Hi Yvonne, we hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year. You’ve had a lot of success with Thirsty Work. Some people are a little unsure of food and wine matching. What are your food and wine matching tips as a starting point for a complete beginner?
Righto, here are some of my never-fail food & wine combo’s: Roast Chicken or Turkey – grab a nice, juicy chardonnay, one with a bit of body and toastiness. However if your bird has a fruity, nutty, spicy stuffing then a pinot gris with a hint of sweetness is the business. Roast Pork or anything featuring ham or bacon – definitely go a Viognier (vee-yon-yay) – it’s just perfect. Spicy Asian, Indian or Mexican food? Go for gewürztraminer all the way. Game meats go Pinot Noir and everything else is red. Nuff said.
Summer is the season most Kiwis dust off the BBQ and start cooking and eating outdoors. What are your top five foods to cook on the BBQ, and which beverages do you like to enjoy with them?
OK this is easy because I cook EVERYTHING on the BBQ – but these are my Top 5.
- Crayfish tails slathered in garlic and herb butter – a glass of good sparkling NZ Methode Traditionnelle.
- Mussells with a mixture of garlic, chilli, fish sauce, palm sugar and lime juice spooned into them as they open – Classic Marlborough sauvignon blanc of course!
- Sticky Chinese-style five-spice spare ribs – a glass of juicy pinot gris.
- Butterflied leg of lamb studded with garlic and rosemary – a luscious, lipsmacking Central Otago pinot noir is the perfect partner.
- Large chunks of pineapple rubbed with rum, brown sugar and mixed spice, wrapped in foil and sizzled on the hot plate – heaven with a glass of toffee-laden, marmalade late harvest Riesling.
In Thirsty Work, you visit some of New Zealand's best beer, wine and cider producers and explore the history behind them. Can you give us some pointers to making the most of visiting these places over the summer months? Are there any must-attend events we should know about? (events for Jan & Feb)
Straight away, sunny Nelson is the place to be if you like the idea of sipping fine wine whilst listening to groovy jazz – the Nelson Jazz Festival has concerts on the Lawn at Woollaston Estate on Jan 5th and 6th. Plus if you’re a Pinot Noir fan you need to get your tickets to Pinot2013, which kicks off in Wellington on Jan 28th – 31st. Oodles of tastings, masterclasses, seminars and general jolly japery – and it only happens every 3 years. Plus you need to get to the Marlborough Wine & Food Festival on February 9th.
We have some great dessert recipes this month such as Muscovado Brandy Snaps with Lemon and Passionfruit Curd and Raspberry Mille-feuille using in season fruits. What are your suggestions for dessert wine matching?
Well you don’t get thighs like mine without eating a few desserts, so I can consider myself an authority on the matter. The key is to make sure the wine is sweeter than the dessert. So if you have something chocolatey, then go a sparkling shiraz, or perhaps a port. But if there’s citrus involved then a late harvest Riesling is a superb option while something like sticky date pudding or pavlova or anything involving caramel, then choose a noble Semillon. Amazing.
If we could teleport you there right now, where would you most like to go for dinner and an icy cold beverage?
I would love to hurtle back to our family bach at Waimarama Beach in Hawke’s Bay. Hopefully the lads would’ve taken the boat out and got some plump gurnard and big crays and I’d love to sip a glass of Nautilus Methode Traditionnelle whilst pottering in the kitchen, creating a summer feast for my family.
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