Sweetcorn. Ah. One of the delights of a New Zealand summer. Roadside stalls, farmers markets and produce stores tempt with just picked produce although the days of ’5 for $1′ seem to have past.
I usually pop an un-husked ear of corn in the microwave, cook 4 to 8 minutes depending on the size, peel back the leaves my eager fingers staccatoing in response to the heat. I remove the leaves and the silk, drizzle with butter, season with salt and pepper and eat.
But this summer I was introduced to a yummy sweetcorn salad – a sunny bowl of golden kernels with a creamy dressing. “Based on a Nici Wickes recipe with mayo, parmesan, lemon and a whisper of chilli,” the salad maker said.
When it comes to matching wine with sweetcorn my first choice is chardonnay and not surprisingly one was ready and waiting – Domain Road’s chardonnay from Central Otago and yes, it was terrific with the salad – on this particular occasion the chilli omitted as none available in the holiday kitchen.
Domain Road Central Otago Defiance Chardonnay 2015 is light lemon gold in the glass. The bouquet is leesy with a light nutty oak scent. It tastes fresh and young on the first couple of sips then fleshes out with a lovely creamy, mealy, lemony, nougat-like richness with crushed hazelnut, delicate citrus and white peach notes and something that reminds me of caramelised / slightly toffees edges of apple shortcake crust. Mouthfilling and chewy with elegance and finesse, this gorgeous barrel-fermented style has the purity and clarity that the southern soils and climate bestow.
It wants to be matched with food that harmonises rather than overpowers the delicate flavours of the wine. Sweetcorn will do nicely, thank you.
These chardonnay grapes were grown in Domain Road’s Defiance Vineyard in the famous Felton Road in Bannockburn. It was fermented in French oak barriques where it remained for 10 months with subsequent malolactic fermentation and regular lees stirring. Alcohol is stated at 14% and price is around $28. Click on domainroad.co.nz to find out more.