I was honoured to attend a wine pairing event at Zen- a truly exquisite Japanese restaurant. The wines were by Peter Lehmann Wines from Australia. Joe Roberts from Lehmann Wines was our wine aficionado whilst Michael and team from United Wines facilitated the event.
It was fascinating to learn the history behind Lehmann wines. Peter Lehmann was one of the original trilogy of South Australian German wine producers (others being Wolf Blass and Max Hubert of Grange Wines). The Lutheran Germans arrived in Port Adelaide in 1844 and brought with them the original, pre Phylloxera “old vines” so technically speaking these wines are “old” world and not “new” world wines!! Phylloxera decimated European vines in 1853.
Barista is synonymous with this region and it was named after an area in Cadiz,Spain by Col William. There are two main producing areas being High or Eden Valley for white and the floor for red. The soils and granite all impart their own characteristics.
Peter started the company in 1979 and it was called Masterson until 1983 and then Peter gave his name to the company. The wines are commercial and boutique and drank globally. Sadly Peter is no longer here in body but is in Spirit!!
This brings us on nicely to the food.We tasted five tasting dishes (salmon, sushi, chicken, duck and monkfish) along with the respective wines. On arrival we sampled the Pinot Grigio. With the salmon we had dry Riesling, with sushi there was Sauvignon Blanc. Chardonnay went with the chicken and Shiraz Cabernet with the duck. I had monkfish instead of beef and Shiraz. The wine pairings were spot on and definitely good matches!!
The ambience of the place, coupled with the efficient and professional service really made this a truly wonderful experience. Suffice to say this is still my favourite Japanese restaurant in Belfast!! The food plates we had really made us all wanting more!!!!