Gypsy Caravan – Vegan Winemakers Lunch

There’s no better way to spend your Sunday afternoon wining and dining at Ponsonby’s much-loved Gypsy Caravan. Especially when it’s a vegan affair, where seasonal veggies are brought to life in the form of delicious plant-based dishes.

Known for their sophisticated vegan fare, Gypsy Caravan opened up their beautiful courtyard yet again to host another Vegan winemakers lunch on Sunday, this time pairing up with the guys from Loveblock wine, who were showcasing their organic vegan range. Let’s just say the 4-course menu was nothing but pure satisfaction.

To kick off the afternoon, the lovely Kim, co-founder of Loveblock Wines introduced us to Loveblock and shared their story about their Vineyards in Marlborough and Central Otago. He also talked us through the wine-making process for vegan wine, which he says comes from “making no mistakes” –  and we can vouch for that, the wine was perfectly matched for each dish and certainly challenged our palate.

To wake up our taste buds, we started with miniature snacks, the ‘Harissa Bomb and Beetroot Tartare’. Don’t be fooled by the size, they were jam-packed with plenty of colour and flavour. The first course followed, which was ‘Zucchini, miso, puffed rice’. The dish was not only beautifully presented, but the many components of the dish added a variety of textures. The Zucchini was soft, the miso was smooth and the puffed rice and nuts added that much-needed crunch. Paired with Loveblock’s Organic Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2017, which brought a light, fruity, dry finish to your palate.

The Charred Asparagus and Fennel paired with Loveblock’s Organic Pinot Gris, was certainly a favourite. The asparagus was cooked to perfection, whilst the mixture of nuts added texture and the fennel brought a unique flavour to the plate. Loveblock’s Pinot Gris was the perfect match for this dish as it was fleshy and had peachy notes, which complimented the delicate flavours of the dish.

Course 3, Compressed Eggplant, corn, Kohlrabi brought spice to the menu, the eggplant itself was filled with intense flavours, while the Kohlrabi – which has similarities to a radish offered that cleansing element. Paired with Loveblock’s Orange Sauvignon Blanc, which is not only sulphite free and vegan friendly, but also uses green tea as a natural preservative in the winemaking process. It’s dry, yet fruity with sweet tea flavours.

Just when you thought it surely couldn’t get any better, a small parcel made up of chocolate custard, raspberry and almonds was placed in front of us. This was meant to be a palate cleanser, but could have quite easily passed as the dessert. The actual dessert, ‘Passion Fruit, Tapioca and Coconut was equally as delicious, the passion fruit flavoured cake was warm, cooled down by the creamy yet light coconut cream. Loveblock’s Pinot Noir could have been paired with either the dessert or the palate cleanser as it’s dark cherry and berry notes complimented the rich chocolate and the deansness of the cake.

Hats off to the team at Gypsy Caravan for preparing not only delicious guilt free food, but also visually pleasing dishes. It just goes to show that vegetables don’t have to be boring, especially when they’re paired with beautiful wine. (Thanks Loveblock!)

 

Lauren Sanderson

Journalist

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