Found you the sort of wine bar I love! You smashed it out of the park and really showed me how good food and wine can be! This was everything I wanted from a wine bar in New Zealand!
After walking up from the hotel, Auckland is not flat!, I found Apero and was able to get a seat at the bar in the window. Perfect for people watching, spreading out a bit and pondering life, while having amazing food and wine.
While pondering the really interesting menu to work out what to eat I had the Te Kano Blanc de Noir, really interesting. This is only their second release and a good option to start, a touch of sweetness, but still got some sharpness on the tongue
So with that in hand and the food ordered it was time to chill out and enjoy
I was given a delicious little Amuse Bouche of Crushed Pea and Yoghurt and the chance to chat to Mo and a bit of name dropping did not do any harm in that conversation. Knowing Mel, the goddess of New Zealand wine in the UK helped on a few occasions, and not only because of the contacts she gave me, but also because she is well known and respected.
Whether or not it made any difference, but Mo was able to offer some wines not on the list, certainly not by the glass anyway.
It was an easy conversation to have with Mo, what do I like? My response, I will try anything and love exploring new wines, which basically gave him carte blanche to do what he wanted. Only criteria were, good wine and it would go with the food! This led to some amazing wines and a very happy Mr Smith at the end of the night, which made up for the slightly under whelmed feeling from the wine tour
The first of these was the newly released Kelly Washington (Tamra from Seresin) Pinot Noir, Gibbston, Central Otago, 2017. This has great potential and with a couple more years of aging and a few more vintages behind them I expect this to be exceptional, but even now it is very good, with great fruit and is rounded, but with age, it will be even better. This was the interlude, before the food
The first dish I had chosen was the Something Fish….. This turned out to be Smoked Kahawai, a little like mackerel, but not as oily and I suspect more of a white fish, interesting and lovely, and was the fish with creme fraiche. After I had eaten it I asked about the fish and it was suggested (without me prompting, was that mackerel was the closest but less oily, which is good as matched my thoughts.
This was paired with the BK Wines – One Ball Chardonnay, Kenton Valley, Adelaide Hills, 2017 – Delicious with the smoked fish, and another off-list wine, I do like Apero!
The next dish was Lamb Sweetbreads, which were perfectly cooked, nice and soft and delicate, quite delicious! Mo brought out the Novum, Marlborough, Pinot Noir, which at that point I think was the best Marlborough Pinot Noir I have had. Good balance, not heavy, good body, long on the finish, good fruit, but not full on. One to look out for, simply delicious
Next up came the 1/4m Pork Sausage with sourdough and pickles! Cannot think of anywhere else that serves their sausages by the metre! I was intrigued and as was already a little full from earlier in the day I opted for the 1/4m. Bloomin lovely as well, as was the bread and pickles, superb grazing food and even better with the wine.
The Georges Road Syrah, Waipara, 2017. Interesting, very interesting. Almost had a ‘corked’ feel but definitely not, then a long lingering coating of the mouth with good fruit, very interesting indeed.
Then I could not resist something a little sweet and had had to have the Madeleines – Light as a feather with a hint of orange blossom, which was served up with the Bellbird Spring Mute L’Alouette, Sauvignon Blanc based dessert wine. Not over sweet and goes well with the Madelines a great end to meal and day
Mo was a perfect host, offering so many choices and going off list, a perfect spot! I said to them it was a good job they were closed Monday and Tuesday as I would be back both nights!
Not only did I leave with a full stomach and a smile on my face, but a list of wineries to try and get to in Waipara as that was a region I did not know very well
Mr Smith dined on Sunday 24th February 2019