Fishcakes, ham and wine

  • Television icons: top, celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich and her son, Joe, are great supporters of Friulian wines; above, the Bastianich Winery, founded in 1997, consists of 90 acres of vineyards; below, cod fishcakes are perfect with a glass of wine

    Television icons: top, celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich and her son, Joe, are great supporters of Friulian wines; above, the Bastianich Winery, founded in 1997, consists of 90 acres of vineyards; below, cod fishcakes are perfect with a glass of wine

I’m not sure how many fishcakes it takes to get one kite in the air, but I am thinking of next Friday and the baked ham on Easter Sunday; let me suggest a few wines.

The Bastianich family has been one of the greatest supporters of Friulian wines in the United States and around the world. Celebrity chef Lidia and her son, Joe, are known internationally as television icons and writers, but mostly as being passionate wine lovers. Their family restaurants in New York City have been a place to enjoy a wide selection of wines from Italy.

Acquired in 1997, the Bastianich vineyards are unique in their varied position and microclimate. Spread over 90 acres, tucked away in the extreme northeast corner of Italy, the terraced vineyards are warmed by the heat of the Friulian plains and the Adriatic Sea.

Bastianich DOC Vini Orsone 2016 Sauvignon Blanc from Friuli is a most authentic embodiment of the fragrances and flavours of the Friuli hills. It greets the nose with chords of grapefruit, gooseberry and herbs. Strikingly lively and elegant, it offers a refreshing and admirably persistent aftertaste. It will provide an enhancing accompaniment for our family fishcakes, that are admittedly made from fresh fish rather than salted cod. This wine is well worth seeking as it is a lovely alternative to the usual Sancerre or New Zealand offerings. $21.75.

Pinot Grigio is also an appropriate accompaniment for fishcakes and, for folks who wonder how one stays at the top of one’s game decade after decade, I like to think of firsts: “Mr Bailey” and his idea of mixing Irish cream and whisky, or “Mr Smirnoff” and vodka.

Gaelano Marzotto, who back in 1961 decided to make a white wine from the quite dark Pinot Grigio grapes by immediately separating the juice from the skins after crushing, was also the first to do this. He named it after his wife: Santa Margherita.

During a recent visit by his grandson Giacomo Marzotto, we were told that they had always farmed their land organically but hesitated to label their bottles as such because they just wanted to be on the shelf with all the popular wines and therefore not placed in a special organic section.

Santa Margherita 2016 Pinot Grigio has a straw yellow colour. Its clean, intense aroma reminds one of Golden Delicious apples, along with lemon zest, white peaches and lime blossoms. $20.95.

I cannot help but think that rosé would be so delicious with either of the dishes that we have in mind. In August 2009, Stephen Cronk packed up his family and left the suburbs of southwest London for a small village called Cotignac, in the heart of Provence. The Cronks set out on a mission to produce a Provence rosé that would be regarded as one of the best from the region. Today, with a highly experienced winemaking team, Mirabeau has already earned accolades from some of the industry’s toughest critics as the dream materialises.

Here are their comments on Mirabeau Cotes de Provence 2016 Rosé: “Delectable raspberry pink hues and intense aromas, expressive and red berry fruit remain the essence of this rosé. Mirabeau Classic has a beautiful concentration, with strawberry and raspberry flavours taking centre stage, balanced by fresh acidity and leading to a sumptuous finish with notes of redcurrant. A perfect aperitif for an alfresco moment, it is also great with flavoursome food, or drink it as we do in Provence, anytime and with almost anything!” $19.70.

Pinot noir would be very appropriate with a flavourful baked ham, and often when I am involved with a tasting of these wines I like to show my “tennis ball map” on which I have drawn the equator in black and also in red, a line of latitude 45 degrees north of it and also another girding the globe at 45 degrees south. I explain that these pass through Burgundy in France, Oregon in the USA and also Central Otago in New Zealand’s South Island. They are among the best spots to grow complex pinot noir.

Mount Difficulty is a boutique winery located in Bannockburn in Central Otago, an area that is internationally recognised as one of the few places in the world where the petulant pinot noir variety has found a home. Mount Difficulty 2015 Roaring Meg Pinot Noir exhibits a lovely mix of red and blackberry fruits with further complexity gained from oak spice. These characters are balanced by soft tannins, balanced acidity and a fruit-driven finish. $26.90.

This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George’s (York Street, 297-0409). Visit<;/i>

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Published Mar 23, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 22, 2018 at 9:40 pm)

Fishcakes, ham and wine

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