trap, Queenstown has had a real correction in pricing and value adds and so I think now, more than ever, Kiwis can come and experience Queenstown without needing to take out a small mortgage. It’s absolutely paramount that we’re on our game to ensure that our businesses are at the forefront of the decision makers for visitors and locals alike. Why does your bar stand out from the others in your area? Margo’s is a brand new and very unique offering to Queenstown. With flavours so good we had to smuggle them in, just jump on the Instagram @margos_qt and you’ll immediately get a sneak peek into our vibrant, colourful, energetic environment. Oh, and our frozen margarita’s at Happy Hour, thank me later! ■ THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020 33

last round


SUCCESSFULLY One of the main causes of this imbalance is high stock value but is a software product designed by a New Zealand company that helps you to manage your inventory and cost of sales. They also have a function for online shopping, a wholesales portal and POS.

With 2020 bringing changes to the way retail shopping now looks to business owners and their customers, Brad Golchin, Founder and Managing Director of Wise Advice, shares how technology can assist in maintaining a successful business. here is no longer the discussion about whether you need technology but rather around what are the technology options and which of those is the best option for your clients and your business. Here are a three of those ‘best options’ –, and – and how they can work for you.


KEEPING YOUR ONLINE AND OFFLINE SYNCHRONISED You want to make it as easy as possible for your clients to shop, interact and pay for your product and for this you need a platform that can handle both offline and online sales and keep your stock/prices and availability in sync. is one of the best online shopping platforms out there with a support office in New Zealand. The most important part of online shopping is customer experience, as you want them to keep coming and you need to make it easy for them to buy and at the same time have tools to upsell, cross sell and monitor the behaviour of your buyers. In the liquor industry, the ability to promote new trends and upsell to your 34 THE SHOUT NZ – NOV/DEC 2020

clients is paramount and gives you the monitoring ability to work out what your clients prefer to drink enabling you to target your products. Shopify is great in all of the above and has a long list of third-party apps that work to make it even more efficient. They also have retail/POS facility which means you can use the same system for offline sales. Shopify has a connection with the Xero accounting system as well, which will give you a better idea of your overall financial performance. It’s easy to use and you can almost set it up yourself if you have time. BALANCING YOUR INVENTORY The balance of your inventory can make a huge difference to your business. The worst scenario is if you do not have enough stock for one of your popular products and have a lot of unpopular stock sitting on shelves, creating cashflow problems for your business. With so many different stock keeping units (SKUs) in the liquor sector, stock levels can suck the life out of your cashflow! We see many businesses that are profitable and have high taxes to pay, but there is not enough cash in their business to pay the routine, every-day bills.

A GOOD OVERVIEW OF YOUR BUSINESS AND CASHFLOW IS CRUCIAL. Any business needs to know what is going on in the business at any time. The app uses artificial intelligence to analyse and combine data from different sources to give you that overview. It links to your social channels, your google account, your accounting software and even a weather channel! In a business selling liquor, this could mean better decisions about staff rostering, or what is selling well and what you need to order more of… or less of. You can install the app on your mobile and start asking questions - e.g. How many sales did we have today? How does this compare with my last period? How many website visits did we have today? The sky is your limit and as you use the system more it gets cleverer and learns more about you and what you need. This is another genius Kiwi invention, so be sure to give it a try. ■

Brad Golchin, Founder and Managing Director of Wise Advice



JOIN MASTER SOMMELIER, CAMERON DOUGLAS FOR THIS UNIQUE ZOOM TASTING EXPERIENC E. Direct from Provence to your home you’ll receive a pack of 6 x 60ml bottles of Rosé and an invitation to join Cameron Douglas to taste through all wines to discuss the regional signature that makes Provence world famous for its Rosé. $75 per pack, book now in the limited sessions: Tuesday December 8th, 6.30pm – 8.00pm Tuesday December 15th, 6.30pm – 8.00pm