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For worthy eating and drinking experiences around Wellington, NZ (and the greater region) – you can also catch Heather out and about hosting Zest Food Tours around the city…

Archive for the tag “pinot noir”

Pinot and Prosciutto

I was recently invited to the Cloudy Bay launch of Pinot May, with a ‘masterclass’ by local ‘platter artisan’ Kate Marinkovich. I like Kate’s style (think Tomboy), so was interested in what tips and advice she might have about styling the perfect platter.

Pinot & Prosciutto .jpg

Pinot May challenges chefs to craft a dish matched to one of their Pinots. Previously this has been a Pinot and Duck match, but this year they’ve switched it up to Pinot and Prosciutto, matched to either the 2015 Cloudy Bay Pinot or the 2015 Te Wahi Central Otago Pinot.

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The Te Wahi grapes from Central Otago are the same grapes as those planted in Marlborough, transported by cold refrigeration immediately after picking to the Marlborough winery, and made using the same equipment and same hands as any other Cloudy Bay Pinot. And yet end up tasting quite different from the Marlborough brethren – a good example of the terroir impact.

Prosciutto.jpg

We enjoyed a history lesson from Exec Chef Eric Lee of Foxglove about the history of dry-cured meats with some amusing snippets (being mostly monounsaturated fats, these pigs are often referred to as walking olive trees!) and some new facts (Prosciutto is latin for ‘sucking out’ moisture). I discovered a new favourite Jamón Ibérico from black Iberian pigs raised on the Iberian peninsula of Spain and Portugal.

Kate plattering.jpg

So without being a spoiler for the class repeating on Wednesday 16 May at Foxglove (bookings here), I can say that you’ll craft and eat delicious platters, learn interesting information about both Pinot and Prosciutto, and be inspired to see what Foxglove, the Intercon and Grand Mercure put together as their Pinot matches this month.

Running throughout May.

 

 

 

 

Pinot May – Tequila Joe’s

2016 is the inaugural Catch Pinot event, courtesy of the Visa Wellington on a Plate team. To celebrate the pinots that come out of the Wairarapa region, restaurants across the region have free reign to match them to whatever food they like. To be as creative as they fancy.

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Given I like the unusual and slightly out-of-the-box, my first stop was Tequila Joe’s (more below), but some of the others that take my fancy are:

  • Afrika’s crocodile tail gumbo – crocodile meat soaked in lime juice and grilled, with wok-fried maize and salad. With a Pencarrow Pinot Noir.
  • Coco at the Roxy’s glass of Paddy Borthwick Falloon Block Pinot Noir 2014 with a culinary cocktail bringing together a new way to experience Pinot Noir – a modern fun cocktail experience with molecular gastronomy and a side serving of childhood nostalgia (intriguing!).
  • The Larder’s duck confit with pomegranate molasses, confit gizzards, roasted cauliflower, liver and chestnuts. With a Porters Estate Pinot Noir.
  • One80’s masala lamb cheeks, sago sandige, and mango mint chutney. With a Russian Jack Pinot Noir.

So Tequila Joe’s. A fun Mexican taverna and cocktail bar near the corner of Vivian and Tory. I’d spotted their maytag fries (never heard of them) with Applewood smoked bacon (ditto) and exclusive gorgonzola bleu cheese sauce, matched with a Paulownia Estate Rose 2014. Definitely in the I-can’t-imagine-how-that’s-going-to-work category.

The Rose was so delicious on its own, I damn near hoovered it all up before the dish arrived – off-dry and with plenty of body and flavour, so a more intense Rose than I’d expected – but I did manage to control myself and enjoyed it with the dish as well (and the ‘Death Rides a Pale Horse’ blonde ale we sampled was pretty fine too!).

The maytag fries are a crispy waffle cut fry imported from the USA (took a month to get here), as is the Applewood smoked bacon, while the bleu cheese sauce is made just for TJ’s. Because the Rose was richer than expected, and the smoked bacon and bleu cheese more subtle than expected, the flavours actually met and melded well. The waffle-cut chips gave great texture and crunch against the softer bacon, with the only issue being the bottom chips sogging before getting to them (I can confirm the plate was clean at the end though!).

And it would have been rude not to finish with the recommended apple cinnamon churros, right? Also light, crispy and flavourful. And refreshingly different to the norm.

So there you have it, a match that I thought couldn’t possibly work.

Here’s the full line-up of offerings to whet your palate further.

 

 

Wellington on a Plate 2013 (Part 2)

And so it continues.

This week included the Hummingbird Craydaddy burger, the Le Cordon Bleu Haute Cuisine du Terroir, and the Ti Kouka dine set menu.  Mmmm mmmm.

Craydaddy

The Craydaddy burger didn’t quite reach the score of the Moolander or High-5 sliders of last week, but was still pretty good.  Their hand made bun was delicious, the cray tender and fries suitably both crispy and feathery. There could have been a little less mayo in the burger for this kid to showcase the cray even further, but I freely admit to a low tolerance of fatty things so I might just be the minority on that thought.

The LCB evening was fantastic, interesting and long.  The intended three-hour event took nearly five and I’m sure all parties were feeling it by the end!  The students did a superb job, with each of the seven courses (plus palate-cleansing gorgeous pear granita, so really eight) hand-crafted and effortful.  LCB ham hock terrine

Dishes included warm goats cheese gougeres, ham hock terrine (check out the presentation in the glasses),  confit pave of salmon larded (stuffed) with smoked eel, roast breast of qual on duck ballontine, snail and parsnip millefeuille, and on it goes….

The point to the evening was french food matched with both a french bordeaux and a Martinborough equivalent at each course (other than first two) for comparison of old to new world.  The winemakers each introduced their wines and spent the night doing a kind of speed dating around the tables to chat to guests.

LCB wine colours

It felt like there were many courses with pinot noirs (but in reality only three), a kir, a gewurtztraminer, chardonnays, and a sticky/method traditionelle comparison finale with the dessert.  Such pretty colours in the glasses at times when comparing.  My favourites – the french chardonnay and the Palliser Estate Methode Traditionelle with the cassis bavarois.

What a big and wonderful effort from LCB. Look out for other events from them in the future.

 

And Ti Kouka?  Quintessential, clever Ti Kouka.

My picks from the ‘dine’ menu (as the burger had run out, doh!) – Wairarapa Eco Farm Jerusalem artichoke soup with pulled Longbush pork and Zany Zeus smoked yoghurt (so I still managed to get some of that delish pork!), and pear and ”Willis Street” sticky honey pudding with Pinnacle Grove walnut crunch.

Ti K artichoke soup

I think I now rest.  As do all the providers who’ve worked like crazy people to bring us this wonderful event.

Long live WOAP!

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