New Zealand Dinner

Bailliage of Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington, July 18, 2023

Superb wines match degustation menu
" Bailli Helen Meehan was effusive in her praise for the food and wine selection "

Members were treated to a superb evening of excellently prepared local food matched by carefully selected wines from around the world chosen by Brett Newell, a well-known local wine merchant and consultant.

Twenty-two members gathered at the Wellington Club for a six-course degustation meal which began with the Wellington Club’s house wine Armand de Chambray, a charming sparkling French wine.

The repast started with a thick slightly warmed slice of potato decorated with roe in a seaweed beurre blanc for which a modest but pleasant white Burgundy, Macon-Lugny ‘Les Crays’ 2020 by Joseph Drouhin, was the accompaniment.

A much stronger more traditional style chardonnay, Reed Vineyard ‘Blank Canvas’ Chardonnay 2021 from Marlborough in New Zealand, complemented very well a serving of crumbed blue cod with sauce gribiche. The wine is regarded as one of the finest chardonnays ever produced in New Zealand.

The third course was slices of cured salmon pastrami with beetroot, shaved choggi and horseradish cream. This was matched with a Central Otago wine, Gibbston Valley Gold River Pinot Noir 2021, which was more savoury than most comparable pinot noirs.

The next two courses were both red meats and wine master Brett Newell ran a wine options competition for these.

Roasted duck with cherries and sweet potato had a wonderful match in a Burgundy, Joseph Drouhin Givry Rouge 2020, which had fine tannins and medium acidity partnering the meat splendidly. Brett Newell called the wine “ripe subtle, velvety and persistent.”

The Wagyu beef cheek served with Black Doris plums and a clump of gorgonzola literally fell apart at first touch while retaining its intense flavour and texture. The wine was revealed as a top New Zealand red: Te Mata Awatea Cabernet Merlot 2021 which also had some cabernet franc in the blend. Members agreed with Brett’s assessment that this was a wine of class.

To finish: a raw cow’s milk cheese aged for five months and served with a Margaret River Range Cabernet Merlot 2020 from the Sandalford estate outside Perth in Western Australia. The cheese was sweet and creamy with a little nuttiness.

Bailli Helen Meehan was effusive in her praise for the food and wine selection. She said, “The idea for this evening started out as a wine journey and I asked Brett to choose interesting and wonderful wines. Then we asked the Wellington Club to match them with food. We are fortunate that in Wellington we are able to do this level of haute cuisine. While we focused initially on the wine, the food that was produced was simply superb. The results were just wonderful.”

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