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

Wino101: Like This, Try That (second instalment)

Hi everyone,

You may remember one of my earlier posts on this blog where I suggested alternatives for common white wines. In this post I will hopefully make red wine varietals a little more approachable.

Like Shiraz, Try Zinfandel

When I say Zinfandel, I am referring to the robust style seen in Australia and not the one that many Americans will think of. Zinfandel in Australia is a red wine which ranges in its body and intensity of flavours depending upon the climate it was grown in as well as the winery producing it. Below is the description for the 2010 vintage Zinfandel from Cape Mentelle in Margaret River, Western Australia which has been described to me as the Holy Grail of Western Australian Zinfandels.

APPEARANCE: Dark crimson.

NOSE: Ripe plums with chocolate, allspice, maraschino cherries, juniper berries and aged tobacco.

PALATE: Ripe mulberry, rhubarb and summer pudding with cinnamon, dark chocolate and fleshy plums. The wine is opulent and rich with savoury spicy tannins balanced by fresh and vibrant red fruits. The sweet fruit carries the entire palate contributing to length of flavour.

Like Cabernet Sauvignon, Try Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is a softer wine in comparison to a Cabernet Sauvignon, however it is a wine that can be overlooked if you are not aware of and looking for the finer, softer elements in a wine. Cabernet Francs are often listed as having, fine tannins, spicy aromas, peppery accents, violet nuances and an understated elegance plus lots of red and black berry (mainly blueberry, raspberry and sometimes plum) flavor.

 It is subtly fragrant and gently flirtatious rather than massively muscular and tough in youth. Because Cabernet Sauvignon has so much more of everything – body, tannin, alcohol, colour – it is often supposed to be necessarily superior, but I have a very soft spot indeed for its more charming and more aromatic relative, Cabernet Franc – Jancis Robinson

Like Pinot Noir, Try Merlot or Cabernet Merlot

Merlot is a grape varietal which bring sweetness into a red wine rather than tannins and spiciness as Cabernet and Shiraz do. If you are finding your Merlot’s too sweet as I did when I first started drinking red wine then a Cabernet Merlot may be a better wine for you to drink as your branch out in your red wine drinking.

Like Rose, Try Pinot Noir

Rose’s tend to be light bodied, fruity (think strawberries, rasberries and cherries) and can range from sweet to dry with their finish. Pinot Noir’s tend to have more body than a Rose however they are still a lighter bodied red than your Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignons. Pinot Noirs such as the Village Pinot Noir from Yering Station – review can be found in this blog – can also have similar fruity characteristics to a Rose.

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Hope this post helps and if there are any other varietals you like to drink that wasn’t included in either post please let me know as there will be more of these entries in the future!

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.

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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!

Christmas Drinks

Hi everyone,

In Perth the temperature peaked at 39.6°C on Christmas Day. This weather was not the most inspiring for sipping on wine all day, neither was the fact that I had to drive between houses for different Christmas meals. In the end I still managed to sample 4 different wines across the day, which I will review in the post below.

1. Olive Farm 2012 Rose ($18 a cellar door)

I had this wine with a light lunch with my family. Slightly sweet, with a refreshing finish. We had some salads, cold meats and cheese for lunch and this wine paired quite well compared with the red wine which was being passed around the table as well. I think this wine would be good for barbecuing or picnics over the summer!

Olive Farm Rose.

Olive Farm Rose.

2. Moondah Brook 2011 Rose ($15 at cellar door)

I have reviewed this wine in a previous post and this was the other bottle of the Rose that I had purchased when I was at Houghton’s up in the Swan Valley. I think the heat had slightly destroyed my want for wine on the day, as after a glass of this Rose I shifted to water to try and rehydrate myself. I think this wine went well while I nibbled on cheese and fruit for an afternoon snack but the sea breeze arrived too late for this wine.

Moondah Brook Rose.

Moondah Brook Rose.

3. Ninth Island NV Sparkling

Creamy and zesty on the palate with a dry finish. Not a bad drop but not chilled enough for my liking by the time I had a glass poured which took away some of the magic I think this wine could have had. Still impressed however and really happy I got the chance to try this wine as I had been eyeing it off at work for ages.

Ninth Island NV Sparkling.

Ninth Island NV Sparkling.

4. Tim Adams 2005 Cabernet Merlot

This wine was a delightful way to end Christmas Day as the heat died off and the sea breeze brought in the cooler evening weather, which made for a nice cool evening to have a very late dinner of Christmas leftovers.

The wine had some good body likely from tannins and it’s time in oak which also assisted in part with the smoothness of the wine. The warmth the wine provided to my mouth was likely a result of the quite high alcohol content (14.5%) but it was balanced out nicely so that on the palate berries and a lot of fruit flavours were still present, which were also present on the nose. The wine was thoroughly delightful on the night, however I would have loved to have seen how it would have taken a few extra years of cellaring as it was showing potential for me.

Tim Adams Cabernet Merlot.

Tim Adams Cabernet Merlot.

Feel free to share what you had for Christmas and hope you all have a wonderful festive season!

Until next time!