The First Date natural wine bar pop-up at Cupple Coffee, Hastings, NZ

natural wine new zealand

The First Date natural wine bar pop-up at Cupple Coffee, Hastings, NZ

On Saturday night, travelling companions Mel Brown, David Brookes and I popped into a natural wine bar pop-up First Date at Cupple Coffee in Hastings, Hawkes Bay. This was billed as Hawke’s Bay’s first natural wine bar event, and so we were really keen to check it out.

Food was from Restaurant Chimera, who are Auckland based but specialise in pop-up events. It was really good, although they’d run out of a few things by 7.30 pm.

The wines were a mix of natural things from Hawke’s Bay, plus some other Kiwi naturals, plus some international references. We drank really well. New Zealand needs a stronger natural/authentic wine scene, and it’s good to see it emerging.

This Pinot Gris is from Amy Farnsworth, and it’s made with no added sulphites. It’s a skin contact wine and it’s delicious and expressive. Organic.

The Huntress is made by Janine Rickards, winemaker at Urlar in Wellington Wine Country. Janine likes to hunt. This, her Huntress 2018 ‘Waikura’ Rosé, is a relatively dark wine with lots of intense fruit. Lots of colour from whole-cluster ferment. Impressive and food compatible.

Halcyon Days: a collaborative effort from husband and wife team Amy Hopkinson-Styles and Ollie Styles. Somewhat coloured, cloudy rosé style with lots of perfume, grainy intensity and some structure. Delicious stuff.

This needs little introduction: so intensely juicy, grainy and smashable with incredible fruit intensity. Really lovely stuff.

This was being sold below retail. It’s very approachable and elegant. My note

Pyramid Valley Vineyards Earth Smoke Pinot Noir 2015 North Canterbury, New Zealand
Sweet, ripe and textured with silky, fine strawberry and red cherry fruit. Such a seamless wine with fine grained structure and some herby notes. Lovely acid line, too. Very subtle green characters in the background bring out the fine fruitiness. 94/100


‘Minus 220’ refers to the fact that theres no E220 (sulfur dioxide) added. From Hayden Penny of the Supernatural Wine Co, this is fabulous. My note:

Supernatural Skin Fermented Sauvignon Blanc Minus 220 2018 Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
This has no added sulphites, and displays lovely perfumed melon and apricot fruit with some spice, and textured pear and citrus fruit. So lovely. 93/100


Mel and Brookesy. Top travelling companions.

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