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  • Try Something Different: The Wines of Sicily

    Sitting just at the end of Italy’s boot, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, and is one of Europe’s oldest viticultural regions. The island has more vineyards, and more indigenous grape varieties than any other region of Italy.

    With its volcanic soils and warm climate, Sicily has long been renowned for its red wines especially. Sicilians have an amazing number of local grape varieties to work with, including the famed Nero d’Avola, Nerelo Mascalese, Frappato, and Nerello Cappuccio, to name but a few, though common international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz and even Chardonnay are increasingly being planted in Sicily.

    NERO D’AVOLA – SICILY’S ICONIC RED GRAPE

    If this grape isn't on your radar, it should be! Named after the city of Avola in the far South of Sicily, this grape excels in the warm conditions, with the ability to soak up plenty of sunshine and produce powerful fruit-lead wines with added complexity of pepper and spice character. As a result, it is often called Sicily’s Shiraz, and with the influx of international grape varieties, many Nero d’Avola/Shiraz blends can be found on the market, the two grapes complimenting each other well.

    Mont'Albano Nero D'Avola 'Terre Siciliane'
    Full bodied, rich wine with smooth tannins. Delicious plum and earthy blackberry flavours.

    There are very few plantings of Nero d’Avola overseas, but with its ability to cope so well with hot dry conditions, there are experimental plantings in South Africa, and Australia. We have an excellent example from up-and-coming South Australian winery Unico Zelo who specialise in producing wines from
    Italian varieties.

    Unico Zelo ‘The River’ Nero d’Avola 
    Proudly from some of the most ancient soils on this earth - The Riverland, a complete underdog region that epitomizes what it is to craft fine wine on the edge. Rich red earth, sandy soils covering limestone. A succulent, juicy, aromatic and supremely refreshing wine.

    Don’t just take our word for it, the ancient winemaking traditions of Sicily are back on-trend! NZ Chef Ben Bayly and Auckland Restaurateur Michael Dearth (The Grove, Baduzzi) visited the island last year and selected a number of wines for their tables, including the estate of Tasca in Regaleali…

    Tasca "Guanaccio" Perricone 
    Perricone (or Guanaccio) is one of Sicily's lesser-known indigenous grapes, and we're delighted to have this powerful example on our shelves. Ripe and fruit-forward with thick extraction and rich spiced texture. Perfect with steak or lamb.

    SICILIAN NATURAL WINES

    Sicily has been instrumental in the resurgence of ‘traditional’ winemaking techniques in recent years, with Natural wines made in Roman era clay amphorae becoming found as far afield as New Zealand –Pyramid Valley winemaker Mike Weersing ferments some of his in these large clay vessels “wines from the clay have more umami character and complex aromatics."

    COS Frappato 
    This now-legendary natural wine producer was formed in 1980 when three school friends Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti and Pinuccia Strano started experimenting with grapes from their families’ vineyards. The entry to their range, this straight Frappato is light and plush but with so much intensity, complexity and style it is full of cherry and raspberry fruit, herbal and floral notes, and sappy tannins.

    Occhipinti SP68 Terre Siciliane Nero d’Avola Frappato
    Arianna Occhipinti says that her love for wine was sparked when at the age of 16 she went with her uncle (Giusto Occhipinti of COS) to huge wine trade fair Vinitaly. Probably the most well-known of her wines, the SP68 red is purple/red in the glass showing aromas of wild cherries, plum and mulberry with just a touch of raspberry lift. There are hints of flowers, leather, smoke, spice and herbs with wafts of liquorice, earth and mandarin rind. In the mouth the initial attack of fruit is awash with wild cherry sheathed in tobacco leaf with supporting fruit flavours of dark plum and blackberry.

    Shop online for delivery nationwide, or visit us in store to see our full range of Sicilian wines!

  • In Season: Good Boy Pears

    Good Boy Pears are grown by Otaki Orchards in the Horowhenua Region – owned by Murray and Christine Gibb.

    The Horowhenua region has long been recognized as one of the finest areas in New Zealand for quality pear production.  Blessed with a temperate climate, fertile soils and even rainfall throughout the year, conditions in the area are ideally suited for horticulture.

    Otaki Orchards’ 30 year old, 2500 tree orchard on the Ohau floodplain sits on three metres of highly fertile silt loam. Combined with a gentle climate this provides ideal growing conditions for the fruit.

    The horticultural industry is highly regulated with the aim of providing assurances that produce is fit for purpose and production is sustainable.  Otaki Orchards is fully certified under the New Zealand Good Agricultural Practice (NZGAP) accreditation system.

    The yearly pear-growing cycle begins with winter hand pruning which takes two months. Beehives are brought into the orchard during the short pollination season in the spring.  Some pears are self-pollinating, but the addition of other varieties into an orchard block increases the chances of pollination and improves yield.

    From late November through till February workers are continually hand thinning the crop. This is necessary because each fruiting bud produces up to seven flowers, each of which can grow into a pear. Large thin skinned varieties like Taylors Gold are thinned down to singletons. Buerre Bosc and Packhams are thinned to bunches of three or four.

    From mid-February pears are tested for ripeness, measuring starch levels, brix (sugar) and the pressure in the fruit.  This year has been a difficult season. The wettest spring on record was followed by the coolest summer in 30 years. Harvesting didn't start until well into March – much later than normal.

    Four varieties are grown in the orchard:

    Taylor’s Gold – rich, sweet flavour and creamy flesh. Holds its shape beautifully when cooking. Put them in a sauce with meats or in a pie or tart.

    Bosc
     – the dense flesh stays crisp and moderately sweet. Great eating and recommended for cooking.

    Packham
     – really robust, a delicious crisp and fleshy pear great for eating. A family favourite in lunch boxes but also well-suited to cooking.

    Winter Nelis - these arrive later in the season. While they are mainly grown as pollinators, their sweet juicy flavor and buttery texture is sought after by pear
    aficionados.

    Pears are picked for ripeness based on sweetness and pressure tests. After harvesting the fruit are, ‘cool-stored’ at minus 1°C for a period, which prepares it for physiological ripening.

    Remember, pears do not fully ripen on the tree. If you prefer riper fruit, store at room temperature for up to 10 days after purchase. Different people like to eat their pears at varied stages of ripeness. Some like well a soft well ripened pear with plenty of juice flowing with each bite. Others prefer to eat their fruit earlier at a more crunchy stage.

    Experiment with the pears you have bought and find out which level of ripeness suits your taste buds.

    If you want to speed up ripening, put your pears in a brown paper bag with other ethylene producing fruit such as apples or bananas.  Pears will keep for several weeks under refrigeration.

    Otaki  Orchards staff have worked very hard to produce quality fruit and despite a trying season they’re very proud to present this years’ crop for you to enjoy.

  • La Boca Loca's Chicken Mole

    This dish is guaranteed to impress your dinner guests and it’s much simpler than it seems. Combining the bitterness of chocolate, the richness of pecans, the savour of spices, and the heat of árbol, pasilla, ancho and negro chillies, Mole con Pollo is a real flavour explosion. Balanced by a simple base — the classic choice is chicken — served with beans and rice on the side, it is the kind of dish your friends will beg you to make over and over.

    Recipe by Lucas Putman and Marianne Elliott from La Boca Loca, as featured in the Moore Wilson's Recipe Collection.

  • Fix & Fogg

    In 2013 Roman and Andrea Jewell took a chance on leaving their corporate lives behind to dedicate themselves to crafting something both meaningful and delicious. When they set out to become the best peanut butter makers in the world it was a big risk, especially as they were just starting their family together.

    Roman and Andrea see their business as a journey which is why they named it after Detective Fix and Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. Fix and Fogg is not built around the notion of selling large amounts of peanut butter, but “first and foremost loving what we do, doing it properly, and giving back to the community that supports us.”

    operating out of a small ‘nut buttery’ in central Wellington, Fix & Fogg produce small batches of peanut butter by hand from freshly roasted peanuts.  Their peanuts are the Runner hi-oleic variety, and they're extra dark roasted to bring out the full nutty flavour.  Hi-oleic means they have a high proportion of omega 9 (monounsaturated fat), which has been linked to reducing cardiovascular disease and lowering cholesterol.

    Fix & Fogg are accredited by Conscious Consumers for their commitment to recycling and reducing food waste and, in central Wellington, peanut butter deliveries are made by cargo bicycle. Each month they donate peanut butter to a number of local charities

    Four delicious varieties of Fix & Fogg peanut butter are available from Moore Wilson’s:

    Super Crunchy - The crunchiest of crunchy of peanut butters.  This peanut butter is a true labour of love - crunchy pieces are milled separately then hand sieved to achieve the perfect bite. Also available in a double-size 750g jar for super PB fans!

    Smooth – F&F worked hard to calibrate their grinding plates so that their Smooth peanut butter retains a particular viscosity.  The end result is a beautifully smooth peanut butter that retains the essence of its core nutty ingredient.

    Dark Chocolate - Batch roasted Super Crunchy peanut butter has been carefully blended with single origin Ghanaian dark chocolate to create something very special. Try spreading this peanut butter on toasted brioche, dolloped on pancakes or ice cream, or eat it straight off the spoon for a quick fix.

    Smoke and Fire - A journey of flavours… smoky start with a lingering hot finish. Smoke and Fire combines Super Crunchy peanut butter with New Zealand grown organic cayenne chillies, natural Manuka smoke from Central Otago and Spanish smoked paprika.  Try it on sourdough with avocado and tomato, with a soft goat's cheese or add it to your satay sauce, burger or roasted veggies.

    You may also see delicious limited release flavours in store from time to time so be sure to keep an eye out!

    2017 Awards

    Fix & Fogg took home two awards from the Life & Leisure Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards:

    - L'affare Outstanding People's Choice Producer
    - Outstanding Producer Earth Crafted for F&F Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter

  • Capitol's Banana Frangipane

  • Old-Fashioned Pickled Onions

    Recipe from In a Pickle by Kirsten Day.

    These were always a go-to snack when I was growing up, and were stored in a large pottery crock on the sideboard. They are a delicious extra on a cheeseboard or in a cheese sandwich. They need to be started the day before, as they are salted overnight before making.

    Makes 2 x 1L Jars

  • Elemental Bitters

    Established in 2016, Elemental Distillers is the brainchild of Ben Leggett, a New Zealand born freelance drinks writer and international spirits ambassador with a passion for the unique and boutique.

    After 13 years working in the UK and EU drinks industry representing luxury spirit brands from cognac to scotch to gin, Ben launched his own brand of cocktail bitters in the UK to great success.

    Now back in his home country and inspired by the global craft spirits boom, Ben aims to open Marlborough's first dedicated craft distillery and help establish a global reputation for New Zealand spirits built on naturally grown, local ingredients.

    Elemental’s goal is to produce premium spirits and liqueurs in small batches, from the finest of homegrown ingredients.

    To achieve this they work closely with independent farmers and cooperatives to ensure they get the finest quality ingredients from those who know and grow them best.

    The first products in the Elemental portfolio are a range of aromatic bitters, designed with the cocktail in mind. All are made entirely by hand in batches of less than 250 bottles with no artificial sugar or colouring.

    Grapefruit and Hops

    A refreshing aromatic cocktail bitter macerated with zest from ripe Gisborne grapefruit and organic Motueka hops from Nelson. A compliment to any refreshing cocktail or mixer.

    Blackberry and Balsamic

    An aromatic bitter essence created in the tradition of old English 'shrub' cordials. A perfect marriage of house dried Karaka blackberries and tart pomegranate balsamic vinegar; perfectly balanced to compliment any rich fruit cocktail or mixer.

    Coffee and Pimento

    A slow maceration of medium roasted coffee beans from the highlands of Ethiopia, enhanced with a touch of blackstrap molasses and spicy pimento. An aromatic bitter to perfectly compliment any matured spirit whether neat or in a classic cocktail.

    Available from Moore Wilson's Wine, Beer & Spirits or shop online for delivery nationwide.

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