What have I been drinking recently?

I was looking back over my most recent posts and realised that even though this blog started to chart my development and interest in wine that it had drifted away from that. So here is a post to make up for that sad little fact! Over the past 3 or so months I have been quietly sipping my way through a range of drinks and here are some of the highlights!

Wine:

Dom Perignon 2003 vintage

Dom Perignon 2003 vintage

I cracked this bottle of champagne on my last night in Perth when I was having a farewell dinner with family and friends. It was a very lovely tipple to have and received positive comments from everyone on the night. After holding on to this bottle for a little over a year this was the perfect occasion to crack it open, surrounded by good friends and family!

Moet and Chandon 2002 vintage

Moet and Chandon 2002 vintage

I opened this bottle of wine that I received for my 21st when I was having brunch with some girlfriends from university. I really enjoyed this champagne, it was smooth and perfect of sipping on while eating pastries, fresh fruit and other nibbles. I would happily have another bottle of this in the future!

Lambrusco sparkling

Lambrusco sparkling

This was a cheap bottle of bubbles from Marks & Spencer was what I ended up picking up with a friend to celebrate landing my first teaching contract in the UK. It was a sweet sparkling wine that was easy to drink and a cheap celebration until I received my first pay check.

Villa Maria 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

Villa Maria 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

I was feeling a little homesick a few weeks ago and ended up picking this up from my local corner wine store. Villa Maria is my favourite of the bigger wine brands from the Marlborough region.

Chianti 2010

Chianti 2010

I was in the mood for a red one night and popped into my local Tesco. I saw this Chianti on special and decided to give it a try. I was not overly impressed with this wine and it is not one that I will likely try again in the future.

Isla Negra Rose and Echo Falls White Zinfandel Rose

Isla Negra Rose and Echo Falls White Zinfandel Rose

When my new housemates moved into my flat we decided to get to know each other over a few bottles of wine on our first weekend living together. A quick run to my local Tesco with the instruction of Rose and I selected these two, one sweet (Echo Falls) and the one dry (Isla Negra). The Echo Falls was quite enjoyed all round, it was not overly sweet but just sweet enough be enjoyed by myself and my housemates who prefer sweeter wines. The Isla Negra was also a nice wine but dryer and more acidic than the Echo Falls. Overall the Echo Falls was the winner of the night.

Villa Maria 2012 Rose

Villa Maria 2012 Rose

While I was still in my Rose fad I picked this one up one evening to try. I was quite impressed with the wine and it had a refreshing finish to it. I will pick this one up again for sure!

Trivento 'Tribu', 2013, Malbec

Trivento ‘Tribu’, 2013, Malbec

I tried the Tribu Malbec at a wine bar in London, called Gordon’s Wine Bar which was was a funky bar that had lots of seating down a side street that you could use after purchasing your wine from the bar inside the building. The wine was a great drop also, being a Malbec it was a safe and delicious choice.

De Bortolli * Syrah Gamay

De Bortolli Syrah Gamay

Before I left Perth I had one last pizza night with my friend K. This was something we started back in university where we would have Broadway pizza’s and a bottle of wine and unwind from the past semester and exams. This time around I picked out the Shiraz Gamay that I brought back from my trip to the Yarra Valley last year (blog post here). The wine was very nice and I really have enjoyed all the Gamay’s I have had so far.

Other Alcoholic Drinks:

Peach and Apricot Rekorderlig

Peach and Apricot Rekorderlig

I discovered a new Rekorderlig flavour when I arrived in the UK. This one was quite nice, not overly sweet and very easy to drink as all the Rekorderlig ciders are. If this flavour makes it to Australia, give it a try and you will love it!

Woo Woo cocktail

Woo Woo cocktail

My first night out in London was with a friend from back home who had moved over to London before I did. I ended up ordering a pitcher of a cocktail to have while we caught up over the past few months. The Woo Woo consists of Archers peach schnapps, Smirnoff vodka, cranberry juiceand was very easy to drink.

Maracuja Pie cocktail

Maracuja Pie cocktail

This was  a cocktail I had at Breezes on Como called the Maracuja Pie cocktail, which consisted of ‘vanilla vodka, fresh passionfruit, vanilla Galliano, pineapple juice and a crumble dusting.‘ The cocktail was delicious and one that I will have again for sure! You can read the full review of the meal here.

sipping on Fosters

sipping on Fosters

I went out with my flatmates around London one long weekend to wander around the different tourist sites. For lunch we stopped at a pub and my flatmate ordered a pint of Fosters which I felt the need to have a sip of being an Australian. Have to say that I was not sold with Fosters, personally I think there are much better beers out there.

Crabbies Ginger Beer

Crabbies Ginger Beer

Instead of the Fosters however I ended up ordering  ginger beer after being told they were out of the Vasse Felix’s Classic Dry White that I originally ordered. An easy drinking ginger beer that I would have again, it’s no Matso’s but will have to do until I can find someone who stocks in in the UK or return home!

Strongbow cider

Strongbow cider

I was craving cider and ended up picking up a 4-pack of Strongbow cider one Friday night to celebrate the end of the week. Strongbow is a basic cider and not one I tend to gravitate towards unless I need a quick cider fix as it’s not a flavoursome cider but it did the job in this case after a long week at work.

Porn Star Martini and Hollywood cocktails

Porn Star Martini and Hollywood cocktails

The Porn Star Martini cocktail consisted of Mango, passion fruit, orange, lime, Absolut Vanilia and the Hollywood cocktail consisted of Southern Comfort, sweet raspberry, blueberry,  açaí berry. The Porn Star Martini was my favourite on the night and

 

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.

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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.

Lunch @ Mash Brewing

I was recently invited to the Swan Valley for a friends birthday. The day began with a round of Supa golf before the group  moved on to Mash Brewery for lunch. I opted out of the round of golf due to last minute preparations for my prac and my consistent run of bad luck when it comes to sports. However I could never turn down a meal out with friends and so I met them as they were heading over to the brewery. Mash Brewery were ever so kind to squeeze in our large group at the last minute with no booking on the same day as the Swan Valley’s Octoberfest event! The server we had one the day was a fantastic guy who I didn’t manage to get the name of unfortunately but he impressed the entire group with his friendly and funny attitude all while dealing with an unforeseen table of 20 during the middle of a Saturday lunch.

While looking over the drinks menu I decided on ordering a glass of Sittella’s Sparkling Chenin Blanc ($9.50) as I have been meaning to try this wine for far too long and it turned out to be a very nice drop! Once the wine was sorted I then had to pick a dish to go with it, I ended up choosing the Market Fish of the Day ($32) which was salmon that day and came with potatoes, asparagus and other roasted vegetables. The meal was presented well and the portion was just enough to fill me up. Also worth noting is the speed at which the kitchen turned around our entire tables meals with good presentation was highly commendable!

I really enjoyed the meal and the atmosphere of Mash Brewery. After seeing some of the other dishes that people ordered, especially the pies and steak sandwiches I an convinced that I will have to return to try them. I would happily return on a quieter day to have another meal and a better look at their beers and ciders.
Mash Brewing & Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Lunch at Pickled Fig, South Fremantle

Hi everyone,

I finally made it to the Pickled Fig in South Fremantle a month or so ago for a spur of the moment lunch with BF. It was a nice warm day and we were lucky to get a table between two rushes, it seems that this restaurant gets very busy on the weekends from the two times I have been here. Decor is unusual but offers a great talking point and if you manage to get an outside table it is very refreshing when a sea breeze comes though as the restaurant is located just behinds the dunes at South Beach.

Little Creature's Pear Cider.

Little Creature’s Pear Cider ($5.6)

BF ordered the Little Creatures pear cider and he was nice enough to share some of it with me. Overall I was disappointed in the fruit flavour of the cider and felt it was lacking. Below is the fruit juice which I ordered and it contained orange, pineapple and passionfruit. There was some confusion with my drink order and I had to chase it up a few times before it was finally deliver to me when I was over halfway through my meal. The juice was nice and I would happily order it again. I reviewed both of these drinks in this weekly drink post.

'Fruit Frenzy' Juice.

‘Fruit Frenzy’ Juice ($8.5).

Below is a side of wedges which BF ordered to go with his steak sandwich. I ended up eating more of these than he did as the sandwich was more filling than he had anticipated. The wedges were not that great and the dipping sauce was runny. Would not order these again.

Wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream.

Wedges with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream ($8.5).

BF order the sandwich below and almost did not want to share even a mouthful with me. Both of us agreed it  was delicious and he polished it off, feeling very content at the end. Highly recommend this sandwich.

Sandwitch

Steak Sandwich ($22)

I opted for the gnocchi and chose to add chicken to it for an extra cost. I loved the summer veggies in this dish and it was fresh and filling. Would happily recommend and reorder this dish again.

Gnocchi.

Going Gnocchi ($22) with chicken added ($8)

Overall the main meals were delicious. The larger food serves, juices and coffees here seem to be a winner from looking at what people around us were having. I would love to return again to try more off their menu, especially their shares and deserts menu. Hoping that the wedges were a one-off dud but it may take a few more visits before I choose to reorder them again.

Until next time!

The Pickled Fig Cafe on Urbanspoon

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!

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

Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 10)

Hi everyone,

When I sat down to write this blog and I wrote the title it came as quite a shock to myself that I have just finished my 10th week of graduate studies. It feels like so much has happened and yet it feels like little to no time has passed. I am sorry that this blog has had to go on the back burner for many weeks and some posts have felt a little rushed. I am slowly getting into the swings of the course and trying to stay on top of the readings, assignments and placement requirements.

Matso's Ginger beer.

Matso’s Ginger beer.

I have had a few cheeky drinks this week while doing my readings as it helped pass the time reading chapter upon chapter and a never ended stream of journal articles. I bought myself my annual 6-pack of ginger beer from Matsos (located and brewed in Broome, Western Australia) and for anyone from Western Australia if not Australia this is such a smooth and creamy ginger beer like no other, if only it was not priced so exorbitantly I would be able to buy it on a more regular basis ($28 for a 6-pack and $95 for a carton at Liquorland). I have also over the past month or so been buying different ciders for dad to try as he has been curious to try and find one which he really likes, currently his all-time favourite is Bulmers. This week I brought him home a 4-pack of Monteith’s Cider from New Zealand, which he found this cider to be very smooth he also found it to not be as ‘gritty’ as Bulmers and missing the final ‘punch’ that comes from this texture in the cider. I am quite a fan of Monteith’s for it’s smoothness and easy-drinking palate.

Monteith's Apple Cider.

Monteith’s Apple Cider.

This weekend I also caught up with some friends for a long overdue catch up for drinks and nibbles. We ended up at Bobeche in the city as I had heard of their teapot cocktails and was very keen to try them. This bar was located right next door to the Trustee, which I visited last week and reviewed here. Beboche had an intimate atmosphere and focused more on spirits and unique cocktails to highlight the spirits.

Jamsheed 2010 'Le Blonk Plonk'.

Jamsheed 2010 ‘Le Blonk Plonk’.

BF and I arrived early so he settled in with a pint of Millers Genuine Draft ($10.5) while I had a glass of Jamsheed 2010 ‘Le Blanc Plonk’, Victoria ($9 a glass). This wine is a blend of Riesling and Gewürtztraminer, and it became quite aromatic and I began to note a palate to the wine as it warmed up. It was a nice crisp wine and impressed me much more than last time I tried Gewürtztraminer. I was impressed with their use of different wine glasses depending upon what wine you ordered, even if they used a chemistry beaker to measure your wine.

Sangria Teapot.

Sangria Teapot.

When the rest of our group arrived we moved on to the cocktails, I shared a teapost of the Sangria with a friend which was fruity and well blended however there was little alcohol in the cocktail, most of it was ice, lemonade and fruit. The cocktails were all well blended and contained interesting combinations, however for the price you paid their size was tiny compared to the size of the cocktails next door at the Trustee. Below is a list of wine and cocktails that people in the group ordered, I heard only postive comments from the group with regards to both their food and wine, except for the portion sizes which was our only complaint.

NV, The Lane ‘Lois’, Blanc de Bland ($10 a glass)

Fraise Sauvage – Beefeater Gin, fresh lemon, house made strawberry cordial, sparkling wine ($19).

Saint Croix Fix – Cruzan Estate Dark 2YO rum, pineapple syrup, fresh lemon ($19).

Cameron’s Kick – Monkey Shoulder whiskey, Jameson’s Irish whiskey, orgeat syrup, fresh lemon ($19).

I personally was more impressed by the range and prices of the Trustee next door, however it was nice to see another new bar in Perth.

Until next time!

Bobeche on Urbanspoon

Farewell Lunch at Little Creatures, Fremantle

Hi everyone,

I was at Little Creatures a few weekends ago when the Chilli Festival was running to farewell a friend from university who was heading back home. After succeeding in finally finding a parking spot (The Chilli Festival sure seemed to be a hit with the traffic chaos and the lack of parking spots available in Fremantle and unfortunately the time I spent looking for parking was what I was hoping to use to check the festival out) we all settled in for our last meal all together.

Chorizo Pizza.

Chorizo, sweet corn and feta pizza ($22).

The chorizo pizza is a staple of mine and one I have ordered many times before at Little Creatures. This pizza did not dissapoint and had a nice balance between the spicy chorizo and the sauce, base and other toppings.

Lamb Pizza.

Harissa spiced lamb, melanzane, and feta pizza ($23).

I was interested in this pizza until we did a quick google to find out that melanzane was in fact eggplant. Those however who liked eggplant polished this pizza off very quickly. I did have a little bit of the lamb and it was nicely cooked and well seasoned.

Pumpkin Pizza.

Roast pumpkin, almond dukkah, and sage oil pizza ($19).

This pizza was surprising as it had a hint of sweetness about it. There was something missing personally with this pizza – one more topping (perhaps some protein or cheese) would have finished it off perfectly. Still an interesting and flavour-filled pizza that I would happily reorder again.

Chilli beef nachos, with guacamole ($23).

Chilli beef nachos, with guacamole ($23).

The nachos were personally for me one of the best that I have had when dining at Little Creatures, often I have been left underwhelmed by their nachos. The frites with aioli below is also a staple that must be ordered whenever you go to Little Creatures as they do not disappoint, we even ordered extra aioli and we discovered that it went very well with the crust from the pizzas.

Frites ($9.50).

Frites with aioli ($9.50).

The last dish ordered was the waffles with berry compote, syrup and ice-cream ($14). I unfortunately did not get a photo of the waffle. While we were all a little upset that the apple and rhubarb had been replaced by berries however once the dish had arrived and we’d all had a piece we took those words back – even with the berries the waffles at Little Creatures is to die for!

There was also some of the famous ‘Pipsqueek’ apple cider ($9.80 for a pint). While I had a glass of the 2011 Bellarmine Riesling from Pemberton ($9).

Bellarmine Riesling ($9).

Bellarmine Riesling ($9).

Another meal at Little Creatures that I was impressed with, my other review of their food can be found here. The complete drinks and food menu for Little Creatures can be found here.

Until next time!

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Little Creatures, Fremantle

Hi everyone,

I met up with a friend who was leaving for a trip around Australia for one last meal and her request was that there be cider there so I suggested Little Creatures in Fremantle. We had another friend join us for lunch as well and the three of us opted to order 3 ‘big shares’ off the menu as well as a side of their famous frites with aioli to share between the three of us.

Beef Nachos.

Beef Nachos.

My friend selected the Chilli Beef Nachos with guacamole and sour cream ($23) and on presentation they looked quite unappealing however the mince and bean combination in these nachos was delicious with a hint of zingyness. Possibly not a dish I would come back for as it was quite a messy and chaotic dish to eat.

Chicken Tenderloins.

Chicken Tenderloins.

My selection off the menu was the Chicken Tenderloins ($21) which consisted of free range chicken tenderloins, chermoula spiced, raita. This dish was delicious and I most definitely ate more than my fair share of it. The chicken was coated with spices that when the lemon wedge and raita were added to it led me to foodie heaven! I highly recommend this dish and hope they still have it on the menu next time I am there!

Potato Salad with Smoked Ocean Trout.

Potato Salad with Smoked Ocean Trout.

My other friend ordered the Potato Salad with Smoked Trout, Capers and Spring Onions ($15). This dish came out before the nachos and chicken tenderloins with the frites and made for a very potato filled start to the meal. This meal was light and fresh and while different to the potato salads I usually have, still not a bad one.

Frites with Aioli.

Frites with Aioli.

Lastly is a dish, which practically no one leaves without having when they go to Little Creatures in Fremantle. Their Frites with Aioli ($9.5) are delicious with their homemade feel and the Aioli dipping sauce a highlight of this place. We ended up running out of Aioli and the waitresses were only too happy to get us more at no charge. These frites make for a great accompaniment to any meal or drink ordered from Little Creatures.

Until next time!

Little Creatures Brewery on Urbanspoon

Yarra Valley, 2013

Hi everyone,

While I was in Melbourne last week I was granted half a day in the Yarra Valley to unleash the wine lover in me. Unfortunately this half-day was the same day that I had hopped off the plane after only 2 hours sleep so in the end I was quite exhausted after the few wineries I got to. I ended up sticking to the three major wineries in the region that were wanted to be seen by myself and my travelling companions as well as a cidery and chocolate/ice-creamery which caught our attention as we drove throughout the region.

Yarra Glen Bakery.

Yarra Glen Bakery.

We began our day with breakfast at a bakery in Yarra Glen. I had a definitely homemade Chicken Pastie, which while being stuffed full or chicken, feta, spinach and nuts was too rich for my stomach to handle so early in the morning.

Chicken Pastie.

Chicken Pastie.

De Bortoli

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We arrived at De Bortoli and were greeted by their resident dogs Millie and Harry. Before entering the cellar door the same time as a tour bus. While the ladies running the cellar door were busy dealing with two large groups they still made time to make me feel more than welcome at the cellar door as I tasted my way through a selection of their wines. We ended up leaving with 3 wines some for our stay in Melbourne and some to take home back to Perth.

Harry and Millie at De Bortoli.

Harry and Millie at De Bortoli.

Este Sparkling ($34)

Sparkling Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend made from cool climate grapes in the traditional method. This wine had a nutty and creamy palate and was a delicious wine. We were quite intent on picking up a bottle of this before we remembered that we would be heading to Chandon later that day, After having visited Chandon this still wasn’t a bad drop in my opinion.

La Boheme Act 3 – Pinot Gris and Friends 2011  ($20)

Pinot Gris with a “splash” of Riesling and Gewürztraminer. This wine was zesty, fresh and light on the palate with a hint of minerality on the nose. For not being a fan of Pinot Gris or Gewürztraminer I was a fan of this wine.

Yarra Valley Sauvignon 2010  ($20)

Oaked (french) Sauvignon Blanc, from which I felt like I could taste a hint of lychee on the palate. The oak made for a different and unusual wine. I wasn’t the biggest fan of it but

Yarra Valley Off-Dry Riesling 2011  ($20)

Still quite a dry Riesling, no hint of lychee as the tasting notes implied. Refreshing wine.

La Boheme Act 2 Pinot Noir Rose 2011  ($20)

Musky, fruity nose. Light palate which had and acidic and dry finish. Lacking palate which disappointed me.

Bellariva Moscato del Re 2012  ($18)

Delightful drink with a low 5.5% alcoholic content. Delicious, musky sherbet nose paired with tropical fruit and a refreshing finish which makes it possible to have a glass or two and now feel slickly after it. We ended up taking a bottle of this pack to Perth and it was enjoyed all round.

Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2011  ($32)

Deemed a “bonza vintage” in the tasting notes. Earthy Pinot Noir with a fantastic colour in the glass. For my first Yarra Valley Pinot Noir of the day, it did well.

La Boheme Act 4 Syrah Gamay 2011  ($20)

Presently the style being served in “the cool bars of Paris”. The wine was different to anything I had tried before, light bodied but delicious. This was the bottle of wine that I selected to bring back to Perth.

Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010  ($28)

This wine with balanced oak but still showing that it was young, light bodied wine but it showed some promise. Give it a few more years.

Yarra Valley Chocolatier

I wandered around this place looking more with my eyes than my stomach but I did have some of their ice-cream and sorbet curtosy of my mum and cousin who were quite in awe of their VERY generous servings!

Berry Sorbet Waffle Cone.

Berry Sorbet Waffle Cone.

Rocky Road and *.

Rocky Road and Cookie Dough.

While wandering around the store I came across some novel chocolate carrying devices as well as some interesting sweets that I wished would have survived my stay in Melbourne and the flight home so I could have purchased them!

Tasty Insulation in the wine glass for travelling.

Tasty Insulation in the wine glass for travelling.

Desert Topping Syrups.

Desert Topping Syrups.

Domaine Chandon

This winery offered guided and unguided tours of their winery along with tastings of a selection of their wines. We opted to do the self guided tour and got a chance to glimpse at their crushing, cellaring and cellaring rooms.

Old press on display.

Old press on display.

Oak barrels on display.

Oak barrels on display.

Cellaring room.

Cellaring room.

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Riddling process.

After the self guided tour I was most keen to sample the wines on offer. To my surprise after having worked in a bottle shop for the past two years I learnt that Chandon produces still wines as well as sparkling wines, and that their standards are quite high. We tasted our way through the wines on offer and the highlights for myself was the Curvee Riche, 2009 Vintage Brut and the 2008 Barrel Selection Shiraz (which we were offered as a one off sample as we had quite enjoyed their shiraz on the tasting menu and was considering it for a gift, however the 2008 Barrel Selection Shiraz for $18 more was well worth the money. Big thank you to the gentleman who walked us through the tasting for giving us the opportunity to taste this wine, I know it will be well enjoyed when it makes it to its intended owner!)

2009 Vintage Brut

This was a good sparkling wine. Smooth on the palate, with a dry finish. Definitely will be recommending this wine at work from now on havint tried it, it exceeds the NV Brut, which I have tried in the past.

NV Curvee Riche

The guy who took us through the tasting said that this one was a favourite of his and it is clear to see why. For those who love a sweeter sparkling without going to a Sparkling Moscato should keep an eye out for this one. It was a tough decision deciding between a bottle of this and the 2009 Vintage to take with us, in the end we decided upon the Curvee Riche.

2008 Vintage Brut Rose

Personally could not stand up to the 2008 Vintage Brut and

NV Sparkling Pinot Shiraz

This wine was interesting to try, having only tried a few sparkling red wines but didn’t impress me the way I hoped it would.

2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Crisp and vibrant youthful wine, which was the favourite for the white wine drinker in the group. I myself was also quite impressed with this wine.

2012 Pinot Noir Rose

Average on the palate and nose for me personally, there was strawberries and cream on the nose and palate however I felt that it did not follow pack the punch that I look for in a Rose.

2011 Pinot Noir

Luscious berries on the palate are balanced out by the wine’s tannins. Not a bad wine but it could not compare to Pinot Noir’s from Yerling Station.

2010 Heathcote Shiraz

Not a bad Shiraz for those that I have tried. Berries and spice on the palate with it’s youth also still showing. Not a bad wine but could still do with a few more years in the bottle.

2008 Barrel Selection Shiraz

This was a delightful wine that you could taste the love that had gone into it. Fruit driven with oak that was well integrated into the wine. You could note pepper and luscious berries on the palate but it was not overly peppery, which gave it extra brownie points in my opinion!

For anyone looking for a good cellar door experience, Chandon did it well and I was very impressed by their knowledge as well as charisma with us. The wines as well are delightful! I must however make time for a cheese platter and a glass of bubbles at Chandon, next time I am in the Yarra Valley.

Punt Road Cidery

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We made a quick stop here on the way to Yerling Station to try their ciders. The had an apple and pear varietal which they had been producing since 2008 when they came to the realisation that wine production occurs for 3 months of the year and that he stainless steel tanks that would have otherwise remained idle for the remaining 9 could be used for cider.

The apple cider was crisp and refreshing however I was slightly more partial to the pear cider, which had a hint of sweetness about it. Their cider can be found in bars, shops and on tap in various locations in Perth, including Subiaco Hotel and selected Liquor Barons across the city.

Yering Station

Last stop of the day as my lack of sleep and jet lag was catching up with my travel companions and I was at Yering Station. Here I went through and did a brief sampling of their extensive wine list.

2008 Yarrabank Curvee

This wine was quite average for the sparkling wines I had tried while in the Yarra Valley. Not a bad wine but not one that impressed me.

2004 Yarrabank, Late Disgorged

It was tough to not buy a bottle of the wine also. It was a delightful bubbly which I do hope to find in Perth. The sparkling wine’s palate and bouquet were dominated by fresh ripe fruit and was a delight to drink.

2010 Yering ‘Village’ Pinot Noir

This is a wine more suited for those who like light bodied reds or are not even big fans of red wine. The wine’s palate reminded me of a Rose with lighter summer berries on the palate and nose. Not a bad wine and different to the other Pinot Noir’s I have tried from the Yarra Valley.

2010 Yering Station Pinot Noir

I preferred this to their Village Pinot Noir as there was more body and it was a more ‘earthier’ wine in comparison. Dark berries on the palate in comparison. Loved this wine, I will have to keep an eye out for this one in bottle shops in Perth!

2010 Yering ‘Muir’ Sangiovese

This was the second bottle of wine I brought back with me from the Yarra Valley. For my first time trying Sangiovese on it’s own, I was impressed. The wine bad body and flavour and while it can be drunk now I do hope to cellar it for a while before opening it.

2010 Yering ‘Muir’ Nebbiolo

My first time trying the Nebbiolo grape. It was quite average and not for me personally. Not enough luscious berry flavours on the palate to balance out the harshness of the tannins in the wine. It did however make for another notch towards my Wine Century Challenge.

Until next time!