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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Dinner at The Merrywell, Crown Casino

Hi everyone,

For BF’s birthday this year he let me decide where to go for dinner so I settled on the Merrywell at the Crown Casino and I had been wanting to see how the refurbishment had gone and to check out all the new restaurants that have opened since then.

Cocktail and Beer.

Cocktail and Beer.

I ordered a cherry and rum flavoured cocktail, the name of which escapes me but I have noticed that it is no longer on the menu which is a shame as I really loved it! BF got a beer and it came in a weighty little glass stein which  remind me of the many times we spent drinking beer in Germany.

BF and I opted to grab a meal each as well as something of the share platter for some veggies. I almost ordered another share dish and was questioning myself when the meals came out as I looked at the portion sizes. After a few mouthfuls however BF and I soon realised we had more than enough food for the two of us.

Mexican corn on the cob.

Mexican corn on the cob.

To share we ordered a serve of the Mexican corn on the cob which consisted of corn coated in zingy spices and cheese. I quite enjoyed how the cheese balanced out the spicyness of the mexican corn, however I felt that there was too much cheese on the cob and it can quickly make you feel a little sickly from cheese overload.

Burger.

The Merrywell Burger.

The Merrywell Burger consisted of lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, tomato, special sauce, Bacon, and a side of french fries. I could not fault this burger and struggled to finish it off. I really enjoyed this burger and while some more veggies would have finished it off perfectly this restaurant is big on cheese, meat and fat and this burger delivered on all three.

Pasta.

Meatball and Fettuccine Pasta.

BF picked the pasta dish on the menu which I too had been eyeing off. When it came out we were a little worried with the portion sizing. The dish however was a struggle to finish in the end and BF enjoyed it.

We skipped having desert here even though I have seen and heard fantastic things from the Merrywell to have a birthday cake at home with the family. I will be back for sure to try their deserts! Over all BF and I were content with the meal costing around $80. The only downside to dining at the Merrywell was a lack of a booking system causing us to circle the restaurant a few times before we managed to snag a table as people were leaving it on a mid-week night. Go to the Merrywell if you are in the mood for a carb and meat overload and not looking for many veggies, aka a good American feed.

Until next time!

The Merrywell on Urbanspoon

April Monthly Review

Hi everyone,

1. Favourite wine of the month?

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

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I tried this wine at the last Wine Century Challenge Meet and it was the perfect wine to end the night on. I have also tried and loved the Rose fro Dandelions Vineyard (review can be found here)

2. What has been the best value wine of the month?

I haven’t had a stand out value for money wine this month unfortunately.

3. What has been added to my to-try wine list?

Plantagenet, Galafrey and Orangje Tractor – these three wineries are ones which I did not managed to visit when I was down south due to falling sick. I do hope to be back down in that region in the near future!

4. What restaurants do I want to return to?

BF and I went to the Merrywell at Crown Casino for his birthday (another restaurant review in the que to get up on this blog!) we decided to order individual meals rather than from the share menu. I would love to and need to return and try their share food as well as to have another cocktail (pictured below) which was delicious!

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5. What was my favourite meal this month?

The waffles at Little Creatures was a great way to celebrate BF’s birthday with friends.

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6. Upcoming events for next month?

Good Food and Wine show – tickets went on sale May 1st, the show will be in town July 19-21. (entry costs $36, extra for wine and cheese classes and lunches)

Vintage Cellar’s International Wine Festival – May 6th & 7th in Perth, 5:30-9pm (tickets cost $25)

7. Favourite wine packaging?

Express Winemakers have some fantastic artwork on their wines. Below is their Rosado which I have tried twice now and it is growing on me. I am curious as well to try the rest of their range!

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

Wine Express Makers, Rosaldo.

Wine Express Makers, Rosaldo.

8. Best service?

Harewood Estate Winery – I had a fantastic time with the lady running the cellar door! She was informative and happy to discuss both their wines and recommend other wines to me to pursue my wine century challenge. I highly recommend visiting as the cellar door’s location has a fantastic view and a packed picnic would be a nice way to spend the afternoon.

9. Restaurant I am most keen to try next month?

Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant in town called Jamie’s. I’ve been eyeing off all the blog reviews of this place and am yet to see anyone not leave satisfied overall. I just need to get around to gathering some people and making a booking as I am not patient enough to wait in line!

10. Wine Century Challenge.

Total: 46 varietals.

Until next time!