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

 

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Summer Wrap: Drinks (Part 2)

Summer Wrap is a series of my highlights and favourites from summer. A collection of eating,drinking and dining that captures the sunny warm weather of a Perth summer to a ‘T’. This two part post was the inspiration for this series as I have recently been looking back over this past summer and all the things I have enjoyed doing in and around Perth to do with drinking and dining.

With summer winding down in Australia I have been looking over the past few months for my favourite drinks, places to eat and things to cook during the season. With the warmer weather I found was perfect for drinking a few ciders with friends on the weekend. And this post picks up from my previous posts on good wines and cocktails to drink in the summer months, if you haven’t read that post yet you can do so here. While working on this post I brought in a dear friend and fellow cider-lover D from Perth who I used to work with, to help me narrow down our top favourites.

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D and I have spent countless hours back when I used to work in a bottle shop in Perth eyeing off the cider fridge trying to pick out which one we would try next. It has been a long journey but it is safe to say that we have finally tasted our way through all the cider ranges now. The last cider we had to try was Rekorderlig’s Apple and Guava which was kindly sent to me by Katy so we could try it. When Katy reached out to me I remembered all the times D and I had stared at the cider fridge wondering which one we should try next and realised how overwhelming the expansion of the cider-market can be for people who just rush into the bottle-shop wanting the perfect cider for their needs at that point. This idea then grew to include the other thing I think of when I think cider, and that is summer! Summer and cider for me go hand in hand! Although I do drink cider year-round, I have a special spot for it in the hot afternoons in the summer months.

There are plenty of ciders on the market! Enough to make sure you have a range of favourites ciders for each and every occasion you could imagine! Ciders range in sweetness, flavours, alcohol content, and the intensity of the fruit in the cider. Each person ends up finding their own niche in the cider market. My preference is for the cider to be fruit driven and on the dryer side of the sweetness scale. I do also from time to time feel like a flavoured cider and having tasted many of these I was quick to adopt the Rekorderlig brand before it reached it’s crazed following that it rightly deserves in the cider-market in Australia.

Traditional Ciders

Below is a collection of ciders that have previously been features on this blog in the 18 or so months that I have been writing blog posts. I have tried many more but not taken a snapshot at the time. The Cidery is a favourite of mine but one that is not the easiest to find in bottle shops in Perth. Their ciders are true to the apple flavours and they have a range that will enable anyone to find a sweetness to their liking. I highly recommend stopping at the Cidery if you are in or around Bridgetown or even picking up some of their ciders if you see them in one of the smaller independent liquor retailers in and around Perth. Monteiths and Bulmers are my go-to ciders when I am out having drinks with friends and looking for something on-tap. Monteiths is a New Zealand cider and their ciders tend to have a softer finish while still being a dry cider compared to Bulmers. One other cider brand that I have been meaning to mention is Somersby. Somersby has been a newish addition to the cider market that has done very well this past summer and has become the all-rounder go-to for many people including myself over the likes of 5 Seeds and Strongbow ciders.

Flavoured Ciders

When it comes to flavoured ciders the market is not as large but there is still enough of a range for people to become perplexed by. Rekorderlig is the range that stormed onto the scene a couple of years ago and has been blazing a trail of popularity and success for other ranges such as Bulmer’s Blackcurrant flavour, Monteith’s flavoured range, Cheeky Rascal, and Kopparberg to start appearing on bottle shop shelves. All but the Cheeky Rascal (VERY high alcohol content which does not make for an enjoyable drink) ranges are nice, but it was Rekorderlig which won my heart over. Rekorderlig has a wide range of flavours that I have tasted my way through and while not all were favourites of mine I did not hate a single one.

D helped me out especially with this post when it came to reviewing Rekorderlig’s new Apple and Guava flavour. I have included his review word for word below with his permission as I felt it fit the cider to a ‘T’ and I could not have reviewed it any better!

Apple and Guava is one of the recent additions to my local liquor store shelf. An avid fan of the brands previous flavours, I was very keen to give this one a try. The cider manages to balance the flavour of the two fruits perfectly. The acidic level is much less obvious when compared to other ciders, a quality I have come to appreciate from Rekordelig. In saying this I also found this flavour less overly sweet than some of its siblings which are a bonus. The result of this balance is a much lighter feel in the mouth and enjoyed cool or better over ice, is just a great way to top off the day. I tend to find that my body doesn’t like too much at either end of the bitter/sweet spectrum before it starts telling me to stop. That can be a good or bad thing depending how you look at it I suppose but some days you just need a few, ya hearing me? ;P We all have those days.. Anyhoo, back to the A&G.. The guava becomes more noticeable as the palate clears. The apple is less detectable however given how many apple ciders are out there we can hardly fault it for stepping back to let Guava be the hero. It is very refreshing, perhaps the most of this brand’s varieties. It is lightly bubbly and has a very light pink blush. In fact, if you poured this into a sparkling wine glass no one would be any the wiser! 😉 This drink is ideal on those summery days but if I’m being honest, I am quite happy drinking something over ice anytime of the year so I won’t let the seasons slow me from enjoying the odd cold one.

Apple and Guava Rekorderlig

Apple and Guava Rekorderlig

Disclaimer: Katy at Exposure was kind enough to send me a case of Rekorderlig’s Apple and Guava to sample the new flavour.

Margaret River 2012 Gourmet Escape

Margaret River 2012 Gourmet Escape

The Gourmet Escape was held one the lawn surrounding the Winery at Leeuwin Estate, which was reviewed by me in this post. There were a variety of Food, Distillery, Brewery and Winery stalls along with food and wine theatres for shows and classes.

Hay Bales outside the Rekorderlig Tent.

The Alchemists:

I recognised the name and am still yet to remember where but the lady running the stall was also the owner of the Winery, which she has owned for the last 6 years and was a delight to talk to! Their wines are mainly sold to restaurants in Perth or can be found at their cellar door on the Winery’s Estate.

Ashbrook Estate:

I had met the wine Maker (Tony Devitt) previously at the Blackwood Valley Wine Show last month and Tony recognised me at the Gourmet Escape so it was nice to catch up and continue our discussion about the South West wine region as well as to ask him many new questions that I had accrued along the way as I have continued to write and research for this blog. I also tried their range, while I spoke to Tony and I was quite impressed! Their red wines were made in French styling while the white wines were pleasant and many had seen a little oak, which made the red wine lover that I am quite happy.

Bahen & Co Chocolate:

This chocolate company had 4 chocolate on display, all with 70% cocoa which was too much personally for me and BF so we headed back to the wines after sampling them quickly.

Blue Cow Cheese Company:

This company is one which my grandparents adore and have gotten me hooked on their goats cheese which I get to have whenever I make it down south and have a meal with them. The cheeses for sampling and sale at the Gourmet Escape however was their Camembert, Brie, Cheddar and Shadforth. We had some left over tokens at the end of the day so I picked up a block of the Shadforth to take back to Perth and will let you know how it pairs up with wines!

Cape Mentelle:

This winery is one I have eyed off for a while now and have been meaning to head out to their cellar door but have not succeeded yet. I had hoped their Zinfandel would be out for tasting at the show but unfortunately they did not have it. Instead they had their basic range consisting of a Sauvignon Blanc Semillon and a Cabernet Merlot, which Liquorland stocks and personally these wine are well worth the ~$25 a bottle they are in Perth stores. They also had a few of their more premium range for sampling and I was impressed with the range, many of which have in the past year done very well with regards to gold medal award and trophies, this winery has a good solid repletion in the Western Australian wine industry.

Deep Wood Estate:

I popped over quickly to their stall to ask where I could find their Harmony Rose, which I had enjoyed at Rose Revolution. Those running the stall were not sure where in Perth it was stocked but did give me an ordering form the price was listed as being $13.50, a bottle with a minimum purchase of a dozen wines and a $5 freight charge.

Devil’s Lair:

This winery has impressed me in all their ranges. From their basic 5th Leg range, their middle range titled Hidden Cave, their premium self titled range Devil’s Lair and their side line Dance With the Devil, which, allows their wine makers to have a little fun. Their Dance With the Devil line was a fun and delicious discovery to make as one of the wine’s produced in this range was a blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc with 40% Chenin Blanc. BF and I were big fans of this unusual blend and even took a bottle home with us at the end of the night with the last of our leftover tokens. This winery is one that I highly recommend and it is unfortunate that they currently do not have a cellar door so tasting opportunities besides buying a bottle is restricted to events such as Gourmet Escape.

Devil’s Lair Stall.

Knee Deep Winery:

I tasted my way through their range, which they had on display at Gourmet Escape. Their SBS was a stand out for me with lychee notes on the nose as well as being pronounced on the palate. Different but a winner for the summer months! Would be interesting to pair this with cheeses for a lazy afternoon drink or two with some friends. Will have to find where this wine is stocked in Perth!

Rosabrook Margaret River Winery:

I had the chance to sample their Chardonnay at the wine class that week and it had been the standout for the session as the best value for money for what it offered. The rest of their range was not bad, but I personally preferred their white wines to their red wines.

Stella Bella Wines:

This winery does some amazing wines! The whites were fresh, crisp and zesty while their reds had a nice balance between the oak, tannins and fruit. They also had some of their premium ‘Suckfizzle’ range which was delightful!

Swings and Roundabouts:

I had been eyeing off Swing and Roundabout wines in stores over the last month but had not yet tried any of their range. I however enjoyed trying their SBS with lychee on the palate, this is a winery that I will be looking out for in Perth! Staff at the event were also a pleasure to chat with!

Swings and Roundabouts Stall.

Xanadu Wines:

This was another winery that I had been wanting to try having heard many good things about their wines. Their range of wines on display were well made and the staff running the stall were a pleasure to chat with.

I am sorry to say that the food I sampled at the show did not last long enough to take a picture! The ‘char sui braised lamb shoulder with sour cream labna and wattle seed roll’ that Capel Vale was making at the show was to die for and was highly recommended by everyone that we ran into at the show! I also had many people tell me that the ’12 hour braised Margaret River ‘big red pig’ port, house made tortillas with condiments’ by Leeuwin Estate was also a standout dish.

Until next time!

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