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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

NZ Wine & Cheese - Marriage Made In Foodie Heaven

I remember as a student in the 1970s, attending a ‘wine and cheese’ function held by Auckland University students. I consisted of scruffy long-haired people drinking bad red wine accompanied by bits of Colby on toothpicks.
Happily, NZ has come a long way since then with both its cheese production and wine quality. And surely, two of our major industries – dairy and wine, should complement each other. I’m not a major foodie, but I do know a few and have picked a bit of knowledge along the way. These cheese matches are just a suggestion. As for most food and wine matching, it’s all about personal preference and experimentation.

Yealands PGR Awatere Aromatic Blend 2014 $NZ 15.99
Something quite different from Yealands – a blend of three grape varieties: 49% Pinot Gris, 32% Riesling, 19% Gewürztraminer.
Aromas of pear and red apple skin, with flavours of ripe pears and citrus fruits, with a tangy dry finish.
Cheese match – Puhoi Feta

Ngatarawa Stables Pinot Gris Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2014 $NZ 15.00
A medium-bodied style stone fruit and ripe pear aromas. Nashi pear and white peach flavours and a clean crisp finish.
Cheese match – Kapiti Triple Cream Brie

Matawhero  Gisborne Gewürztraminer 2014 $15.00
On the nose, mineral, spice, tonic water and rosewater. On the palate, dry and crisp, with spicy clove, lychee fruit, lime and quinine.
Cheese match – Mainland Vintage Cheddar

Heron’s Flight Matakana Dolcetto Rosé 2014 $24.00
Vivid raspberry juice pink colour, on the nose a hint of strawberries and minerality.  In the mouth, quite surprisingly rich with spice and red fruit flavours a hint of sweetness and a dry finish.
Cheese match – Whitestone Creamy Havarti

Catalina Sounds Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 $NZ 27.00
Aromas of toast, black berry fruit and spice. Silky ripe palate with flavours of red berry fruits and black cherry.
Cheese match -
Kapiti Kahikatea Camembert

Mountford Estate Pinot Noir 2009  $NZ 67.00 (approx)
Starts off on the nose with savoury and fruitcake aromas and hint of tawny port. One sip and I’m seduced - gorgeously soft and integrated flavours of fruit cake, Maraschino cherry, sweet liquorice and mocha.
Cheese match – Bouton d’Or Camembert


Fernado De Castilla Pedro Ximinez Sherry 750 ml $NZ 34.00
Pedro Ximinex (PX for short) is a famous Spanish grape variety from which the eponymous rich, sweet sherry is vinted. Greeny brown in the glass, it smells a bit like molasses. In the mouth, unctuous and intensely sweet with muscatel raisin and golden syrup flavours. Mmmmm.
Cheese match – Barry’s Bay Peninsula Blue

Pegasus Bay Finale Waipara Noble Semillon 2011 (barrel matured)
$NZ 40.00
Aromas of dried apricots, honey and marzipan. Mouth filling, sweet and
Rich, it has flavours of honey and marmalade with a hint of acid to balance the sugars.
Cheese match – Puhoi 7 Year Old Cheddar


Special thanks to Tracey Larsen from Matua Valley cellar door for cheese matching advice.