This week, Alice is smitten with a seasonal twist on an old favourite, and Henry happily quaffs a Provençal rosé.
GARAGE PROJECT PERNICIOUS YUZU WEED
8%, 650ml, $16.99 from Fine Wine Delivery Co
Pernicious Weed is OG Garage Project, one of the original 24 beers the Wellington brewery boldly released over 24 weeks to announce its arrival in 2011.
The name comes from a sick burn levelled at hops during the moral panic brought on by their arrival on the brewing scene in 1500s England — it was feared this “wicked, pernicious weed” would lead to the downfall of civilised society.
Fittingly, this double IPA is a delightfully hoppy number, celebrating New Zealand’s Rakau and Nelson Sauvin.
Caution is to be advised when it comes to messing with a classic, but this is Garage Project, so we’re in safe hands.
Yuzu, for the uninitiated, is a small, fragrant Japanese citrus fruit. In Japan they like to chuck whole yuzu into their baths to celebrate the winter solstice. This sounds delightful, but I can confirm that chucking yuzu into beer — or the results of it, anyway — is also delightful.
Of course the good folk of Garage Project didn’t merely chuck some yuzu into Pernicious Weed — they conditioned the masterpiece on yuzu zest and juice from fruit grown in Horowhenua. First brewed a couple of years ago for the Queenstown NZ IPA challenge, it’s now an annual seasonal release with a very cool label, and understandably, it’s bloody popular.
The citrus flavour is subtle but it seems to mellow out the intense hoppiness of the original PW a touch. I know I say this about most hoppy 8 percenters, but it’s dangerously drinkable — fresh, tangy and fruity and just really, really, really tasty. It’s possibly the perfect beer.
Verdict: Zest in show
MIRABEAU EN PROVENCE CLASSIC ROSÉ 2017
$17.90 from Fine Wine Delivery Co
It’s here. The sun is shining in that way you can feel rather than just see. The days are almost (but not quite) long enough to eat fish ‘n’ chips at the beach after work. The blanket you pull over your duvet is being kicked to the floor. The sweatshirt you still wear to work in the morning sits sadly on the floor getting caught in the wheels of your desk chair. Yes, it’s here – rosé season!
Loyal readers will know my general approach to rosé – even the bad ones are usually good – and this pale pink French wine, made from grenache and syrah is, like, a lot better than bad.
Mirabeau is from a British family who left a comfortable corporate existence in “leafy” London to live in Provence, perhaps inspired by that classic book of English complaining, A Year in Provence (which I’ve never read but I think it’s about an Englishman getting annoyed that life in southern France isn’t as idyllic as he’d hoped, or something like that).
Anyway, their ‘classic’ rosé is as dry as rosé tends to come without sacrificing its summer berry-ness. It’s almost (and I realise this is a word people tend to use when talking about wine) sour, but in a citrus candy way with a subtle herbaceousness. It’s light, versatile (I drank it on its own and with a mushroom and bacon pasta) and very, very drinkable. Almost too drinkable.
Verdict: Drink (responsibly) any day, any time between now and March.
The Spinoff’s beverage content is brought to you by Fine Wine Delivery Co, which is completely and utterly devoted to good taste, whether it’s wine, food, craft beer, whisky, rum… Check out their website or pop into one of the two Auckland superstores.