Today’s posting introduces probably the most distant wine I have ever had to date: an exquisite Bordeaux blend from Craggy Range Winery in New Zealand. To pair their well-rounded Bordeaux-style red blend wine, I decided to try a new dish that is based on two distinct sauces. Combined with a sip of the Te Kahu wine, every bite was bursting with flavor.

Bordeaux Blend from Craggy Range Winery

Craggy Range crafts single-vineyard, terroir-driven wines, setting the benchmark for the high quality New Zealand wines. Founded in 1997 by Terry Peabody and his wife Mary, Craggy Range consists of two estate properties, Te Muna Road Vineyard and Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, as well as two wineries: Gimblett Gravels and Giants. New Zealand has a proud heritage and commitment to the land. The farming practices at Craggy Range go above and beyond New Zealand’s requirements for Sustainable Farming.

Craggy Range Giants Winery
Craggy Range’s Giants winery in New Zealand

Craggy Range goes beyond the Sauvignon Blanc that’s expected from a New Zealand winery to craft an impressively diverse portfolio of wines, including the Bordeaux blends Sophia and Te Kahu (more on that below), Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. Their Boreaux blends are made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Let‘s get cooking!


Grilled mustard-rubbed pork loin with walnut-tarragon pesto and strawberry-rosemary-red wine sauce

Sautéed rainbow carrot chips

Mashed baby yellow potatoes

Wine pairing

2019 Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Red Blend (Hawkes Bay, New Zealand)

Grilled Mustard-Rubbed Pork Loin with Walnut Pesto and Strawberry Wine Sauce

Serves 4


Pork and bordeaux blend
Grilled pork with walnut-tarragon pesto, strawberry red-wine sauce, and Craggy Range Te Kahu


  • 1 and 3/4 lbs pork loin (split open/cut horizontally)
  • 4 tablespoons of yellow mustard
  • Sea salt & cracked pepper
  • Cooking twine

Walnut Pesto

  • 1 cup of pan-roasted walnuts
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh tarragon

Strawberry wine sauce

  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries (blended to create a thick strawberry juice)
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1 large rosemary sprig (cut in two small pieces)
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil


  1. For the pesto, place all ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency (I opted for a smoother, creamy sauce texture). Set aside.
  2. For the strawberry-wine sauce, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add shallots, and cook for 5 minutes. Add wine and stir. Add rosemary sprigs and cook until wine is reduced by half. Stir in vinegar and sugar. Add strawberry juice and stir well, cooking for an additional 4 minutes. Remove from heat, remove rosemary sprigs, and set aside.
  3. Season all sides of the pork with salt and pepper. Spread some pesto sauce inside part of the pork loin.
  4. Fold pork loin back (horizontally) so that it’s a long piece. Tie cooking twine at both ends of the loin and in the middle. Rub outside of loin with yellow mustard.
  5. Grill loin to desired doneness (at least 145 degrees F). Let meat rest for 10 minutes before removing twine and cutting it in 1-inch thick slices.

Sautéed rainbow carrot chips


  • 1 cup of rainbow carrots (precut ridged chips)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt & cracked pepper


  1. In a medium sized frying pan, heat up olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots and quickly stir for about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mashed baby yellow potatoes


  • 1 (24 ounce) bag of baby Dutch yellow potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of heavy cream


  1. Boil baby potatoes until fork tender. Drain and place in a big mixing bowl. Optional, but highly recommended, to peel potatoes once cooked.
  2. Add butter and cream and mash. Mix well until desired consistency. Set aside, but keep warm.

Serve it up!

When you have two different yet distinctive sauces to serve on the same plate, the artform of plating becomes interesting, and hopefully fun. What I truly enjoyed about this recipe was deciding which sauce to try first, first alternating between one another and then trying them together. Delicious! You be the judge.

Place a nice scoop of mashed potatoes on the third top part of a plate. Next, arrange two or three slices of pork loin on the side of the plate, slightly overlapping the potatoes.

Nestle some of the rainbow carrots between the potatoes and pork. Drizzle the pesto alongside the pork. Finally, drizzle some of the strawberry-red wine sauce along the bottom of the plate and serve.

Grilled pork with walnut tarragon pesto and strawberry wine sauce 2
Grilled pork with walnut tarragon pesto and strawberry wine sauce

Bon appetit! Enjoy!

About the Bordeaux Blend: Red Wine from New Zealand

Craggy Range Te Kahu, a Bordeaux blend 2
Craggy Range Te Kahu, a Bordeaux blend

The fruit for Te Kahu is grown in the Hawkes Bay Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, which enjoys one of the warmest, driest, most sundrenched climates in New Zealand. Stony gravel in the soil forces the vines to fight for water, giving the grapes a particular vibrancy.

Tasting notes: Deepest crimson red. Brooding aromatically with notes of cassis, black olive, dried tobacco,  and the faintest hint of roasted hazelnut. The palate is alive with rich, ripe red to black fruit, with a midpalate that speaks volumes to the warm and long ripening period. Ideal with charcuterie and roasted or grilled meat dishes…like the above!

Craggy Range Te Kahu is a perfect example of a medium-bodied Bordeaux blend from the Gimblett Gravels. Made with:

  • 54% Merlot
  • 27 %Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 10% Malbec
  • 7% Cabernet Franc
  • 2% Petit Verdot

Read more about Craggy Range’s winemaker, Julian Grounds, in our Wine Pro Wednesday column.


Carlos Sarmiento is an award-winning filmmaker & public relations professional as well as a food & wine aficionado. He first discovered his passion for cooking when he was in his early teens, to the point where he was aspiring to go to culinary arts school and become a chef. Life, however had other plans for him. Carlos ended up studying film-making and pursuing a career in film/TV. After a few years, he made a career change and has since established himself as a seasoned public relations & communications professional. The one constant factor throughout his life’s travels and professional experiences has always been and continues to be his love and appreciation for cultures, cooking, and wine.

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