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Match Wine Bar – She’s on Fire!

By August 17, 2016No Comments

Wellington Wine Country wines
featured at Noble Rot Wine Bar

What a great event the pop-up ‘Match Wine Bar’ is for Wellington On A Plate. Wellington Wine Country has collaborated with Noble Not Wine Bar to put on something deliciously different and a format that will appeal to wine enthusiasts as well as food lovers. Noble Rot’s host Maciel Zimny chose over 40 wines from the greater Wairarapa region to feature as the only New Zealand wines available during the fortnight that Wellington On A Plate runs. He chose the wines to show “range, versatility and sheer quality” over the local wines and their ability to work with the food that they offer. Of particular interests are the blind wine flights organised by Maciej. With each flight, he has selected three of the Wairarapa wines which diners can try to guess the variety and identity. I can say from personal experience that Maciej and his team at Noble Rot has succeeded in delivering a memorable experience.

I had an evening at ‘Match Wine Bar’ with my partner Sue Davies, with a platter of food accompanied by two wine flights. In attendance as the ‘resident’ winemaker of the night, Paul Mason of Martinborough Vineyard. So the evening began with a chat and catch-up, as well as an introduction to his wines. Every night, there is a wine representative, usually the winemaker, so one could attend every night for a unique experience during Wellington On A Plate!

Paul Mason, Martinborough Vineyard
resident winemaker this night
She’s On Fire!
Sue and I both love trying wines ‘blind’ and identifying them as far as we are able to. This night Sue was on fire! We both tasted each of the wines and pooled our thoughts to make guesses on the six wines in total:

Wine One: Te Kairanga Martinborough Riesling 2014. Getting the variety was easy. Lime flavours, a hint of toastiness, but still fresh and lively, with plenty to go. Dryish to taste and an excellent starter. We named it Riesling 2014, from Martinborough. But who’s, anyone’s guess in reality. But delicious as an aperitif. So pretty much on the mark with our guess..

Wine Two: Escarpment Martinborough Pinot Blanc 2014. Easy to get it into the white Pinot camp, as the aromatic and flavour profile more restrained and stonefruity. Slight sweetness. I chose Pinot Gris with a little winemaker leesy input. Sue saw some rusticity, and went Pinot Blanc. If so, it had to be Escarpment Vineyard. And relatively youthful, also 2014 was our combined guess. Sue was spot on.

Wine Three: Schubert Wairarapa ‘Tribianco’ 2015. Another more non-descript and reserved white, initially suggesting Pinot Gris. Then a slight herbal edge to me, with a trace of sweetness. This sounded like Margain’s Gruner Veltliner to me, but Sue was not happy with that choice. She could taste the flowery notes that Muller-Thurgau give, so she went left field and nominate Schubert ‘Tribianco’. Young too, so either 2015 or 2014 was our pick. Again, Sue picked the wine. I knew that she was in good form… The blend also has Pinot Gris (phew!) and Chardonnay.

Wine Four: Lynfer Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2013. The variety was easy. Some forward secondary dried herbal characters suggesting a Pinot Noir with some age, say 2012 was our guess. A more straightforward style for sure. We put a case for Martinborough. Sue said maybe greater Wairarapa. Again she was correct. 2013 wasn’t as great for Gladstone as it was for Martinborough. The Gladstone wines are more forward. I have tried the Lynfer earlier, and am pleased to report it has put on richness and weight, and it was a great match with our platter items.

Wine Five: The Elder Martinborough Pinot Noir 2013. Much darker and clearly more serious and ‘noble’ (excuse the pun), but obviously Pinot Noir. Lovely weight, richness and sweetness, and now just beginning to soften. I couldn’t make a call on who’s it was, though I could say who’s it wasn’t. Not good enough. Sue just said it had to be The Elder Martinborough 2013. Again, she nailed it.

Wine Six: Martinborough Vineyard Martinborough Syrah/Viognier 2013. This was easy. The black pepper and spicy florals spoke Syrah with lift. Lovely racy acidity suggested the blending of Viognier. The fact that winemaker Paul Mason was in attendance was another clue. It’s elegance spoke of the Martinborough Vineyard style, and the sweetness, ripeness and energy said 2013. We both agreed on this one, and were correct. Good job I followed Sue here. I thought “she’s really on fire, tonight”.

Two wine flights

A Delicious Platter and Attentive Service
The food platter was ample and deliciously varied. It was based on pork. The parfait was smooth and creamy, but packed with flavour. More individual was the pulled pork rillette, but it was moist and piquant in flavour. The terrine was chunky and softly textural. More subtle in flavour, but it delivered in substance. The extras on the side, the compote cranberries, and the soaked prunes set off the pork wonderfully. What great food.

The evening was great fun, and it was capped off by superb service, not only individual attention from Maciej, but the other well-informed and very knowledgeable staff. We are going to head back before the end of Wellington On A Plate, with friends, to share the experience.

Click here for more details as posted on the ‘Events’ section of this website.

Maciej Zimny, Noble Rot Wine Bar host

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