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.
- Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm: A Fun Halloween Birthday Feast featuring Supernatural Spook Light Pinot Gris Orange Wine
- Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla: 3 x 3: Triple Porcini'd Polenta + a Three Grape Red Blend from Gisborne
- Nicole on Somm's Table: “Cooking to the Wine: Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay with Roasted Sheet Pan Chicken and Vegetables”
- Susannah at Avvinare: “Taking a Look At Waiheke Island Wines”
- Linda at My Full Wine Glass: “Two Hawke's Bay whites for virtual visit to NZ North Island”
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 winetourism.com. 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 Gewürztraminer. 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!
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 ToppingRehydrate 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.
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!