Grilled Salmon, roasted pork chops, BBQ—Pinot Noir can hold its own against highly spiced, greasy foods which happen to be summer’s specialties! I love serving Pinot with venison. In fact, friends line up for thirds when Pinot and venison are on the menu, be- cause it’s a unique, earthy match made in heaven that I learned about while touring New Zealand.
The Unforgettable Kiss
At the 3rd Annual New Zealand Wine Day in Chicago, hosted by moi, New Zealand’s phenomenal Pinot Noir wines stood out. Yes, yes, NZ winemakers craft great Sauvignon Blancs, but that’s not news. This year, folks couldn’t stop raving about the Cervena venison we paired with the NZ Pinots—drooling, raving, and asking for thirds. This venison has show-stop- ping standards of tenderness.
My co-host for the event was Clive Dougall, Winemaker for Seresin Estate. He’s the essence of New Zealand with his Kiwi lingo and stories of NZ food and wine pairings, such as venison and roasted duck. We all wanted to travel home with him! His “Leah” Pinot Noir will forever be linked in my memory with that mouthwatering Cervena venison—the most perfect smoky, earthy, savory pairing!
I hear Jurassic roars when I drink Pinot noir. It’s not the black grapes that gave their lives for me. It’s Sam Neill.
The setting: the Pinot Conference, at an after party thrown by Neill’s Two Paddocks Winery. I happen to love that Pinot grown in New Zealand’s Central Otago region, so how could I decline the glass Sam offered me? His glinting wit, charming accent, the dapper button-down shirt, his rock-star status, and the amazing New Zealand rock band called The Eggs pounding out love in the background.
Sam didn’t treat me like a giddy girl running up to gain his favor, but I was. He’s the coolest guy, with a cigar in one hand and a glass of his Two Paddocks Pinot in the other. He slayed me, and I’m no dinosaur!
- Craggy Range 2010
- Te Kahu Hawkes Bay Pinot Noir
- Joseph Drouhin Laforet Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2010
- ∂ Mud House Pinot Noir Central Otago 2010
- Argyle Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2010
- 2009 Seresin “Leah” Pinot Noir Marlborough
- Belle Glos Clarke & Telephone 2012 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
- Felton Road Pinot Noir Bannockburn 2010