Birthday Lunch @ Taste and Graze, Mandurah

This past year has been a very hectic one with little time to stop and breathe. So when my birthday rolled around a few months ago I decided I wanted to go somewhere quiet and intimate for a meal with the family. Mandurah was a convenient location for people that weekend which led to me selecting Taste and Graze.

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I was one of the first to arrive and ordered a cocktail for while I waited. This cocktail consisted of pineapple juice, cointreau, vanilla galliano and from memory a dash of grenadine. It was a nice cocktail and I  enjoyed it.

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Food:

I only managed to snap a few pictures of the meals as many of us ended up ordering the same dish as well as it being hard to get a shot of everyone’s meals. The salmon was ordered by quite a few at the table, including myself. Overall I could not fault the salmon, what I was disappointed by was the small size of the dish and it’s lack of ability to fill me up. I felt that this dish needed more vegetables or a side to go with it and this comment was echoed by many others at the table. If we had known the portion sizes would be like this we could have ordered more, however the prices of the dishes did make us not feel that we had received the most satisfying meal that day. The burger on the other hand was a standout and those who ordered the burger felt well fed by the end of the meal.

Due to many of us still feeling quite hungry by the end of the mains we opted to get some deserts to share. We ordered a few plates of the sticky date pudding and lemon meringue pie. The deserts were nice but after the mains they again did not impress me greatly. I was also dissapointed when I asked about how many cups of tea the $6 tea made I was told in a rude tone from the waiter that it made only one, I passed on this and overall it left a sour taste in my mouth.

 

The atmosphere of the restaurant was nice overall. The waitstaff were a little short with some customers in the restaurant at the time when I scanned around the room. Overall I am not in a rush to return to Taste and Graze for while they had some nice dishes, their serving sizes and staff do not do enough to tempt me away from the numerous small cafes in Fremantle that I still want to try.

Taste & Graze Cafe & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Halliday Day: Week 9 – Peel Estate Winery.

Hi everyone,

As part of my Wine Essentials Class with the Wine Education Centre of WA we had the chance to be given a tour of Peel Estate Winery in Baldivis by its owner and senior winemaker Will Nairn. Peel Winery is located in the Peel wine region, which is located at the southern end of Perth; situated roughly between Rockingham and 50km south of Mandurah and runs from the coast to the Darling Scarp.

James Halliday rated the winery 4 stars in the 2012 Australian Wine Companion, and commends them on their “remarkably consistent track record”. Peel Estate is known for it’s unique ‘wooded-Chenin’ which Halliday rates as the best wooded-Chenin in Australia and compares it to that of the Loire Valley in France.

We were taken by Will Nairn for a tour of his vineyard and winery and I managed to grab a few half-decent pictures along the way. Below are some pictures I took while we were given a tour of the winery. Will spent about an hour discussing with us the formation of the winery and where he had sourced the grapes cuttings from, how they had developed and how he had altered the vision of the winery along with their successes and failures and his views on oak and other wine making methods and advances. Climate change was of great importance to Will as it is impacting many aspects of the Wine Industry, regarding irrigation, harvest and the success of certain grape varietals.

Vines.

Mature Grape Vines.

Recently grafted grape vine.

Recently grafted grape vine.

Newly grafted section of the vineyard along with most of our teacher in the wine class.

Newly grafted section of the vineyard along with most of our wine educator from the Wine Education Centre.

This tour was possibly the highlight of the Wine Essential Course that I have been completing this past month. It was so interesting and exciting to hear from a man who has been in the industry for years as well as to see him in his own environment, that of his winery and vineyard.

Review of wines sampled:

2011 Verdehlo: dry, crisp, fresh, and citrus on the nose. The palate was dominated by apple, floral, and zestyness from the citrus notes in the wine. The Verdelho had been left on lees for a bit which made it different to other Verdelho’s I have tried, but still overall one that I would happily have again.

2012 Oaked Chardonnay: On the nose you could note floral, fruity and a hint of butteriness from the oak. The acid was balanced on the palate and the time on oak led to it having a good texture as well as giving the wine a toasty flavour along with citrus and spiciness from the fruit.

2011 Wood-matured Chenin Blanc: this wine was different to any Chenin I have tried in the past, while at first it seemed unfamiliar and therefore slightly odd tasting I warmed up to it in the end. On the nose the wine was crisp but still nutty and toasty thanks to the time on oak (between 12-18 months for the Chenin). On the palate the wine was fruity, rich, dry and a hint of honey. This is a wine which would do best I believe with food.

2012 Rose: Their rose is a blend consisting of mainly Cabernet Franc with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon also. The wine began with strawberries and cream on the nose and was fruity and smooth on the palate. The wine began sweet on the tip of the mouth it’s overall finish was medium-dry. I was a fan of this and think I have have preferred it to the wine’s I sampled at the Rose Revolution earlier.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon: the bit of age on the wine had done it some good thought it was still a little on the young side. The acid and tannins on the wine were still noticeable but it was still a pleasant drop. Dark plum was present both on the nose and palate and along with vanilla, spiciness, and a slight hint go earthiness or chalky-limestone thanks to the location of the vineyard on the old limestone coastal plain in the region.

2005 Old Vine Shiraz: spice, black olive, vanilla, licorice, chocolate and toasty all came to mind from the nose of this wine. On the palate you could taste berries and chocolate as well and it was quite a smooth wine. Not a bad wine either and it came close to usurping the  Cabernet Sauvignon as my favourite red.

Fortified Shiraz: wow! This is a wine which I am so glad I had the chance to try! It was like liquid gold for me! If you make it to the winery this is one to try and you will likely end up taking a bottle home with you!

They also do a Zinfandel which they were currently out of stock on the previous vintage and a few weeks off having the next vintage available for tasting which was a shame as it came highly recommended. There was also a Shiraz Cabernet which we accidentally passed over during the tasting. All the wines sampled on the day were very reasonably priced, with the aged reds being $30-35 which impressed me greatly, in comparison to what they would have likely cost had they come from a Margaret River winery.

A big thanks to Will for having the class on the tour and for being such an entertaining host! I do hope some of you make it down to the winery as it is the perfect location for a lazy weekend barbecue with their electric barbecue and wine cellar open 10am-5pm 7 days a week.

Until next time!