Take a Chance on New Zealand

Usually I jam pack our weekends; I hate being bored. But last night (a Friday night) our plans were cancelled and we ended up with a night at home. My older daughter invited a friend over, my younger daughter was annoying them.. so they were content (or arguing.. it’s interchangeable with this family) However,  it was still a perfect evening for sitting on the deck and trying out some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc’s.

A lot of people tend to turn their nose up whenever I mention the idea of a New Zealand Sauv Blanc. I often get the ” I don’t like to drink grass” comments. Yes, on the nose (and sometimes on the palate), you get a grassy flavor. But why turn your nose at that? Why not explore a little more? Maybe you can see past the grass. And not every NZ wine tastes like grass. That is what my husband and I set out to do last night- set the record straight on their wines. We ordered a Veggie Thai pizza, cracked open two bottles of New Zealand wine and let our palates work on the rest!

New Zealand in Seattle

New Zealand in Seattle

Wine 1: Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2012 $13.99 Ken’s Market

When you think about New Zealand, you think luscious land, tropical and sunny weather, water, etc. Well, that is what their Sauv Blancs taste like. To me, they taste how New Zealand would feel (I have never been, but it is on my bucket list). On the nose, Dashwood had a clean, grass scent with a hint of bell pepper. On the palate it was high in acid, with hints of grass, grapefruit and bell pepper. Slightly tart and tangy, which could be from the high acid. By itself, the wine didn’t do much for me, all I could taste was the tanginess. What this wine needed was food. Our spicy Thai pizza was a perfect combination. The spice of the pizza brought the acid down.. and the acid of the wine brought the spice down. It was this amazing. Both tasted completely different, but it a great way. Neither one over shadowed the other, which is what you want when pairing food and wine. Because of that combination, I would highly recommend this wine, but as a wine to pair with food (i.e. not for a happy hour drink without food). Pair this with Thai food, goat cheese, chicken dishes, white fish, fresh herb dishes, oysters, peppers, shellfish and veggie dishes. Avoid red meat and salty foods.

Wine 2:  Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2012 $11.99 Ken’s Market

Same year, same region, whole different taste. On the nose, it had a creamy grass, green apple and green pepper smell. On the palate, really high in acid, with slight green pepper and grass flavors. I could hardly drink the wine, for fear of acid reflux (which I have never had). I paired this wine with the Thai pizza as well. It toned down the acid, but still the wine didn’t do it for me. Neither good nor horrible with the food. It left me with a blah feeling. A wine I will probably forget. Spend the extra $2 and pick up the Dashwood.

What I really want you to do, my friends, is give New Zealand wines a chance, especially during this hot August month. These wines will pair perfectly with your seafood or salad dinners. As I have said in the past, don’t judge unless you try. Don’t automatically say you don’t like NZ Sauv Blanc’s. Give it a whirl again, pair with some food and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Cheers my friends!