Wine Regions to Love and to Enjoy

Culinary Travel

June 13, 2020


The two destinations we are going to visit today are New Zealand and Argentina.


First stop:  Why did I choose New Zealand?  Why not!  It is an incredible destination for travelers who love adventure, nature, culture and honestly, I could go on and on.  However, I am going to focus on their wine regions and sprinkle in some food too.  


So, New Zealand is made up of two islands.  North and south.  Their wine regions cover both islands and offer a real variety too.  Here are some interesting facts:

*  Almost 200 years ago, New Zealand, in the northern part of the North Island, got its first vine planation.

*  Māori hāngī is a traditional way of cooking food underground by steaming or roasting in hot rocks..

*  New Zealand has over 15,000 km of coastline so be sure to sink your teeth into their seafood specialties: crayfish, bluff oysters, and greenshell mussels.

*  And Hawke's Bay is famously known for its bold reds, but how about Central Otago for its pinot noirs, which can be deliciously paired with their local lamb.


Now we may not be able to travel to New Zealand yet, but you don't have to wait to taste their wines.  Trent Mayers, from Wine Journeys, recommends the following:

  • Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc 2018 ★★★★

If you love the ripe tropical fruit and restrained herbaceousness of Sauvignon from the green valleys of the Marlborough region on New Zealand’s South Island, this is a nice one for your summer drinking.  Great to sip, it’s also a good match for your summer salad course, especially if it has spinach and goat cheese or some mango.

  • Momo Organic Pinot Noir 2017 ★★★½

New Zealand is very well known for its Sauvignon Blanc, but it also producing some very good Pinots from the South Island’s Central Otago and Marlborough like this low sulphite organic wine.  Expect a raspberry puree/dark cherry/cranberry mélange tinged with barrel smoke and lightish tannins.   It’s an enjoyable accompaniment for bacon wrapped scallops or grilled Portobello mushroom caps.


Second stop: Is Argentina!  It shares the most southern tip of South America with Chile.  So, what makes this country so inviting?  It’s city life, natural wonders, food and drink and culture.  What will you want to see and do…well why not:

*  explore its many great cities including Buenos Aires, Salta and Cordoba

*  gaze at the Iguazu Falls, which is one of seven wonders of the world or hike the Andes, which is the longest mountain range in the world 

*  enjoy the splendor of spotting a rare southern right whale and her calves off the Península Valdés, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site

*  taste wine from a variety of regions including the famous Mendoza, in northern Argentina, and find out why Argentina is famous for their grilling

*  and last but not least learn the tango.


Now to get you one step closer to Argentina, here are two wines you must try - recommended by Mayers:

  • Abras Torrontés 2017 ★★★★

Torrontés is an indigenous Argentinean grape that is virtually unknown here.  It is grown throughout most of Argentina’s wine regions, but the best come from the northern Salta province and the best area in Salta is the Cafayate Valley, which is the source for this wine.  It’s fresh, dry, medium bodied, and brimming with peach, pear, yellow apple, and wet stones with a lemony, lingering finish.  Try it as an aperitif or with grilled shrimp.

  • Luigi Bosca Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 ★★★★

When you think of Argentina and wine, is Malbec the only thing that comes to mind?  Think again and try this particularly good Cabernet from Mendoza, which is Argentina’s main wine region.  It has high, but not aggressive tannins, and is on type for the grape.  That means abundant cassis, black cherry, mint, vanilla, spice, and tobacco with a long finish.  It’s a tasty match for braised beef.


That wraps up our visits for today.  Hoping you found some new wines to try and when you are ready to travel again, please reach out to me and I would be happy to help you plan your next culinary adventure.


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