Sommelier’s Recommended Australia & New Zealand Wines

What better way to acquaint yourself with the volcanic landscape and lush forests of New Zealand and the multicultural verve and wild outback of Australia than with some wine? Whether you are dreaming of exploring the vineyards of Auckland and sipping wine harbor-side in Sydney — or are simply in the mood for some wine from Down Under, we have some delicious choices for you. Read on for our sommelier’s top three selections!

Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc

Marlborough, New Zealand

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Winemaker’s Notes | This crisp and vibrant wine has aromas of fresh snow peas, zesty limes, and freshly picked herbs such as thyme and sage. On the palate, juicy acidity is balanced with flavors of melon, passion fruit, and ruby grapefruit, capturing the essence of Marlborough.

Pairing Suggestions | Perfect with any seafood, especially freshly steamed mussels

Available in the Grand Dining Room

Deakin Estate Shiraz

Victoria, Australia

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Winemaker’s Notes | Deep, vibrant red in color. Nose is full of berry fruits including blackberries and mulberries with alluring notes of malt, almond, and mocha. Palate is rich and juicy with ripe dark berry flavors and well-balanced oak. The palate shows good structure with medium tannins and a lingering finish.

Pairing Suggestions | Baked lasagna, hearty beef and stout pie, roasted rack of lamb, or an aged sirloin topped with a red wine sauce

Available in the Grand Dining Room

Yangarra Estate Cadenzia

McLaren Vale, South Australia

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Winemaker’s Notes | This Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre blend is deep red with intense perfume and elegance. The nose is a mix of beetroot, cherries, and crème caramel. Flavors of blackberry, bing cherry, mulberry, plums, nuts, and subdued oak flavors slowly taper off to a lingering finish. The flavors are rich and lush with black fruits and silky tannins. Airing the wine reveals characteristic flavors of dark chocolate, flint, dried roses, and lavender.

Pairing Suggestions | Grilled pepper steak

Available in the Grand Dining Room & Red Ginger

Cheers, mate!


Guest Post: Relics of Gondwana in Australia

By Guest Lecturer Dr. Ken Beattie, PhD

Australia, the amazing southern continent, has much more to offer than kangaroos, koalas and Uluru.  Australia’s land surface was part of a much larger land mass for most of its history – first as Pangaea, when all continents were amalgamated into one supercontinent, and then it was followed by the great southern continent, Gondwana.  The island continent didn’t occur until its separation about 45 million years ago. This massive movement over an extreme timeline birthed Terra Australis with its ever-changing populations of animals, plants and peoples. The Australian relic rainforests offer a unique glimpse at what this region of earth was like millions of years ago, before humankind was here.



Rotorua sits in the middle of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, a highly active volcanic area in northern New Zealand that attracts visitors from all over the world. Marina has been sailing the coast of New Zealand this week, and yesterday guests got an up-close look at the remarkable effects of this geothermal hot spot at Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland, about 15 miles south of Rotorua.