Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 14)

Hi everyone,

Sorry for this post going up a little late I have been down south for a wedding and a then spent a few days in Albany to recuperate from my first term of studies. Ended up getting sick as the body slowed down after the last 14 weeks of studies.

To celebrate the end of our first term as well as a major assignment some of my fellow classmates and I returned to our local pub for lunch and a few drinks, The Inglewood Hotel. I began with Bulmer’s apple cider (pictured below) before being convinced to give Cooper’s Pale Ale a try as a new keg of it had just been opened. The cider was as always a good drink to start the weekend and the pale ale was surprisingly not that bad of a drink.

Bulmer's apple cider.

Bulmer’s apple cider.

For lunch I opted for their classic beef burger with chips (classic 100% beef burger in a sour dough bun with lettuce, tomato, beetroot relish, swiss cheese, and aioli). The burger was  filling but a quite a messy eat, while the chips were alright but nothing to rave about. I would happily reorder this dish as I quite enjoyed the flavours of the burger, in particular the beetroot relish.

classic 100% beef burger in a sour dough bun with lettuce, tomato, beetroot relish, swiss cheese, aioli & chips

Classic beef burger ($20)

The wedding and reception was held at Ferguson Farmstay, and this location was just breath taking! There was a small selection of wines from the winery across the road from the venue as well as a sparkling from a winery down the road and a selection of bottled beers and ciders available for consumption at the reception, which was held at the restaurant on site.

Table setting at the reception.

Table setting at the reception.

The highlight wine for me at the wedding was the 2011 Panis sparkling wine that they were serving from Angelicus Winery which is located nearby to the farmstay. This sparkling had a gorgeous salmon colouring in the glass and was a delightful drink, one that I got the rest of the table onto with very little encouragement. This sparkling is made in the Traditional Method with an emphasis on the Pinot Noir grape. I noted plenty of berries on the nose and palate, strawberry in particular. The sparkling also had a crisp pleasing finish.

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The still wines we not bad, especially considering they were from the winery across the road however they were also not the kind to ‘blow my socks’ off. Over the course of the reception I had the chance to try their 2011 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc as well as their 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cab Sav had an enticing aroma however my first sip was watery and smooth and overly disappointing. After letting the wine breathe in the glass for a little while I tried the Cab Sav again and was much more impressed by the body that had developed. The SSB was again a nice wine but not something that really caught my attention.

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I ended the night discovering their selection of teas and opted for the Twining Darjeeling and it was a nice way to end the evening. The milk that was provided at the restaurant was also delicious, and well presented. Dad commented on how the milk brought him back to his years of the milk arriving fresh and with a layer of cream on top.

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I didn’t get the chance to take pictures of the food that was brought around on platters over the course of the reception but it was well timed, well presented and surprisingly filled us up quite quickly. The view from the restaurants down through the valley to Bunbury is also one which I do hope to see again over lunch or dinner at the restaurant in the near future! The staff were fantastic and there was nothing to fault over the entire night.

Until next time!

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Wine(s) of the Week: University (weeks 11, 12 and 13)

Hi everyone,

I have not posted a weekly recap in a while as I had not really had much of anything to drink the last few weeks outside of meeting with a few wine lovers and bloggers in Perth for a Wine Century Challenge meet. I  however was flicking through the photos I have taken over the past few weeks and realised that there were a few wines and other drinks which I have tried over  the past three weeks which I would like to chronicle in this blog. There are also a few meals included with the drinks in this post when I have only been reviewing a single dish.

Wine:

Gloucester Ridge Vineyard Seduction Rose

This wine was brought out at an family Easter picnic as someone had found it buried in their wine stash. The back of the bottle seemed interesting to me, a Rose which was predominantly Cabernet Franc. Once we managed to find a bottle opener for the cork we quickly found the wine had an aroma and taste of a badly fortified wine. This wine was unfortunately not well liked.

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De Bortoli, 2009 Sacred Hill Cabernet Merlot

Another cheapie from work which I tried, De Bortoli however is a brand which I respect across their range as they consistently produce great valued wine for any price bracket. The wine fared quite well with the Sunday night roast I had when tasting the wine.

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Wynns, 2011, Coonawarra Riesling.

This was a gift from BF from the past Christmas. I on a whim after a not-so-great day decided to pop this wine in the freezer so it would be nicely chilled in time for dinner. I absolutely adored this wine from the moment I opened it until the last sip when the dinner party had managed, quite easily, to finish the whole bottle off. The wine had a crisp cleansing finish, a fantastic aroma (lemon, apples and a hint of floral) and a good punch on the palate (strong citrus notes at the start which develop to a mineral middle and end with a sherbet texture). Great selection by BF yet again!

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Casillero Del Diablo, 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

I felt in the mood for a glass of white wine while writing an assignment this past week. I ended up finding this bottle of wine and figured it really needed to be opened sooner than later so why not now. From the first sip I was in love! The wine had a nice amount of citrus flavours and acid, however the real surprise was a tropical fruit element from the gooseberries I could also note on the palate. After being underwhelmed by their Cabernet Sauvignon (likely due to it’s young age) I am beginning to be impressed again by this Chilean winery.

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Moet & Chandon, NV Brut (200ml)

I decided to whip this little 21st gift out as we were having fish and chips and I was curious to see how the two paired together. I was a little hungrier than expected and polished off most of my meal before I remembered about the bubbles, I did however really enjoy how the champagne brought out the sweetness of my pineapple fritter. Crisp and clean finishing sparkling that delicately tickles the palate.

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Arlewood 2010, Marsanne Roussanne (tasted at Little Creatures, $8.50 a glass)

A blend of 70% Marsanne and 30% Roussanne this little gem of a wine really snuck up on me as I let it breathe and warm up in the glass while catching up with some old friends. The time spent on oak gave the wine nutty and toasy elements and as a result the wine had a good body. I am sorry to have not tried this wine sooner at Little Creatures and must check out their cellar door to try the rest of their range next time I am down south!

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While at Little Creatures I caved and had a look at the menu, it did not take too much effort to convince myself to have some desert. After tossing up between the waffles and the cheesecake BF helped me tiebreak and picked the waffles. They tasted as good as I remembered them being last time I was there, this time however I managed to snap a quick photo (below) before everyone dived it. Those who tasted the waffle were all big fans and I think there may be a shift in the must order meal at Little Creatures, from the frites to the waffles… we shall see!

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To view my past reviews of Little Creatures you will find them here, Farewell Lunch and Lunch at Little Creatures.

Cider:

Rekorderlig – passionfruit flavoured pear cider

If you like passionfruit then you will love this cider. The sweetness typically associated with Rekorderlig was also not as much of an issue as usual in this cider. A heavenly and refreshing drink. I will be having more for sure!

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Monteith’s – pear cider (tasted at Inglewood Hotel)

I had this down at the Inglewood Hotel/pub with some fellow graduates. It was a nice smooth cider that just hit the spot. If you like Montheith’s apple cider then you wil be a fan of this one too!

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While at the Inglewood Hotel I also grabbed a moroccan spiced chicken tortilla wrap ($18.50). Presentation of the dish was nice, the meal was filling but for the price charged I would have preferred a little more meat in my wraps, rather than the abundance of salad.

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Tea:

T2 – Chinese Jasmine (single foil packaged teabag of loose leaf)

I have been loving green tea over the last fortnight and almost always whether I am at home or work will have a mug of it brewing nearby. This has definitely helped me up my water intake over the last week or so where our Autumn has briefly returned to summer.

Packaging of tea at No. 4 Blake Street.

To-go packaging of tea at No. 4 Blake Street.

Russian Caravan – No. 4 Blake Street ($4.7)

This blend was quite smooth, nutty, and had a hint of honey-like sweetness. It was an impulsive decision to pick this blend as when the gentlemant at No. 4 Blake Street was taking my order and I’m glad I took it. I was also extremely impressed  with their Bacon & Egg Roll with smoked tomato chutney ($7) which I had as a takeaway with the tea on my way into university in Mount Lawley. The chutney just added that final touch to really enhance the roll. The roll that they used as well was slightly more dense than your average roll and gave a very hearty feel to it. I will be back for sure to try more of their menu and hopefully with enough time to enjoy it in their restaurant next time.

To-go bacon and egg roll from No. 4 Blake Street.

To-go bacon and egg roll from No. 4 Blake Street.

Until next time!

No 4 Blake Street on Urbanspoon

Inglewood Hotel on Urbanspoon

Little Creatures Brewery on Urbanspoon

Viet Hoa, Northbridge

Hi everyone,

I was introduced to Viet Hoa by my friend S for her 21st a few weeks ago. We went on a Monday night and were told we could not book a table as there was only two of us, but that there would be plenty of tables. By the time we arrived for dinner around 7:30pm the entire restaurant was full and we ended up forming the start of a line of people waiting for a table to open up. This was not a problem as it helped for me to build up a healthy appetite and to eye off the different dishes around the restaurant.

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We were seated within 10-15 minutes of arriving, and by that point we were pretty certain on what we were going to order. Our orders were quickly taken and sent to the kitchen and our spring rolls entree were out within minutes it seemed from ordering. I opted for the free Chinese Tea my my drink with dinner. I am an absolute sucker for ordering Chinese Tea whenever it is on the menu. The flavours of the tea developed over the course of the meal but did not reach the point of becoming overpowering. It was a very refreshing drink.

Chinese Tea.

Chinese Tea.

The spring rolls were a great start to the meal and were polished off very quickly as our mains arrived within 5 minutes of the spring rolls coming out of the kitchen. The turn around of this restaurant was great and the quality of food was not suffering from the speed in the kitchen.

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Entree – Spring Rolls.

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Stir Fried Beef with Broccoli, Mushrooms and Cashew Nuts.

Stir Fried Beef with Broccoli, Mushrooms and Cashew Nuts.

Another weakness of mine is broccoli, and when I saw this dish on the menu I was set on trying it. I did contemplate ordering another dish to try more of the menu but S discouraged me and I’m glad she did. The portion sizes are generous – both the meat and rice dishes – and will be plenty for one, even two if you’re not starving. I quite enjoyed this dis, my one complaint regarding this dish however there was personally not enough broccoli in it compared with the large amount of onion and mushrooms – however I do love my broccoli so there could have possibly never been enough broccoli for my liking… still overall the dish was nice and mildly seasoned.

Single serving of rice.

Single serving of rice.

S ordered a favourite dish of hers, Chicken Hofan (pictured below). S heartily dug into this dish as she had been getting excited about all day. I didn’t hear much from her about the dish but a nearly finished plate and a content look on her face said everything – the Hofan had been as good as S had been expecting.

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Chicken Hofan Soup

After filling up at Viet Hoa we decided to walk down the street to Icey Ice for desert. When we arrived S was all set with her regular order of a Milk Icey in a crepe while I opted for a Peach Bubble Tea as the walk has not built up enough my appetite for desert. The staff at the counter were quick and efficient. The only let down was that the female toilets at this Icey Ice were in need of a bit more staff attention, especially on a quiet Monday night.

Peach Bubble Tea and Milk Crepe Icey.

Peach Bubble Tea and Milk Crepe Icey.

Overall it was a wonderful meal in Northbridge with S and hopefully we will resume our japanese lunches in the near future as I am in need of chopstick practice to maintain my half decent ability to use them.

Until next time!

Viet Hoa on Urbanspoon

 Icey Ice on Urbanspoon

Blog Update: Apologies!

Hi everyone,
Sorry for the lack of updates on this blog over the last week. I’ve had a few assignments (still one to go) which are worth a sizable chunk of my grades in my graduate degree. I have some posts half written and will get to them as quickly as I can.
Until then, happy drinking!

Perth Wine Group: Third Meet

Hi everyone,

Following on from our first unofficial meet and our second official meet, both at Steve’s Fine Food and Wine in Nedlands comes our third group meet. This time around we met south of the river at Bad Apples in Applecross. I had been meaning for far too long to come and check this place out after all the rave reviews I had read as well as BF having been on a few occasions already and loving it. Alas I had not been able to spare a night before, however my quick sample of their menu and the chance to eye off their wines and bar has made sure that I will be back a lot sooner than it took for me to here the first time. For a review of the food BF and I had while we were at Bad Apples head to the bottom of this blog post.

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Any who, enough about Bad Apples for now and on with the wines! For this meet Perth Wine Enthusiast and Tom (Wine Director at Bad Apples Bar) were in-charge of selecting the wines and even dipped into their own personal cellar for this meet. We ended up with a selection of 1 Rose, 5 Whites, 6 Reds and a fortified for tasting on the night. The atmosphere of the bar was much louder than Steve’s leading to our discussions this time around being much more limited and often isolated to those few around us at our long table.

The notes I made at this tasting were the same as last time, I scribbled down notes under the categories E (eyes: what I saw) N (nose: what I smelt) and P (Palate: what I tasted).

Rose

2012 Express Winemakers ‘Rosado’. Tempranillo (Great Southern) and Grenache (Swan Valley), Australia.

Wine Express Makers, Rosaldo.

I have previously tried this wine from Express Winemakers at Little Creatures, and was not overly impressed with the wine. This time around I had a much larger glass and was able to give it a much better ‘swirl and sniff’ before having a sip and was much more impressed with the slight sweetness of strawberries and cherries I could note on the nose coming through in the palate. The wine came across refreshing and balanced. A good wine to start the evening with.

Whites

2011 Mandoleto Catarratto. Sicily, Italy. [12.5%, RRP ~$15]

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E: vibrant, clear and pale lemon coloured wine in the glass

N: lemon, oak.

P: crisp, dry finish with a sherbet/rice-bubble texture on the tongue – quite an unusual feel.

2010 Benanti Biancodicaselle Bianco. Etna, Sicily, Italy. (100% Carricante) [12.5%, RRP ~$50]

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E: clear pale lemon wine in the glass.

N: lime, floral, light aromatic wine.

P: lime, smooth on the palate, dry finish which I wrote “great” next to.

2012 Vinteloper Pinot Gris. McLaren Vale, Australia. [14%, RRP ~$25]

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E: clear pale lemon wine in the glass.

N: lemon, floral, honey, lees, ‘fresh’ aroma.

P: crisp, dry, alcoholic, mineral, medium bodied – overall an unbalanced wine.

Note: This wine came from vines which were less than 10 years old and from a biodynamic and organic single vineyard.

2004 Rockford Semillon. Barossa Valley, Australia. [11.5%, RRP ~$23]

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E: the wine had a definite yellow tinge however it was still clear in the glass.

N: honey, mandarin, oak, toasty – this wine had a ‘weighty’ and sweet nose to it.

P: toasty, citrus, mandarin – my last note for this wine was ‘yum!’

This wine was top 2 of the whites for me along with the Gewürztraminer below.

2007 Montana “Patutahi” Gewürztraminer. Gisborne, New Zealand. [14%, RRP ~$30]

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E: forgot to record something for this wine…

N: lime, lemon, aromatic, fennel.

P: smooth, warm, medium finish.

Reds

2009 Judge Rock St. Laurent. Central Otago, New Zealand. [13%]

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E: plum coloured clear wine.

N: spicy – oak, plum, warm, inviting – reminded me of a cold winters night in front of a fire.

P: smooth, dry, lots of tannins, oak, spice, leathery.

This wine impressed me and from the people around me got quite a few nods of approval, however the strong tannins makes for this wine to be classed in the ‘with food’ category.

2008 Manso Ribera Del Douro. Spain. (100% Tempranillo) [14%]

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E: ruby red/plum coloured wine in the glass.

N: cherry and spice.

P: rough at the start of the palate, olive oil, bitter, lacked tannins – when tasting this wine I was reminded of Ribena (blackcurrant cordial) and it’s overly sweet taste.

This wine was not well liked by those around me.

2012 Fall From Grace “Mangarita” Montepulciano. McLaren Vale, Australia. [13%]

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E: deep plum coloured wine in the glass.

N: ‘funky’ smelling, Vegimite.

P: vinegar aftertaste at the end of the palate.

This wine lacked fruit on both the nose and palate.

2010 Bodega Mustiguillo, Finca Terrerazo, Vino de pago. El Terrerazo, Spain. (100% Bobal) [14%]

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E: deep plum coloured wine in the glass.

N: leather, spice, undertone of plum, oak lead to toasty/buttery notes.

P: very dry thanks to the tannins in the wine, overall still a very balanced wine.

2011 First Drop Wines “Nacional” Touriga Nacional. McLaren Vale, Australia. [RRP ~$25-30]Screen Shot 2013-04-01 at 6.36.13 PM

E: clear, plum coloured wine in the glass.

N: leather, spice, plum and oak.

P: smooth, creamy textured, warming, low in tannins.

This wine and the following were both excellent wines in their own merits. This first one was a perfect wine to drink on it’s own or would go excellently with some cheese personally. The following wine was not only twice the price but also packed twice the punch and was a delicious wine that made me crave a good steak to go with it.

2010 Bodegas Aralaya Almansa Alaya. Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. (100% Alicante Bouschet) [RRP ~$50-60]

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E: deep plum coloured wine in the glass.

N: leather and spice.

P: plum, dry, smooth, tannins, medium finish, warm, oak, decent body, fleshy.

Fortified

Dandelions Vineyard, Legacy of the Barossa, 30 year old Pedro Ximenez. Barossa, Australia.

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I have come across this winery before in the past and I was yet again impressed with their wines. I was first introduced to Dandelions Vineyard at the Rose Revolution last year. This fortified wine was a delightful way to end the meal and I slightly wish I had managed to savour some until I had the crumble for desert, alas this wine was too good to be saved until then!

Once we had sampled our way through the wines most of us had eyed off enough of dishes around the room and we famished enough to pick a few items off the menu to try. BF and I opted to try a few items off their share menu. I fell in love with the Beetroot dish off the menu, BF picked out the chicken and we decided to grab the share bread. When I went to order the food however we were informed that they had just sold out of the chicken dish. We ended up picking the venison chorizo instead and decided we have to return soon to see what is so good about the chicken.

Beetroot, Walnuts, Feta and Spinach warmed.

Beetroot, Walnuts, Feta and Spinach warmed.

While the warm beetroot was a little different on first bite, the flavours in this dish all worked perfectly together and this dish did not last long with my love of beetroot.

Margaret River Venison Chorizo served on fresh house bread with a lime wedge.

Margaret River Venison Chorizo served on fresh house bread with a lime wedge.

This dish was passed around the table before it reached us and was well received. The chorizo had a bit of a bite but the lime juice helped tone it down. Again more of the bread which BF quickly devoured as he had already polished off the bread platter (pictured below). We will definitely be back just for the bread alone!

Share bread.

Share bread.

Apple and Strawberry Crumble.

Apple and Strawberry Crumble.

When I looked over the menu I stumbled across the deserts and was instantly sold on the crumble. I had this confirmed by the staff member who took my order and commended me on my choice. I was not let down by the crumble which just hit the spot, and the ice-cream that came with it was to die for.

Overall Bad Apples was a great place to have dinner and a drink. The staff were more than friendly and helpful even when they had a line outside the door on a Wednesday night. I will be back for sure and early enough so I can score a table before the crowds begin to arrive.

Until next time!

Bad Apples Bar on Urbanspoon

Oliver’s on James, Northbridge

Hi everyone,

Back in January BF and I went to dinner at Oliver’s on James before seeing The Motherf**ker with the Hat at the State Theatre. We were seated by the open glass windows which looked out on to the sidewalk below, giving us access to a nice breeze while we ate our dinner. I decided to have a Champagne Bellini while BF had a beer while we looked over the menu.

Champagne Bellini.

Champagne Bellini.

For our entree I had been eyeing off the baked brie so we decided to split the brie along with a plate of baked bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The brie was quite rich and filling however the breads were a good choice to accompany the brie as it needed something else. The bread was a hit between BF and I, however when you’re presented with freshly cooked bread it’s really hard to not impress us.

Baked Brie.

Baked Brie.

Fresh bread, olive oil and vinegar.

Fresh baked bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

For our mains BF had a meaty pizza, that he could not wait to dig into. He was happy with the pizza and it turned out to be very filling. I opted for the gnocchi off the menu which also cape with a complimentary side salad. The gnocchi was well cooked and I was impressed with the flavours accompanying it, the side salad unfortunately was mostly ignored as I was too busy savouring the main dish.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Gnocchi.

Gnocchi.

Side salad.

Side salad.

I had hoped to grab a quite bite of desert however we were contently filled after the mains and instead opted to stroll slowly back to the theatre and perhaps have a drink there before seeing the show. The atmosphere of the restaurant was rather nice and we were both impressed with our meals. We would happily return again.

Until next time!

Oliver's on James Street on Urbanspoon