It was a successful hunting and gathering foray. John finally tracked down a wine we had been wanting to write about — the 2008 Cupcake Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc — and on the way home, the thrill of the hunt lingering in his veins, he stopped by a previously unexplored specialty market in search of just the right game to accompany the wine. And there they were: a brace of beautiful golden snapper fillets and not far away a covey of deep green asparagus spears. He beat his chest in triumph and hurried home.
The Cupcake sauv blanc (about $9 to $11 at wine shops) is a classic from New Zealand's Marlborough district: young, straw colored, fresh and crisp. The aroma as it splashes into the glass is a blast of citrus, and the first taste is guaranteed to wake up the sleepiest palate. Grapefruit and gooseberry are much to the fore, as one would expect, but lemon also plays a major role, abetted by a hint of apricot. Just the right bite of acidity keeps the taste buds hopping, and the cool, zesty finish carries the whole delightful ensemble of flavors to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion. As with most sauv blancs, drink this one good and chilled.
To accompany it, Colette baked the snapper Vera Cruz style, mantling the fish in crushed tomatoes, green chilies, garlic and chopped green olives. The asparagus was steamed with a splash of lime. As we had hoped, the Cupcake took to this pairing like a duck to water, the food and the wine bringing out the very best in each other.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.