Occasionally, I get lucky enough to get invited to some VIP events. I was invited by Joshua Hall, a wine consultant and journalist that also helms the blog Wine In Korea. He was hosting a wine event and he invited wine and food bloggers to the New Zealand residence house for a food and wine pairing of great food and wine.
The food was prepared by Chef Jin Ho Lee who apparently has a restaurant in Korea. I'll have to find out where it is one of these days because the food was quite good. The food and wine were paired by the chef and the sommelier, Joshua Hall. And I have to say they did an exceptional job. We started out with some Hunter's Miru Miru Sparkling wine that went well with the salmon canapes and brushetta. We also had procuitto and melon. It was a good pairing. The wine was crisp and with a kiwi zip and went well with the meats and veggies.
The Salmon course with avocado was a great first course that was paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is one of my favorites: Staete Landt 2012. The wine has a light mineral taste with a fruit finish and goes great with the salmon.
Next up was some New Zealand buttercup squash soup with pumpkin bavorois and a bleu cheese crisp. Now I know that soups are very difficult to pair with wines, but this one went well with the 2011 Woven Stone Pinot Gris it was paired with. I thought that the bleu cheese crisp worked harmoniously with the soft, lemon-rounded flavor of the pinot gris. Josh and Jin-ho did a great job working on this pairing.
Here is Josh and some of the other bloggers and journalists.
Next up was a pan-fried cod with salsa verde and a saffron bearnaise sauce. The salsa verde worked with the flaky cod and the 2009 Sherwood Heritage riesling went well with both. I thought the riesling had a long silky finish. The tail of the wine resonated for a while. A mark of a great wine.
Next up was some lamb loin with carrot puree and black currant sauce. The sauce was deliciously tart and went well with the flavorful lamb. I find that New Zealand lamb is not gamey and it is very soft and chewy in texture. With this dish we had a selection of reds: 2009 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir; 2008 Clos Henri Pinot Noir; and a 2008 Felton Road Pinot Noir. Of the three, I loved the Ata Rangi the most. It had a rounded complexity that had great mouth feel. It tasted like cherry coke with a vanilla finish- all without tasting sweet. The 2008 Felton Road Pinot Noir was lighter in flavor and had a summer wheat nose and it reminded me of roses.
For the main course (the 2nd main course) we had a New Zealand eye fillet with a stuffed onion. The steak was exceptional and went well with the 2007 Exception Vintage Sileni Merlot. This wine had a complex single malt nose and a flavor. I'm not saying it tasted like scotch, I am saying that it is wine that grows and develops in the mouth. It had a pepper and curry complexity that worked with the strong flavor of beef.
I would like to thank the New Zealand Embassy for such an amazing dinner. I learned so much about all the different wines and foods that New Zealand has to offer. I think that the Korean market needs these great products. Especially now as people's tastes become more sophisticated.