A Guide to Wine, Food & the Good Life


John Tilson • 8/1/11        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share



Great Dining, Kumu, Maui Potato Chips, and 2010 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc



I recently did a Grape Press article on New Zealand wines. The bottom line is that these are wines that offer value and quality in a very food friendly style. You can view the entire article here New Zealand Trade Tasting (May 15, 2011 New Release Trade Tasting – New Zealand Wines) On a recent visit to Maui we were presented a great opportunity. But, before I go there, let me give you a little historical perspective. My wife Laurie and I were meeting our great old friend and long time Editor with the Underground, Ed Lazarus, in Maui to spend a week or so. Later, we were joined by our son, Jeff, and his fiancée, Courtney. Laurie, Jeff, Ed and I have been doing Hawaiian trips for nearly 30 years. My first trip to Maui was around 1970 when, as a young securities analyst at Sutro and Company, one of my assignments was to research the public companies in Hawaii. These included such companies as Alexander and Baldwin, Dillingham, Castle and Cook, Maui Land and Pineapple and several others. When I first visited Maui, the development of Wailea had just begun. We have stayed at many different places and visited all the islands, but the one that we have visited the most is Maui.

So with this background, I will share with you how it came about that I am now doing this article. Ed was staying at the Napili Kai Beach Resort and Laurie and I were staying at the Kapalua Bay Villas. This is very convenient as they are next to each other. Ed arrived first and, as usual, did his food shopping. When we arrived, we did the same. First, a trip to Costco conveniently located next to the Kahalui airport. In the old days, we would begin by shopping at stores all over the island, but today the great majority of things can be purchased with one stop at Costco (this includes the great Maui Gold Pineapples at the best price on the island). And, as usual, Costco had a very good selection of wines. I concentrated my purchases on wines that I thought would taste best with fish in the warm weather. Costco and other folks have figured that out too as there were more New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs there than I have ever seen in another Costco store (this follows the company’s policy to offer different items in different stores based on demand in that area). So I bought several 2010 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.

On the way from the airport, to where we were staying at the other end of the island, we made several more stops. First was for fish. And, we hit the jackpot! The store had three wonderful, fresh large Kumu. And, what is Kumu you ask? Well, it’s just the most delicate and tasty fish in the world. It is scarce and very hard to find. And, as far as I know, Kumu and its goat fish cousins, such as Moano and Weke, are mostly found in the waters of the Hawaiian Islands and, at times, throughout the South Pacific. We have been told that Kumu used to be reserved for the King and that today only native Hawaiians can capture the fish, but only with a spear gun. Also, the weather and water conditions have to be just right before there is a successful catch. We always search for Kumu every day when we are on Maui and sometimes, even then, we do not find any. This time we got these great fish, but that was it for the rest of the trip. There were no more available during our stay. So we enjoyed several other types of reef fish. And, while they are delicious, they are not in the same league as Kumu. However, the Moano is very close.

But, I digress. When we met Ed he was thrilled that we had obtained some Kumu and, later than evening when he saw the fish, he was in a state of euphoria. He brought with him the wines he had purchased. Nearly all were 2010 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs! Great minds…etc. So after appetizers, macadamia nuts, Maui Kitch’n Cook’d Potato Chips (for me the greatest potato chips in the world), several different kinds of freshly made Poke (Poke is usually made with Ahi tuna, but also with other kinds of fish. Octopus and Hamachi are two of my favorites besides Ahi). The fish is combined with other ingredients such as soy sauce, fresh ginger, sesame oil, chili oil, and diced Maui Onion to make Poke. The recipe changes slightly depending where it is made. On this last visit we found the best was available at the Napili Bay Market near where we were staying. But, it is available all over the island and it is fun to try different preparations (making sure only to buy those freshly made that day). And, of course, Champagne (the selection on the island is limited so I always pack an assorted case of Champagne in Styrofoam in my checked baggage as it’s the one thing we just cannot leave home without) accompanied the appetizers. Meanwhile, the Kumu were steaming in the oven (the general recipe follows at the end of the article) and at the appropriate time it came out of the oven and we unscrewed the caps on several bottles of  ice cold 2010 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Zoweeeee………….Are we having fun!!! Too bad Jeff and Courtney’s flight was canceled and they were late in arriving and missed the Kumu, but there were many evenings to follow. Each night we prepared the food. It consisted of assorted Champagnes, appetizers, fish, 2010 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and, for dessert, great dark chocolate Hawaiian Macadamia Nuts.

During the days there was sightseeing, shopping, swimming and snorkeling. These activities were interrupted by lunches (always out) and finally our grand dinners. Below are some recommendations as to food, restaurants, entertainment, and lodging on Maui.  And, of course, notes on the terrific 2010 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs! Bon Voyage, Bon Appétit, and Bon Degustation!


kumuFoods to cook


Fresh fish, fresh fish, and fresh fish. This is the star attraction in terms of cuisine on Maui. If you are lucky enough to find some Kumu, this is the top of the top. Here’s a photo of the Kumu we scored on our first day and enjoyed for two dinners.

If you do get some Kumu or another reef fish or any whole fish, this is the way we prepare it:

  • Cut a piece of heavy duty foil large enough to completely cover the fish with enough left over to form a large air pocket.
  • Brush foil and both sides of the fish with sesame oil.
  • Sprinkle Hawaiian sea salt on both sides of fish.
  • Fold foil on all sides.
  • Add some white wine (New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is the obvious choice) and a bit of soy sauce. Make sure there is enough wine inside the foil to steam the fish, but do not add too much,
  • Stuff the inside of the fish with some fresh cilantro, green onion tops, sliced ginger, and a slice or two of Maui Onion and lemon.
  • Wrap and fold the foil at the top to ensure a complete seal and make sure that there is a large air pocket at the top.
  • Depending on the size of the fish, place in the oven for about 25-35 minutes at 425 degrees.

The fish should be tender, moist and flaky when done. If in doubt, reduce the time or temperature and check. Then, if necessary, put back in the oven to finish cooking. The one thing you do not want to do is to over cook the fish.

If you tire of fish or don’t care for fish there are other things. One of our favorites is marinated beef short ribs. We first discovered them at Azeka’s Market in Kihei. The market closed many years ago, but for a long time there was a kiosk across the way that sold the uncooked ribs. But, alas it is no more. Now you have to search around at various markets to find them, but versions of them still can be found. They can be baked in the oven, or even better yet, if you have a barbecue then grill the ribs over the native Hawaiian Kiawe charcoal.

For me these are the most unique and tasty of the Hawaiian foods. But use your imagination and be sure to prepare something using the great Maui Gold Pineapples. One suggestion is a Hawaiian Maui Gold Pineapple Salsa:

  • 2 cups chopped bite size pieces of Maui Gold Pineapple
  • ¼ cup chopped Maui Onion
  • ¼ cup chopped Cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup fresh grated coconut
  • ¼ cup fresh coconut milk
  • Juice of one fresh lime
  • Toss and serve with fish, chicken, or pork.


Foods prepared and ready to eat


Poke – This wonderful appetizer which I talked about earlier is available at food markets and fish markets all over the island (just make sure to get it freshly made). Or you can buy a few ingredients and make your own.

Maui Gold Pineapples – One of the sweetest and most delicious pineapples you will ever eat, these are something you must try.

Maui Kitch’n Cook’d Potato Chips – These are simply the best potato chips I have ever eaten. You can buy them at stores all over Maui or visit them at the factory which is located near the Kahului airport where you can buy them direct at a discount price. It is good place to visit and Mark Kobayashi, the General Manager, is a very cordial and interesting fellow. If you are not going to Maui anytime soon, you can contact them at www.mauipotatochips@yahoo.com .  The business began in 1956 and the owners refused early offers to sell out for the big bucks to Frito Lay. After that the big chip companies came out with their Maui Style chips. They are fine, but not as good as the real thing. Maui Kitch’n Cook’d Potato Chips is now in the third generation of family ownership and all the chips are made at the factory in Kahului. They are distributed only on Maui and sold by mail to other places. The chips are made with potatoes, cottonseed oil, and salt. That’s it. They are delicious and particularly great with Poke!

chips and factory

Taste of Hawaii 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate Whole Macadamia Nuts – These are simply fantastic. They are made by Hawaiian Sun Products in Honolulu. They are available in Maui at Costco and other stores and shops all over the island. They are also distributed in the other Hawaiian Islands and the Continental US and can be purchased on line at www.hawaiiansunproducts.com . However, because of warm weather which can damage the chocolates, mail order purchases are only available between November 1 and April 15 each year.

taste of Hawaii




Restaurants to visit – Lunch

All of these restaurants are great for lunch. If you are a foodie, then no visit to Maui is complete without a stop at these restaurants. And, if you are not, well then you are just missing out on some really good food!

Buzz’s Wharf  Restaurant – Buzz’s Wharf has been operating in the same location in the Ma’alaea Bay harbor since 1956. I started going there in the 1970s and have since returned many times. It is now in second generation ownership and is as great as ever. The menu is varied and assorted, but I have two favorites. The first is their signature dish, the Markea Sweet Prawns Tahitian. These come prepared several ways and all are simply delicious. These are some of the most succulent and sweet shrimp that you will ever eat. The second is the fried Maui onion rings. I love onion rings and these are the best I have ever eaten. They are large rings of crisp, sweet Maui onion in a thin, crispy tempura batter served very hot – delicious! You can visit them at their website www.buzzswharf.com .


Mama’s Fish House – Mama’s Fish House opened in 1973 after the owners spent many years in Polynesia learning about fish and their preparation. It was the first fresh fish restaurant on Maui. It is located in a stunningly beautiful location – a coconut grove in Kuau Cove near the town of Paia.  As the name implies, the specialty is fresh fish and the menu changes daily depending on the season and the catch. Some items are available year around. Two of my favorites are Polynesian Ono marinated in lime and coconut milk and served in a fresh coconut and Uku Ceviche marinated in lime, cilantro, and Maui chili peppers. Mama’s Fish House is unique and a must visit when you are on Maui. Take a look at the website www.mamasfishhouse.com . It’s enough to make you hop a plane to Maui!

mama and big


Cool Cat Café – I think this name really fits the place. It is a cool place and you will feel like a cool cat devouring the best hamburger on Maui. The Cool Cat Cafe is located on the second floor of the Wharf Cinema Center on Front Street in Lahaina overlooking the park and the giant Banyan tree. There is a wide variety of food choices on the menu, but the real attraction is the Burgers. All are made from 6.5 ounce fresh Angus Beef patties and the lettuce, tomato, and Maui Onion are also fresh as well as the fresh baked buns. All the burgers also have a name. My favorite is the Marilyn Burger aka Some Like It Hot. That be me! The real attraction to this Burger (besides the name) is the addition of Ortega fire roasted green chili. You can look over the Cool Cat Cafe menu at www.coolcatcafe.com .


Pineapple Hill Grill at Kapalua Resort – Located on Pineapple Hill overlooking the golf course and the ocean, the location is stunning. There is inside and outside dining and the food is very fresh, innovative, and really good. This is a wonderful place for a casual, relaxing lunch. You can visit the website at www.pineapplekapalua.com.


Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante – This is the casual dining restaurant at the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel in Wailea. The location is spectacular with outside dining overlooking the beach and Wailea Bay. The food is very good and up to the standards one would expect at the Four Seasons. I particularly like the Seafood Cobb Salad which is also a standard menu item on other Four Seasons menus. More information is available at www.fourseasons.com/Maui


Restaurants to visit – Dinner

Although we almost always rent accommodations with a kitchen so we can prepare our own meals, there are really good restaurants that we have also enjoyed over the years for dinner.

Buzz’s Wharf  – This is a good place for dinner as well, but the location is a bit far from most of the main areas for hotels and accommodations.


Mama’s Fish House – Ditto here as well with one advantage. It is within 10 miles or so of the Kahului airport making it an easy choice if you flight arrives or departs in the evening hours.


Spago at the Four Seasons – This is a really nice Spago with a great location, food, and service. A number of years ago, with a lot of advance notice, we were able to get them to prepare a fresh Kumu dinner! Check out Spago at the Four Seasons at www.fourseasons.com/Maui


Roy’s – Kahana Bar & Grill – The Roy’s in Maui is located in a shopping center just off the main highway near Lahaina. Roy Yamaguchi opened the first Roy’s in Honolulu in 1988 and soon followed with Roy’s on some of the other Hawaiian Islands. He had apprenticed in Los Angeles and was the chef at 385 North in Los Angeles prior to returning to Hawaii to open Roy’s. The food at 385 North was simply terrific and my wife and I, along with many of our friends, had many great meals there. When the first Roy’s opened we paid a visit. That was a real treat. Roy invented the Hawaiian Fusion concept of food utilizing Hawaiian ingredients and food combined with other classical ingredients and foods. There are now some 31 Roy’s including six in Hawaii and 23 in the Continental U.S.  All feature spacious dining rooms and exhibition kitchens. The food is varied, interesting, and very tasty. You really should give Roy’s a try if you have not experienced Roy’s cuisine. And, with so many restaurants now open, you don’t have to go to Maui to have the experience, although going to Maui is obviously highly recommended! Check Roy’s out at www.roysrestaurants.com .



Besides all the things you would normally do at a beach resort, there is one show unique to Maui that I think is particularly worth doing. It is Warren & Annabelle’s.


Warren & Annabelle’s – This is a magic, comedy, dinner show located in Lahaina with performances nightly. It was opened in April, 1999 by Warren Gibson who is one of the world’s greatest sleight-of-hand magicians. There are amazing tricks and Warren is a very funny and personable guy. It is an interactive performance with the audience a part of the show. It is simply a great show to see! And, it is only on Maui! Tickets are sold for the show or for the show combined with dinner and reservations must be made well in advance of the date that you plan to be there. For details see www.warrenandannabelles.com .

Helicopter Tours. There are a number of helicopter tour companies operating on Maui. When you are there you can check for recommendations and the best rates as they can vary. We have always taken a helicopter tour on our first visit to any of the Hawaiian Islands. It is a great way to get a real understanding of the island and the different areas. After the tour, you can plan your trips to different places if that is part of what you would like to do. It is particularly interesting to take the tour on Maui because there are several different areas all with a special appeal. You can also get a DVD and take your tour without moving from your room, but the helicopter tour is really fun and a great experience.




Altough we almost always stay in a house or condominium where we can cook, there are many hotels in Maui with most of the nicer ones located in Wailea, Kaanapali,  and Kapalua. My hotel choice would be The Four Seasons Wailea.


The Four Seasons Wailea – This is a gorgeous newer hotel in a great location with wonderful restaurants. For me Wailea is one of the prettiest places on Maui. You can check out The Four Seasons Hotel at www.fourseasons.com/Wailea .


Wailea Bay Villas – These Villas are newer and well located. They are also very nice and spacious (ranging from approximately 2-3,000 square feet in size). Located in low rise buildings they are beautifully integrated into the surroundings. They all have very nice kitchens and are ideal if you want to do a lot of your own cooking as we do. The contact information is www.waileabeachvillas .

Kapalua Bay Villas – These are older units most of which have been recently refurbished. They are equipped with kitchens which is ideal for us as we do so much cooking. We have stayed here many times over the years. We have always had different units and have always had very good experiences. Kapalua can be cooler and windier than Wailea at the other end of the island. But, the weather in both places does vary somewhat with the seasons. For us, Kapalua seems more isolated and Wailea more populated and luxurious. In the middle, is Kaanapali which is a large complex of high rise hotels, shopping areas, a wonderful beach, and lots of people. You can contact Kapalua Bay Villas at www.kapaluavillasmaui.com .

Napili Kai Beach Resort – This was one of the original resorts on Maui when it was known as the Napili Kai Beach Club. Suffice to say that it is much different now than it was in the beginning. Over the years it has been refurbished, expanded, and is now a lovely condo resort with great access to Napili Bay, the beach, and swimming and snorkeling. You can check it out at www.napilikai.com .



wine linup1

After drinking and enjoying these wines with fish over the course of many dinners, I can say that they are terrific across the board. As was mentioned earlier, these wines are great for the tropics and warm weather and great with fish as well as other fare such as light salads and appetizers. The notes below are from 14 different wines mostly purchased and consumed while we were in Maui. But, after we arrived home we were still in a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and fish state of mind. So we purchased a few other 2010 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and some great fresh Dover sole.  With great gusto, we consumed the wines with the sole.

The Dover sole was simply prepared. The recipe is listed below along with a photo of the dish as we served it:


Filet of Sole 002


  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
  • Kernels of 1 ear of white corn removed from cob
  • 4-6 filets of  Dover sole
  • Hawaiian sea salt
  • Chive, chopped
  • Bacon, crisped and finely chopped
  • 2 -3 Tbs. raw pecans, roasted and chopped
  • Juice of ½ Meyer lemon


  • In a small sauce pan, brown 1 Tbs. butter and set aside
  • Generously rub the bottom of a cold sauté pan with 1 Tbs. butter
  • Sprinkle shallots over butter
  • Lay fish filets on top
  • Cover fish with white wine
  • Gently bring to a simmer (not boil) and baste the fish with wine until poached
  • Remove fish to a heated plate or sheet pan
  • Add corn to pan
  • Reduce the juices
  • Whisk in 1 Tbs. butter
  • Add half the chive, salt and all the bacon
  • Spoon onto plate
  • Top with fish
  • Drizzle fish with brown butter and lemon juice
  • Sprinkle with remainder chive and the chopped pecans

Serves 2

We served the Dover sole with fresh broccolini steamed al dente with a bit of Virgin Olive Oil added after it was cooked and  drizzled with Hawaiian sea salt and fresh Meyer lemon juice. The wonderfully crisp, elegant, and light 2010 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs were a perfect match for the delicate yet complex flavors of the sole. And the slightly crispy broccolini was a nice compliment to the fish and the wines.  YUM! YUM! YUM!  Happy! Happy! Happy!

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc offers an unequalled quality/value relationship. The wines tasted here range from $6.99 to $16.99 per bottle. Eight are rated Outstanding (including the most expensive and least expensive). Five are Highly Recommended or better and one is Recommended.  If you haven’t tried New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or have dismissed it in the past, I urge you to try some of the 2010s. Serve them ice cold with the proper food (the Dover sole recipe above is absolutely great with the wines) and I am sure your palate and your wallet will be in total harmony!

wine linup2
2010 Babich Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand.
This is a delicious Sauvignon Blanc. It has a pale yellow color and a lovely grapefruit tinged perfume. The wine has great finesse, but has depth and balance and lovely grapefruit flavors followed by a crisp finish – Outstanding.  Select Brokers, Manhassat, NY  $11.99  3-yellow-stars

2010 Brancroft Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand.
Pale yellow in color with a lovely faintly herbal perfume, this Sauvignon Blanc offers a richness of grapefruit flavors accented by a hint of herbs. It is flavorful and rounded, but is beautifully balanced with a nice crispness – Outstanding.  Pernod Ricard USA Purchase, NY  $13.99  3-yellow-stars


2010 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand.
Cloudy Bay was an early pioneer of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Over the years it has been very consistent and dependable and this 2010 is no exception. It is pale yellow in color with a faint grapefruit tinged perfume. It has lovely grapefruit tinged flavors and a very faint hint of melon on the palate and finishes with a nice crispness – Outstanding.  Moet Hennessy USA, Inc., New York, NY  $16.99  3-yellow-stars


2010 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand.
In my experience, this wine tends to more assertive in terms of grassiness and green pepper. So if that is what you are looking for this is for you. The wine has a pale yellow color and a perfume that is grassy with a grapefruit undertone. It is crisp with flavors of herbs, green pepper, and grapefruit – Recommended.  Imported by CWUS Imports, Rutherford, CA  $12.99  1-yellow-star


2010 Kirkland Signature Sauvignon Blanc Ti Point Marlborough New Zealand.
This wine is produced and bottled by Ti Point Vineyard for Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand. It is a winner! Pale yellow in color the wine has a complex perfume of herbs, melon and grapefruit. It is light and finesseful, but with an intensity of flavors showing grapefruit with hints of pear and green apple. Nice and crisp on the finish this is real value – Outstanding. DC Flynt MW Domaines and Estates, Lake Charles, LA  $7.99 Best Buy  3-yellow-stars


2010 Matua Valley Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand.
Founded in 1974, this was the first winery in New Zealand to produce Sauvignon Blanc. That seems like a very adventuresome thing to do way back then. There was a terrible recession and Sauvignon Blanc was virtually unknown. But, fast forward to today and WOW! That was quite a move. This 2010 is lovely. It has a pale yellow color and a nice perfume with herbal, grapefruit tinges. Rounded with lots of grapefruit flavors and a faint grassiness, the wine is balanced with a nice crisp finish –- Highly Recommended. FEW Imports, Napa Valley, CA  $10.99  2-yellow-stars


2010 Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand.
This is a gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc with a pale yellow color and a lovely perfume of grapefruit with a very faint herbal, exotic fruit tinge. It has great flavors, style and is soft yet balanced with grapefruit tinged fruit and a really nice finish showing a very nice touch of crispness – Outstanding. Oyster Bay Wines USA, Inc., New York, NY   $12.49  3-yellow-stars

2010 Picton Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand.
Pale yellow in color this wine is light, crisp, and fruity. It has a nice perfume with a faintly floral, grapefruit, and a subtle herbal undertone. The flavors are dominated by grapefruit, accented by a very faint floral, herbal nuance – Highly Recommended. L. Watson Inc., City of Industry, CA  $7.99  2-yellow-stars


2010 Sauvignon Republic Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand.
This is a really lovely Sauvignon Blanc and a great bargain. The wine has a pale yellow color and a lovely grapefruit tinged perfume with faint floral and pear nuances. It is light and delicate, but has lovely flavors and balance. Rounded, yet crisp with flavors of grapefruit and melon, this is a Sauvignon Blanc of finesse and style – Outstanding.  Sauvignon Republic Healdsburg, CA  $6.99 Best Buy  3-yellow-stars


2010 Starborough Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand.
This is a gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc with great balance, style and finesse. It is pale yellow in color with a faint grapefruit tinged perfume. The wine is rounded with subtle grapefruit flavors and a hint of grassiness. It is delicate, yet has lovely flavors and a very nice crisp finish – Outstanding.  Starborough Vineyards, Healdsburg, CA  $10.99  3-yellow-stars


2010 The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley Marlborough, New Zealand.
This is a lovely Sauvignon Blanc with a very faint grassy nuance. It is very pale yellow in color and has a lovely grapefruit perfume with a subtle hint of grassiness. It is delicate and crisp but with lovely grapefruit flavors accented by a faint underlying grassiness – Highly Recommended Plus.  W.J. Deutsch & Sons Ltd., White Plains, NY  $11.99  2-n-half-yellow-stars


2010 The Infamous Goose Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand.
There is a story on the back label of this bottle. So gather around folks and you shall hear the story of long ago. “The Infamous Goose aka ‘The Moa’ roamed the South Island of New Zealand well before us humans found this piece of paradise. That Infamous Goose is now extinct. Or is it? Who or what is the Goose? Rumors abound. Legends are told. One though is true…This wine.” And, what does this wine taste like?  Well, there is no goose here just the characteristic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  With a pale yellow color the wine has a nice perfume exhibiting a faint grassiness and grapefruit. It has a nice balance and zip with grapefruit flavors with just a tinge of grassiness and a lovely crisp finish – Highly Recommended.  Kobrand Corporation, New York, NY  $12.99  2-yellow-stars

2010 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Cellar Selection Marlborough New Zealand.
This “Cellar Selection” is differentiated from the “Private Bin” below with a bit more intensity and richness including a stronger influence of green pepper. It is pale yellow in color and has a nice perfume of grapefruit and green pepper and a hint of underlying grassiness. It is quite rich and full, but with nice crispness and faintly herbal tinged grapefruit and melon flavors – Highly Recommended Plus.  Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd., Woodinville, WA $13.99 2-n-half-yellow-stars


2010 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin Marlborough New Zealand.
This Sauvignon Blanc has a pale yellow color and a lovely grapefruit perfume with a faint underlying floral, herbal quality. It has lovely grapefruit flavors with hints of melon and a very faint grassiness and is balanced with a nice crisp finish. This is a terrific Sauvignon Blanc with elegance and finesse – Outstanding. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd., Woodinville, WA  $9.99  3-yellow-stars


That’s it for now folks. It’s time for me to continue on this great journey of wine and food. And, it is time for you to experience some of these things for yourself. The terrific 21010 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are easy to buy (both in terms of price and availability), easy to open (all have screw caps), and easy to drink (fish and lighter foods are perfect to accompany them). So what are you waiting for? Aloha! See you in Maui!!

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  • Richard McKay says:

    Though I agree that Kumu are not readily available at the fish market, your information regarding the procurement of said species is incorrect- Kumu can be caught, quite readily, with a rod and reel and there are no unique conditions required to catch them. I catch them nearly everyday as I fish the shoreline of Maui and net them as well. Indeed a tasty fish to eat.

    • John Tilson says:

      Thanks Richard. This is interesting to know. The information about the source of the fish was what was told to us by the few markets where we have historcally bought the fish in Maui. Now we have only one market that is dependable and often when we are there no Kumu is avialable. You are indeed lucky to be there and be able to enjoy these great delicacies regularly. Maybe we can bring some wine and meet you for a Kumu feast sometime when we are in Maui!
      In Vino Veritas,

  • Charlito says:

    John, absolutely great article. Very timely as it looks like Maureen is going to take me to Maui for my 70th birthday since wedding bells are going to take the place of my birthday tradition at Villa Bacchus 🙂 I have printed it and it will be our food and libation guide for the trip. Look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.

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