$14 Lindauer, $15 Brut take out top sparkling spots in New World Wine Awards

Great news as we head into the silly season - a humble $13.99 bottle of Lindauer has beat out other sparkling wine contenders to win one of the top spots in this year's New World Wine Awards. 

The top 50 winners of the annual judging were announced on Monday after an independent panel spent three days tasting over 1100 wine entries earlier this year. 

Each wine will be available on supermarket shelves for $25 or less. 

According to organisers, New Zealand-made wines have taken 42 of the 50 placings in the list this year, the 19th the competition has been run. 

Several of those are much-hyped sparkling wines dubbed standouts by judges, including a well-known brand Kiwi consumers might be surprised to see up listed among the winners. 

But the Lindauer Special Reserve Rosé, which retails for only $13.99 on supermarket shelves, was dubbed "sophisticated yet approachable" by judges and given 96 points out of 100. 

Other sparkling winners included another bubbly rosé: Graham Norton's Own Prosecco DOC Rosé from Norton's Invivo range, the first time a prosecco/rosé blend has been able to hit the top 50 after the Italian government gave approval for Pinot Noir to be used in Prosecco last year. 

A third sparkling to make the top 50 is stalwart Verde Brut. Made with Gisborne Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes - the same varieties made in Champagne - this again falls under $15 and has been awarded a top spot many years in a row.

NWWA co-chair Sam Kim said Aotearoa has had a surge in popularity in sparkling wines over recent years. 

 "We are making better sparkling wines at every price point, and you don't need to spend a king's ransom to enjoy quality bubbles," he told Newshub

"And not just local examples, we are drinking more imported ones too, as the growth in overseas sparkling wines has grown around 80 percent in the last ten years." 

Kim said the "seriously good" sparkling offerings in the top 50 mean they're much more accessible to Kiwi shoppers than in decades gone by. 

"Of course I can't think of anything other than sparkling wine to toast at a special event, but it is also a gorgeous food friend on everyday occasions," he said, adding sparkling wines are "fabulous with nibbles, tapas and antipasto platters". 

"Fresh seafood and summer salads are of course perfect with it, and due to sparkling wine's bright freshness, it's also great with oily foods such as loaded fries, fish and chips and fried chicken."