Wine: Make mine mushrooms, molluscs and white wine

By Yvonne Lorkin

My name is Yvonne Lorkin and I'm a foraging addict.

Yes, I'm the annoying woman who drives her car slowly and far too close to the kerb on country roads because I'm looking for field mushrooms. I'm the one out there shaking the branches of your walnut tree that overhang the footpath.

I'm the creepy lady crawling around underneath the crabapple and feijoa trees at the park and, yes, that's me whacking away at the top boughs of that fig tree next door to the dairy with a stick to try to dislodge the sweet, seedy fruit.

I'm the person who yells "get the gun!" when I see a nice fat quail run across the lawn and I'm not proud of this, but I have been known to abandon my family for hours if I stumble upon a pipi patch when walking on the beach.

If you're a blackberry or hazelnut hedge be very afraid, because I always carry an icecream container in the car for just such occasions.

However, my husband drew the line at me wanting to keep a wee chunk of fresh meat in the glovebox just in case I drove past water which had freshwater crayfish potential.

I'm not very good at it, but my whole life I have loved to fish for anything, anywhere, anytime. I don't know what it is, but I just can't help myself when it comes to hunting and gathering. Maybe it's my subconscious trying to compensate for all the horrible processed food I've bought in the past.

But, for me, there is nothing more satisfying than finding a bunch of sticky bun mushrooms under the pine trees in the back paddock. Sizzle them up with butter, garlic and parsley and serve on grainy toast for a late-afternoon snack with a glass of juicy, spicy pinot noir.

Just lately I've become hooked on making shellfish fritters and no matter whether it's fresh coriander, chives, parsley or basil that you're throwing into the mixture, they're always absolutely sensational with sauvignon blanc.

My favourite fritter wines so far this season are:

Muddy Water Grower's Series Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2011, $23

With its wow-inducing white peach and pungent, succulent citrus flavours it's an absolutely stunning wine. Organically produced in a mixture of barrel and tank with wild, natural yeasts, it has amazing texture and length.

Te Mata Estate's Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2011, $28

An incredibly food-friendly wine from Hawke's Bay with almond, crushed herbs, floral and white nectarine notes. Clean, minerally and beautifully balanced, it's had a splash of sauvignon gris blended in to give it extra complexity and generosity.

Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011, $22

And for those who want less cats' pee and capsicum, and more peach and passionfruit, then this is the way to go. It's a wine you can find anywhere; it has real drinkability, tropical punchiness and presence.

- Hamilton News

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