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Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Italian Wine Tasting Wednesday 11th August 2010

On a clear winter night, with the sun just setting over the vineyards of Marlborough our group of 30 people enjoyed a wonderful evening tasting wine from the fabulous Piemonte region of Italy with the very knowledgeable Simon Kelly from Lubrication wines. The venue for the evening was the Italian inspired BEC Luxury Lodge which is run by husband and wife duo Dave & Sarah Anderson.

Simon started the evening with a tasting of his white wine “Arneis”, which is currently sold out awaiting his next shipment then moved into the very big red wines that were delightfully different from what we are usually able to try here in NZ.

The wines tasted were:
Monchiero Carbone Recit Arneis 2009
Dolcetto d’Alba ‘Bric Del Salto’ DOC 2008
Langhe Nebbiolo DOC 2008
Barbera d’Alba ‘Pairolero’ DOC 2007
Barbaresco ‘Curra’ DOCG 2005
Barbaresco ‘Pajore’ DOCG 2006

Tamara (Simon’s partner) who has lived in Italy and is a wine maker herself at Yealands in Marlborough created a wonderful assortment of traditional Italian “Cincetti” (Like tapas) to accompany the wines.  Our taste buds were treated to her fresh foccacia, arancini balls and chicken liver on crostini while Lodge chef Dave created a traditional pumpkin gnocchi with burnt sage butter as well as tiramisu, both from Sarah’s (nee Gianelly) Italian family recipes. Also to enjoy was a selection of Italian cured meats and salami from local artisan butchery ‘The Village Butcher’.

A hugely successful night of Italian indulgence was had by all and many requests to repeat the event at some time in the future.  A big thank you to Simon Kelly for his wonderful wines and presentation and to Tamara for her gorgeous food!  Wines can be purchased through Simon Kelly and we look forward to many more successful events at BEC Luxury Lodge

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

NZ BBQ tradition @ Clos Henri



Any foreigner visiting NZ is gladly surprised by the NZ BBQ tradition. BBQ in Marlborough appears to be a sacred cooking pot, a moment to share with friends and family whether in the garden, in the Marlborough sounds, or on the boat. Name a place to have a BBQ, it’s probably been done already by kiwis.

At Clos Henri we decided to take that great tradition, forget about French cuisine, and get Slow Food lovers to enjoy the sun of Marlborough with some fantastic meat… on 2 BBQs … the idea was to compare gaz BBQ with vine shoots BBQ. But before eating, we had to do some exercise in the vineyard: our winemaker and viticulturist showed the purpose of vine shoots – starting with pruning process and use, then explaining how to make vine shoots bundles, and finally showing at the winery the use for them (as filters in the red tanks during the fermentations).

David Woodley, from the Village Butcher in Blenheim, gave explanations on how he ages his meat, and chooses the best pieces, as well as how he smokes his bacon. Finally he gave few tips to cook perfect steaks on the BBQ.
At the menu was an aged angus ribeye steak, some greek style sausage and New Orleans andouille.

After a difficult start of the fire on the vine shoot BBQ – which reminded us that it is most certainly the reason why gaz BBQ is commonly used – we were able to compare the flavours on the BBQ. To be precise, the tenderness of the meat was not affected, nor was the moisture, but the flavours were very distinct. The vine shoots were from a mix of pinot noir and sauvignon blanc shoots, to which we wouldn’t make any differences once burnt. These shoots had been used during harvest as filter in our tanks; therefore they had been ‘soaked’ into wine for a little while and were still carrying the flavour in their wood. The smokiness and the perfume given by the wine to the meat on the vine shoots BBQ was quite something.
The votes for better taste were unanimously for vine shoot BBQ!

Special thank you to David from The Village Butcher for his beautiful, flavoursome and tender meat!


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