bars � drink
squaremeal.co.uk | 59
airing wine with food in a
restaurant can be a daunting
task. How do you work out
which � avours and textures
go together? To answer this
question, New Zealand's Ara
Wines invited Square Meal readers to try a
glass of its Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc or
Pinot Gris in restaurants around the capital.
Hailing from the Wairau Valley in
Marlborough, Ara's vines are planted in
glacial soils that produce elegant and
characterful wines perfect for food pairing.
Eateries taking part included Bibigo
Bar � Dining, Cork � Bottle, The Modern
Pantry, Notes, Ozone Co ee Roasters, Pied
à Terre and The Swan at the Globe. It was
a chance to get your teeth stuck into wine
matching - literally! And plenty of you
were keen to submit your reviews...
Points of view
'Pinot Noir and duck is a classic match,
so I was pleased to see it on the menu at
Cork � Bottle,' said one reader. 'The Ara
Pinot Noir 2011 was really fruity with nice
� avours of cherries and raspberries. This
complemented the savoury roast duck
breast - like having pork with apple sauce.'
At The Modern Pantry, Ara Pinot Gris
2013 was matched with pan-fried pollock
and couscous. 'The wine was deliciously
savoury, with stone fruits on the nose. It
went very well with the sweet currants in
the couscous, while not overpowering the
delicate pollock,' noted one keen foodie.
Back at Cork � Bottle, the Pinot Gris
was served with ginger and garlic prawns,
spiced slaw and avocado. 'I liked the
sweetness from ripe fruit and also noticed
some honey and � oral notes,' said a taster.
'The sweetness is good because it balances
the spiciness of the slaw and matches the
juicy sweetness of the prawns too.
It was clear that readers had enjoyed
trying new food and wine combos, but
one lucky reviewer also won a meal for
two at Pied à Terre. Laura Richards visited
Bibigo and wrote: 'The sweet and smoky
bulgogi was a surprise suggestion, as
I thought the barbecue sauce � avour
may overpower the wine. But the Ara
Pinot Noir stood up to the dish and the
earthy � avours from mushrooms and
beansprouts actually allowed the fruity
notes of the wine to shine.'
If you'd like to try pairing Ara Wines
with food at home, see the box below.
You can � nd Ara Wines in your local wine supplier:
Ara Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013; £10.99, Waitrose Ara Single
Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011; £11.99, Waitrose Ara Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc
2012; £11.99, Majestic Ara Select Blocks Pinot Noir 2012, £14.99; Majestic
Ara Wines pair perfectly with a range of di� erent dishes -
as Square Meal readers discovered in a recent promotion matchmakers
Ara Wines vineyards
The Modern Pantry