WELCOME

Top Tastes is designed to help you find the best food and beverage venues and products; whether you want delicious fish chips, beautiful café food in a winery setting, finely crafted formal dining, food ideas, wine reviews or cocktail recipes this is your guide to the best New Zealand has to offer.

Top Tastes was created by Neil Hodgson and managed by him, he has invited other writers to contribute to the site, this means more regional information will be added as time goes by. You will find a range of opinions, reviews and recipes from people who know their stuff when it comes to food and beverage.

Only reviews written by this select group will be published on the site (you are welcome to leave comments of course) so you will be able to trust the review – no fake reviews, no ranting, just good information to help you choose great things to eat and drink as well as the best places to eat out.

THE LATEST REVIEWS

Nelson Chardonnays and Colin Harrison Trophy winner

For the last couple of years Old House Vineyards has been placed second in the competition with fruit grown on their vineyard in Old House Road and turned into delicious wine by winemaker Pat Stowe. Owners, Ian Bathgate and his wife Jeanne relocated from the U.K. with their two sons several years ago and bought a former Spencer Hill vineyard.

Dichotomy

This month, folks, we are exploring the theme of dichotomy. It’s a very cool word and I don’t often get to use it in casual convo. It also rhymes with lobotomy but that’s not particularly relevant.

FEATURED ARTICLES

Nelson Chardonnays and Colin Harrison Trophy winner

For the last couple of years Old House Vineyards has been placed second in the competition with fruit grown on their vineyard in Old House Road and turned into delicious wine by winemaker Pat Stowe. Owners, Ian Bathgate and his wife Jeanne relocated from the U.K. with their two sons several years ago and bought a former Spencer Hill vineyard.

The perfect spicy croquettes by Ben Smith

was great to be able to order click-and-collect or contactless delivery food when we were under level 3 conditions and I hope you supported your local restaurants and takeaway businesses, they worked hard to ensure we were able to enjoy their food in a safe manner.

Lockdown in Christchurch

We also know how much the hospitality sector hurts during Covid lockdowns so when Level 3 restrictions kicked in we decided to do what we would do at home, buy at least two or three click & collect meals each week from a restaurant, café or takeaway place in Christchurch to support the sector. I hope you’re doing the same in Nelson.

Harry’s Prawn Cocktail

Harry’s Fish Shop has become one of our favourite places to buy lunch, we love the hand-crafted nature of the takeaway food, everything is cooked fresh by a couple of chefs rather than being pre-made and put into a self-service cabinet.
Photo b y Daniel Allen

Gnocchi Romaine by Aaron Ballantyne from Hopgood’s & Co

Carrying on with my theme of asking some of my favourite local chefs to give me a tasty yet simple recipe you can cook at home this week’s recipe is supplied by Aaron Ballantyne, Head Chef at Hopgood’s & Co.

Grandma’s Baking from Carol Shirley

Last year Carol Shirley from Beachside Conference and Events Centre and Gourmet Catering shared several of her favourite baking recipes on her Facebook page so I asked her if she would send me a couple of her favourites to share with you.

TOP WINES TASTINGS

We’ve put together a team of experts who have a passion for writing about food and beverages.