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Sauvignon Blanc from Malborough


Natho
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So I have been converted to white. In particular the sauvignon blanc from malborough in new zealand. It is definitley the best wine experience of my less than thorough wine drinking. And being in australia, we get mountains of it for relatively cheap. So my question is, what would be the best foods to match it with?

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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I spent about two years when, for some strange reason, those New Zealand whites were the only ones I drank. I liked them when they tasted like grass. I drank them with just about anything except red meat, which I pretty much wasn't eating at that time. By some quirk of fate I developed a congruent fondness for risotto ("Oh...risotto again?"). The bottle was opened just as I started the onion sauteing. The first glass went into the pot after the rice cooked for a minute. The next glass was consumed during the annoying stirring/broth adding time. The third glass my husband drank when he got home and got the cheese-grating job. The second half of the second bottle was my cocktail hour the following night--it's very good with salty peanuts! And fish. Or even creamed spinach.

But you are having high summer right now, so I would make a date with a dozen oysters and a hot porch and a very cold bottle. Then I would put some shrimp on the barbie. Wait--I''ll be there in 14 hours! It's dark and windy and rainy here in CA. My Sauvignon Blanc/risotto phase was about ten years ago and I thought the value of those wines was great. The prices have really gone up here the last few years, so you're lucky...cheers!

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Funny you should mention that... I just started on my rissotto phase :laugh:

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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These sorts of wines are also great with a simply dressed salad.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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As it is summer here in New Zealand, we are drinking lots of Sav Blanc right now!

Most often it is paired with seafood, salads and poultry dishes at our house.

If you can get hold of some NZ green lipped mussels, steam them with some Asian flavours and serve with the wine...a great match! Just dont overdo the chilli and do add coriander. Its lovely with salmon especially. Try serving with citrus/garlic based sauced food. And risotto...oh yes! Divine with lemon risotto. Had some last night with asparagus added, and enriched at the end with cream and eggs. We had a Wither Hills 2007 Sav Blanc with that....just went and hauled the bottle out of the rubbish bin to check which one we demolished. :smile:

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My husband buys me a bottle of wine from my NZ homeland for my birthday every year, and we've just enjoyed the latest - Cable Bay 2006 Sauvignon Blanc.

It's absolutely typical NZ Sauvignon Blanc, I think (I'm not an expert, and have been away from NZ so long that I only get an occasional chance to taste more recent wines).

At 13% alcohol by vol., it's higher in alcohol but also more fruity and aromatic than the SBs of my youth, which were lighter, but also grassier.

The Cable Bay SB was also green, but more like crushed leaves from a spicy bush than outright grass. Very citrusy, (I thought) and none of the sometimes faintly bitter or harsh aftertaste you can get with some sharp wines.

A definite bottled "WAKE UP!!!!" call of a wine! I enjoyed it.

As for food pairing, I think one of the reasons that NZ SBs have become popular is because they are rather easy to drink with almost anything - you aren't going to squash them in a hurry.

When I think of this particular wine, for some reason I think of crab and lobster ( :laugh: but more realistically I should be dreaming of something like eggplant parmesan or pumpkin soup or a funghi risotto or Japanese mixed rice dish...maybe pasta cooked with broccoli rabe?). In other words, things with lots of flavor, but for myself, I wouldn't want competing sharp flavors, or something like a hotpot or curry where the aromas will drown out the fragrance of the wine.

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I love it with raw oysters--the herbal notes blend with the taste of the sea in the oyster and eventually cleans the palate and prepares it for a fresh new one. Sea, salt, fresh herbs--great experience.

Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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Unfortunately, I don't do oysters. It seems as though, judging by popular opinion, I am rather missing out. I was thinking it would go lovely with a lychee, lime and ginger sorbet..

"Alternatively, marry a good man or woman, have plenty of children, and train them to do it while you drink a glass of wine and grow a moustache." -Moby Pomerance

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Good Marlborough SB's at USD $10-$12 retail (Matua Valley, Brancott, Kim Crawford, etc.) have been taking the SF Bay Area by storm on restaurant lists and supermarket shelves despite competition from major US wine-producing regions located nearby. Fresh wines with an edge of steely acid balanced by various citrus and sweet-pepper flavors, mercifully not over-oaked. (You can even see that aspect in the color, which tends to the greenish-yellow typical of natural SB wines.) Pairing-wise they could almost be cousins of European Rieslings, where fruits, minerals, and sometimes elements of sweetness (with or without actual sugar) balance an acid backbone (especially in the Mosel).

A thread like this surfaced on another forum, but in the opposite direction: Given some dishes (initially chicken Piccata with lemon and capers), which Marlborough SBs to recommend? I've found them beautiful with sautéed fish and beurre-blanc, but more generally, versatile all-around food wines. The balance makes them agreeable by themselves before dinner, while the acid and complexity go with all sorts of foods. Cold-buffet stuff (cold meats, cheeses, nuts, raw vegetables, smoked fish), grilled sandwiches, many things.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...
Had a glass last night with some Monte Enebro goat cheese from Spain. Outstanding combination: the lemony taste of the cheese perfect with the grass/hay and green apple in the wine.

Thanks for the suggestion. :smile:

I've paired various French goat cheese with white Loires per suggested classic wine/cheese combinations and it is indeed very good. Thanks for reminding me to try this again. I like NZ sauvignon blancs and while they have a quite a different profile than French sauvignon blancs I think it would be great to try them out this way.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Had a glass last night with some Monte Enebro goat cheese from Spain. Outstanding combination: the lemony taste of the cheese perfect with the grass/hay and green apple in the wine.

Thanks for the suggestion. :smile:

I've paired various French goat cheese with white Loires per suggested classic wine/cheese combinations and it is indeed very good. Thanks for reminding me to try this again. I like NZ sauvignon blancs and while they have a quite a different profile than French sauvignon blancs I think it would be great to try them out this way.

One of the best things NZ sauvignon blanc did for me was lead me to Sancerre. It is much more food friendly and drinkable year round--much better than California Chardonnay , in my opinion. It is the way the French grow and make wine from savignon blanc. I do love my Marlborough SB in the summer!!

Cooking is chemistry, baking is alchemy.

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