The ancient port town of Cadiz is located at the end of a long sandspit that juts into the Atlantic Ocean about 100km to the west of Gibraltar.

It is one of the oldest cities in Western Europe and one of great historical significance, being at the frontier between Spain and the New World.

It is also the capital of a province that includes the vineyards of the sherry region, based on Jerez de la Frontera, a city in southern Spain's Andalusia region.

To visit the sherry region was more of a pilgrimage for me. Having seriously studied the production of this wine style at Roseworthy College, I developed a love for the dry fino style of sherry aged under flor, in particular the manzanilla wine of Sanlucar de Barrameda.

Michael Brajkovich from Kumeu River Wines. Photo / Supplied.
Michael Brajkovich from Kumeu River Wines. Photo / Supplied.

Restaurante El Faro de Cadiz is a very well-known eatery in the town. Its main restaurant is delightfully formal, with excellent service and a wonderful menu.

Many of the tapas are also available in the less-formal bar next door and an example is the tosta de anchoas y boquerones sobre alboronia (pictured). This consists of an anchovy and a white anchovy, served on toasted bread with eggplant, peppers and aioli.

It is simple but packed with flavours that demand attention - and a little wine to go with.

The perfect match is a glass of bone-dry, tangy and salty manzanilla, or just about any dry white wine with minerality and texture. I am sure one of our flinty Kumeū River chardonnays would be great, too.

- Michael Brajkovich, from Kumeū River Wines is one of Auckland's leading winemakers and New Zealand's first Master of Wine

Tosta de anchoas y boquerones sobre alboronia

Try the tosta with a dry white wine that has minerality and texture. Photo / Instagram
Try the tosta with a dry white wine that has minerality and texture. Photo / Instagram

Boquerones, or white anchovies marinated in vinegar*
Tinned anchovies in oil
Baguette or other crusty white bread roll
Alboronia, a ratatouille-like sauce made of onion and tomato, cubed capsicum and eggplant

*Available at Sabato and other gourmet grocers, boquerones can be substituted for more tinned anchovies if you can't find them.

For the alboronia


1 garlic clove
1 tin of tomatoes
1 onion
1 capsicum
2 courgettes
1/4-1/3 pumpkin
1/2 eggplant

1. Peel eggplant and pumpkin, chop all vegetables into small cubes
2. Saute pumpkin, eggplant and courgette in butter until just cooked but not yet tender
3. Saute garlic in olive oil. When it starts to colour, add onion and capsicum, leave to sweat and tenderise, then add par-cooked eggplant, courgette and pumpkin
4. When all this is tender, add about 3/4 cup of tinned tomato (or more or less to your liking), cook for several minutes more, then take off the heat and cool

This makes much more than you need for just a few tapas but you could freeze it for use in other things.

For the tosta

1. Cut baguette in half, brush with olive oil and toast
2. Spread baguette halves generously with aioli
3. Next add a layer of alboronia sauce on top of aioli
4. Top with one anchovy and one boquerone and enjoy immediately, preferably with a glass of dry white wine

- Catch Kumeū River Wines during Auckland Wine Week, June 13-23.