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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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!

Wine Essential Course: Week 4.

Hi everyone,

The final class in the Wine Essential Course provided by the Wine Education Centre of Western Australia consisted of blind tastings of two different wines with each course of our meal. We began each course by determine what we thought the wine’s varietal, where it was from and what wine making processes had been applied to it, before moving on to compare and determine which wine we felt went better with the dish.

We had our meal at George Street Bistro, on George street in East Fremantle.

We started with a glass of bubbly on arrival.

1. creamy and rich on the palate. A delightful bubbly.

The Entrée consisted of a ‘Stilton, Pear and Walnut Tart, Rocket Salad and Balsamic Dressing’.

Entrée

Entrée

Paired with the Entrée was two white wines.

2. Golden clear coloured wine in the glass, it looked like an aged wine. On the nose we could detect oak, pear, apple and citrus. On the palate it provided a smooth, rich, full feeling in the mouth, had a nice amount of acid and dry finish to balance out the slight residual sweetness the wine had. One of the class members sitting near me suggested this wine was a Riesling.

3. the wine appeared youthful, fresh, clear and bring in the glass. On the nose it was fresh, vibrant, unoaked and primary fruits. On the palate the wine was acidic and fruity with a dry finish. Another fellow class member suggested this wine was a Pinot Grigio.

Favourite wine for the dish: Wine number 2 was preferred due to the pear in the tart and wine paring well, and the wine complementing the butteriness of the pastry with the oak in the wine. Wine 3 was too acidic for me personally when compared with the food.

The main meal consisted of ‘Grilled Chicken Brest with Potato Rosti, Spring Vegetables, Chestnut Sauce’.

Main meal.

Main meal.

4. White wine: the wine was clear and had a slight golden tinge to it. We noted oak and pineapple on the palate made me believe this wine was a Chardonnay considering we were pairing it with chicken.

5. Red Wine: clear ruby red wine in the glass. There was cherries, and other berries on the palate and light oak. The class mate who thought wine 2 was a Riesling believed that this wine was a Pinot Noir, and I agreed with him, I thought this Pinot noir was not from Denmark due to the earthiness and palate weight as I felt Denmark would have made a more acidic and cooler Pinot Noir.

Favourite wine for the dish: I kept tossing up between the two wines, for me personally I would have been happy with either wine, I think by the end I preferred the white slightly more but barely. Overall the class preferred the red wine to the white with the main dish.

Desert consisted of a ‘Chocolate and Kahlua Cheesecake with Mulberry Ice-cream’.

Desert.

Desert.

6. White sweet wine: Golden yellow coloured wine. Aroma was sweet and a hint of marmalade was also present. The wine on the palate was sweet, honey and tropical fruit (pineapple). There was consensus that the wine was likely to be a Botrytis Semillon.

7. Red sweet wine: ruby red wine in the glass. On the nose I smelt ethanol suggesting the wine was fortified and had quite a high alcohol content. On the palate the wine had a rich mouth feel.

Favourite wine for the dish: The white wine paired better with the desert. The red being fortified was too alcoholic and rich, but on it’s own I would have been quite content with either of the wines.

Wine’s revealed:

1. Grant Burge NV Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Barossa Valley ($26.95).

2. Heymann-Lowenstein, 2009, ‘Schieferterrassen’ Riesling, Germany ($45).

3. Faber Vineyard, 2010, Verdehlo, Swan Valley ($21).

4. Plantagenet, 2010, Pinot Noir, Great Southern ($45).

5. Moss Wood, 2009, Chardonnay, Margaret River ($62).

6. Penfolds, 2011, ‘Cellar Reserve’ Viogner (Late Harvest), Barossa Valley ($45).

7.Happs, 2008, ‘Fortis;, Margaret River ($25).

I was a little concerned about this restaurant as the review online had turned negative since the change of ownership and it was not only online where I was hearing disappointment with towards the food since the change of management. George Street Bistro however was a well laid out restaurant. The restaurant felt modern, fresh and simplistic with it’s design. My only complaint for the design of the restaurant was that the lighting was not enough and the room felt a little too dim for my personal liking.

The food being the major complaint of the restaurant since the change of ownership, impressed me on this occasion. The food was delicious and the portions were perfectly sized. I cannot compare to the standards under the previous owner but under the new owners I was impressed. This is a restaurant I will happily return to and will be watching their menu as it changes with the seasons.

I am quickly becoming fond of George Street in East Fremantle. The selection of stores along this street showcase high quality products and a wide selection. I do plan to wander around the street in the near future and wish dearly that I could have gone to their street fair last weekend.

Until next time!

George Street Bistro on Urbanspoon

Rose Revolution

Last week I had the chance to attend the Perth launch for Rose Revolution, hosted by Plantagenet Wines. The aim of Rose Revolution is to reinvigorate the wine consuming market in Australia to start drinking Rose again. Below is a photo montage of the wines I sampled at the show. Overall I was impressed with the Pinot Noir Rose’s from the Yarra Valley as well as the Grenache based Rose’s. It was disappointing however that for me some of the wines tasted did not live up to the expectations that their bouquet set.

Top 3: Deep Wood, Dandelion Vineyard, Dal Zotto.

All three of the wines shown above were pleasant drops and ones that I would happily return to. Their details and links to their tasting notes can be found in this blog entry. As can my opinion on the wine shown below.

Capital Wines, ‘The Abstainer’ Rose.

Rose is a fabulous wine to drink in the summer months as it is made to be consumed while it is young and chilled. When Rose’s are young they are often fruity – think strawberries and other berries – and can either have a hint of sweetness behind them or be crisp and refreshing if a dry styled Rose (this was the style of Rose on display at the event). Below is an picture and a link to their tasting notes (sorry some of the vintages are incorrect but it should give you an idea of the wine) if I could find them for most of the wines I tried at the event, there were some that I didn’t even bother to take a picture of however. For those who want to understand more of what a Rose wine is this link should hopefully help.

Verdun Park Wines. (Tasting notes could not be found)

Willoughby Park, Rose. (Tasting notes were unavailable online, however this is the same winery for the wine I reviewed in the first post on this blog)

For those of you who want to know more about Rose Revolution check out their website and Facebook page.

Until next time!