Summer Wrap: Drinks (Part 2)

Summer Wrap is a series of my highlights and favourites from summer. A collection of eating,drinking and dining that captures the sunny warm weather of a Perth summer to a ‘T’. This two part post was the inspiration for this series as I have recently been looking back over this past summer and all the things I have enjoyed doing in and around Perth to do with drinking and dining.

With summer winding down in Australia I have been looking over the past few months for my favourite drinks, places to eat and things to cook during the season. With the warmer weather I found was perfect for drinking a few ciders with friends on the weekend. And this post picks up from my previous posts on good wines and cocktails to drink in the summer months, if you haven’t read that post yet you can do so here. While working on this post I brought in a dear friend and fellow cider-lover D from Perth who I used to work with, to help me narrow down our top favourites.

IMG_4351

D and I have spent countless hours back when I used to work in a bottle shop in Perth eyeing off the cider fridge trying to pick out which one we would try next. It has been a long journey but it is safe to say that we have finally tasted our way through all the cider ranges now. The last cider we had to try was Rekorderlig’s Apple and Guava which was kindly sent to me by Katy so we could try it. When Katy reached out to me I remembered all the times D and I had stared at the cider fridge wondering which one we should try next and realised how overwhelming the expansion of the cider-market can be for people who just rush into the bottle-shop wanting the perfect cider for their needs at that point. This idea then grew to include the other thing I think of when I think cider, and that is summer! Summer and cider for me go hand in hand! Although I do drink cider year-round, I have a special spot for it in the hot afternoons in the summer months.

There are plenty of ciders on the market! Enough to make sure you have a range of favourites ciders for each and every occasion you could imagine! Ciders range in sweetness, flavours, alcohol content, and the intensity of the fruit in the cider. Each person ends up finding their own niche in the cider market. My preference is for the cider to be fruit driven and on the dryer side of the sweetness scale. I do also from time to time feel like a flavoured cider and having tasted many of these I was quick to adopt the Rekorderlig brand before it reached it’s crazed following that it rightly deserves in the cider-market in Australia.

Traditional Ciders

Below is a collection of ciders that have previously been features on this blog in the 18 or so months that I have been writing blog posts. I have tried many more but not taken a snapshot at the time. The Cidery is a favourite of mine but one that is not the easiest to find in bottle shops in Perth. Their ciders are true to the apple flavours and they have a range that will enable anyone to find a sweetness to their liking. I highly recommend stopping at the Cidery if you are in or around Bridgetown or even picking up some of their ciders if you see them in one of the smaller independent liquor retailers in and around Perth. Monteiths and Bulmers are my go-to ciders when I am out having drinks with friends and looking for something on-tap. Monteiths is a New Zealand cider and their ciders tend to have a softer finish while still being a dry cider compared to Bulmers. One other cider brand that I have been meaning to mention is Somersby. Somersby has been a newish addition to the cider market that has done very well this past summer and has become the all-rounder go-to for many people including myself over the likes of 5 Seeds and Strongbow ciders.

Flavoured Ciders

When it comes to flavoured ciders the market is not as large but there is still enough of a range for people to become perplexed by. Rekorderlig is the range that stormed onto the scene a couple of years ago and has been blazing a trail of popularity and success for other ranges such as Bulmer’s Blackcurrant flavour, Monteith’s flavoured range, Cheeky Rascal, and Kopparberg to start appearing on bottle shop shelves. All but the Cheeky Rascal (VERY high alcohol content which does not make for an enjoyable drink) ranges are nice, but it was Rekorderlig which won my heart over. Rekorderlig has a wide range of flavours that I have tasted my way through and while not all were favourites of mine I did not hate a single one.

D helped me out especially with this post when it came to reviewing Rekorderlig’s new Apple and Guava flavour. I have included his review word for word below with his permission as I felt it fit the cider to a ‘T’ and I could not have reviewed it any better!

Apple and Guava is one of the recent additions to my local liquor store shelf. An avid fan of the brands previous flavours, I was very keen to give this one a try. The cider manages to balance the flavour of the two fruits perfectly. The acidic level is much less obvious when compared to other ciders, a quality I have come to appreciate from Rekordelig. In saying this I also found this flavour less overly sweet than some of its siblings which are a bonus. The result of this balance is a much lighter feel in the mouth and enjoyed cool or better over ice, is just a great way to top off the day. I tend to find that my body doesn’t like too much at either end of the bitter/sweet spectrum before it starts telling me to stop. That can be a good or bad thing depending how you look at it I suppose but some days you just need a few, ya hearing me? ;P We all have those days.. Anyhoo, back to the A&G.. The guava becomes more noticeable as the palate clears. The apple is less detectable however given how many apple ciders are out there we can hardly fault it for stepping back to let Guava be the hero. It is very refreshing, perhaps the most of this brand’s varieties. It is lightly bubbly and has a very light pink blush. In fact, if you poured this into a sparkling wine glass no one would be any the wiser! 😉 This drink is ideal on those summery days but if I’m being honest, I am quite happy drinking something over ice anytime of the year so I won’t let the seasons slow me from enjoying the odd cold one.

Apple and Guava Rekorderlig

Apple and Guava Rekorderlig

Disclaimer: Katy at Exposure was kind enough to send me a case of Rekorderlig’s Apple and Guava to sample the new flavour.

Advertisements

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.

IMG_2150

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.

IMG_2148

IMG_2151

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.

IMG_2149

IMG_2288

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!

Wine(s) of the Week: Melbourne

Hi everyone,

My write up of my half-day in the Yarra Valley will be up tomorrow so I won’t spoil it now. While in the Yarra Valley I went to 3 wineries (Domaine Chandon, De Bortoli and Yerling Station) as well as a cidery (Punt Road) and a Chocolatiere. During my stay in Melbourne we were very busy day and night so I didn’t get the chance to sample too many wines outside my time in the Yarra Valley. I did while at the theatre have a glass of Yerling Station’s ‘village’ Pinot Noir which I also sampled while in the Yarra Valley. The wine was a little disappointing to what I remembered from my tasting in the Yarra Valley and it felt like the bottle of wine had been open for a little too long for my liking from the oxidisation of the wine. However it was still a good enough wine to get a “ooh I don’t mind that” out of my cousin who is not a fan when it comes to my beloved red wine.

Yerling Station Village Pinot Noir.

Yerling Station Village Pinot Noir.

When we had dinner on Phillip Island before seeing the penguin parade, I for once opted for a glass of white wine instead of my usual preference for a glass of red as I was finally to have Carbonara which I had been craving for too long. I had a glass of 2009 Serafino Chardonnay from Mclaren Valein South Australia. This Chardonnay really impressed me with a hint of butteryness coming though while still having enough fruit on the palate for my liking to make it a refreshing drink. Perhaps this year will be the year that I come to appreciate Chardonnay?

We ended our Melbourne trip with a meal at Melba Restaurant and whilst there I decided to bypass their extensive wine list as I was being indecisive and instead opted for a cocktail. I selected an Apple Crumbletini which was I think the best cocktail I have had in Australia. I also had the chance to taste a Strawberries & Cream and a Passionfruit Mojito.

The Apple Crumbletini consisted of Absolute vanilla vodka, caramel liquor, cinnamon, apple schnapps and fresh apple. It was delicious and wonderfully presented

Apple Crumbletini.

Apple Crumbletini.

I also had a sip of the other cocktails that our table ordered over the meal. The Strawberries & Cream was another cocktail off the menu that I had considered and it was delicious! This would have to be a close second for favourite Australian cocktail!

Strawberries & Cream.

Strawberries & Cream.

Lastly was the Passionfruit Mojito which was my least favourite of the three as when I tried it I gout a mouthful of limejuice and it was too acidic for my liking over ht others in the group thoroughly enjoyed it.

Passionfruit Mojito.

Passionfruit Mojito.

I would love to return to Melba not only for their extensive food selection but also to try more of their cocktails as those, which I tried this time, impressed me overall.

My last alcoholic beverage for the trip is a 2010 Tyrell’s Winery Cabernet Merlot on the flight back to Perth with my meal. The wine was served chilled and came out of a plastic bottle and went into a plastic cup – classy… The wine did quite well with my pasta dish however I was quite surprised and impressed with how it brought out the caramel in the Lindt chocolate which we had for desert. I must experience more this winter with chocolate and red wine!

Tyrell's Winery 2010 Cabernet Merlot (plastic bottle).

Tyrell’s 2010 Cabernet Merlot.

Lastly for the week is a cider BF and I shared from The Cidery in Bridgetown when I was back in Perth this past weekend. We tried the last flavour that I had brought back from Bridgetown, and the one I was least liking the look of. This cider I expected a much dryer finish from, this one’s was actually medium dry and quite pleasant. What I did not like at all with this cider was the vinegar aroma and taste that it intentionally possessed., which overtook from the crisp apple flavours that I so loved in their other ciders. This one I’m not a fan, the rest of their range however I would happily repurchase next time I see it.

IMG_1519

Scudamore’s Scrumpy Cider.

I have just been accepted into the graduate degree I had applied for at the start of summer and due to a few mishaps my application was accepted late and it turns out I begin intensive classes this Monday (tomorrow) as a result of this I have some blog post pre-written from the flight home that will go up this week but over the next month my posting will likely become sporadic as I focus on my degree. Sorry in advance for this, but I promise I will continue my Sunday posts, and I do have quite a few reviews of restaurants in Melbourne that I just need to write along with a few winery reviews and ideas for Wino101 posts so I will continue to write whenever I get a chance outside of my studies.

Until next time!