Head-to-head encounters in cricket, rugby, hockey and netball have been known to evoke heated exchanges between Aussies and Kiwis. The sports fans of Australia and New Zealand love their teams, and aren’t about to back down from some friendly banter when the situation calls for it.
There also are minor cultural differences between the two largest countries of the region often referred to as Oceania, primarily based on the influence of the indigenous Maori population of New Zealand.
And then there is wine — an area in which the competition between Australia and New Zealand is both friendly and serious. It’s friendly because the people are fun loving. It’s serious because it’s business, and as the old saying goes, “If you want to make a million dollars in the wine business… start with two million.”
The rivalry is a boon for wine lovers, because it motivates men and women who already are extremely passionate about their craft to push the boundaries of tradition, try new things, and focus on one thing and one thing only: the quality of the finished product in the bottle.
Vinesse’s Oceania’s Greatest Treasures collection provides a delicious opportunity to compare and contrast a few of the varieties and blends produced by these quality-focused vintners.
There’s a wonderful Merlot from one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed winegrowing areas. There’s a bottle of that country’s signature red wine — Pinot Noir. And there’s a wonderful example of what Aussie vintners do best: a perfectly proportioned blend of Shiraz (a.k.a. Syrah) and Cabernet Sauvignon.
These are treasures of Oceania that are packed with personality — just like the people who made them.
Which country is making the best wines? The answer to that question will be determined by your palate.