Sam Kim – Wine Orbit June 2013

Misha’s Vineyard 5th Annual New Release Tasting – 22 March 2013

It was an intriguing and a mouth-watering proposition. Since their inaugural release five years ago, Misha’s Vineyard’s annual tasting/lunch had been held at the outstanding Grove restaurant in Auckland where exquisite food complemented the wines superbly. Instead, this year it was going to be at Café Hanoi, a very fine Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Auckland. Asian cuisine is tricky to match with wine, and a careful consideration must be given to make to the combination work, as the sour, salty, spicy flavours can easily overpower or clash with the wine. However when they complement each other, the result can be sublime.

First the wines. In very short five years (although their venture began many more years ago with surveying the land and to planting), Misha’s Vineyard has established as one of the top-flight producers in New Zealand. It is mind boggling to think what they’ll be making in the future. A wide variety of styles are made and there’s no weakness in the range. Each wine displays concentration of pristine fruit as well as complexity from diligent winemaking. They are attractive wines when young, and time will prove that these are cellar –worthy wines as well.

Now the food. Dishes at Café Hanoi are refined versions of Vietnamese cuisine while retaining the classic freshness and vibrancy with unmistakable flavours of the region.

Fragrant First Courses were partnered with white wines. They included jellyfish salad, sweet pickled shrimp open wontons, poached chicken & papaya salad, Hanoi-style grilled pork and wok-seared market fish marinated in turmeric, ginger and galangal. It’s very clever how they can make these food delicate yet intensely flavoured. So fresh and vibrant with multitude of tasty flavours working beautifully with the wines. Fragrant food, fragrant wines.

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