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3 x 3: Triple Porcini'd Polenta + a Three Grape Red Blend from Gisborne #WorldWineTravel

This month the World Wine Travel writers are taking a virtual trip to New Zealand's North Island. Linda of My Full Wine Glass is hosting. You can read her invitation here. All of these posts will be live between Friday, October 21st and Saturday, October 22nd.

I myself had never really explore the North Island and was excited to find a red wine from Gisborne.

It might be pretty difficult to read the text in that graphic from Sorry. Basically, it shows that the Gisborne wine region is the easternmost point of New Zealand. Interestingly enough, almost everything I read about Gisborne shows that it's renowned for its wine wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gew├╝rztraminer. I guess I was really lucky to find a red wine from Gisborne; I did find it interesting that there was a white wine grape in my red wine blend!

Crazy by Nature's 2016 Cosmo Red

In 1984, James Millton began growing his own grapes using natural cultivation methods. Flashforward three decades, and now a biodynamic guru, he says that "it seems everybody wants to be crazy, and that's just what this planet needs. Crazy by Nature - makes perfect sense."

Let's start with the triple grape combo in this Cosmo Red. It's a blend of Malbec, Syrah, and Viognier. Individually, Malbec brings the richness of black and red fruit with Syrah echoing those flavors and adding in the punch of savory black olive, sweet tobacco, and delicious peppercorn. But it is the surprise addition of Viognier that lightens the wine with citrus and tropical aromas. Honeysuckle and vanilla layers lend an earthy funkiness to this wine.

The earthiness of this wine made me think of mushrooms. If you have been following my blog or my social media recently, you'll know that Jake and I have been eating lots and lots of mushrooms. Why? Because our self-declared mushroom hater is off at college and I can buy, cook, and serve as many mushrooms as I like without worrying about D's grumpy face and wrinkled nose. Ha.
Triple Porcini'd Polenta

I was recently the lucky recipient of some freshly foraged porcini. Oh, my goodness. They were so beautiful and delicious.

If you aren't so lucky to have a foraging friend, dried porcini works just as well. I add a dash of porcini powder to really make that distinctive umami flavor. Wineforest has some great products and I used the porcini polenta, dried porcini, and porcini powder for a triple boost of delicious porcini power!

Porcini Polenta
Prepare as the package directs: 1 cup polenta mix plus 4 cups liquid (I used a mixture of water and vegetables stock). I did add in 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1 cup shredded asiago cheese.

Porcini Topping
Rehydrate the dried porcini as the package directs. Reserve 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid to make the sauce.

Add a splash of olive oil to a skillet. Stir in roasted onions, rehydrated porcini, and 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of porcini powder to boost the umami in the topping.

To Serve
Scoop polenta into an individual serving bowl. Top with shredded cheese. Spoon topping over the polenta. Serve immediately.

Well, that's a wrap on my October #WorldWineTravel offering, a three by three - three grape wine blend and three porcini polenta. We'll be back next month with pairings from South Island's Marlborough. Stay tuned!


  1. More mushrooms! Sounds delicious! I am inspired to try to find mushrooms for lunch since Michael (my resident Mushroom disliker) is working! I can enjoy it while virtually visiting NZ with your post! (Now to find a way to get there IRL)

    1. Yes, we have been loving mushrooms since D left!

  2. These New Zealanders really impress me with their funk and sense of fun. How lucky to find a red Gisborne to open - and love, love, love that photo of you with the freshly foraged porcini!

    1. Thanks! I love having knowledgeable foraging friends.

  3. Your mushroom mania is too funny, but I also completely understand. I think I would do the same. And that porcinni is really impressive! Everything look delicious.


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