Friday, August 9, 2019

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Pan-fried Chinese Potstickers #WinePW

Almost ten years ago, a New Zealand (NZ) Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc got me hooked on wines…the fragrance of passion fruit and elderflower, the elegant balance between sweet notes of tropical fruit like papaya and citrus notes. All these right elements from the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc were spot-on in terms of comparing the foods I loved to eat at the time. Although my taste towards wines swifts from whites to reds since then, white wines do play a comeback to me lately as my diet has become simplier and lighter. Thanks to Lori from Exploring the Wine Glass who has partnered with NZ Wine to provide some amazing NZ wine samples to the #WinePW bloggers, we can explore these wines with diverse food pairings. I received the 2018 Huia Sauvignon Blanc as a sample and was very impressed with how this wine does wonder with a casual daily Chinese meal – pan-fried potstickers!
NZ Wine Regions - Credit:
Marlborough is NZ’s most important wine region in terms of history and high production volume and simply puts NZ on the international wine stage with its exquisite Sauvignon Blanc since 1980s. Situated at the northeastern tip of NZ, this dry and sunny region, complemented with moderate but drastic day-to-day temperature variations, is home to over 500 growers and produces around three-quarters of all NZ wines. Relieved from the extreme rain and wind, the eastern coastal area embraces cooling sea breezes and protective mountains. However, the long Indian summers occasionally create drought but also offer opportunities for a wide range of grapes (e.g., Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Albarino) to flourish in this type of climate.  
Sauvignon Blanc From Marlborough - Credit:
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc remains the bread and butter performer for the industry. Many wineries from outside the region try to own or lease vineyards, or buy grapes or wine, so they can offer their own Sauvignon Blanc and strengthen their portfolio. Huia Vineyards is a proud founding member of the MANA Winegrowers collective that consists of organic farmers, who live, work and play in Marlborough and are united by a commitment to making great wines, sharing knowledge and safeguarding the land. Huia sources its Sauvignon Blanc from their two estate vineyards. Huia vineyard, which has the stony, sandy loam soils, offers a tropical fruit profile while the clay-based soils of the Winsome vineyard provide the herbaceous notes, lime, and minerality to the wine. The grapes are pressed with the vineyards kept in separate vessels. A percentage of the juice undergoes natural fermentation in a mixture of neutral to new French oak, which adds further richness and complexity to the wine. 
At Huia Vineyards, no pesticides, insecticides or herbicides
are used. Artificial additives are eliminated from the winemaking process. Biodynamic growing is integrated into the vineyard’s organic program, which encourages the free grazing of livestock, growing of botanicals, and effective use of composting. The sustainability of the land and surrounding ecosystem are supported and respected.
The Huia Sauvignon Blanc exhibits bright floral notes of elderflower and lime zest on the nose. The wine is layered with flavors like melon, gooseberry, herbal, and lime zest. It has a tad of oak which enhances rather than masks the natural flavor of this wine. The minerality of the wine adds complexity and weight to the wine that enables it to pair well with pan-fried Chinese potstickers (dumplings).
While potstickers that have seafood fillings would be an obvious choice to pair this white, I see the meatier kinds like the beef/vegetable and chicken/vegetable potstickers we have here are equally charming with this wine. The beef potstickers have intense succulent meat taste that is rich and juicy, interacting very well with the oak and minerality notes of the wine. The lime zest flavor of the wine is undoubtedly enhancing the chicken potstickers, making them light and clean. When I go for a quick summer meal plus a refreshing chilled Sauvignon Blanc, nothing is easier than these delicious dumplings that are quick to make and are substantial as a real meal.  
Unless it is wontons (dumplings that are cooked in soup), I always pan-fry dumplings using a very simple method that guarantees success in taste and presentation.
Wontons to be Cooked in Soup
In a hot cast iron frying pan, drizzle some oil and heat it to a smoking point. Line up the potstickers in the pan and cook them on high heat for 5 minutes, so the bottom of the potstickers forms a crispy crust. Add ¼ - ½ cup of water to the pan, turn the heat to medium and put the lid on the pan. After 10 minutes or until the liquid is fully evaporated, turn off the heat and let the potstickers sit in the pan for 5 minutes. The potstickers should come off from the pan easily.
For full disclosure, I rarely make potstickers from scratch. The frozen section of most grocery stores, from Asian ones where you can get the more special dumplings to mainstream super markets like Shoprite and Costco, does offer a lot of high-quality potstickers. Look for the ones that are made in USA to assure food safety. With the many styles and kinds of dumplings to choose from, these Chinese dumplings are easy and delicious daily meals that everyone should include in their food group. Adding a versatile NZ Sauvignon Blanc like Huia to your meal, a simple meal becomes a happy meal!

Disclosure: The wine in this post is a sample. The ideas are my own.
Check out other #WinePW bloggers's NZ wine pairings:
  • Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla will be making Hāngī in a Dutch Oven + Gimblett Gravels Malbec 2017
  • Linda of My Full Wine Glass will be posting New NZ wine, old Sicilian dish (#WinePW)
  • Jane of Always Ravenous will be pairing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Paired with Fresh Flavors of Late Summer
  • Cindy of Grape Experiences will show how to Beat the Heat with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Chilled Cucumber Soup with Mint
  • Gwen at Wine Predator will be pairing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with Zesty Arugula Kale Pesto Pizza and Salad #WinePW
  • Jennifer of Vino Travels Italy demonstrates Seeing the Potential of North Canterbury, NZ at Mt. Beautiful Winery
  • David of Cooking Chat will be pairing Tomato Caprese Salad with Pesto and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinny of Chinese Food and Wine Pairings will be serving New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Pan-fried Chinese Potstickers
  • Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm will be Discovering New Zealand Wines
  • Sandra of Wine Thoughts will be taking A Tropical Staycation with Spy Valley E Block
  • Cynthia and Pierre of Traveling Wine Profs will be sipping New Zealand Chardonnay with a view of... The Pyrenees #WinePW
  • Rupal the Syrah Queen will be drinking New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with Grilled Mediterranean Swordfish
  • Nicole at Somms Table will be sharing Memories of New Zealand's South Island with Waipapa Bay Wines.
  • Lori of Exploring the Wine Glass, is thankful that Humans May Only Be 5%, But They Make Great Wine #WinePW


  1. You had me at potstickers! A friend recently came over and gave me a lesson in making them the way her grandma did. Her method of cooking them is very similar to yours and I'm very glad to have the recap. Actually,going to share this with my husband bc he was asking about how to to cook them just the other day. I'm certain the wine was a great pairing too!

  2. Good to know that the store bought ones are worth seeking out. So much easier than trying to make them!

  3. I love potstickers. I have never tried the frozen ones but you can be sure that I will be checking them out on my next costco run.