Wine(s) of the Week: Another Overdue Collective Wine Post

Hi everyone,

This post is a little collage of the drinks that I have in the few weeks leading up to my prac that I never got around to blogging about.

Wine:

Olive Farm Wines, 2012, Verdehlo.

Olive Farm Wines, 2012, Verdehlo.

I went to the Cheese Barrel in the Swan Valley for a cheese making day course. For lunch as part of the course we were given a few cheese platters and bottles of Olive Farm 2012 Verdelho. The cheese platter went down a treat as did the wine, however I had a cold at the time and could not fully appreciate the wine those on the course with me were quite impressed. The baked camembert with garlic oil on the platter and the fig sticks were the highlight of the tasting platter. I will be back for another platter for sure.

Tasting Platter.

Tasting Platter.

The Cheese Barrel on Urbanspoon

Yellowglen Cremant.

Yellowglen Cremant.

I had a long overdue catch up with my cousin and we celebrated in our traditional way of bubbles and cake. This time around we ended up with a mud cake and a bottle of Yellowglen Cremant. This sparkling wine has a smooth and creamy texture with a hint of sweetness on the palate.

Skuttlebutt Rose.

Skuttlebutt Rose.

While out for lunch in Fremantle at Pizza Bella Roma I chose to try the Skuttlebutt Rose, which is a blend of Shiraz, Merlot and Sangiovese. The wine was refreshing and a lively rose which I would happily try again.

Penfolds, 2011, Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvedre.

Penfolds, 2011, Bin 2 Shiraz Mourvedre.

We had a family friend visit and they brought with them a bottle of Penfolds 2011 Bin 2, a blend of Shiraz Mourvedre. After a little time in the decanter this wine was on full display with a savoury and spicy nose which carried over onto the palate along with some berry fruit flavours and young tannins which the decanter helped to smooth out. I quite enjoyed this wine, especially as Shiraz is not a varietal I tend to gravitate towards.

Villa Maria.

Villa Maria.

BF and I went to see Iron Man 3 at La Premiere. While there I decided to have a glass of wine and choose to have the Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc. I had been eyeing this wine off at work for about a year now, hearing many positive things about it from fellow staff and customers. I really enjoyed this wine and cannot believe I waited this long to try it. This wine was the one which has converted me to a fan of a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, lots of passionfruit, melons and zesty lime on the palate.

Cocktails:

Cocktail.

Boo Boo Cocktail.

BF and I had a quiet dinner at Benny’s in Fremantle and I was hanging out to have a cocktail of theirs as it had been far too long since i’d been there. I ended up selecting one of their specials the Boo Boo Cocktail which contained peach schnapps, spiced peach liquier, cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime. A very delicious cocktail, as expected from Benny’s.

Benny's Bar & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tea:

Melbourne Breakfast.

Melbourne Breakfast.

I visited Wild Poppy Cafe for brunch, while I was under the weather and had my favourite Melbourne Breakfast cuppa tea there. The vanilla and honey flavours in this tea were just what I needed to feel a little better.

IMG_2426

While out at the Cheese Barrel for the cheese making course we were also given free morning and afternoon tea. I chose to have a cup of tea. They only offered traditional black or white tea however their presentation of miss-matched tea cups was adorable.

White Orchard.

White Orchard.

This last cup of tea is made by Mighty Leaf called White Orchard. I tried this tea at Heavenly Plate, my fist visit to a vegan restaurant with some girlfriends. This white tea was bursting with peach and melon flavours and I would love to try this tea cold in the summer months as an iced tea, however it also was actually very nice as a warm tea also.

Until next time!

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Valley and Vines Festival, Swan Valley

Hi everyone,

Sunday March 3rd 2013, part of the Labour Day long weekend in Perth will see the inaugural Valley and Vines Festival. This festival is designed around 6 different venues in the Swan Valley offering food, wine for sample and sale along with live entertainment from 10am to 5pm.

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Participating Venues:

Olive Farm Wines & The Cheese Barrel

Duckstein

Carilley Estate (Homestead location)

Chesters of Heafod Glen

Harris Organic Wines

Ugly Duckling Wines

Venue Location - V&V

The format for the festival consists of visiting three venues (of your choice and order or in a pre-arranged package including transportation) for a two hour period at each with 30 minutes provided between the venues for transportation. Ticket holder are entitled to:

  • Valley & Vines branded lanyard featuring their itinerary (must be worn all day)
  • Valley & Vines wine glass to be used throughout the day
  • First pour (120 mls) at the first session of the day

Tickets are $35  per person with an additional $40 if you wish to not have to worry about transportation or a schedule for the day. To make a booking to attend Valley and Vines, follow this link.

I unfortunately am not free to attend this event which is in a format which I would have been very curious to see, if anyone does end up attending this event feel free to comment below and let me know how it went!

Until next time!

Spanish Sundowner, Swan Valley

Hi everyone,

The Cheese Barrel and Olive Farm Wines are hosting a Spanish Sundowner filled with wine, cheese and tapas on their Property in the Swan Valley on the evening of Saturday March 16th for a cost of $65. Below is the flyer for the event. If you have been wanting to try the wines from Olive Farm Wines or the cheeses from The Cheese Barrel then this would be the perfect time for both.

spanishsundowner

Until next time!

Monthly Review: December

Hi everyone,

1. Favourite wine of the month?

With the onset of summer in Perth I have been passing over my usual reds for chilled wines – mainly Sauvignon Blanc Semillon’s and Rose’s.

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

Olive Farms 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon – $25.

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

The rest of the wines at Olive Farm, something I will be able to do in the near future when I redeem my christmas gift of a voucher to a Cheese Barrel’s gourmet cheese making class.

4. What restaurants do I want to return to?

After visiting the Swan Valley and the Riverside Restaurant located in the region I would love to return to the Swan Valley to try more wineries and eateries in the area.

5. What was my favourite meal this month?

The Gnocchi I had at The Blue Duck in Cottesloe was to die for! The gnocchi melted in my mouth and the fresh vegetables made for an exciting summer dish.

Gnocchi.

Gnocchi.

6. Upcoming events for next month?

Twilight Hawkers Markets (cuisine from around the globe) – Forrest Place, Perth City 5pm-9pm every Friday into April.

Boat’s annual Cider Festival – Mindarie Marina, Mindarie January 11th-13th.

Fe”BREW”ary FestivitiesIndi Brewary, Mindarie February 1st-28th.

7. Favourite wine packaging?

Jim Barry’s Sauvignon Blanc Semillon won BF over and for doing that I’d say he win’s for favourite packaging of the month!

Wine Labels.

Wine Labels.

8. Best service?

William at Quarter on Hay – review of my meal there will be up soon.

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

Heading off to Melbourne for a week so a quaint little restaurant with delicious homemade simple food in a side street is something I would love to find.

10. Wine Century Challenge.

Total: 25 varietals.

Favourite = Müller-Thurgau

Until next time!

Christmas Drinks

Hi everyone,

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

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

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

Olive Farm Rose.

Olive Farm Rose.

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

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

Moondah Brook Rose.

Moondah Brook Rose.

3. Ninth Island NV Sparkling

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

Ninth Island NV Sparkling.

Ninth Island NV Sparkling.

4. Tim Adams 2005 Cabernet Merlot

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

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

Tim Adams Cabernet Merlot.

Tim Adams Cabernet Merlot.

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

Until next time!

Swan Valley

Hi everyone,

With the overseas family in town over the weekend that just passed and we decided to take them to the Swan Valley so we could all explore it for the first time together. We only had a few hours in the Swan Valley and many of our visitors wanted to see the Woodbridge House so we ended up only going to two wineries and a nougat factory as my family has a long line of nougat lovers, and then ending our Swan Valley dash a quick late lunch at the restaurant by Woodbridge House.

1st Stop: Houghton’s.

Our first stop was at Houghton’s, as it is one of the most well known Swan Valley wineries and therefore one to show the international tourists. The grounds were spectacular and I will have to return in the future for a picnic there.

Wisdom Sparkling.

Wisdom Sparkling.

At Houghton’s they had a tasting flight of three white wines and three red wines for $3. In the flight we tasted:

Wisdom Pemberton Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay

2012 Wisdom Pemberton Sauvignon Blanc

2009 Wisdom Pemberton Wooded Chardonnay

2010 175th Anniversary Limited Edition Red Blend

2010 Wisdom Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 C.W. Ferguson Cabernet Franc

Red's from tasting flight at Houghton's.

Red’s from tasting flight at Houghton’s.

I didn’t mind the white wines beside’s the Chardonnay, for some reason it did not impress nor appeal to me. The red were quite nice, they showed potential but were still quite young.

I left Houghton’s with a hamper of wines from Moondah Brook as we were not allowed to sample their wines and their Rose looked quite tantalising – we ended up having the Rose with dinner that night and it was a great wine for the summer! A full review of the Rose will be in Sunday’s post.

Moondah Brook Hamper.

Moondah Brook Hamper.

2nd Stop: Mondo Nougat.

We left Houghton’s and headed for Mondo for a quick stop here for some gelato and nougat for the rest of the day as well as a few pieces for them to take back home with them. The Nougat here is gluten and dairy free which is a big plus if you or any one you know who loves nougat has these alleges! Also in the shop was the cute Mini Cooper pictures below, not sure if I could drive something like this as it would continually make me hungry!

Mondo Mini Cooper.

Mondo Mini Cooper.

3rd Stop: Cheese Barrel and Olive Farm Wines

We ended up deciding that the Olive Farm would be our last stop before lunch as we heard it had the Cheese Barrel next door and being greeks anything with ‘olive’ in the titled would gamer our attention! The driveway to the Cheese Barrel and the cellar door for Olive Farm Wines was straight through the middle of the vines and with the blue skies that we had this past weekend it was photo-op worth.

Arriving at Olive Farm Wines and Cheese Barrel - wonderful driveway!

Arriving at Olive Farm Wines and Cheese Barrel – wonderful driveway!

Cheese Barrel Sign.

Cheese Barrel Sign.

Cute and unique seating at the cheese Barrel.

Cute and unique seating at the cheese Barrel.

We didn’t stay too long at the Cheese Barrel but we did grab a few different cheeses of which I have had some and they were interesting, the European cheeses were a lot stronger than the Australian cheeses I have tried in the past. Definitely will be visiting this place again when I head up to the Swan valley as the wine barrel tables were adorable and the view from the elevated location of the cheese barrel over the back of the property made for a relaxing location for a cheesy Sunday lunch.

Sign for Olive Farm Wines.

Sign for Olive Farm Wines.

After checking out the Cheese Barrel we walked over to the cellar door for the Olive Farm Winery and found the counter at the cellar door packed with people doing tastings – a good sign when you know nothing about the winery besides it being the first winery planted in the region.

At the cellar door I sampled:

Olivine Brut

2011 Dry Verdelho

2012 Chenin Blanc

2012 Viognier

2012 Rose (sweetish)

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

2003 Grenache Shiraz

2007 Shiraz

Liqueur Muscat

Liqueur Verdelho

Stari (fortified)

My favourites from what I tasted was the dry Verdelho, Viognier, Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Shiraz and all the Liqueurs were delightful also. I ended up leaving with a bottle of the Rose, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon and mum also bough a bottle of the Liquer Verdelho and we were recommended to try it over a quality vanilla ice-cream and this is something I am dying to try after hearing of it!

I will be back to try the rest of their wines for sure! And the two guys who were flat out at the counter of the cellar door were a delight to talk to and did a good job of looking after all the people who wanted to try their wines. Also the olives they had for tasting while they got back to you were delicious and well worth a visit just for their home-made marinade!

4th Stop: Woodbridge House and Riverside Restaurant

The portions were more than generous at the Riverside Restaurant. And the flavour combinations were interesting and in the case of the Spinach Salad they were delightful! The sweet balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the salad that accompanied my Frittata was not the right dressing for my liking but other than that I could not fault the food. The service from both the owner and her staff at the restaurant was friendly and they went over and above what was needed to look after us even though we came in right at the end of their lunch service. I highly recommend the staff and food at Riverside!

Sweet Potato Frittata with Smoked Salmon.

Sweet Potato Frittata with Smoked Salmon.

Tasting plate of the day.

Tasting plate of the day.

Spinach Salad.

Spinach Salad.

This was a wonderful introduction to the region and I will be back checking out the wineries over this summer for sure!

Until next time!