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An Introduction to Bordeaux-Style Wines in New Zealand

An Introduction to Bordeaux-Style Wines in New Zealand

France is pretty much the OG of wine, which is why you’re probably familiar with the name and reputation of Bordeaux even if you know next to nothing about vino. One of the oldest grape-growing regions in the world, Bordeaux produces highly coveted wines in the form of single-varietal versions or blends of the area’s signature grapes: cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, and petit verdot.

Bordeaux’s had such a huge influence on the wine world that even New Zealand, in its isolated spot halfway across the globe, grows Bordeaux varietals and crafts wines inspired by this legendary region. Here’s a quick introduction to Bordeaux-style wine in the land of the Kiwis!

Bordeaux Varietals in New Zealand

Bordeaux varietals need heat to ripen properly, which is why they’re grown predominantly on the North Island of New Zealand rather than the South. North Island regions such as Hawke’s Bay enjoy warmer growing seasons moderated by the influence of the ocean, mirroring the climate of Bordeaux (which gets that maritime influence from rivers) and enabling Kiwi winemakers to produce styles that resemble those from the great French region (concentrated and balanced, with bright fruitiness and freshness) as opposed to the bigger, bolder, more ripe-fruit-focused styles that come from über-hot regions like Australia.

Hawke’s Bay

Hawke’s Bay

The name of the game in New Zealand’s beautiful Hawke’s Bay? Sun! With a warmer climate, minimal rain, and a long growing season, Hawke’s Bay offers Bordeaux varietals a very happy home indeed — and because the sea laps the coast to the east, temperatures don’t veer too far into ‘hot’ territory (in fact, average temperatures hover in the same range as those in Bordeaux).

This means that the beautiful Bordeaux-style blends Hawke’s Bay winemakers produce exhibit that classic elegant balance between fresh fruit (red and dark), floral notes, and earthy undertones. Hawke’s Bay yields some truly stunning single-varietal examples of the Bordeaux grapes (with merlot being the most widely planted and the most common), but it’s best known for its deeply complex and flavourful blends.

Look out for reds from Trinity Hill — located in Hawke’s Bay’s Gimblett Gravels sub-region — a winery that produces award-winning blends made with varying percentages of the Bordeaux varietals. Their vegan-friendly beauty ‘The Gimblett,’ in particular, is dominated by cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc, with smaller amounts of merlot, malbec, and petit verdot.

We’re also big fans of the good folks at Te Mata, a family-owned establishment dating back over a century that produces mouthwateringly tasty blends of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc — all from their vineyards in the Havelock Hills and Gimblett Gravels sub-regions of Hawke’s Bay.


Matakana is a charming little village less than an hour’s drive north of the bustling city of Auckland. It boasts a gorgeous cinema and an always-packed-to-the-gills Saturday farmers market — but as wine regions go, it’s tiny (we’re talking less than 70 hectares of vines).

Don’t let the size fool you, though: Matakana makes up for its small stature with big and beautiful Bordeaux blends, crafted in a temperate maritime climate much like that of Hawke’s Bay (although Matakana sees a bit more rainfall). Many of the wineries here sell their wines only on-premise or in local establishments, so your best bet for a taste of a Bordeaux-style bombshell from this area is to head out on the gorgeous Matakana Wine Trail.


Though it’s much better known for its world-class pinot noir, the slightly cooler-climate, low-rainfall Martinborough nevertheless generates some standout examples of Bordeaux-style wines. Plantings of cabernet sauvignon and merlot yield elegant, peppery wines that combine in blends for a more subtle overall style.

pinot noir

Ata Rangi is perhaps the best option for Bordeaux varietals in this region — but we’d also highly recommend getting your hands on either the 2010 or 2011 BDX from Terroir Wines. The 2010 features cabernet sauvignon and merlot while the 2011 adds cabernet franc to the mix!

Waiheke Island

The little gem that is Waiheke Island sits a short ferry ride off the coast of Auckland, and it’s got a hotter microclimate that makes it ideal for growing Bordeaux varietals. Cabernet sauvignon and merlot in particular thrive underneath the warmth of the Waiheke sun, but the three other Bordeaux grapes do just fine as well.

The climate here resembles that of Matakana and Hawke’s Bay: warm days and lots of pleasant sunshine, with the moderating influence of the water to keep the heat from shooting into the stratosphere. Like in those other regions, this combination allows our five Bordeaux varietals to ripen completely without beginning to show the more concentrated (and sometimes overblown) fruit-forwardness evident in the same grapes from other, hotter regions.

Remarkable single-varietal versions of all but petit verdot can be found from Waiheke wineries, but one of the best-known (and a favourite of ours) is Man O’ War — a picturesque jewel that produces Bordeaux-style wines of distinct power and strength.

So there you have it: a quick introduction to Bordeaux in New Zealand!

The Mofo Guide to White Wine Varieties

With over 1000 white wine varieties in the world, it shouldn’t be any surprise that most people can only name three. We’re going to take a wild guess that it goes something like this: savvy b, chardonnay, and riesling. Hey, no judgement! But with exciting wines such as albariño, gewürztraminer and vermentino making their mark and the weather heating up, there’s no better time to explore the wonderful world of white wine than right now. Here are a few fun facts about some to get your white wine trivia back in form.

An Introduction to Blaufränkisch and Grüner Veltliner

There are certain wine varieties that you just have to pronounce with a foreign accent. I can’t imagine saying spätburgunder without a slight Germanic lilt to my voice and if I blurt out poulsard or trousseau without a discernible French swish, I feel incomplete and dirty. So with that in mind, I would like to summons your inner Arnold Schwarzenegger, circa ‘Terminator’, and say the following grape varieties - blaufränkisch and grüner veltliner. Both Arnie and these varieties hail from the same country, Austria, so you know it makes sense.

The Mofo Guide to Red Wine Varieties

There are literally hundreds of options when it comes to choosing a variety of red wine. So it’s easy to play it safe and stick to the classics like shiraz, pinot and cabernet sauvignon. But with a number of alternate varieties making Australia home - things like gamay, sangiovese and nebbiolo - it’s time to explore the delicious spectrum of red wine on our doorstep. Here are a few worth seeking out, to get you started.

Different Styles of Pinot in New Zealand

New Zealand’s worldwide wine reputation is pretty much synonymous with sauvignon blanc — but what you might not know is that the little country in the middle of the Pacific produces some spectacular pinot noir as well. From the more famous regions of Marlborough and Central Otago to the lesser-known gems like Nelson and the Wairarapa, New Zealand boasts a microcosm of climates that allows for the creation of distinctly different styles of the ‘heartbreaker grape.’ Here’s what to expect in a pinot noir, depending on which region of Aotearoa it hails from!

Behind the Label: Betty's Game Rosé

We’re stoked to introduce you to Malin AKA Mali Mal, our talented new graphic designer (and Jurassic Park enthusiast) who was tasked with creating a unique wine label for our latest rosé, Betty’s Game. 

5 Fun Facts About Cabernet

There are many reasons why cabernet sauvignon (aka the ‘King of Grapes’) is one of the most popular grapes, with 290,000 hectares planted globally. Cabernet doesn’t follow trends. It’s serious, age-worthy and consistent. Wine regions globally are synonymous with its unwavering excellence - think Bordeaux, Margaret River, Argentina, Coonawarra…

A Guide to Italian Wine Regions: Tuscany

I can think of a few wine regions that, once I cast my eyes over a picture of them, immediately make me want to pay them a visit. Down this neck of the woods Margaret River, Tasmania and Central Otago are undeniably spectacular, as is the Mosel in Germany, Burgundy in France and Piemonte in Italy. Perhaps none have a more magnetic appeal than Tuscany… medieval hilltop towns, that magical light playing over the vineyards and olive groves, hearty Italian food and perhaps lazing on the terracotta tiles around the pool at your villa sipping a Chianti or Vernacchia. 

Behind The Wine: Adam Foster of Syrahmi

From country Victoria to Rhone Valley and back, we recently caught up with Adam Foster to chat about his impressive journey to becoming the respected winemaker he is today. Food led him to wine, wine to winemaking and extensive vintage work with some of the world’s best. Now firmly planted (vineyard included) amongst the granite boulders of Tooborac in Southern Heathcote, we’re excited to discuss the future with Adam. We’re perhaps even more excited about the soon-to-be-released Collaboration nebbiolo rosé that we’ve created with him, Betty’s Game!

Behind the Wine: Dylan McMahon of Seville Estate

Seville Estate, what can we say?  One of the founding wineries of the Yarra Valley, Halliday Winery of the Year 2019 and an impressive, newly renovated site which is home to award-winning wines. We were stoked to catch up with winemaker Dylan McMahon after his recent win at the Halliday Wine Awards and ask a few questions about the history of Seville Estate, his personal journey in wine and what the future holds. Dylan’s story is one of both passion and precision, along with a deep appreciation of the site with which he works and the winemaking community in the Yarra, that both supports and inspires him. The only thing that we didn’t get a chance to delve into was Dylan’s side-hustle as the bass player in winemaker supergroup Harvest Goon. But hey, we’ll leave that for another time... 

A Weekend in the Barossa Valley

I spoke to Judy Watson, Schild Estate’s Family Proprietor and Brand Ambassador, some time ago. She described the region simply as this, “The Barossa is like a funnel – 25km wide at one end, 8km at the other. Night temperatures drop from gully breezes which keeps the southern end cool. This cooling assists flavour intensity.”

Classic Food and Wine Pairings Throughout History

When the concept of food and wine pairing is brought up some of us run and hide, others seek to rise to the challenge, while most of us will stick to the classics—those pairings that have been tried and tested for centuries before us. There is no harm in that, when something works so perfectly like a glass of Sauternes with foie gras, there’s no point fighting it. Some of the grandest events and dinner parties in our history have exhibited these artful pairings. They are called classics for a reason, and I’m going to prove it to you… 

A Day Trip to Heathcote

Before setting off on a wine region road trip it helps to have some context. Immersing yourself in the place, the people, the produce and the history not only helps make sense of what’s in your glass, but it really elevates  the whole experience.

A Toast to Aussie Pinot Noir

Is Australian pinot noir the ultimate utility beverage for our antipodean lifestyle? I think there’s a pretty strong argument that can be built to support this hypothesis.

What the Grape? Gouais Blanc

There are many under appreciated grape varieties out there that deserve our attention. They deserve a glass to be raised in their general direction and a heartfelt nod of thanks bestowed upon them. It just seems like the polite thing to do. Today, we’ll raise a glass to that little grape variety, gouais blanc, for without its flirty exploits in the vineyard, we would be without some of my, and I’m sure your, favourite grapes. 

On the Road Part II: Chinon

Chinon is a gorgeous little town set on the banks of Vienne River at the intersection of the Anjou-Saumur and Touraine wine regions of the Loire Valley, around 10 km away from where the Vienne joins the Loire River. It is a town that is steeped in history and culture. Its impressive castle was once the home of Henry II, one of the English Plantagenet kings, and his wife Aliénor (Eleanor) d’Aquitaine and their son, “Richard the Lionheart” was born here.

On the Road Part I: The Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is one of France’s most important wine regions. It’s the fourth largest AOC winemaking region in the country with 63,000 ha of wine growing area and consists of 79 individual appellations.

Wine Down Under: Hobart and Coal River

Talk about smashing perceptions and setting the bar high – I came away from my Hobart experience with eyes wide open and wishing I had arranged to spend more time digesting the beauty of the city and surrounds.

Celebrating Women in Wine: Emma Raidis of Raidis Estate

Emma Raidis needs no introduction. Co-owner and winemaker of Raidis Estate for the past 12 years, Emma and her husband Steven are Coonawarra favourites. Growing up in Adelaide, the country’s wine capital, she moved to Coonawarra for love and ended up staying for the region, its people and the wines. And we’re so glad she did.

Funky Wine Words

Imagine a dinner party where you can entertain your friends and confound your enemies with an assault of glorious wine words. The ability to describe a wine with the effortless grace and street cred of Kendrick Lamar may only be a dream to some, but with a bit of groundwork, we’ll have you on the right track in no time at all. It’s time to spice up your wine vocab - take your vinous lexicon to the next level. 

A Guide to Italian Wine Regions: Piemonte

Dear reader. We need to talk. It’s not about us. It’s about one of my favourite wine regions, Piemonte in northwestern Italy. It’s one of those dreamy places that seems to be the perfect confluence of wine and food. As soon as you step foot in Alba, exit your rental car (as coolly as you can), and depending on the time of year you will smell one of two things: Hazelnut and chocolate from the nearby Nutella mothership that dispenses that glorious gooey substance around the globe; or a faint waft of truffle from a nearby restaurant, should the season for the delicacy be in full swing. Both are excellent smells.

Wine Weekends in McLaren Vale

A stunning region nestled between the Gulf of St Vincent and the Mt Lofty Ranges, McLaren Vale is bounding along on the balls of its feet. With more than 80 cellar doors to choose from, sea breezes play a massive part in the area’s Mediterranean climate.

The Homeless Grapes Story

There are over 100,000 people who are homeless in Australia. Many aren’t on the streets, but living in cars with their children, having fled domestic violence. Many are couch-surfing teenagers, being abused by the predators who offer them “safety.” It’s a mental health problem, more than a drugs and alcohol problem, though all and more play a part.

Wine Jedi Mind Tricks

Despite all its good intentions, wine can be hard. It’s wines own fault of course. It tends to throw up barriers and make itself seem more complicated than it should be. All snooty and poncy looking with strange language, implied required knowledge and weird rituals. It is after all a beverage, one that should be a social lubricant. One whose raison d’être is solely to be delicious. That’s it. We humans tend to make things more complicated than they really need to be. 

The Perfect Match: Chardonnay and Cheese

Chardonnay and cheese. Chardonnay is a natural match for so many styles of cheese, because there are so many faces of chardonnay. From the racy unoaked melon-mouths to the oak-slathered butter bombs, let’s explore. And let’s not be afraid. Chardonnay can be confusing, with so many unfamiliar terms (Whole bunch? Wild ferment? Barrel size, cooper, toast level, new or old… or maybe stainless steel or even concrete egg? Malolactic fermen-WHAT? Sulphur or no sulphur. Fine lees, gross lees, lees stirring). Holy moly. That would be a panoply of things even if ‘panoply’ wasn’t my word of the week. Let’s keep it simple, because it doesn’t have to be that hard.

A Wine Bar Crawl Across Melbourne

Wine bars are Melbourne’s lifeblood. Pumping low-intervention pinot through the not-so-secret laneways of the city’s sprawling neighbourhoods. It’s both delightful and overwhelming. 

Secrets To The Ultimate Winter Warmer: Mulled Wine

This should be fun and not overthought (don’t mull it over too much), so I’m going to keep this simple, so you don’t have to keep looking at your iPad. After all, you’re over eighteen if you’re trying this, so I reckon you’ve got this.

A Journey Into Spanish Wine

I wanted to share everything I love about Spanish wine, but the internet just isn’t big enough. And then all of that thinking about Spain and wine made me hungry and so I just decided to curate my dream Spanish long lunch instead. Honestly, what is wine without food?

Bookmark This: 8 Must-Read Wine Books

If you’re like me, and you found yourself hopping around local wine bars, open rooftops and beer gardens this summer, then I can assure you, you’re not alone. During your escapades you may have even found yourself frolicking around wine country every weekend, but now as the weather cools down, as do your adventures; but your passion for all things wine don’t have to. As the temperature drops, swap the platters in the sun for a bubble bath, a glass of red (or two) and some leisurely reading on your favourite hobby - wine! 

Coonawarra: More Than Meets the Eye

Coonawarra needs no introduction. This celebrated wine region is home to world-famous labels draped in history such as Wynns, Bowen, Hollick and Katnook. But today, there’s a buzz of excitement in the air with a new wave of winemakers, movers and shakers making their mark. 

My 5 Most Memorable Wine Experiences

Ah, what a pleasure it’s been to write this article. It’s like reminiscing over past loves, except that none of these wines threw my furniture on the lawn or broke my heart. Well, except one of them...

Good Hunting – Exploring the Hunter Valley

I packed up the car for a two day adventure to Australia’s oldest wine region, the Hunter Valley. A couple of hours from Sydney and just over an hour from Newcastle airport, the Hunter dates back to the 1820s. 

Celebrating Women in Wine: Alexia Roberts of Penny's Hill

 Remember when you were in high school and you had to do work experience? Let’s be honest, nobody actually ends up doing that job, and I had to ask a friend of a friend to actually take me in. Yet Alexia Roberts managed to get work experience at Penfold’s - of all places - and is now a winemaker at Penny’s Hill in McLaren Vale, so it looks like she was on the right track unlike the rest of us. With harvest going on at the moment it wasn’t exactly the most convenient time to catch our winemakers, so we’re stoked they made time for us.

Celebrating Women in Wine: Corrina Wright of Oliver's Taranga

Despite a family history of winemaking spanning some 179 years, we could’ve easily lost Corrina Wright to flying high or fighting crime every other day, such were her childhood dreams of becoming an air hostess, lawyer, or the old ‘anything but a desk job’ path. It’s probably hard to be modest being sixth generation awesome at Oliver’s Taranga winery, but she manages okay, so we’ll toot her horn for her. Before taking on the historic vineyard in McLaren Vale she explored the world for some 10 years. She’s now a highly regarded winemaker and partners with cousin Brioni (cellar manager, often found in thongs driving a forklift with a dog sidekick) to keep churning out absolutely top-notch wines. 

Celebrating Women in Wine: Kate Goodman of Penley Estate

We probably don’t need to tell you that Kate Goodman is making waves in the wine industry. She’s got a CV that packs a punch, featuring the likes of Yarra Valley’s Punt Road Wines (Chief Winemaker), founding her own wine brand Goodman Wines as Director and Winemaker, and of course Winemaker at Coonawarra’s Penley Estate. When people talk about Kate they say she’s one of Australia’s best contemporary winemakers, find out why below. 

Celebrating Women in Wine: Di Miller of Bellarmine

It’s safe the say that Di Miller’s childhood dream of becoming an astronaut slash cowboy is off the cards for now, however from working as a vet in the UK to becoming winemaker for Bellarmine, she’s certainly had an interesting journey. The winery sits in Pemberton, WA, just close enough to Margaret River for a little healthy competition. She’s had a tonne of experience (on top of general gallivanting around the French wine regions) working with various clients in WA’s Great Southern region, before settling down with just Bellarmine back in 2008. Di says the female influence in the wine industry is, quite frankly, ‘enormous’, and is keen to get some equal pay rules in like Iceland did in January. Here’s hoping!

Celebrating Women in Wine: Clare Halloran of TarraWarra Estate

Once Clare Halloran found out being a real life winemaker was a thing, she was in. Turns out you don’t have to be born into it or marry it like the Royal Family. She headed straight for the (Yarra Valley) hills and it was love at first sight. She’s been around the block, spending time with the Mount Mary crew, and is now making kickass wines at TarraWarra Estate. 

What Natural Wine Means to Lou Chalmer

“The attitude of “f*ck them, who cares?” is systemic in the natural wine movement because it really is about who you are and what you want to make. It’s each person making wine in the way that they believe is right, not trying to make it to industry standards.”

Celebrating Women in Wine: Liz Barnes of Star Lane

Liz Barnes may not quite have reached Wonder Woman status on a Marvel level, but she’s making her mark in the wine industry from her (and husband Brett’s) beautiful corner of Beechworth with Star Lane Winery. Words like magic, handmade and estate-grown are thrown around the vineyard - you can practically taste the TLC in each bottle. 

Wine's Greatest Moments on Film

A glass of wine and a movie go hand in hand. Actually, I’m pretty sure a night on the couch watching flicks with your bestie, lover, dog or cat is what people do in heaven. Choose movies with epic wine scenes and you’ve got yourself a party. 

Vino Italiano - An Italian Primer

“I was saying this afternoon that I don’t want to be that wanker who bangs on about how much he loves Barolo now. But I am, I am that guy. And I’m OK with it, I f*cking love the stuff. Especially when paired with lamb cutlets, chocolate birthday cake and the finest of company on a Sunday afternoon.”

Magnificent Mendoza Malbec - A Primer

Mendoza is arguably the most exciting wine region in the world right now, with established names starting to bring the area’s latent viticultural prowess to prominence, while rewarding early adopter consumers with the type of value that only occurs as when demand hasn’t yet hit production yields, while quality is evident. The moral of the story is: jump on and ride the wave before it comes to shore.

Which wine dog are you?

It’s Year of the Dog, and we sell wine. Hmmm... then it’s probably time you find out which dog matches your favourite wine, and is therefore you in a nutshell. You’re welcome in advance.

The Mofo Guide To Storing Wines

Why cellar wines? Because often they’re sold before they’re peaking. Cellaring a wine gives you the chance to drink it at its best. You deserve that chance, so read on!

Tannins | Wine Buzzwords

Novelty bonus fact: Apparently wine tannins resist oxidation in the body and are thus very good for your health. Therefore, wine = health. 

Orange Wine | Wine Buzzwords

If you’re a fan of Orange wine or just simply want to learn more about this fun and exciting variety, get your hands on our latest mixed case here. 

A Day In Marlborough

Spending a few days visiting wineries in Marlborough was, as far as ‘work goes’, one of the better weeks I’ve had on the job. I tagged along on a buying trip, which translates to meeting a lot of winemakers, which translates to talking a lot about wine, tasting a lot of wine and exploring vineyards. Dream job? Pretty much. 

Blind Drunking: JD vs John, Marlborough

The scene was Marlborough, a morning at Grove Mill estate to be precise. The boys were surrounded by lush purple hills and the scattered remains of empty sauvignon blanc tasting glasses. Between them sat one mystery bottle of wine. The battle was on. 

A Savvy B Journey Through Marlborough

There is no wine more divisive than sauvignon blanc amongst the team here at Vinomofo. We love to hate it at Mofo HQ, and our CEOs proudly wear t-shirts with ‘Death Before Sauvignon Blanc’ printed on them. 

60 Seconds with Pip Goodwin

Pip Goodwin is the CEO of Palliser Estate, a legendary Kiwi vino outfit working out of beautiful Martinborough. Besides being a bona fide lady boss, she’s also got a tonne of winemaking experience under her belt dating all the way back to a trip to Burgundy. So watch out, mofos, we’ve got the real deal here. 

Beyond Savvy

Marlborough is synonymous with sauvignon blanc. As a brand, it has been one of the great success stories of the modern wine world and there’s no sign of it slowing down. It accounts for 86% of New Zealand’s wine exports and really, they just can’t get enough of it. 

Would You Like To Taste The Wine Sir?

“Would you like to taste the wine?” A seemingly innocuous question that strikes fear into the hearts of so many. Those seven words can tear down even the most robust foundations of self-confidence. You’re on the spot. All eyes turn expectantly to you, and you’re thinking… “Well I dunno, what am I supposed to say?”

A Primer to French Wine

For many of us, our connection with France hasn’t expanded much further than the ability to say “voulez-vous couchez avec moi, c’est soir?” either whispered at the back of French class or shouted on a booze-fuelled Contiki tour through Paris. We’re not known for our linguistic talents, but perhaps if we were introduced to French wine in high school our attention would’ve increased tenfold. 

The Mofo Guide To Ordering Wine

There should be no more stress in choosing a wine than there is in choosing your meal. That being said, there’s nothing more horrific than having to choose between the pork belly and the salmon, and even then at least you know what you’re talking about.

Bubble Trouble: International Champagne Day

October 20th is our favourite day on the calendar. Yes, it’s a Friday this year, but more importantly it marks not only International Champagne Day, but also Snoop Dogg’s birthday. And on this most holy of days, it’s only fair we take the advice of Snoop and drop, no, pop it like it’s hot. Or, if you’re living a bit further south, like it’s warming up at the very least.

Why is there chocolate in my wine?

Wine is awesome. The flavours, the textures, the layers, the weight, the heat, the twists and turns as it opens up inside your mouth and inside your mind. That is sexy stuff and I don’t care if it sounds wanky. It’s awesome. And it’s real, if you let it in. To really get it, you’ve got to understand compounds so strap yourself in because I’m gettin’ scientific on your ass (with a little help from Google).

Blind Drunking - Corrina vs Justin

On this episode, we pit mofo boss JD against Corrina Wright, Oliver’s Taranga winemaker and vino judge extraordinaire. It was 9:30am, there was one mystery bottle, and about 1000% Singapore humidity. 

Long Wine-dy Road: Camp Cookouts with Chef Dave

As a whole, our camp skills are pretty ace but they do fall short in the kitchen. We’re simple creatures, and rice and tuna can satiate us for days on end in the bush, but not even the most delicate, fruity wine will get our taste buds revved up after the third bowl of rice for the day. It’s this cuisine cluelessness that forced us to take our good mate Chef Dave Powell away on our latest trip out bush. It even inspired us to create our own collection of wines that we reckon go with camping life: The Long Wine-dy Road. Click here to check ’em out.

Just chill: stop overthinking the perfect wine serving temperature

Stop overthinking the perfect wine temperature and forget the numbers. Enjoying your wine at its optimum temperature doesn’t have to be a science experiment. Once you have these simple habits under your belt, you won’t even have to think about temperature any more, you’ll just be enjoying your wine that much more.

What's The Point?

Ever wondered what those shiny medals and points assigned to wines mean? Probably not. It’s pretty self-explanatory, right? The more points the better the wine. And yes, points are allocated to wines based on qualitative measures, but for the consumer one important question remains – so what?

48 hours in Beechworth

After a truly boutique wine experience? Head to Beechworth. Here you’ll find some of the most humble and hardworking wine folk willing to show you first hand the heartache and joy involved in making small batches of incredible vino. It ain’t glamorous and you’ll have to book appointments to arrange tastings, but it’s worth it because this region is as real as it gets when it comes to soul-stirring wine.

Happy International Grenache Day

Happy Grenache Day! I bet you didn’t know that was a thing. Yep, apparently there’s a day for everything. There’s even a movement to get Fairy Bread Day up and running here in Australia. That’s a stretch, but we’re all for celebrating wine so Grenache Day is fine by us. So, on its special day you’re invited to grab a glass and raise a toast as we share with you a few things we love about grenache. It’s a bit like a 21st – complete with awkward speeches – but with better wine. 

Fresh Kiwi Vino (other than pinot)

There’s no doubt that New Zealand is killing the pinot game. Spicy, fruity and undeniably delectable, ask any pinot fan about Kiwi juice and they’ll start raving. In fact, the pinot is so damn good it’s almost doing a disservice to the wine industry, because it’s way too easy to forget that New Zealand churns out some remarkable red wines other than pinot. But we’re gonna find ‘em.

The Rise of Rosé: A Hashtag Journey

It’s official: the pink drink has blown up worldwide. First it was the French, then the Spanish, and now the whole world is tickled pink over a refreshing glass of rosé. To give you an inkling as to popularity of this lil’ drinkling, these days the French actually consume more rosé than white wine. But what led to this meteoric rise in popularity?

VIDEO: Vinomofo Meets Penfolds

Chief mofos Justin and Andre were jostling in the boardroom last week when the phone rang. It was the big dogs from Penfolds: “We’d like you to taste our new vintage icon wines before they’re released”. Cue fist pumps and heart palpitations. Bags packed, the lads headed to the hallowed halls of Penfolds (Magill Estate, South Australia) to taste a line up of some of the world’s most distinguished vino.

Biodynamic | Wine Buzzwords

Welcome to the next leg of our journey to make sense of vino vocabulary. Today, we’ll be tackling a term that’s shrouded in mystery and a fair bit of scepticism: biodynamic wine. Among the preferred poison of wipsters (aka wine hipsters), biodynamic vino is made using a philosophy that’s free of chemicals and tuned into the cosmic forces of the universe. But the question is, does it really make a difference to the juice in your glass? Well mofo, let’s look into a crystal ball and see.

Top 5 Wine Bars in Sydney

When it comes to the best wine bars in Australia’s Harbour City, we asked our seasoned Sydney sippers at Mofo HQ for their personal recommendations. Whether you’re a local or on a mini-vacay, make sure you add these fancy five to your itinerary and soak up the best food and wine the city has to offer. 

Recipe of the month: Dark chocolate bourbon mousse

Today, the world will unite in celebrating one of history’s greatest traditions, World Chocolate Day. In honour of this blessed event, we’ve upped the game on this month’s recipe to bring you a delight of true indulgence: Dark Chocolate Bourbon Mousse.

VIDEO: 60 Seconds with Tim Preston

We dropped by Mills Reef in Tauranga (NZ) on a pretty bloody cold August day. We were, admittedly, quite hungover from the night before and collectively unenthused at the prospect of a day spent drinking more alcohol. That was until we tasted Tim Preston’s first class pinot noir. 

DOC and DOCg | Wine Buzzwords

Welcome to the next leg of our mission to make sense of confusing wine words. In the last edition, we explored ‘terroir’ and it ties in neatly with what we’re looking at here. Why? Because if terroir encapsulates the reasons behind the unique tastes of different wines, then DOC and DOCg are the letters used in Italy to help protect those distinctive flavours. 

Top 5 Wine Bars in Melbourne

“I’m a sucker for shellfish, so anywhere with an oyster happy hour is my idea of heaven! It’s my fave place to sit on the street and people-watch while sipping on the sea and a chilled glass of riesling. But the real reason I come here is the welcome I always receive from the charismatic proprietor Jay Bessell. His enthusiasm is infectious and his Italian-inspired wine list is as stylish as his sassy cravats. I love everything about the place, from the elegant contemporary European decor, underground cellar-come-private dining room and extensive list of wines by the glass, to the cheese board, stunning pastas and smiling wait staff. This place just feels so good and it’s home to some of my best food and wine memories. For me, this restaurant really comes into its own in winter because you can shut the door on the cold and be transported to a place as warm as the Tuscan sun.”

Fortified wine | Wine Buzzwords

Welcome to the next leg of our journey to make sense of wine words. In this edition, we’ll be travelling back to a time when fortified wines ruled the world, and finding out what they are and why they’re still worthy of celebration today. 

VIDEO: 60 Seconds with Penny Jones

On our recent expedition down south with the legends at Lonely Planet, we dropped by for a chat with Tassie wine expert, rowboat champion and head winemaker legend, Penny Jones.  

Behind the Lens: A trip through Tamar Valley

I love the old cliche that the journey is half the adventure, or half the fun, because in my line of work – it couldn’t be truer. I’m a photographer, have been for a decade now, and some of my most treasured moments on the road are those that often go unseen. The shots that don’t make the glossy pages. Or in the internet world, the header image. 

Vintage - Does It Really Matter?

In short, yes it does.  The weather, consistent or volatile, cool or hot, shapes everything that happens in the vineyard, which gives the winemaker the grapes to play with.  

Destination: Tamar Valley

Sitting on the boot of our rental car, passing around a bottle of pinot and some sandy cheese, we knew we were in a pretty fortunate position. Waves rolled onto shore in front of us and the sun set over the headland to our left. There was only one problem, a little hiccup in our itinerary – we were bogged. Beached as, bro. Up to our axles in soft sand on a deserted beach somewhere on the North Tassie coast.

5 Amazing Facts on International Sauvignon Blanc Day!

On 24th April the world will unite in celebrating possibly the most ubiquitous white wine in the universe - sauvignon blanc. While Sancerre is its spiritual home, New Zealand is the source of the savvy that’s taken the world by storm. There’s something about its distinctive ‘slap you in the face style’ that wine lovers can’t get enough of and wine nerds love to hate. 

Hip Hop and Wine: A History

Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly if your rap level is expert, the hip hop scene actually has a well-rhymed history for pairing sneakers with syrah and bling with barrels. Forget those five fingers of Hennessy, what they love is getting around a good glass of vino. Thug life, wine life, same same. 

48 hours in Waiheke Island (NZ)

Incredibly beautiful, insanely accessible and with a microclimate to rule them all, it’s no wonder Waiheke Island is one of New Zealand’s most favouritest wine regions. We jump the ditch to spend 48 hours driving a ute and drinking vino (not at the same time and always with a designated driver, obvs) around the best of the idyll’s best. 

What your favourite wine says about you

In an image driven world first impressions count, right? It’s why we agonise over an outfit that says “ideal candidate” at a job interview or cultivate a look we hope will turn heads (in a good way). What we look like and buy into says a lot about us; in my case the current ensemble of Melbourne crafted jeans and Jack Wills jumper screams mainstream preppy with a penchant for hipster denim. And it’s the same deal with wine.

Best BYO restaurants in Sydney

“This place is vying for pole position as my all time fave BYO in Sydney. Not only are their pizzas the most authentic this side of Naples, but they don’t charge corkage - bellissimo! I just love the vibe in here, it’s always rammed with families, afterworkers and tight-arses on first dates. I must of eaten here 50 times or more because those crispy, thin bases, and super-fresh, genuine Italian flavours are hard to pass by. Pack a prosecco, a good sangiovese and let the good times roll.”

VIDEO: 60 Seconds with Andrew Santarossa

Andrew Santarossa is a killer winemaker with a killer laugh. It lies somewhere between a guffaw and a chuckle. It’s infectious. Even more so when he’s in the middle of telling you about the first time he got drunk, and how it was on some serious Penfolds juice (classic wino in the making...). 

48 hours on the Mornington Peninsula

When it comes to weekends of pure indulgence, there are few destinations more appealing than the Mornington Peninsula. I fell in love with the place a couple of years ago, tempted by its natural beauty and seduced by its wines. It’s a love affair that continues to deepen as return visits reveal layers of charm. From wild and secluded surf beaches to soothing hot springs, DIY beach picnics to day-long degustations, the region is irresistible.

VIDEO: 60 Seconds with Dan Sims

Dan Sims is an Aussie sommelier legend. With a few profanities thrown in. King of Revel (formerly known as Bottle Shop Concepts), his wine ethos is simple - don’t overthink it. A mantra we particularly enjoy here at the ‘Fo. We also enjoy hitting the town, and the juice, at his first-class wine events - Game of Rhones and Pinot Palooza. Sound familiar? They will if you’re a vino hound. 

VIDEO: 60 Seconds with Steve Webber and Leanne De Bortoli

Steve and Leanne are the parents everyone wishes they had (which is super lucky for our customer service guru, Kate, considering they actually are her folks). A powerhouse winemaking duo from the Yarra Valley, these legends openly admit to getting a little tipsy on spumante in their younger years, drinking red wine in 44 degree China heat and believing that all wine is better with food and good friends. 

48 hours in the King Valley

When it comes to Italian varietals, I’m like a moth to a flame and the King Valley is my favourite region to burn two days. Just 3.5 hours from Melbourne, I’m poppin’ prosecco, learning how to cook like nonna and sippin’ sangiovese over a perfect sunset before camping under a billion stars.