New Zealand is a paradise of tropical beauty and discretely isolated in the south Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people of Māori continue to inhabit New Zealand with sovereignty. These native’s voyage, coming here over a century ago from their Polynesian homeland of Hawaiki. Time and respect have brought everyone closer, and now one in seven New Zealanders identify as Māori. Their legacy, language, and cultural traditions have significantly influenced the identity of every citizen of New Zealand. Wine has been a recent addition to the Kiwi landscape, but lighter bodied and cooler geared varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir have been thriving. Nearly 20 years ago, it seemed as if anyone with two acres had their go at growing their grapes, and for a good reason, it makes deliciously crisp wine.

Second Wind Sauvignon Blanc

This bottle has expressive notes of passion fruit, grapefruit, lime, peppery gooseberry, and wet stone minerality. The wine has brilliant acidity with a light body and is dry. The Sauvignon Blanc would pair well with seafood because its light body will match in equal intensity. A glass of this wine would also pair beautifully with a chevre, which is tangy soft goat cheese. The acidity will balance between the cheese and wine, making for a lovely combination.

Old-Bay Crab Cakes

If you ask anyone from Maryland, they will tell you that old bay flows through their veins like the mighty Potomac River floods into the Chesapeake Bay. Old Bay was made in Maryland for Shellfish and should always be on hand when making crab cakes. It lends the crab meat salty, peppery and smoky flavors and aromas of mustard, mace, and turmeric. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc’s peppery notes complement this dish’s spice profile, making for a deliciously refreshing pairing.

Cooking Tips:

  • Make sure that all bits of shell are removed before forming. This occurs in canned crab meat occasionally.
  • It tastes and cooks better pan fried. Use a neutral oil at 375° until golden brown
  • The mixture should be formable and not loose. Adjust with more crab or bread if the mix is too wet. Beat an egg or two and add to the mixture if it is too dry and crumbly.

Bougie- Sauvignon Blanc

This bottle has notes of tropical fruit, grapefruit, lime, hay and river rock minerality. The wine has bright acidity with a medium to light body and is dry. The Sauvignon Blanc would pair well with fish and vegetarian dishes because its light body will match in equal intensity. A glass of this wine would be accompanied well with Manchego, which is a tangy firm goat cheese. The zip of the cheese and wine will line up, making for a pleasing pairing.

Pan Fried Flounder Lemon Butter Sauce

Fried Flounder is one of the many staples of New England Cuisine. It is firm and yet delicate and flakey, which makes it excellent for pan-frying. The fish is seen at nearly every fish shack served with a lemon. Squeeze the citrus over the fish to brighten up the dish. The citrus notes lent by the lemon will complement the same notes found in the Sauvignon Blanc, which will make for a delightful food pairing.

Cooking Tips:

  • Ask your fish monger for whole fillets that are roughly the same weight so that they cook evenly and are similar portion sizes.
  • Your fish should not smell more than your arm after a light workout. If it is very fresh it might even smell sweet.
  • Season your fish after frying not before. Salting before draws water out of the fish which will make the oil react violently. Salt immediately out of the oil with fine grain salt so that it sticks.

Stratum Pinot Noir

This bottle has perfumed notes of red cherry, raspberry, mushroom, and potting soil. The wine has zesty acidity, light tannins, medium body, and is nice and dry. The Pinot Noir would pair well with chicken and pork because its medium body will match in equal intensity. A glass of this wine would be accompanied well with a baked Camembert or Brie, which is a soft dairy cow cheese served after being warmed in an oven. This cheese will be a wonderful canvas for an elegant Pinot Noir.

Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken

There is nothing more impressive and easier to cook than a roasted chicken. Much of the amazement will come from not drying out the chicken, which can be easily avoided by using a thermometer. Next, they will be impressed by the amazing perfume from stuffing the chicken with herbs. Finally, a quick rub of butter will brown nicely on the skin of the chicken. The herbs used to cook a roasted chicken will complement the same notes found in the Sauvignon Blanc, making for a beautiful pairing.

Cooking Tips:

  • Cook the chicken to 160° internal temperature, resting the chicken will bring it up around 5 degrees to a safe and juicy temperature.
  • Tie the herbs in a bunch with butchers’ twine, so that it is easier to remove.
  • Season the inside of the cavity as well as the outside so that the meat is thoroughly and evenly seasoned.

Stratum Sauvignon Blanc

This bottle has full notes of nectarine, guava, lemon, and subtle minerality. The wine has shining acidity with a body leaning towards medium and is dry. The Sauvignon Blanc would pair well with fish and chicken because its light body will match in equal intensity. A glass of this wine would be accompanied well with Pecorino Romano, which is tangy hard goat cheese. This pairing balance the bite of the cheese with the zip of the wine, and the result is a satisfying pairing.

Tomato and Cilantro Marinated Chicken Shashlik

People have been cooking meat off sticks over 300,000 years ago. It’s a traditional method that allows more control over the smaller cuts of meat that you are cooking, that would otherwise be difficult to manage. Today may be the greatest benefit would be the handy handle that keeps your fingers clean! The tomatoes of this marinated lend a tang to the chicken that matches the intensity of the Sauvignon Blanc, which makes for an excellent food pairing.

Cooking Tips:

  • Taste your marinade before coating the chicken, ensure it is well seasoned.
  • Make sure each piece of meat is about the same size, so that they cook evenly.
  • Chicken likes to be cooked hot and fast, so make sure that your grill is fully preheated and do not grill with open if possible.

Cocktails To Try

NZ Sauvignon Blanc Punch

“The Tropical Paradise Transportation Device”

Radlers (also known as a Shandy) have been around since before the 19th century. This concoction has taken Germany and the world by storm, becoming a beloved drink and a quite refreshing one at that. Although how it came to be is up to speculation. Some think it got its start when people couldn’t afford fancy French champagne and instead took to mixing the bubbly drink with ale. However, the second theory is a crowd favorite. Story has it that a German pub owner that was situated along a cycling trail and had an unexpected turn out of 13,000 cyclists arrive in one day since it was an up and coming sport in Germany. Running low on beer, he took to mixing beer with lemon soda. Cyclists loved the beverage since it was refreshing and had a low ABV which meant they could continue with their cycle without feeling the effects of the beer. A win-win for the pub owner and the rest of the world!

Ingredients for one:

  • 3 oz New Zealand sauvignon blanc wine
  • ½ oz of Aperol
  • ½ oz of Fresh grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz of Fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ oz of Simple syrup
  • Club soda

Steps to make:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except for the soda water.
  2. Fill with ice and Shake vigorously
  3. Double strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice.
  4. Top with soda and stir lightly.