20 great wines for under $20

Last updated 05:00 05/12/2013
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Have a grape-lover in the family? Well you can get them a gorgeous Christmas gift without breaking the bank by drinking in this award-winning list.

Below are 20 wines that were awarded Gold Medals (as you'll see, on a budget we do white wines best in NZ) at the recent Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

At the awards, pinot noir was actually the strongest performer, getting 22 gold gongs (although they're all a touch over budget); while sauvignon blanc was the second strongest grape - winning 20 gold medals. This year, 1,379 wines were entered across 16 different classes and only 111 were awarded gold medals... so the drops below are truly first class: 

TOP 20 WINES FOR UNDER 20

1. Kate Radburnd Berry Blush Hawke's Bay Rosé, 2013, RRP $17.99

WHY? Smoked salmon and cream cheese will work beautifully with this delightful, crisp rosé.

2. Spinyback Riesling, Nelson, 2013, RRP $17.99

WHY? Flinty, racy and restrained with a mouth-watering finish, this is a delicate beauty.

3. Clark Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2013, RRP $16.95

WHY? Fresh oysters and this crisp, green sauvignon will be perfect partners.

4. Corbans Homestead Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2012, RRP $17.99

WHY? Very attractive; peach, feijoa and snow peas, and a lush palate.

5. Dashwood Chardonnay, Marlborough, 2012, RRP $19

WHY? Fruity, intense and creamy with bright acidity; should be great with seafood chowder.

6. Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc, Malborough, 2013, RRP $19

WHY? Striking and powerful; packed with passionfruit and feijoa, and a super-lengthy finish.

7. Highfield Riesling, Marlborough, 2012, RRP $19.50

WHY? Gorgeous aromas of white peach and mandarin. Elegantly sweet; rich yet refined.

8. Hunter's Marlborough Riesling 2013, RRP $18.90

WHY? A lovely aperitif style; elegant lemon aromas and a fine, juicy palate.

9. Kuru Kuru Sauvignon Blanc 2013, RRP $19.95

WHY? Beautifully expressed showing elegant herbs and citrus with a lovely balanced palate.

10. Mount Riley Gewürztraminer, Marlborough, 2013, RRP $17.95

WHY? Succulent and silky; mango, floral and spice aromas: delish with Thai beef salad. 

11. Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2013, RRP $18.95

WHY? Stone fruit and capsicum flavours with richness; brilliant with Thai fishcake.

12. Rossendale Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2013, RRP $15

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WHY? Intense flavours of peach, citrus and fresh herbs, backed by bright acidity.

13. Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2013, RRP $19.50

WHY? Beautifully weighted; citrus and herbaceous notes, serve with seared scallops andpea purée.

14. Sanctuary Pinot Gris, Marlborough, 2013, RRP $17.80

WHY? Delightfully fragrant and succulent, served with a Caesar salad this would be excellent.

15. Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2013, RRP $19.95

WHY? Lively and fragrant; ripe and abundant, there's plenty of peach, lime and fresh herbs here.

16. Torea Wines Pinot Gris, Marlborough, 2012, RRP $19.95

WHY? European styled; baked apple and peach with a full-bodied palate.

17. Two Tracks Pinot Gris, Marlborough, 2012, RRP $15.99

WHY? Bright and refreshing with apricot and floral, try this with sushi and tempura.

18. Terrace Edge Liquid Geography Riesling, Canterbury, 2012, RRP $19.50

WHY? Complex and generous, showing baked apple, citrus and subtle sweetness.

19. Corbans Homestead Riesling, blend of regions, 2012, RRP $17.99

WHY? Zesty and floral with feather-light weight and whispering sweetness.

20. Giesen Riesling, blend of regions, 2013, RRP $18.99 

WHY? This lush, opulent style will be brilliant with smoked fish pâté.

PLUS, WIN!

To celebrate the Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013 we have twin packs of this year's Gold Medal winning wines to give away. A team of expert judges tasted their way through nearly 1400 wines this year with 111 being awarded a coveted Gold Medal.

Considered to be the premier wine competition in the country, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards recognises excellence in winemaking. For more visit www.airnzwineawards.co.nz and to win simply email lifeandstyle@stuff.co.nz by 5pm today with the name of your favourite NZ wine.

Good luck! 

- Stuff

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