Do you trust the Chef? It’s my usual modus operandi. At the Amisfield Bistro the Trust The Chef signature menu offers a shared dining experience, with dishes selected by Head Chef Jay Sherwood based on fresh produce and ingredients available daily. I’ve dined poolside in the stunning Central Otago courtyard before. And once again I was blown away by the sensational simplicity of the food. Duck of course is a great match for the wine flagship of the region: pinot noir. So we had to have the delightful and delicious Duck Confit, Marinated Red Cabbage Pear and Orange Vinaigrette. Well, in truth, as you’ve read, it was selected for us. Heaven in the open air!
Another stunner of the day was also treated simply. Lemon Sole, Sorrell, Preserved Lemon, Tumeric Vinaigrette was a flavour and texture phenomenon: moist and delicate, yet intricate and complex. Yet the breakthrough dish for some may have been the Whitebait, served two ways, crisp and fried or marinated, perhaps the best I’ve had.
Okay, so there’s a glass of rose in the whitebait picture. You know I am a rose girl. And while Amisfield (and the region) is best known for it’s pinot noir (in fact they are known as a small specialist producer of it) I’m quite partial for a drop of what they call their naked pinot rose – rosé.
Amisfield Wine Company
10 Lake Hayes Road, RD 1, Queenstown, New Zealand
+64 3 442 0556
And for those of a similar inclination (and even those that are not) Rose Revolution is popping up again in the next couple of weeks with Three Days of Rosé (30th November, November 31st and December 1st). So I’ll include a couple of other rosés I discovered this weekend at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and while trolling cellar doors in the Central Otago region.
Rosé is perhaps my pick of the Peregrine wines and the hand harvested 2012 rosé is ready to drink now. Fresh aromatics of white cherry and pomegranate lead to a soft creamy palate with a hint of sweetness.
At the cellar door I was surprised to learnt that atypically for the region this winery is well known for sparkling (and ice wine). Their Brut Rose is I think their finest drop. Again predominantly pinot noir (74%) for which the Central Otago region is best known.
By the way, did you know that Central Otago is the world’s southern most winemaking region?
Air New Zealand flies direct year round from Sydney to Queenstown. Flights direct to Queenstown are available from Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney. Visit airnewzealand.com.au to book.