New Zealand has become a real success story for wine. Not all that long ago they were making wine from virtually unknown grapes such as Isabella, which isn’t even a member of the wine grape family. Now their signature grape, Sauvignon Blanc, has stole a lot of France’s thunder. New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc wines are prized the world over, and are quite distinctive.
The wine reviewed below comes from the South Island wine region of Marlborough, the country’s most famous wine area; one particularly known for its Sauvignon Blancs. Unusual for New Zealand, this wine is Kosher. It has been flash-pasteurized; the technical word is Mevushal, which means that observant Jews consider it to be Kosher, no matter who serves it. Once upon a time Mevushal meant boiled wine, a process virtually destroying its taste and eliminating its use in pagan rituals. The presently used flash pasteurization process is much more gentle. As you’ll see, the wine reviewed is by no means tasteless.
OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.
Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc K/P 2007 13.0% Alcohol About $ 20.00
Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials.
Tasting Note: Pale yellow colored, the nose shows intense aromas of sweet pea pods and passion fruit. Medium to full-bodied, flavorful tropical fruit and gooseberry flavors with pea pod on the finish, which is zesty. Serving Suggestion: Pan-fried fatty white fish with tropical fruit salsa. And now for my review.
The first sips tasted of pea pods. The wine was a bit unctuous. The initial food pairing involved a sweet and sour commercially barbecued chicken breast accompanied by potatoes roasted in chicken fat and a salad (more of a salsa) consisting of tomatoes, tomato puree, sweet pimento, hot peppers, and vegetable oil. I noted a good balance of crisp acidity and sweetness. The acidity intensified somewhat with the roasted potatoes, doing a good job of cleansing the palate. On the other hand the wine was weak when faced with the salad.
The second pairing involved an omelet. The wine’s acidity was crisp and refreshing but I am getting tired of the pea pod taste and smell. The accompanying grape tomatoes removed the offending taste but there wasn’t all that much flavor left.
The final meal centered around meatless lasagna containing tomatoes, peas, cottage cheese, and sliced olives topped with mozzarella cheese. The wine finally succeeded in shaking off the pea pods and displayed bright acidity but not a lot of fruit. I finished with a light cheesecake with a graham cracker crust. I think it may have been the sugar that brought back the pea pods.
I finished with the cheese pairings. With a Provolone there was something in the background, probably grapefruit. Then I went to an Emmenthaler (Swiss) but even with this high-quality, flavorful (nutty) cheese the familiar, undesired taste came back.
Final verdict. It doesn’t happen often but one taste managed to ruin everything. Actually, I am not at all sure that even without those pea pods I would buy this wine again. There are so many great New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. But this is hardly one of them. If you want Kosher wine, there are a lot of other choices in all price ranges. Keep posted. I’ll be reviewing more of them.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian, French, or other wine, accompanied by the right foods and spend time with his wife and family. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Among his many web sites he is particularly proud of his new love and relationships site celebrating mostly spiritual and on occasion physical love at http://www.loveamourlove.com You will find a wide range of articles devoted to various aspects of love, and a special collection of love quotes in both English and French (with translations.) Check out his global wine website at http://www.theworldwidewine.com with his weekly column reviewing wines and his new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.