A seat at the table: Switzerland meets New Zealand

On Tuesday evening, we were lucky enough to attend an evening of good wine and food at Noble Rot Wine Bar with the theme of Switzerland meets New Zealand. With only two percent of Swiss wine being exported, this was a rare opportunity to taste wine from the country without travelling to Europe.

It was a gorgeous warm evening when we arrived, and as is common with events here (this is the third one we have attended), guests are all seated at a long table, which gives an opportunity to chat to all sorts of new people. The menu is below, and if you look closely, you can see the letters L and R beside the wines. This refers to the glasses placed in front of us – on the left, there was wine from B.Wine, a boutique vineyard in Martinborough run by two Swiss born Kiwis who are one of only a few winemakers who make two vintages in two hemispheres each year — one in Switzerland and one in New Zealand. On the right, wines from Switzerland.

We started with a glass of chasselas, a grape grown in Switzerland and other European countries. This was accompanied by a gougere with a goat cheese mousse, leak fondue and cornichon which was really excellent. Two pinot gris were served next. It was a really great opportunity to compare and contrast the two wines from very different parts of the world made from the same grape. The second dish was an heirloom tomato vol-au-vent.

The third wine variety was chardonnay, with two very different glasses, both enjoyable. The fish was trevalley, served with a potato rosti, asparagus and a caviar cream sauce. We then moved on to the red wines, starting with pinot noir, with duck to enjoy alongside. This was served with a parsnip puree, pickled blueberries, pink oyster mushrooms, a very delicious sauce and onion ash dusted on the side (and probably my favourite dish).

The final wines were syrah, one of our favourite wines. The Swiss cheese fondu was not quite what you might expect, but a new take involving cheese, pickled cauliflower.,grapes, crispy saucisson and croutons. Every mouthful was different – I loved it but Karl was not so keen, it was certainly different. The evening ended with two truffles: milk chocolate and almonds and dark chocolate and cognac.

As well as all this food and wine, Raphael and Christine Burki of B.wine gave short talks on the wine that they make both here and in Switzerland. A great evening of food, wine and conversation as a treat in the middle of the week.

Thistles and Kiwis is a Wellington, New Zealand based blog written by Barbara, who likes cats, summer, good food and pretends to garden.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com or lofgren@thistlesandkiwis.org

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