Perfect pairings with BRANCOTT ESTATE

A collection of exciting New Zealand wines, paired with delicious recipes, designed by Sara Oteri.



I think I’ve solved the age old problem of soggy salad, with watermelon. Gone are the days of limp leaves when you use watermelon pieces to soak up and hold your dressing. Every bite is like an explosion of flavour and an instantly salivating experience. Soaked in a sweet and sour Thai style dressing, this recipe is alive with flavour, cleansed with cooling cucumber and funked up with a shrimp paste praline. It’s an absolute favourite, especially with a cheeky glass of Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc.


Serves 4




1 tbsp grated ginger

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce

45ml lime juice (save zest for garnish)

1/4 cup raw sugar



1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 tsp shrimp paste 

3 tbsp warm water

1/3 cup roasted peanuts

Pinch of salt 



Watermelon cut into 2cm thick rectangles (2-3 per person)

2 x Lebanese cucumbers sliced into ribbons

4 x radish (sliced into thin rounds)

Handful of red cherry tomatoes (cut horizontally) 

3 Kaffir lime leaves (Cut into thread with scissors)

Handful of mint leaves


In a bowl, mix all dressing ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside. 

To make praline, dissolve shrimp paste in water until consistent. In a non-stick pan over a low heat, place caster sugar, shrimp paste water and salt. Cook stirring until sugar is dissolved, then increase the temperature and stop stirring until the sugar becomes golden 5-7minutes. If you continue to touch it, the sugar with crystallise. Once golden, pour over peanuts on a baking paper lined tray. Leave to cool.

Once the praline is completely cooled, you can blitz in a food processor or crush with a kitchen mallet until it forms small chunks.

Place your watermelon pieces into the dressing for 10 minutes to absorb the flavours. 

To assemble, place soaked watermelon on a plate followed by ribbons of cucumber, radish rounds and cherry tomatoes. Garnish with fresh mint, lime zest, Kaffir lime threads and a scattering of praline. 

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Everyone has a dish that transports them to their happy place – this is mine. You'll be forgiven if my Vongole renders you silent and the only noises you make is the slurping of pippie shells and the sipping of Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc.


800g fresh pippies, washed well to remove sand.

Handful of parsley, finely chopped

2 x garlic gloves, sliced 

1 tsp dried chilli 

Lemon rind

50g butter 

1/4 cup Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Extra virgin olive oil



In a large pan, gently fry garlic, chilli and parsley until fragrant. 

Add washed pippies or small clams, followed by a splash of white wine. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until clams open.

Add butter, lemon rind and melt through before serving in a large dish. This meal is perfect with crusty bread to soak up all those juices, a fresh salad and some Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc. 



Smokey sweet pineapple, salty gooey cheese sandwiched between crusty bread and washed down with a glass of Brancott Estate Sauvignon Gris. Need I say more?











Sourdough bread

Pineapple rounds, 1.5cm thick (fresh not canned pineapple)

150 gms thinly sliced gruyere 

70gm sliced mozzarella

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp butter



Before charring your pineapple, be sure to remove the fibrous centre of each round. You can do this with a round cookie cutter or small knife.

Heat a griddle pan or BBQ on high, grease with a little oil, and char your pineapple on both sides until you get griddle marks. Set aside. 

Cut sourdough into 2cm thick slices and butter one side, this will be the side in contact with your sandwich press or frying pan. 

On the unbuttered side, place slices of gruyere, mozzarella, followed by pineapple, a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper then more cheese. Top with the other slice of bread, buttered side on the outside. 

Place in a flat sandwich press or in a non-stick pan on medium heat until the cheese is melted and bread becomes golden. 

Serve with pickles, flaked salt to finish and some ice cold Brancott Estate Savignon Gris.



When a wine is good, it’s goooood. Like a Summer fling you never want to end. But I’ve always found dessert posses a problem to this love affair, especially if you’re a red drinker like myself. So I’ve created this, my blackberry and peach pie with soured cream. Tart, mildly sweet and savoury all at once, it’s the perfect pair to a Brancott Estate Pinot Noir.


Paired with Brancott Estate Pinot Noir





2 1/4 cups plain flour

1/3 cup caster sugar

17g unsalted butter, chilled and chopped

2 egg yolks

2 tbsp cold water



4 cups frozen blackberries, thawed and liquid set aside

2 yellow peaches, sliced into 1cm wedges or chunks. 

3 tbsp cornstarch

Lemon zest from one lemon

1/4 cup caster sugar

1 egg, for egg wash



Sour cream

Icing sugar 

Fresh peaches


Seves 6-8


Process flour, sugar and butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg yolks and chilled water. Process until dough just comes together. 

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth, then split the mix in half. Roll one portion 0.5cm thick and line a 3cm deep by 20cm wide baking tin. 

Preheat oven to 180C fan-forced, line pastry with baking paper and fill with uncooked rice or ceramic baking weights. Blind bake for 10minutes or until the pastry just begins to colour.

In a large bowl place thawed blackberries sliced peaches, sugar, lemon zest and cornstarch. Mix until well incorporated. 

Place the mix into the partially baked pie crust and top with strips of pastry. Mix an egg and brush over pastry to help it become glossy and golden.

Bake for 30mins. If the crust begins to brown too quickly, turn the heat down to 160C. 

Allow to cool for 15minutes before removing from baking tin.

In a small pan, reduce the reserved blackberry liquid with a little sugar until syrupy in consistency.

Serve the pie with a dusting of icing sugar, slices of fresh peaches, sour cream and drizzle with reduced blackberry syrup. 



One night, looking through my empty fridge (tumble weed rolls by), I scanned each shelf and pulled from it half a head of cauliflower, a handful of mussels (intended for something else) and a jar of Indian curry paste. I immediately thought about a creamy seafood chowder and challenged myself to come up with a dish that resembled the same mouthfeel with the delicate fragrance of seafood, and maybe a kick of spice. Cauliflower is such a wonderful vegetable. It’s incredibly diverse and can transform into the most silky and creamy texture without the need for dairy, so I knew I was onto a winner. I love this soup, especially as a starter to a dinner party. I’d recommend pairing it with a Chardonnay, I’ve used Brancott Estate’s Letter Series, to reinforce those smooth and creamy textures.


Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘O’ Chardonnay




700g cauliflower, thinly sliced.

2 x garlic cloves sliced

40g diced shallot

1 x bay leaf

3 1/2 cups of chicken stock

Olive oil



1 tsp store bought Rogan Josh curry paste

4 tbsp vegetable oil


1/2 kg of fresh cleaned mussels, roughly 5 per person

Curry leaves fried in vegetable oil


Serves 4 - this is a starter sized dish


In a large pot, gently fry garlic, shallots and bay leaf in a little olive oil until fragrant. Add the chopped cauliflower and cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 mins or until the cauliflower is soft.

Remove bay leaf and blend with half the stock using a stick or stand blender until smooth. Gradually add more stock until you get a soup consistency that isn’t too thin or thick. Pass through a sieve to ensure all lumps are removed. Season with salt. 

In a small pot, heat curry paste and oil until warm. Allow the oil to infuse with the paste then strain to seperate the two. Set aside the oil for use. 

Place the mussels in a pan with a dash of Brancott Estate Chardonnay. Put a lid on and steam on medium heat until the mussels open. Remove the mussel meat from their shells, reserving two per person in their shells for presentation. 

To plate, place a few mussels at the bottom of each bowl, followed by warm cauliflower soup and two mussels in their shells. Drizzle over the top some curry oil and garnish with friend curry leaves. Serve with chilled Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘O’ Chardonnay.



I’m a sucker for seafood. Show me a perfectly cooked piece of snapper, a sumptuous scallop or a sizzling prawn and you’ll have all my attention. This is my baby snapper with bonito butter and pea puree, but don’t be fooled. You don’t need to eat out to enjoy a sophisticated dish like this. In fact, making it is quite simple. It’ll be hard not to impress your friends and your tastebuds, especially when paired with Brancott Estate’s Letter Series Sauvignon Blanc.


Perfect with Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘B’ Sauvignon Blanc







70g salted butter

15g ginger, grated

1 garlic glove, grated

1 tbsp bonito flakes



150g frozen baby peas

1 tbsp chopped lemongrass

1 tbsp ginger, chopped

1/4 cup lime juice


4 x baby snapper fillets

1 x Nori seaweed sheet 

Extra virgin olive oil



Serves 4


In a small pot on low heat, melt butter along with garlic and bonito flakes. Turn off the heat before adding the grated ginger, leave to infuse for 30mins. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and set aside.

Place the nori in spice grinder and blitz until fine flakes are formed. 

Place 1/2 cup of water along with lemongrass and ginger in a small pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the frozen peas and blanch for a further 1 minute. Strain the peas and reserve the liquid. 

In a blender, blitz peas, lemongrass and ginger whilst slowly incorporating the reserved liquid and lime juice until a puree consistency. Season with salt and pass through a sieve to eliminate any lumps. 

Score the snapper skin and season with salt before placing skin side down in an oiled pan on medium heat. When the skin becomes crisp, flip over and cook the other side. This should only take around 4 minutes total. 

Brush your snapper with the bonito butter and place on a plate with a sprinkling of nori. Using a spoon or piping bag, serve your pea puree beside the fish. Best served with Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘B’ Sauvignon Blanc. 




I’ve always been curious about the different textures of mushrooms. A regular star in our fridge are baby king brown’s, which when cooked, have a slightly chewy and somewhat woody taste. They are brilliant at lathering sauces over and hold up really well when pan fried – so they’re often used as a meat substitute in our home. This recipe takes it up a notch. Designed to be served with other side dishes, my King Brown stack with Japanese flavours and macadamia puree is a little bit fancy and a whole lot of tasty. We served it alongside a bottle of Brancott Estate Letter Series Pinot Noir, which you’d usually find accompanying a piece of red meat but went just as well with this vegetarian dish.


Paired with Brancott Estate Letter Series ’T’ Pinot Noir



1/2 cup light soy

1/2 cup mirin 

1/4 cup raw sugar

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

1 tbsp ginger, finely grated

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp corn flour, dissolved in 1 tbsp water



170g toasted macadamia nuts

190g water

90g extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt


6 x king brown mushrooms, medium/large sized

3 x macadamia nuts for shaving 

Baby shiso, for garnish


Serves 2


Place all ingredients for the glaze in a small pot and cook on a low heat until sugar is dissolved and the sauce begins to thicken. When the mix coats the back of a spoon and running your figure across it leaves a clear path, you can set it aside.

To make the puree, place nuts and water into a blender and blitz on medium until smooth. Slowly stream in the olive oil until incorporated. Season to taste. 

Remove the fibrous bottom from the king mushrooms and slice down the middle lengthways. Using a knife, score the inside with diagonal lines. 

In an oiled pan on a medium heat, place mushrooms scored side down until they colour, flip and repeat. When the mushrooms are almost tender all the way through, brush all over with the glaze and continue to cook. It’s important the majority of the cooking is done without the glaze, as the sugars can burn and become bitter. 

To plate, place 1 tbsp of macadamia puree in the centre of each plate and top with 2/3 mushrooms. Drizzle with extra glaze and using a microplane shave macadamia over the top and finish with shiso. 


"There's no greater joy than stuffing your face with deliciousness"