Some contemporary wine and food matches are right down the middle of the line, and have always meant to be. New Zealand’s fresh, fruity and elegant wine styles are ideal with fusion, Pacific Rim and pan-Asian cuisines especially, so it seemed perfect to have a tasting of the current and new releases from Mt Beautiful at the Shinobi Sushi Lounge in Vivian Street, Wellington. Both parties have very conventional appearances and indeed are in some respects, but they are quite innovative or very different from the norm in other ways.
Three taste sensations were served with the last wine, all being Jeremy pushing the boundaries of Japanese style with New Zealand influence and produce. Confit duck and shiitake tako-yaki with saffron, aioli, Miso-glazed quail with Portobello puree, and Panko-crumbed venison with pea and eda-mame puree. These were sensational morsels, all with the texture, richness and earthiness in their elements to make a connection with the wine. The Mt Beautiful Pinot Noir 2011 (17.5-/20) is a light, delicately flavoured and subtle textured wine with soft red floral fruits. Initially lush, supple and easy to access, this grows in the glass to show its true depth and core, and the extraction to work with food textures. This has an array of aromas and flavours that has good detail. A very smart pairing indeed.
I finished the tasting affirming how good our New Zealand wines can be with fine Asian, in this case Japanese cuisine can be. I’m sure the more gentle nature of the Mt Beautiful wines contributed to their success here. www.shinobi.co.nzwww.mtbeautiful.co.nz