I love the fact that most stores have delegated separate areas for wines from different countries of origin. There are French, Californian, Spanish, and Italian sections, and it's funny how if there's an Australian section, wines from New Zealand are usually ― and somewhat rashly ― thrown in. It's not that there's no correlation, it's just that wines from the two countries are totally different in character.
They typically bear little resemblance in price as well: New Zealands can be very pricey. Known for a big, over-the-top styles of winemaking, New Zealand has rapidly carved out a niche as one of the world's premiere regions. The wines are fashionable and very marketable ― the wine bar where I work serves New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc by the bucketful, and its popularity just seems to increase weekly.
No surprise then that finding reasonably priced New Zealands can be a chore, but luckily there are some gems out there that won't break the bank. Oyster Bay winery out of Marlborough produces a remarkable 2010 Sauvignon Blanc priced under $10. Its character is a beautiful balance of the grassy, expressive style New Zealand whites are known for, fused with an understated Old World minerality. The palate is clean and refreshing, green apple, honeydew melon, and zingy pear, with active acids and a long, crisp finish. It's perfect for seafood or Thai, or to just drink on its own while dreaming of New Zealand, which to me, conjures visions of sheep. On second thought, I'll dream of Hawaii.