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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Marlborough's Babich 2021 Sauvignon Blanc + Homemade Mandu and Kimchi Duk Guk #WorldWineTravel

Updated: Nov 26, 2022

This month the World Wine Travel bloggers continue their exploration of New Zealand with their eyes on the Marlborough wine region which is located at the northeastern tip of the country's South Island. Payal of Keep the Peas is hosting the group.

Though we won't be holding a live Twitter chat for this event - enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend with your family! - please visit the other writers' posts to learn more about Marlborough wines and the pairings we suggest.

The Marlborough wine region is New Zealand's largest, accounting for 75% of the country's wine production, 70% of its vineyard area, and 85% of its wine exports.

Vines were planted in Marlborough as early as the 1870s, but it took another hundred years for commercial winemaking to really gain a foothold. In 1873 David Herd planted a small block of Brown Muscat, but his son pulled out all the vines in 1931. And it took another four decades for vineyards to make a comeback.

Babich 2021 Sauvignon Blanc

The Babich family has been making wine in New Zealand since the early 20th century and is currently in their third generation of winemaking innovation and achievements.

This wine is a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that has been certified as sustainably crafted. In the glass, it pours a pale straw hue with a glistening gold rim. On the nose, I got notes of green apple and citrus with a hint of ripe peach. The palate is more alluring with flavors that match the aromas plus more subtle notes of gooseberry and herbs. This wine is clean, fresh, and leans to the tropical side. It was that final note - 'tropical' - that had me thinking about Asian pairings with a little bit of heat plus ginger, lemongrass, garlic, and more.

Homemade Mandu

Mandu are Korean dumplings that are made with meat such as pork or beef and other aromatic ingredients such as garlic, chives, and ginger.


  • 1 pound ground pork (you can used ground beef or other meat as you wish)

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped, approximately 1 cup

  • 1 cup finely chopped cabbage

  • 1 cup diced zucchini

  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2-inch knob ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1 egg

  • 1 Tablespoon chives, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 package wrappers, approximately 50 wrappers


  1. Place all ingredients, except wrappers, in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Mix with hands until well-combined.

  3. Place about 1 Tablespoon of filling in the center of a dumpling wrapper.

  4. Dip your finger in water and moisten the perimeter of half of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half, pressing to seal and then crimp the edges. Repeat until the filling is gone.

  5. You can steam, boil, fry, or sauté the dumplings as you wish. I pan-fried them a little bit of oil until the bottom was browned. Then I added in water and steamed until the dumplings were cooked.

Kimchi Duk Guk

This is my interpretation of a kimchi stew with duk (Korean rice cakes); it's an amalgam of different recipes I had found. One of my favorites - Kimchi Jjigae - includes tofu and poached eggs in the fiery broth; another included marinated pork belly; one used a homemade anchovy broth; one added sliced shiitake mushrooms. I took lots of ideas and put them all together for my version. And some things are completely my own addition. I added in some ginger and lemongrass for added flavor!


Anchovy Broth

  • 1 ounce anchovy fillets (I used canned anchovies in oil)

  • 2 to 3 pieces of dried seaweed

  • 1 whole organic onion, peeled and quartered

  • 1 whole organic black radish, peeled and quartered

  • 6 cups water

Pork Belly

  • 1/2 cup skinless pork belly, cubed

  • 1 Tablespoon mirin (rice cooking wine)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

The Rest

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil

  • 2 cups kimchi with juice

  • 2 cups Korean rice stick

  • 1 organic white onion, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

  • 1 teaspoon finely minced lemongrass

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used a version of Sriracha)

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper chile flakes

  • 1 Tablespoon garlic, peeled and pressed

  • 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms

  • 1 cup broth or water (I used a pork stock)

  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced for garnish


Anchovy Broth

Place all of the ingredient in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Keep at a boil for 20 minutes. Strain out the onions, seaweed, and black radish. The anchovies might have dissolved completely. Set broth aside.

Pork Belly

Place cubes of pork belly in a glass bowl. Pour mirin over the top and sprinkle with black pepper. Stir to combine. Let stand for at least 15 minutes.

The Stew

Place rice sticks in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand for at least 20 minutes. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 Tablespoon sesame oil. Once hot, add the pork belly and marinade. Cook until the meat is cooked and some of the fat rendered, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.

Peel and press your garlic cloves. Stir in the onions, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, red pepper chile flakes. Cook until the onions are softened and beginning to turn translucent. Stir in the kimchi and the hot sauce. Pour in the anchovy broth, additional broth, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil.

Stir in the drained rice sticks. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and continue to cook until they are softened, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve, ladle stew into individual serving bowls. Sprinkle with green onions.

That's a wrap on my #WorldWineTravel November offering of a pairing with a wine from New Zealand's Marlborough. The group will be back in December with a focus on the other South Island wine regions. Stay tuned!

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