Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Villa Maria Food Safari April 7th 2011

April 7th

Got a last minute invite to a Villa Maria Food Safari by Peter of the Bangkung Row restaurant group. These guys are long term supporters of our Six2Eight accapella group. We sing for them at Xmas and they give us a boozy dinner in January. Some lovely Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir on display, with pork knuckle at Leonardo's, salad and pasta at the Opus function room and paella at Cava. Very tasty food and pretty well matched with the wines. Pork Knuckle was better on this occasion than previous - not as dry. Pasta was good with a creamy carbonara. The paella was okay, but Cava seems to have slipped a bit of late - see other posts. The Pinots were very pleasant, full cherries and not sour in the mouth like a lot of other NZ pinots I've tried. The Sauvignon Blancs were nice, increasingly complex, though the lower level Private Bin was lovely - crisp, full in the mouth and good fruit. The Private Bin Pinot was equally good - light cherry and supple with a clean balance that refreshed the mouth. We bought one of each of the Pinots to try with the good doctor to judge which would be best with pork and duck at an upcoming birthday party. We opted for the Private Bin - great taste and value, versatile and not too complex for the general audience.

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