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

 

Advertisements

February Favourites

Hi everyone,

1. Favourite wine of the month?

Sorrenberg, 2010, Gamay, Victoria, Australia. Review of the wine can be found here. This is the bottle of wine which was suggested for our meal at Perth Print Hall by the Sommelier. A luscious wine filled with cherries on the nose and palate, I am still keeping an eye out for a bottle of this wine as it was delightful! I am still on the hunt for a bottle or two of the 2010 vintage so do share if you find some please!

Sorrenberg-Gamay-generic

King River, 2011, Saperavi, King Valley, Australia (RRP $55) – 14.4%

For such a plain looking label this wine really impressed me with it’s bouquet. I could have quite happily spent the entire night with this wine watching how the nose of the wine evolved as it aired out. This wine was  limited release which I had the chance to try at the second meet for the Wine Century Challenge. I ended up purchasing a bottle as there was limited supply left from this inaugural vintage.

IMG_1800

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

Massena, 2010, Tannat, Barossa Valley, Australia (RRP $28) – 14.5%

This is a wine I tried when I met up with some fellow wine lovers and bloggers for a Wine Century Challenge Meet. This is the wine that on the night I felt was the best vallue for money when we were discussing all the wines at the end. This wine I felt had a nice body and mouth feel of a much more expensive wine. This wine would be perfect once we’re into some cooler weather with a nice roast.

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

a younger vintage of the Arneis by First Drop. I had the chance to try the 2010 vintage at the Wine Century Meet. I was impressed with the wine’s structure however I felt that the wine’s age had brought it down. I would love to see how a younger vintage of this wine performs and if it meets the expectations I now have for it since trying the 2010 vintage.

IMG_1805

4. What restaurants do I want to return to?

BF and I went to George Street Bistro during the past month (I haven’t had the chance to upload the post as of yet). The meal was hearty and filling for that one weekend this past month were we received a welcomed cold snap in Perth along with some welcomed rain. BF had a Seared Sirloin Steak while I had the ‘Pie of the Day’ which was Chicken in a tomato based sauce.

IMG_1809

5. What was my favourite meal this month?

Desert at Perth Print Hall, it was to die for!

Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant ($16).

Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant ($16).

Lemon 'Spilled' ($16).

Lemon ‘Spilled’ ($16).

6. Upcoming events for next month?

Eat Drink Perth

7. Favourite wine packaging?

Claymore, 2011, ‘Joshua Tree’ Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia.

Simple packaging which drew BF in to select it and overall it was a delicious Riesling. Review of the wine can be found here.

IMG_1712

8. Best service?

Perth Print Hall – review can be found here. The service was professional, quick and reflected the developments in Perth’s fine dining restaurants.

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

Bad Apples Wine Bar in Applecross is a place I have been trying to get to for the past month or so to check out their wine selection.

cbebf3f0c5696507f0ad53960ef9f651

10. Wine Century Challenge.

Total: 35 varietals.

Favourite = Arneis (white) and Saperavi (red).

Until next time!

Print Hall Fine Dining, Perth CBD

Hi everyone,

I went to Print Hall Fine Dining a few Friday’s ago with some girlfriends from high school. We had been eyeing off Print Hall for the past few months and once everyone was back in the state and free we settled on a night to meet up and check it out. We chose to book into the Fine Dining restaurant as it was the only restaurant in Print Hall which took bookings and from the line that was present at 6:30pm we were very happy to have made a booking.

There was a slight mix-up with my booking and it seemed to have gotten lost, however the staff at the restaurant were more than happy to find room for us and made sure that it was no problem at all. This was the only hick-up in our dinner and by the end of our meal it was a long forgotten one.

Once seated we were offered water and the wine menu, which I was left in charge of. Flicking through the wine menu I came to find I had hit the jackpot of wine-heaven for Perth. After browsing the wine list for a few minutes the Sommelier (Daniel Wegener) approached the table and offered his assistance. With a few requests of a light to medium bodied red wine with cherries or blackcurrant and oak, he recommended a fantastic 2010 Gamay from Sorrenberg in Victoria. My review of the wine can be found in this blog post. I was delighted with the wine as it was something I would not have considered and it was well received by all of my dining companions.

Sommelier.

Sommelier.

While we waited for our mains to be cooked, we were offered unlimited serves of a range of freshly cooked bread along with whipped butter. The bread was nice, not as good as some that I have had down Margaret River way, but I still managed to get through a slice of the sourdough and light rye.

Below are two of the mains we ordered, another friend ordered the Pan Roasted Barramundi ($41), which I did not get a chance to photograph. All of us enjoyed our mains and we also shared a side of Confit Young Potatoes (also did not manage to get a picture of those) ($10), one friend who had been to Rockpool said that these potatoes were not quite as good as theirs done in the Wagyu fat.

Cauliflower and Cheese.

Cauliflower and Cheese ($39).

Duck Confit.

Duck Cassoulet ($42).

We all made sure we had room for a desert as the menu and photos which we had seen online looked and sounded amazing! When our deserts did arrive we were not disappointed. I had tossed up between ordering the Lemon’Spilled’ and the Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant for desert, however as one of my friends had already decided upon having the ‘Lemon Spilled’ for her desert before we had arrived I opted to order the Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant, to see how it compared with the wine. The presentation across all three deserts was fantastic and almost made me not want to touch them, ‘almost’! My desert was to die for once I did try it and the slightly bittersweet taste for me bought out the fruity sweetness in the wine. I also had the chance to sample the Lemon ‘Spilled’, it is tough for me to decide which desert I liked more as both were delicious! If you are heading to Print Hall, you must leave room to try their deserts as they were the standout course for me!

Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant ($16).

Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant ($16).

Lemon 'Spilled' ($16).

Lemon ‘Spilled’ ($16).

Strawberries and Cream ($17).

Strawberries and Cream ($17).

I would love to return here again. And hope to do so in the near future on a more quieter night where we can finish the night off with a cocktail or two on the roof top bar. The current menu for Print Hall can be found here.

Until next time!

 Print Hall Bar and Dining Room on Urbanspoon

Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 5)

Hi everyone,

For Valentine’s Day I ended up leaving First Choice with a new red wine varietal from Sicily for myself along with some beer for BF. The grape varietal I ended up selecting 2011 Nero D’Avola from Feudo Arancio. I had no prior knowledge of the wine and ended up selecting it as I did not recognise the varietal and the fact that it came from Sicily intrigued me. This wine was quite a treat for me also as it was my first non-sparkling wine that used a cork rather than a screw-cap that I had bought in Australia. Once I had reacquainted myself with the bottle opener and a bit of muscle from BF I set about trying this new varietal. On first sips the wine had a lot of fruit flavour and some oak with a medium body. After breathing for a few minutes the wine opened up in spiciness and body and really impressed me overall.

IMG_1747

I caught up with some girlfriends from school at Perth Print Hall’s Fine Dining Restaurant. One of my friends had previously been to the restaurant and said I would enjoy their wine list, she was not wrong in that statement. I was seriously impressed with their wine list and cellar however the standout of the night was the sommelier who recommended a delightful bottle of wine for us. From our request of a medium bodied red wine with cherry flavours and some oak he recommended the 2010 Sorrenberg Gamay ($95 at the restaurant). For all the wine lovers in Perth this place is a must for the experience of trying something new as the range of wines they stock is extensive and impressive to say the least. The wine from the first sniff to the last sip had enough body to keep me (a medium to full bodied red wine lover) content to my friend who enjoys her lighter bodied red wines and my other dining companion who wasn’t all that bothered. The fruit flavour was filled with luscious cherries, with enough tannins at the end of the palate to pair with our meals. I will have to get my hands on a few bottles of this for sure! If anyone has seen it in a bottle shop in Perth do let me know!

Sorrenberg-Gamay-generic

My last wine for the week was one which was had with a barbecue lunch with some old family friends. They brought over a bottle of Vasse Felix Classic Dry White. This wine was well balanced between the juicy apple and citrus flavours in the wine and the zesty to dry refreshing finish. Vasse Felix has consistently impressed me every time I have tried it and this time was no different.

IMG_1746

Until next time!

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

IMG_1279

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.

IMG_1299

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

IMG_1301

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!