New Zealand Marlborough Moko Black Pinot NoirAs Oxfordshire breaks into January with the accolade of coldest place in the UK this winter so far, Dry January is not our answer. We need some warming up. Enter stage left our first wine of the month for 2017: Moko Black Pinot Noir.

This largely typical New Zealand Pinot Noir is light yet fruit-packed on the palate. Perhaps it lacks the complexity of the Otago Pinot Noir. But it makes up for this with its peppery finish and Grenache-like punch.

Moko Black is a Marlborough Pinot Noir – that’s a vineyard benefitting from a slightly warmer climate and flatter plains. It’s also a vineyard that consciously controls crop levels and fruit production. As artisan as global wine production can be, Moko Black Pinot Noir grapes are processed in small batches. This maintains the quality of the procedure and the resultant wine.

Unsurprisingly, in its light complexity (how’s that for a juxtaposition in your mouth), it can cope with weightier flavours, spices and meats. It’s a good red wine accompaniment to aromatic dishes, richer sauces and red meats. Yet it also works if you like a bouncy sipping red wine as a pre-dinner drink – it will certainly pique your interest. If you know New Zealand Pinot Noir well, it still has the ability to surprise and delight – trust us!

Obviously it’s no Malbec or Shiraz, but if the heavy tannins of these big reds are too much for you, you’ll appreciate the lightness of a New Zealand Pinot Noir while being blown away by the flavours and scents they provide. There’s a real sense of fresh red fruits without the headache!

Available by the glass (175ml and 250ml) and by the bottle throughout January. Let us know what you think…