Ara Pinot Noir from New Zealand 2014

I considered that white wine, such as a Reisling or a Gewürztraminer, would match well with Thai duck soup but I was in the mood for red wine. I needed a red wine with some acidity so I looked towards Gamay and Pinot Noir from a cool climate. I was considering Germany and New Zealand and chose Ara Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014, from Marlborough, New Zealand.

The ingredients in the soup were fresh, homemade chicken stock, the meat from the legs of a roasted duck, bean sprouts, Piccolo tomatoes, chopped spring onion, ginger, garlic, lemon grass, Sichuan pepper, fish sauce, soya sauce, fresh lime juice, choi sum (a type of Chinese leaf), chopped coriander (aka cilantro) and the soup was garnished with fresh chives, coriander and sesame oil.

I wanted to chill the wine because I drank chilled red wine in Italy last summer, in a café at lunchtime and it was this wine experience I was searching for to match my soup. I took the wine out of the fridge about 20 minutes before the food was served.

As the Pinot Noir had been chilled, I didn’t decant it. The wine was bright and beautifully translucent in the glass with great legs. After a swirl, to give it some oxygen and because I love the feel of swirling a glass of wine, I smelt it. On the nose was raspberry ripple ice cream.  On the palate was unripe strawberries, very ripe raspberries with low tannin and high acidity. Perfect for my soup but also extremely palatable as an aperitif with or without food. The coolness of the wine gave immediate pleasure and refreshment. As I settled into the taste of this delicious wine, I began to get liquorice and orange. I had never tasted orange in a red wine but it was gorgeous. As the temperature of the wine rose, the length increased and I could taste caramel on the length. This Pinot Noir from New Zealand matched the food magnificently. The spice in the soup did not over power the red fruit in the wine. I can’t wait to buy another bottle while it’s on offer.

I purchased Ara Pinot Noir 2014 from Waitrose and paid £8.99. It is reduced from £11.99. What a lot of wine for the price!

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