Wine(s) Of the Week: Yet Another Collective Blog Post (during prac)

Woody Nook 2011, Late Harvest Semillon, Margaret River, Western Australia.

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I raided my wine collection while on prac and discovered this bottle towards the back of my collection. I figured it needed to be opened sooner than later from the date and it was a wine, which was getting old and dull. It’s a shame as when I purchased this wine at the cellar door a summer ago it was a really nice wine from memory. Hints of the usual late harvest semillon flavours but it was really past it’s drinking age.

Chandon 2008, Barrel Selection Shiraz, Yarra Valley, Victoria.

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This was a bottle that was brought back from my trip in the Yarra Valley as a gift. While I was down south it was opened and this wine was as good as I remembered it being when I sampled it back in January in the Yarra Valley. Lots of blackcurrant, plums and toasty spicy oak flavours. A beautiful wine!

Clairault, 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia

While I was down south for a weekend I went to Clairault winery to have lunch at their café. To go with lunch we opted to share a bottle of the 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine had lots of luscious berries, with a hint of oak and chocolate on the palate and was a balanced and very easy to drink wine.

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Lunch at the Clairault Café.

We shared the Gourmet Platter and a serving of bread between the three of us and two of us also opting to have the soup as well (pumpkin with a sliver of brie), see the picture above. The food was all well presented, delicious and made for a wonderfully relaxing afternoon of catching up. I will be back for sure in the summer when I can borrow a picnic blanket from them and buy a hamper to eat out in their garden.

Clairault Estate on Urbanspoon

Plantagenet 2010 Hazard Hill Shiraz, Mount Barker, Western Australia.

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I had to make a rushed decision on a bottle of wine for the group while dining at Junction Grill at Crown Casino. I noticed Plantagenet’s Hazard Hill 2010 Shiraz on the wine list and decided to play it safe with a winery I trusted. The wine has luscious fleshy fruit and a hint of cherries on the palate and had a very soft, warm finish. I was very impressed and look forward to trying more wines from Plantagenet.

Dinner at Junction Grill

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We ended up dining at Junction Grill for dinner over the weekend to celebrate a friends birthday as the Merrywell had a 3 hour waitlist and we were not prepared to wait around for dinner for that long. We ended up wandering past Junction Grill and saw a short and quickly moving line and decided to have dinner there.

For dinner I had the gnocchi from their menu. It was alright, nothing spectacular with regards to the gnocchi and the spinach had a funky taste, which resulted in most of it ended up on the side of my plate. Those also dining with me mainly ordered the pizzas or the steak sandwiches and those were all raved about so I would recommend sticking to those if you choose to dine here.

Junction Grill on Urbanspoon

Cherry Bomb cocktail at South Street Ale House.

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Above is the Cherry Bomb cocktail I had at the South Street Ale House. The cocktail included VOK Parfait Amour Liquer, VOK Cherry Brandy Liquer and Lemonade. It was quite a nice cocktail but a little on the sweeter side of things.

Cocktails at Midnight Fox  

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At the end of prac I went out with BF to celebrate. I decided to finally check out the new small bar in Melville called Midnight Fox which is run by the owners of Blend Cafe which is located next door.

Lady Peaches ($12)

Bottom Cocktail in the image above. The cocktail contained peach liqueur, bubbles and a sugar cube. This was a great cocktail to start the celebration with, not overly sweet and a easy cocktail to sit back, relax and sip on.

Apple and Eve Cocktail ($17)

Top cocktail in the image above. The cocktail contained absolut vodka, cointreau, fresh apple and lime, finished with cinnamon sugar and baron von moustache spiced apple bitters.​ I went to the bar and asked to be surprised, however I’m not a big fan of gin based cocktails and this is what they chose for me. I really enjoyed this cocktail also.

Dinner at Midnight Fox/Blend Cafe

Pumpkachicken pizza ($20) consists of tomato base, mozzarella, free range chicken, pumpkin, pepperoni and onion.​​ I decided to give this pizza a try as I love having pumpkin on a pizza. BF got our traditional Little India pizza ($19.5) consisting of tomato base, mozzarella, tandoori chicken, red onion, and chilli, finished with a cucumber and mint raita. I did like the pumpkin on the pizza however it was significantly bland in comparison to the Little India and could not really compete with it.

Overall BF and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Midnight Fox and we will be back for sure to enjoy the pizzas from Blend along with some well made cocktails in a intimate and cosy location.

Blend Cafe on Urbanspoon
Midnight Fox on Urbanspoon

Curious Peach Cocktail Jug ($35 for a 1/2L jug)

The cocktail contained appleton Rum, peach liqueur, earl grey tea and lemon juice. It was a really nice refreshing cocktail to have on a warm Sunday afternoon when BF and I caught up with some good friends. The flavours in the cocktail were well balanced and nicely done. Overall I’m still loving the cocktails at the Merrywell!

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Lunch at the Merrywell

For my main I had the Grilled Tuna Salad ($24), consisting of garden vegetables, roasted capsicum aioli and devil egg from the share plate menu. I really enjoyed this dish as a non-shared plate as it was a good sized meal for lunch to allow me room for desert also. The flavours of the aioli and vegetables was well done also and the tuna was nicely cooked. For desert we ordered the Key Lime Cheesecake and the Chocolate brownie (both $9). both were very nice however the brownie is a very rich dish and I ordered and finished this one off, feeling very full by the end of it.

Overall it was a very nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon and the crowds were not as bad as I have seen at dinner time. We managed to grab a table outside to enjoy the nice weather and it was very pleasant.

The Merrywell on Urbanspoon

Hazlenut Milkshake at San Churro

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I went out for a churro and milkshake fix at the end of my prac. I had my usual white chocolate dipping sauce with my churros and as we were having a warm summers day I chose to try their hazelnut milkshake which was delicious! This is a the perfect place to visit in Perth if you are in need of a chocolate fix!

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Chocolateria San Churro Fremantle on Urbanspoon

Cocktail at the Lounge Bar at Crown Casino

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Lastly is a cocktail (~$19) that I had at the Lobby Lounge at the Crown Casino when I went there to celebrate a friends birthday. I cannot remember what was in it exactly but it was a similar cocktail to the Lady Peach from Midnight fox with a sparkling wine base, sugar and then a liqueur (from memory this cocktail used chambord). I quite enjoyed the cocktail as well as the lobby lounge.

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Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 4)

Hi everyone,

I spent a few hours last Sunday in the Swan Valley with the overseas family and tasted a few wines along the way. My review of what I sampled in the Swan Valley can be hound here. I did also bring a few wines home with me from the Swan Valley, one of which went straight into the fridge and was had with dinner on Sunday night. Dinner that night consisted of fresh bread along with cheeses and olives which we had picked up in the Swan Valley and a fresh salad. We paired the meal with Moondah Brook‘s Rose which had strawberries and cream on the nose and on the palate it was a light bodied wine which continued the strawberries and cream that I noted from the aroma. The wine began quite sweet at first but ended with a slightly crisp finish giving an overall medium-dry finish. This Rose was delicious and hopefully one I can find in bottle shops in Perth! Tasting notes for this wine cam be found here.

Rose.

Rose.

As we had overseas relatives in town we took them on a Captain Cook’s cruise of the Swan River, something I had never done before to show them the city. During part of the cruise we had lunch provided which consisted of a Lamb curry, vegetarian lasagne, cold meats, a variety of salad and bread. The food was to die for and I could not get enough of the curry and potato salad that they had!

View of Perth as the boat departed.

View of Perth as the boat departed.

To go with the food I had a glass of Waters Edge Classic Dry White and we ended up having a bottle of their Wagtail Sparkling on the house as we were celebrating two birthdays. The bubbly was quite refreshing and the service on the cruise was exceptional!

Wagtail Sparkling.

Wagtail Sparkling.

I also managed to slip a red wine in this week with a small glass of Vasse Felix’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. The wine was light bodied and smooth and it was good to have a red wine as with it being summer I’ve been tending to stick to white, rose and sparkling wine. I have always been impressed whenever I have a Vasse Felix wine and this one did not disappoint me! Expect to see a more in depth review of this wine when I review the meal I had with it at the Blue Duck in Cottesloe.IMG_1006

This week was also the first time I met up with The Perth Wine Enthusiast and The Perth Food Journal for our Wine Century Challenge meet. We added two new varietals to the list as well as having the chance to taste the range from a small winery in the Yarra Valley which is run by some passionate wine makers as well as a blind tasting of Mourvèdre which was my first time trying this varietal straight. You can read about our meet in this blog post. We also had some food at Steve’s Fine Food and Wine in Nedlands where we met up so there will be photos of that in the post also.

Last wine to quickly slip in this post, is one which BF actually picked out last night when we went for a quick meal to celebrate my final marks at uni meaning that I will be graduating at the end of summer! BF is a keen lover of cricket and the label of this wine played into that love leading to a big decision of which of the two label for this wine to pick (he chose the one on the right). We ended up taking this Jim Barry Sauvignon Blanc Semillon to Blend Cafe in Melville as I had a friends birthday party in the area to go to afterwards. The wine was a good, and for a bottle that was picked for the label BF did good. There was recently cut grass on the nose along with a hint of lychee and tropical fruits, on the palate it was slightly fruit sweet with a good amount of acid but little on the finish. Tasting notes for the wine can be found here.

Wine Labels.

Wine Labels.

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Until next time!

Pizza from Blend Cafe, Melville

BF and I returned to Blend Cafe, which was reviewed in the first posting on this blog. We opted for a takeaway pizza each (so we both would have leftovers for lunch the following day) and shared a bottle of Amerley’s Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

Dinner

I had a Pizza called ‘Little India’ which consisted of tomato base, mozzarella, tandoori chicken, red onion and chilli finished with a cucumber and mint raita. It was zingy from the fresh chilli on it and I enjoyed it immensley!

Little India.

BF had the ‘Copacobana’ which consisted of tomato base, mozzarella, italian sausage, blend’s baked honey glazed ham, pancetta and pepperoni. I tried it after getting halfway through my pizza so for me there was not enough zing, but if you’re in the mood for a meaty pizza this one has a good array of different meats, all of which do not remind you of a domino’s pizza and it’s fatty meats.

Copacabana.

The wine was from Amberley, located in Margaret River. A label which has been made famous by it’s Chenin Blanc, and one which I had wanted to try more of their wines from. The wine was spritzy and refreshing, a good accompaniment to my zingy pizza. BF and I were both content with the spur of the moment wine choice.

Overall from Blend I would say I was more impressed with their pizzas (roughly $20 each) than their pasta from last time we went.

Until next time!

Blend Cafe on Urbanspoon

Welcome

Hello and Welcome!

I have been wanting to dabble into the online medium of blogging and have been wondering what would inspire me to finally jump in and commit to writing on a some-what regular basis. Well inspiration finally arrived over the last week two different people told me that I should share with the world all the thing I eat and drink as I seem to spend half of my meal with someone telling them all about my meal and then proceeding to try/eat half of their meal if they’re foolish enough to allow me the first taste of their meal.

The first entry in this little food adventure will begin at Blend Cafe in Melville on a night out with my boyfriend (BF). A quite busy little restaurant (for a mid-week night) which has an eclectic and alternative decor going on with friendly staff and numerous regular patrons being greeted warmly by the staff and owner throughout our dining experience.

The night began with me running next door to pick out a nice bottle of wine for us to share and as BF only drinks whites (excluding chardonnay) I was restricted to that section of the store. A few minutes later I exited with a nice Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (SBS) ($16.99) from the ‘Jamie & Charlie’ line from the Willoughby Park Winery located in Southwestern Western Australia. I must confess that I picked due to the label design seen in the picture below.

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Wine Bottle’s Label.

Second confession for this post, Sauvinon Blancs (Sav Blanc) and SBS’s are not my favourite. When it comes to wine for me a good Cabernet Sauvignon (Cab Sav) with body, berries and a hint of oak is what I tend to gravitate towards. So due to white wines being a bit of a weakness please forgive me for any faux pas I may make to those who know their whites a little better than I do.

The SBS was a 2011 vintage, as described by me on the night as making me feel that I was “standing between a freshly mowed paddock and an orchard” due to the fresh grassy, citrus and a hint of stone fruit scent that was perfectly complemented by its refreshing taste. I was impressed! My label section had done me well! I will also note the BF was also impressed with my wine selection that suited our pasta’s that we chose off the menu for dinner.

Dinner at Blend consisted of garlic bread for a starter – fresh toasted bread with a nice amount of garlic, enough to taste and savour but not too much to leave you with horrid garlic breath. Our mains for the night was the Pasta Special for BF (homemade pasta with prawns, chorizo, and a chilli tomato sauce), while I had the Triangoli (pumpkin and ricotta triangular pasta parcels in a chilli Neapolitan sauce with spinach and walnuts). BF’s pasta was zingy, delicious and a good serving, while mine was nicely balanced between the flavours but felt that the chilli was non-existent and the servings a little on the small side for being $20+ mains. Due to not feeling full from the mains I then ordered a slice of Apple Pie, which came with a serving of ice-cream to finish my appetite off. The apple pie was a bit disappointing like my meal had been, too much dough and not enough apple flavouring coming through for my liking, however the presentation was cute.

Overall The stars of the night were BFs pasta, the wine and the service at Blend. Also we have decided to return to try the pizza’s on the menu which look and sound to die for! So I will inform you of those when we do. I will try and remember to take a quick snapshot of my meals from now on before I devour them so that I can share those with you also. Let me know you’re experiences if you have tried this wine before or dined at Blend Cafe. Until next time!

Blend Cafe on Urbanspoon