Match of the week | Venison tartare with Mountford's The Rise 2009 pinot noir

Match of the week

Venison tartare with Mountford's The Rise 2009 pinot noir

As you can imagine I’ve been drinking a fair amount of pinot noir in New Zealand this week (it’s a hard life). In general Kiwis pair it with lamb for obvious reasons but the most striking match I came across was with a venison tartare at the North Canterbury forage, a fabulous event I’ll be writing more about in due course

The idea was to collect as many wild ingredients as possible then hand them over to a group of chefs to create a free feast paired with the local Waipara wines. Somewhere along the line someone had picked up a deer (I don’t think they actually managed to shoot it) and one of the chefs, Tom Hishon from Orphans Kitchen in Auckland used the heart and loin to make a tartare to which he added elderberries and served with a flaxseed cracker topped with the venison bone marrow.

We got the chance to taste some of the wineries' more mature pinots with it. The wine in my glass was a silky 2009 called The Rise from a winery called Mountford. I might have thought of pairing it with cooked or seared game but not with a tartare but both the dish and the match were sensational.

Incidentally the chefs cut wooden 'plates' to serve the dish from a handy tree. I suspect just as an excuse to use a chainsaw ....

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