Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wine & Dine: New Zealand

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It's been awhile since I hosted my usual monthly wine dinners... not to mention having a nice glass of wine! But tonight I co-hosted a wine dinner while my friend Kelly took the lead in preparing and hosted the wine tasting. The theme for this month's Wine & Dine dinner was New Zealand wine and paired along with "Kiwi cuisine."
Kelly selected the following wines to showcase New Zealand... and from the reactions, they were a nice selection that paired really well with the potluck dishes our guests brought in to share. Here are the wines that were highlighted:

 Red Wire Hawkes Bay
Tasting Notes: A great, well structured red with juicy berryfruit and plum, underlined with spicey oak. Sweet fruit and firm but supple tannins make this wine a worthy accompaniment to many occasions.  This wine is lightly oaked and blended from Hawkes Bay Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The tannins are fine and supple and make this an approachable red blend with elegance. Perfect with grilled meats, pizza and pasta dishes.

Yealands Pinot Noir Marlborough
Tasting Notes: This elegant Pinot Noir exudes fresh cherry and spiced red fruit characters with an underlying savory note. The palate is soft and supple with soft silky tannins.
Gunn Estate 2009 Unoaked Chardonnay
Tasting Notes: Fresh white flesh peach and citrus blossom with hints of dried pineapple. The palate is fresh and clean with flavors of peach and rockmelon (cantaloupe), it is well balanced with a clean lingering finish.

Saint Claire Vicar's Choice 2007 Riesling
Tasting Notes: This light-bodied Riesling shows distinct characters of citrus, limes and grapefruit on the palate. Supported by a slight mineral note, this wine has a nicely balanced acidity that leads through to a smooth lingering finish.

Drylands Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Tasting Notes: Light yellow in color, with greenish hues highlight the brilliant clarity of the 2007 vintage. A rich bouquet of gooseberry and passion fruit fill the nose while your palate is tantalized by rich, ripe tropical and herbal flavors. Intense gooseberry and passion fruit result in a vibrant burst of flavor. Excellent weight and balance on the palate linger on a crisp, refreshing finish.

With such an excellent choice of wines, we had an equally delicious feast of New Zealand inspired dishes. Guests brought in various dishes to share, all of which were inspired by New Zealand. Here's a sampling of some of the dishes we enjoyed with the wines and recipes will be posted all this week!

Savory Meat & Potato Pie
 


Steamed New Zealand Mussels


Salmon Chowder


Spring Salad with Mushrooms


Tropical Grilled Chicken with Pineapple Salsa


Teriyaki Marinated Venison Kabobs


Passionfruit "Slice" Bars


Fresh Blackberry Topped Pavlova

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