The flavours of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – and this is why it is so popular – are powerful and aromatic: citrus, gooseberry and passionfruit in spades. So you need big flavours on your plate to stand up to it.
Here are my top suggestions:
Asian-style seafood dishes – oysters, scallops, crab, clams, lobster, prawns – any shellfish with zingy flavours or a citrus or garlic marinade or dressing. (Big fat garlicky prawns – mmmm).
Thai food generally. A Thai green chicken curry or a Thai-style chicken salad is ace.
Grilled fish especially squid* or swordfish.
Dishes with herbs and greens – salmon with dill, for instance, but great with recipes that contain basil, coriander, rocket and especially mint. Like lamb with salsa verde.
Salads with goat’s cheese and feta, asparagus, avocado or grilled red peppers, fresh tomato salads or salads with fennel, mango or papaya. (A great suggestion from Canadian wine pairing expert Francois Chartier: add a tabbouleh to a salad selection to show off a sauvignon Blanc.)
Other good matches (though I personally prefer a less assertive style of sauvignon with them) include smoked salmon, fish and chips and oily fish such as mackerel and sardines.
Dishes that don’t work so well are ones with creamy sauces or cooked tomato or, more obviously, meaty dishes with gravy or dark savoury sauces
* Basically if you see big flavoured fusion dishes like these (from Peter Gordon’s Kopapa) reach for a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc:
Deep-fried sesame Urfa chilli salted squid, sumac aïoli, caramelised peanuts & cucumber
Fregola, chorizo & lemon stuffed squid, avocado puree, white radicchio, caper & mustard slaw, chervil vinaigrette
BY FIONA BECKETT