Below are a few seasonal dishes that always go down well with the Genesis staff, perfectly accompanied by a hand selection of our favourite wine matches.
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Mackerel (season June onwards)
Gruner Veltliner Rosensteig, Weingut Geyerhof, Kremstal (certified organic)
A lately fashionable fish due to sustainability. Classic oily fish in character needing a wine with cleansing high acidity like Vinho Verde, a classic Portuguese match. However we can be more eclectic that and here it is matched with the fashionable white grape of the moment GV. The white pepper varietal character works really well with the strong flavours of the fish (peppered mackerel) and there is enough minerality and acidity to keep the match in balance. This wine is drinking so well right now also.
Monkfish (season end of July onwards)
Muscadet Sur Lie Chantegrolle , Domaine Poiron Dabin
A simply fantastic expression of the region and a wonderful find at this price. This wine is a touch fuller bodied and riper than most Muscadets which matches up to the meaty character of the Monkfish whilst the Muscadet heritage adds great minerality and austerity to the pairing.
Venison (season middle/late June onwards)
Corbieres Terrasses Clos de l'Anhel (organic cultivation)
An insiders wine to the new wave of premium red wine producers in the deep south of France. Dark blackberry and plum fruit with lovely purity, silky and freshness. Full bodied, stylish and very polished, lots of fruit, ripe tannin and cleansing acidity. Simply dense and a sublime combination!
Summer Fruits (season June onwards)
Coteaux du Layon, Philippe Delesvaux
Sweet wine and value are not something that go hand in hand, but this wine truly is with a prestigious name to match. Slightly less sweet than most allowing the match with may different fruit types from gooseberries through to strawberries and plums and offers huge versatility by the glass.
Pure, pure, soft pinot fruit- We always think of red Cote d’Or with guinea fowl but Mount Beautiful Pinot Noir, Cheviot Hills, Canterbury is an interesting alternative (and better value) from a new sub region of NZ. This fruit driven, feminine style of pinot is preferred to the more masculine styles with far too much oak for the weight of this dish. Moreover there is also a little earthy truffle character to add complexity to the Mount Beautiful. Leaning more to Burgundy in character. However if classics are your thing then the Givry 1er Cru Clos Jus, Domaine Laurent Mouton, is not to be missed and is a lovely plumper style of everyday red Burgundy of great quality and value, especially with regard to the pure fruitiness.
Venison (roasted saddle)
There are differing opinions in what wines to go with venison, especially depending upon the way it is cooked and the cut of the meat. We have chosen to focus on the roasted saddle and for this we want to highlight the soft tender nature of the red meat, but also give a meaty wine that can handle the fuller flavours especially as customers (who let us not forget are always right???) think of bigger red wines coming into the colder months. Our number one choice is Cedro do Noval, Quinta do Noval, Vinho Regional Duriense, which as a blend of 2/3 Port grapes led by touriga nacional and the balance of syrah. A wine of real aromatic intensity, wild dark fruits, medium to full bodied with the addition of syrah lending real style to the final product. A more conventional choice seen in many restaurants last year is an Argentine malbec and we would like to showcase our new arrival which is more restrained and European in style than most thanks to old malbec clones and a Bordelais winemaking mentality, Poesia Malbec Cabernet, Mendoza. A turbo charged pinot noir could also work well if the meat is cooked sous-vide and the leading contenders would be the highly Parker rated pinot noirs from Melville Estate, California.
Scallops (with Butternut Squash)
Scallops, the fine dining staple is back on the seasonal specials. This time however, we have matched it with in season butternut squash-whether it be pureed or pickled. This exotic addition also makes me scratch our head as normal, boring old white Burgundy won’t match the same as when scallops are served with cauliflower puree or the classic black pudding like other times of the year. Our heavenly choice is from our up and coming superstar Francois Chidaine who makes the essence of chenin blanc in a dry style. Clean as a whistle and fairly full- the palate is packed full of apple and quince and reflects the true balancing act of this match, Vouvray Les Argiles, Francois Chidaine. Having said that if you are inclined towards bubbles the Brut Platine 1er Cru NV, Nicolas Maillart is just about the finest Champagne at this price point.
Brill (with Mussel garnish)
As you often hear this much underrated fish is simply brilliant and one of my favourites. Meaty but delicate and again we have paired this dish with a seasonal garnish, mussels. We want the flavours of the sea to be the main stage which is why we have gone for two wines which have that required salty minerality for different reasons and a nice light to medium body. We could not pick between the two- Bourgogne Aligote, Domaine des Temps Perdus or Verdicchio di Matelica, Fattoria La Monacesca.
Roasted Acorn Squash (stuffed with wild rice and goat’s cheese)
A particular favourite of mine, the Acorn squash offers a slightly more savoury alternative to the Butternut. Stuffed with wild rice, sautéed garlic and leeks and topped off with Goats Cheese. This is a great winter warmer of a recipe and perfect for entertaining the Vegetarian in your life. Now despite this being a winter recipe, a good Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect call for this recipe. My pick would be the superb Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Michelle Richardson, this wine has some wild yeast fermentation that adds body and great depth to this wine.
A classic Italian dish of roasted Chicken breasts in a slow cooked Cherry Tomato and Mascapone (the way we make it) sauce served with white beans. This is the perfect dish to put together after a cold day out walking the Dog. Its quick and easy to make but packs a real punch of flavour. I would serve this with the unbeatable Rosso di Montalcino, Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona, a delightful red from one of the finest producers of the region.
Asparagus (season April-May)
Mount Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc, Cheviot Hills
New sub region of Canterbury with only Mount Beautiful as producer at present. It is a venture by one of the richest men in New Zealand so there has been a lot investment into the site, clones and varieties. As far as New Zealand sauvignon is concerned it is not as tropical, guava etc as most. It does have the exuberance of Marlborough on the nose, definitely more herbaceous than tropical, restrained and very textural on the palate.
Crab (season March-May)
Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Vila Medoro
There is current rave about new world wines from Alsace varieties with seafood. However we have chosen something more unusual and interesting from Italy which has good mid weight from it’s warm but cool positioning in central Italy. Slightly floral and spicy such as a gewurztraminer but the aromatics are definitely more subdued such as a torrontes.
Scallops (season March-April)
Pouilly-Fuisse, Christophe Cordier, Burgundy
White Burgundy and scallops-classic! especially as most chefs will combine the dish with a cauliflower puree and wild mushrooms, making this match pretty damn ideal. This Pouilly-Fuisse offers great value, it is fuller than some but retains that lovely, delicate but mealy character with fresh acidity typical of the Chalonnaise wines.
Rabbit (season March-April)
Gamay de Touraine, Vignoble des Bois Vaudon
Midweight to light reds with a bit of a wild, rugged character are perfect with rabbit. This gamay de Touraine fits the bill to a T. It does not have too much structure to it but is packed full of flavour and should play very well with the gamey character of the Rabbit. It has mellowed out a lot with age and has gained rather complex flavours rather than just fruit associated with younger red wines.
Spring Lamb (season April-May)
Santenay Vieilles Vignes, Vincent Morey
Tender spring lamb and structured red Burgundy should be a very good combination. Typically soft and elegant plus a vintage known for it’s purity of flavour. We think Beaune wines here are more ideal over the wines from the Cote des Nuits as they are a little more sturdy and provide a touch of useful tannin to go with the lamb. A wine that will show quality but also interest.