Mills Reef Winery is the Vineyard not far from my grandmother's house in the Bay of Plenty. Now it's not the fanciest wine known to the universe but there really is nothing that beats a rich meal outdoors on a lovely day, especially while you're travelling and the food was just gorgeous.
Our waitress decanting the wine
2001 Elspeth Malbec a steal at $47NZD
Farrago Platter $42NZD
This included hefty serves of local blue cheese and brie, smoked salmon, fresh and tempura oyster and paua, olive tapenade, chicken and cognac pate, taramasalata and babaganoush.
Lamb shank braised with wholegrain mustard served on a pea and potato mash $25NZD
This included 2 whole joints and I couldn't finish it.
Angus Pure eye fillet of beef with mushroom, snail and port jus with olive tapenade and dauphine potatoes $33NZD
Steamed mussels with white wine, cream, parsley, garlic and shallots with fresh bread $19.50NZD (!!!)
Pear, feijoa and white chocolate crumble with sauce anglaise $14NZD
"An Ode to the Mighty Lemon" - Burnt lemon cream, lemon and chocolate tart and lemon confit ice cream $14NZD
This lemon confit ice cream was possibly the best I've ever had, it was as if a strong fine lemon butter was stirred through double cream.
Toffee and toasted nut steamed pudding with caramel sauce, creme anglaise and vanilla bean ice cream $14NZD
All in all this was far too much dairy for my poor stomach to cope with but the meal was beautiful nonetheless, well worth a side trip on a holiday in the north island.
Mills Reef Winery & Restaurant
143 Moffat Road, Bethlehem
TAURANGA, New Zealand
They do a lot of weddings so it might be worth ringing ahead but we walked in without reservation.
Obviously licenced though if you're looking for something that's not their wine or top shelf Champagnes you might be out of luck.