Beer, cider and wine (not all at once….)

After writing so much recently on the blog about New Zealand and how beautiful it is, I’m changing topic a bit (quite a lot actually).  One thing I mentioned in the last post was the availability of really good beer, wine and cider here.  I don’t want to give the impression that I spend a good part of my life tasting alcoholic beverages, but there are lots of things to try, and a sip is sometime enough as we discovered recently.

The Garage Project is a local craft brewery that produces some really nice beer that we have tried over the past months.  To celebrate the Mexican Day of the Dead in November, they launched 2 beers.  The one on the right in the picture below is a strong, black lager, brewed with smoked chipotle chili amongst other things. To my untrained palate, it tasted like a very slightly spicy porter.  I’d give it 3/5 and add you certainly couldn’t drink more than one at one sitting.  The other beer on the left also had chili in it…far too much!  One sip and I am afraid it got poured away.  I prefer my chili in my food rather than my drink.  However, I love the can design which is much better than the beer.


Don’t buy a beer because of its label

Cider is one of those drinks that can be lovely (eg one of those lovely, French dry ciders) or revolting (eg Carlsberg’s Sommersby which is not cider at all, but fizzy, sweet, alcoholic pop).  With a huge interest in craft beers here, there is also a growing parallel interest in proper, craft ciders. Rather than risk entering the debate of whether cider can only truly be made of apples, it is at least worth trying some of the other varieties that are around. One I drank recently was this:

IMG_1700Apple and Ginger cider

If you like ginger beer, then you would like this.  It doesn’t have a strong apple flavour, but it does have a good strong ginger tang.  Interestingly, in New Zealand, ciders like this one above can be found in the supermarket next to the beers, but cider products like Sweden’s Rekorderlig is classified as a ‘ready to drink’ beverage, in other words, an alcopop like Bacardi Breezer.  In any case, I have another one of Thomas & Rose’s ciders to try – watermelon and cucumber – which sounds interesting at least.

As to wine….well, of course there is a lot that could be said about that, especially with the range of good wine to be had here.  If you saw the last post, you may have spotted the four pack of rose fizz, which is a great idea for picnics and other outdoor events.  Another good idea – plastic bottles of wine.  Great idea, and most important, the wine tastes just as good.

Anyway, it is back to work for me on Monday after a great 2 month holiday.  I’m sure I’ll cope!

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