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Making Canterbury sparkle: Melton Estate

It’s time to raise your glass because “Meltonia” méthode traditionnelle sparkling wine is here!



The 2017 vintage sparkling wine was created using entirely estate-grown grapes from West Melton.

The classic French technique ‘méthode traditionnelle’ (traditional method) is a proven process for producing quality sparkling wine. While the fermentation in the bottle takes longer, good things come to those who wait!

Melton Estate is also about making your event sparkle. Birthdays, engagements, weddings and even larger functions, are all great excuses to pour a glass at Melton Estate.

Although, who said sparkling wine was only called for because of a big hoorah. Everyone enjoys bubbles and now you can enjoy a local méthode and indulge in an enjoyable few hours sipping away among the vines.

You are warmly invited – even encouraged – to venture out to the winery and restaurant, and cellar door on Weedons Ross Road, West Melton.

What better way to celebrate our expanding bubble than with some bubbles? Cheers to that.


In your glass: Big Daddys

A sophisticated tipple never goes astray. Metropol writer Nicholas Henare discovers the best drops at Big Daddy’s liquor stores this month.

I catch up with Big Daddy’s regularly to see what’s new each week, and see first-hand the great pride taken in making sure that the world’s finest whiskies, gins, liqueurs, champagnes and so much more are brought to you.

A whisky-loving friend had doubts that Big Daddy’s collection could be as diverse as his taste, but his jaw dropped as we perused the stock at the Blenheim Road store. It isn’t just about surprising even the most elite of beverage connoisseurs, even if you don’t know your Laphroaigs from your Glenmorangies, a great drink awaits you at a great price so everyone can enjoy something special.

So as the Scottish say when raising a glass, Slainte!


Teeling Blackpitts Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Chatting with Martin Lynch from Teeling, he says inspiration came from gold medal winning Teeling single malt, triple distilled. Using smoked peat to dry the barley, this whiskey is for the connoisseur looking for a very peaty flavour.

700ml $99.99


The Macallan 12 Years Double Oak

This forms part of the Double Cask range which marries the classic Macallan style and the unmistakable sweetness of American oak. This is a fully rounded single malt in perfect balance, with flavours of honey, citrus and ginger.

700ml $129.99



The Glenlivit Illicit Still

Inspired by our origins and made how our liquid was first crafted in the early 1800s, this drop is aged 12 years to perfection. Bottled at 48 percent abv, this limited-edition malt has not been chill filtered, giving you an authentic taste of history.

700ml $69.99


H Lanvin & Fils Champagne 

Champagne, the best of bubbles. A pale, gold champagne colour with fine notes and continuous bubbles. Fruity and sweet with notes of plum and raspberry jam, warm brioche and honey. Fresh and soft on the palate and finishes with a lemon flavour.

750ml, $39.99


Kraken Spiced Rum

The Kraken is an imported rum from the Caribbean. Named after the sea beast of legend, the rum is strong, rich, black and smooth. Aged in oak barrels for 12 months, and with aromatic notes of cinnamon, ginger and clove. Excellent by itself, fantastic in an exotic cocktail.

700ml $59.99


World-first bubbles!

Just when you thought there was nothing better than bubbles, Champagne Lanson went and made bubbles better, with the world’s first fully organic and biodynamic champagne – Lanson Organic Brut NV.



Biodynamic farming is the haute couture of food production. Based on a set of farming principles developed in the 1920s, it is understood to conserve and energise the soil, producing healthier plants.

“Working closely with our growers in the Marne Valley in the champagne region of France, we have crafted our champagne to be fresh and vibrant whilst retaining the heritage style of Lanson and meeting strict regulations to be labelled organic and biodynamic,” says Champagne Lanson President François Van Aal, who flew in from France to launch the new Lanson Green Label Champagne within the lush surrounds of Amazonita, on Oxford Terrace.

Time-consuming and expensive, biodynamic principles are a significant step-up from simply being organic.

Lanson Organic Brut NV is produced using organic grapes grown exclusively on an estate vineyard at Verneuil, in the heart of the Marne Valley.

“Committed to organic and biodynamic cultivation for many years, the vineyard is dedicated to protecting the ecosystem and respects the balance between soil, plants and humans,” François says.

“As per the Lanson style, this wine doesn’t undergo malolactic fermentation with the long maturation period offsetting the high levels of malic acid in the champagne.”

In keeping with the new product’s commitment to sustainability, the bottles are light-weight, the labels are made of recycled paper and the champagne is also vegan-friendly and vegetarian.

Lanson Organic Champagne is only available exclusively in Christchurch and sold in two on-premise accounts and one fine wine retailer across the city.

“We are proud to be one of only two accounts in NZ to be selling Lanson Organic Champagne with the opportunity to share with our guests,” Amazonita General Manager Josh Peat says.

“The wine expresses fresh, fruity and elegant notes which we have paired with the best organic produce. Our canapés of Clevedon oysters, Mount Alpine cured salmon and organic tempeh enhance the minerality and long finish of the champagne.”

Toast to champagne

At this time of year, we are turning our heads to celebrations; Christmas parties and family get-togethers. Regardless of the event, nothing says celebration like the most prestigious of wines: champagne.



A severe set of winters in the 49th parallel north in the 1600s saw the French offloading late-fermenting, sweet – about 30 grams of sugar per bottle – slushy pink bubbly stuff to the English. Surprisingly, they started to really love it.

It wasn’t until Dom Pérignon refined the process in 1662 and the invention by the English of a bottle that could take the pressure of the bubbles that the beverage began to take its modern form.

Today there are 260-odd champagne houses in France and each has a rich history; from the story of Clicquot, a woman widowed at 30 with a young baby who invented the riddling process and built a fierce empire, to the tale of Jean-Rémy Moët who became famous as a supplier to Napoleon and his armies.

Most champagne is comprised of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier, but what champagne is best, and why? What do you choose for that special moment when you celebrate?

I’ve been fortunate enough to taste some of the best that the world of champagne has to offer and it all comes down to personal taste and style. At a recent Laurent Perrier masterclass, I sampled the Cuvée Rosé, Grand Siècle, the Ultra and La Cuvée; all stunning champagnes but I found base champagne the Ultra was my favourite. My go-to is Veuve Clicquot but many of my friends prefer Moët or Dom Pérignon. The choices per brand are also wide. Do you go for a vintage? A rosé? A Brut? Here are some highlights that stand out for me this Christmas.

Moët & Chandon is set to unveil its holiday-season collection to mark the 150th anniversary of its flagship expression, Moët Impérial. This limited-edition bottle is dressed for the holidays in a shimmering gold leaf sleeve. Veuve Clicquot Pencil and Clicquot Pencil Rosé also have special cases, one that keeps your bottle chilled for up to two hours! Then there’s the biggie, the new limited-edition collaboration between Dom Pérignon and Lenny Kravitz. Dom Pérignon is 2008 vintage only – it’s hard to get hold of and retails for $300.

Napoleon Bonaparte would take Moët to each battle. After all, he was said to say, ‘In victory you deserve it; in defeat you need it’. Salut!




LOUIS Champagne Bar

The place to be: LOUIS Champagne Bar

“We have a saying around here,” LOUIS Champagne Bar Owner Jason Whitelaw says.


LOUIS Champagne Bar


“A party without champagne is just a meeting.” With twenty-five premium champagnes, delectable oysters and a menu specially designed to keep the party atmosphere going, LOUIS is where the cream of the crop will be celebrating this Cup Week.
If you were unfortunate to miss out on tickets to LOUIS’ fabulous race day breakfast, there are still plenty of other opportunities for dining, drinking and partying, including the famous Mumm Champagne after-parties (Tuesday 13 and Saturday 16 evenings) where there will be DJs and Magnum upgrades.

If bubbles don’t appeal, LOUIS have a good selection of wines, cocktails, beers and more.
Enjoy the Euro-chic ambience and sophisticated atmosphere that is Louis; 123 Victoria Street – the only place you need to be seen this Cup Week!