Man O'War wine Food & Wine Pairing

  • 3 October 2022
  • Celia Hay

A fine line-up of Man O’War wines introduced by winemaker Duncan McTavish and David Nash. Starting with the Tulia Blanc de Blanc 2017 disgorged without the addition of sugar, dry with ripe peaches and grapefruit.

Once seated for the dinner, we learnt that Kulta, the name of their premium wines, means gold in Finnish and honours the heritage of the late Tytti Laurola Spencer, the matriarch of the current generation of the Spencer family, owners of Man O’War. 

Kulta Matilda Chardonnay 2019 is full-bodied, full of toasty nuts, and vanilla - a chardonnay lover’s chardonnay. The Kulta Toto Syrah 2018 is full of dense plums and bramble with a savoury layer of cloves and cinnamon, soft, ripe tannins. The Kulta Tytti Bordeaux blend 2018 dominated by Cabernet Franc and Merlot 2018 is equally full-bodied, made from ripe, clean berry fruit with supple tannins.

The high point of the menu for me was the new season asparagus served with beurre blanc and toasted walnuts. The dessert of pineapple semifreddo brown butter was paired with the Holystone Noble Pinot Gris 2019, full of succulent ripe pineapple and luscious apricots.

The unexpected highlight of the evening was the original New Zealand artworks that line the walls of the Britomart Hotel “Libraries” and throughout the Britomart precinct. Each day, I walk past Shane Cotton’s “pots” that adorn the exterior wall of the Mr Morris building. In the Libraries, you can see the original works plus more…
I was captivated to find this small, hand-coloured engraving, that included Chief Tuai (Toui) who had learnt English, lived with the Rev. Samuel Marsden in Parramatta in 1813 and then visited England in 1818. In this etching, he is dressed in a formal, tailored jacket of the day. The etching dates from around 1824 when the French explorers Duperrey Dumont d’Urville visited the Bay of Islands in the ship Coquille, later renamed the Astrolabe…now the name of another renowned New Zealand winery.
You can read this amazing biography of Tuai, A traveller in two worlds,  written by Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins, and published by Bridget Williams Books.

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