On the way to Auckland airport recently I stopped for lunch at Villa Maria's Vineyard Cafe. Sitting out on the terrace overlooking the Ihumatao vines, a glass of crisp, dry riesling complementing my pan-seared fish, I was planning my next flight so that I could call again. What a wonderful welcome or farewell to Auckland! I was on my way to Central Otago where I attended the 2017 harvest celebrations at Akarua's Bannockburn vineyard. Glass of Akarua Brut and rabbit rillette in hand, I felt truly blessed to live in a country full of such experiences. That's thanks, I guess, to our booming wine industry, which has reached $1.63 billion in exports, making it our fifth-largest exported product by value.
We are not so much about wine and food matching in today's issue, more wine IN food. "Get it?" said Warren as he submitted his recipes with this headline. I do get it and I am sure we are all going to enjoy sharing our fine New Zealand wines with this seafood marinara, duck chasseur, beef stifado and corned beef in red wine.
Over in France, Allyson Gofton is opening a bottle of Madiran for a beef daube. Peter Gordon is helping us to use up any leftover dessert wine. For more on cooking with wine see Ray McVinnie's latest Get the Idea.
In the wellbeing department Megan May has given chip 'n dip a healthy, colourful makeover and Louise Thompson is observing passengers on a flight to Queenstown ... over a glass of New Zealand wine! But first, you a going to absolutely love this Indian spiced egg and prawn fried rice for dinner tonight.