We convinced one of our all-time favourite peeps - Davey who heads up one of our all-time favourite Wellington restaurants Ortega Fish Shack, to share some insights into how he is maximising his lockdown time whilst keeping his hand in the game – we love you Davey!
While we’re at home in lock down doing the best to entertain ourselves, our friends on the front line of the wine industry are as busy as ever. Working hard with this year’s wine harvest well underway hopefully the very beginning of lots of goodies for us to look forward to. At home we’ve been enjoying some of their fine work from previous vintages. We have been having plenty of fun and enjoyment trying to match our lock down dinners with their wines and in particular one of our all-time favourite producers Quartz Reef.
Last night’s lockdown dinner was matched with Quartz Reef Grüner Veltliner 2019.
Grüner for me is always a varietal I’ve loved and has lots of interest in. This one from Quartz Reef is a great example of Grüner from NZ. Made from only 3 little rows of beautiful vines in Central Otago. Not often found outside of its native Austria, these grapes found a home on some hills in Bendigo which was destine only for rabbits and a couple of sheep. Delicious as ever! Think all citrusy fruit, green apples and gentle florals with notes of rosemary, white pepper and fennel. Gorgeously crisp and dry yet soft ‘n’ oily at the same time which is what I probably love the most about it. Full of minerality with a schisty like texture and a long dry and moreish finish, what’s not to love?
Usually at the shack we’re used to serving up the glorious Quartz Reef Grüner Veltliner with fish. If we were open for business at Ortega we’d be currently matching the Grüner with our Smoked Trevally rillettes, pickled radish & smoked sourdough crostini. However at home now we’re a bit more limited on choice and availability of produce so we’re not so focussed on fresh fish.
So here we go with operation clean out the fridge as we call it, hopefully meaning we can avoid a trip to the supermarket too soon. What have we got on hand? Not much now actually: some super tasty Freedom Farm classic pork sausages, spuds, cream, Dijon mustard, some apples and fennel from the back garden and a bit of beetroot, carrots and onions.
A really nice experience for us to take this Grüner out for a spin with something meaty rather than something fishy for once.
Keeping the focus on the use of the pork sausages, potatoes, fennel & apple to be the stars of the show to match our choice of Grüner for the evening. Fairly quick and easy the pork sausages were nicely browned. We put together a very rustic warm potato salad with the addition of plenty of Dijon mustard and cream with heavy hands of salt and white pepper. The apples from the tree were baked in the oven with a little cinnamon. We used the fresh fennel bulb and a bit of the herb to make a wee salad which was lightly dressed with a little olive oil. The beetroot, carrots and onion done very simply just to bulk things out a bit make sure we had enough to eat.
Nothing fancy or chefy about any of it, just a very simple home cooked dinner which all the whanau seemed to enjoy and worked really well with the wine match of the day.
Find out more about Ortega Fish Shack here: www.ortega.co.nz
It has certainly been a harvest to remember!
We were thankful the wine industry was classed as an essential business and therefore able to continue with our 2020 harvest, albeit under very strict protocol. We our proud of the vintage team who remained focused on the importance of a successful harvest throughout and we are very pleased to have wines safely tucked away for winter.