Villa Maria Wine Dinner- Saujana Hotel

The Saujana Hotel recently scouted a Sicilian chef, Filippo Giunta, into their kitchen and when it was time to throw an anniversary celebration dinner to host Villa Maria's (NZ's most awarded winery) 50th year, it was time to whip out a five-course wine pairing concoction.


So I brought Wendy along with me for an evening of fine dine and good wines.

Despite having just arrived that morning from Cambodia and having to walked 13 hours straight throughout Angkors the day before; we limped our way in our cocktail dresses to dinner.

Good company and good food. Why not eh? (In all honesty, we nearly bailed on attending the event)



But I've always enjoyed Saujana's hospitality so dinner it was!


We started off with a light 2011 Sauvignon Blanc by Private Bin, Marlborough as aperitif which I thought was really suitable. As a white wine drinker, probably the only worth mentioning wine of the wine for me, lol.

Appetizer was Burratina Cheese with Sicilian Caponata and Balsamic Reduction. 

Tasted like buffalo cheese on ratatouille.
I like the dish but found the cheese a bit overpowering as starter. 

Green Peas Soup with Prawn and Sun Dried Tomato Quenelle
paired with Hawkes Bay Cardonnay 2010 (bad pairing)

I like the combination of the sun dried tomamto in soup. New and delightful.

Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Risotto with Crispy Sage Butter
paired with Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010

My favorite dish. I love risotto, and I love goat cheese. The pumpkin was a nice touch but I thought it a bit rich, perhaps a small serving?

Lamb Shank with Soft Polenta, Gremolada and Thyme Reduction.
paired with Hawkes Bay Syrah 2009

It would have been more suitable and delicate if it were lamb cutlet, I thought lamb shank was a bit vulgar for the theme of the night. And the polenta was a bit coagulated amidst the thyme reduction.

Traditional Italian Tiramisu with Coffee and Galliano Ristretto Jelly
paired with Private Bin Marlborough Dry Riesling 2011

Oh gosh. What horrible pairing.
Dry wine with dessert? Seriously?
Not a fan of tiramisu but didn't mind this one.
Coffee flavour wasn't rich (thank god) and not too creamy and not too sweet.
Dessert was very pleasant despite the wine.

Overall, an enjoyable dinner.

Aren't all wine dinners are? ;)


2 kissed Nicole