Perfect Picnic Pairings


Perfect Picnic Pairings
Make the most of great food this summer season with Villa Maria's wine pairings.

Summer has arrived and that means fresh, in-season flavours are on the menu. We spoke with the team at Villa Maria to see what their picks are for the upcoming warm months.

Kathrin Jankowiec, a Marlborough Winemaker, can’t get past the lovely Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc paired with Greenlip Mussels steamed in wine with garlic and parsley, Kathrin believes these tasty muscles are best enjoyed on the deck with crusty bread and a bunch of good friends. If you are looking to pair with a red wine she suggest a Pinot Noir, “If you carry on through the evening I like to enjoy a bbq with some venison, perfectly matched with our Southern Clays Pinot Noir”. 

Nick Picone, the Group Chief Winemaker keeps it simple with “fresh, line caught pan-fried fish, with a very gently chilled Chardonnay” and Robert Baxter, Auckland restaurant chef, also embraces New Zealand’s seafood with fresh Oysters and Arneis.   


If you are looking to think outside the box and experiment with some slightly less obvious pairings Helen Morrison, a Senior Marlborough Winemaker has a tasty suggestion, “Pinot Noir and pan fried Salmon is a surprisingly good match! Leave the skin on the salmon and pan fry it really crispy, serve with new potatoes or beetroot. Match it with the Cellar Selection or Taylors Pass Pinot Noir. It displays red cherries, forest fruits and a crushed herb note underlined with silky tannins.”. 

Helen also shares her knowledge of optimal temperatures for serving red and white wine over the summer months  “Red wines should be around room temperature, especially big reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah like temperatures around 18 degrees. Pinot Noir is best served slightly colder at 14-15 degrees. If you serve a wine too cold you risk muting the delicate aromas.”

In order to have the best flavour your “white wines should be chilled but not too cold. Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling like it around 7-10 degrees, Chardonnay and  Pinot Gris are best served between 9-12 degrees, as they benefit from slightly warmer temperatures, take the wine out of the fridge 15 min before you serve them. The aroma will open up much more with a slight increase in temperature.”


Visit Villa Maria for more information and inspiration for your summer picnics.


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