Lauraine Jacobs

Food Writer and Author of Delicious Books

Wines to drink

14 April 2010


Yesterday we finished the photos for our Vegetable Cook Book, which is to be published later this year. It’s been an exciting project and I have loved working with two other talented cooks, Ginny Grant and Kathy Paterson. We finished up with the Winter section and it was appropriate on the first cold day after our Indian summer.

And last night we sat around the table and enjoyed the fruits of the shoot for dinner. We had been anxious to try the Esk Valley Winemakers Chardonnay 2007 since a half dozen had arrived in a smart wooden box last week. And we had platefuls of Brussels Sprouts cooked two ways, a leek and feta tart, a rice and coconut salad with red pepper and spinach, and a spiced parsnip soup. All leftovers from the photos, and all to be included in our book.

The wine came straight from the fridge and was too cold so we sipped our soup and cuddled the wine to warm it up. After about 15 minutes it proved to be elegant, filled with lovely aromas and flavours, and went perfectly with the Brussels Sprouts. I was amazed. But then the winemaker Gordon Russell, who heads up the winery in Hawke’s Bay, is a super cook and loves his food so I don’t think he would ever make a wine that didn’t complement food. I learned an interesting lesson last night. Superbly made Chardonnay like this makes all veggies taste even better. Even if the back label says it should be drunk with white meat or seafood.