Summer Wrap: Drinks (Part 1)

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. This post will be split over two entries as it was getting a little long. This post will be on wine and other drinks with follow-up entry coving my go-to summer drink – cider!

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 myself gravitating towards and embracing white wine a lot more this summer than I have in the past. I also found the hot summer weather was perfect for drinking a few ciders with friends on the weekend.

Wine

With the warmer weather a dry white wine was my go to. I found myself seeking out dryer white wines, often a Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon blend or a Riesling. Castelli had a stall at UnWined WA last year and is where I ended up falling in love with their Riesling. If you are looking for a nice riesling and want it to be local I have yet to try a Great Southern reisling that I did not like!

Castelli Whites.

Castelli Whites.

I have also been enjoying a few bottles of bubbly with friends this past summer. Bubbles is a drink that is acceptable at all hours of the day from straight up or in a Mimosa for brunch right through to toasting and celebrating at the end of the night. I am loving Prosecco and Australian bubbles. A local favourite I tried at the start of summer last year was Sitella’s sparkling chenin blanc, this is a great bubbly with a twist! Highly recommend checking this wine out at their cellar door if you are visiting the Swan Valley or keeping an eye out for it on wine lists around Perth.

Sitella Sparkling Chenin Blanc

Sitella Sparkling Chenin Blanc

Lastly for those red wine drinkers who cannot give up their beloved red even in the heat of summer. I have found that chilling my red wines, especially lighter reds such as Pinot Noirs to be very enjoyable. Another option is to swap out your glass of red for a glass of Rose. I tried a lovely 2013 dry Rose called Cajones Muy Grande (a Grenache and Mourvedre blend) from Bakkheia Wines in the Geographe Wine region at a wine showcase last year, it was my favourite wine I tried that night.

IMG_3275

Cocktails

When I was dining out with friends this past summer I found myself often gravitating towards a cocktail with my meal. When ever I am dining out at a beachfront location I always find myself in the mood for a cocktail. At Salt on the Beach just behind the dunes at Port Beach in North Fremantle I stumbled across a delicious and simplistic lychee cocktail. At The Pickled Fig off South Beach in South Fremantle I tried their Earl’s Punch cocktail and enjoyed its refreshing flavour. Lastly if you are in the CBD looking for a cocktail and meal combo you cannot go past Jamie’s Italian and its whole package. I have tried quite a few of the cocktails at Jamie’s and have yet to have a bad thing to say about any of them on their flavour and they are well priced!

Keep an eye out for the second instalment of this post up later this week!

 

Advertisements

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!

Funtastico, Subiaco

Hi everyone,

My Subiaco lunch friend and I could only arrange a dinner catch up with all the hecticness of the Christmas and New Year period. I was in the mood for a little bit of comfort carbs after having spent the afternoon dealing with graduation mishaps at University. With my request in mind my friend suggested Fantastico, having been there in the past with her family and I’m glad she did!

We both picked out a Pasta dish each and had a serve of fries with aioli for us to share. I decided upon the Ravioli Napoletana which was delicious and just hit the spot for what I was looking for! With my dish I had a glass of Cape Mentelle’s Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, it was a nice crisp and refreshing drink for the hot evening meal.

IMG_1057

Ravioli Napoletana ($28).

My friend chose Penne Con Funghi Di Bosco E Pancetta which was one of the other dishes I had been eyeing off on the menu. My friend was impressed with her meal also and like my dish the plate was bare when she was done with it.

IMG_1058

Penne Con Funghi Di Bosco E Pancetta ($29).

The aioli that came with the fries was delightful! The chips as well were cooked quite nicely and were also quite handy for mopping up the last bits of sauce on my plate.

IMG_1059

Patate Fritte with Aioli ($10.8)

The service at Funtastico was good, especially considering there was a few large and quite loud groups in the restaurant at the same time as us. We ended up finishing our meal in Subiaco at Gelare as my friend was in want of a strawberry ice-cream cone. I would happily return to Funtastico for a pizza and to try their deserts as they did look delightful when we went in but we had already decided upon Gelare for desert as we walked to the restaurant.

 The menus of Funtastico can be found here.

Until next time!

Funtastico on Urbanspoon

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 5).

Hi everyone,

I caught up with some old work friends for a pub meal at the Sail and Anchor in Fremantle this week and had a few glasses of wine while I was there. I Unfortunately did not get any pictures or names of the wines I tried but I do know that I had an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and a New Zealand Pinot Noir, both of which were quite nice. I was impressed with the food, drinks and the atmosphere of the Sail and Anchor. I have eaten here on a few different occasions it has impressed me each time, however be warned the portion sizes can get a little on the larger side so perhaps wait before ordering extra chips!

When my cousin came over this week so I pulled out a bottle of Brown Brothers Zibibbo which I had received at my 21st as she had not tried it before and I have and knew she would like it. The wine is a sweet sparkling with passionfruit really coming through on the palate for me. My cousin was a big fan of the Zibibbo. if you’re looking for a sweet wine you really cannot go wrong with anything by Brown Brothers.

IMG_1054

I also caught up with my Subiaco lunching friend for dinner to celebrate the end of the year and my degree and to also just have a catch-up. We ended up going to Fantastico in Subiaco as I was craving pasta. With my pasta I also tried Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon with my dish and it was a nice chilled wine that relieved me a little after the hot and slightly humid weather that Perth had that day.

Cape_Mentelle_Sauvignon_Blanc_Semillon_large

Finally, BF and I went out for dinner on Friday night to The Quarter on Hay in the city to use a gift voucher that I had won when I purchased tickets to Unwined WA earlier this year. We sampled 2 wines from their impressive wine list with our meal. Below are the two wines we sampled (with images from the internet as we didn’t have the bottles of wine at the table with us).

Eidosela Albarino ’11, Rias Baixas, Spain.

Having enjoyed the Albarino I had at my Wine Essential Class when I saw this varietal on the list I really wanted BF to try it and let me know what he thought. Our first sips of this wine had it coming across unbalanced and slightly too acidic, once the wine had warmed a little from it’s overly chilled state the wine balanced out and was a delightful drop to enjoy, with a hint of fleshy peach fruit on the palate and a good touch of oak and acidity.

EidoselaAlbarino

Eidosela Albarino ’11, ($62 a bottle at The Quarter on Hay).

Chateau d’Yquem “Les Tertre Du Lys D’or”, Sauternes, France.

This wine was a slightly impulsive decision and one i did not regret! The wine had oak present on the nose and palate, with the wine being sweet and syrupy on the palate with a refreshing aftertaste that cleansed the palate quite well. A good wine to finish the meal off!

image_332532_feature

Chateau d’Yquem “Les Tertre Du Lys D’or” ($14 a glass at Quarter on Hay).

Full reviews of my meals and the wines will be up over the next few weeks. Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! Best of luck with any last minute shopping and hope you all enjoy a few days of quality time with loved ones this Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 4)

Hi everyone,

I spent a few hours last Sunday in the Swan Valley with the overseas family and tasted a few wines along the way. My review of what I sampled in the Swan Valley can be hound here. I did also bring a few wines home with me from the Swan Valley, one of which went straight into the fridge and was had with dinner on Sunday night. Dinner that night consisted of fresh bread along with cheeses and olives which we had picked up in the Swan Valley and a fresh salad. We paired the meal with Moondah Brook‘s Rose which had strawberries and cream on the nose and on the palate it was a light bodied wine which continued the strawberries and cream that I noted from the aroma. The wine began quite sweet at first but ended with a slightly crisp finish giving an overall medium-dry finish. This Rose was delicious and hopefully one I can find in bottle shops in Perth! Tasting notes for this wine cam be found here.

Rose.

Rose.

As we had overseas relatives in town we took them on a Captain Cook’s cruise of the Swan River, something I had never done before to show them the city. During part of the cruise we had lunch provided which consisted of a Lamb curry, vegetarian lasagne, cold meats, a variety of salad and bread. The food was to die for and I could not get enough of the curry and potato salad that they had!

View of Perth as the boat departed.

View of Perth as the boat departed.

To go with the food I had a glass of Waters Edge Classic Dry White and we ended up having a bottle of their Wagtail Sparkling on the house as we were celebrating two birthdays. The bubbly was quite refreshing and the service on the cruise was exceptional!

Wagtail Sparkling.

Wagtail Sparkling.

I also managed to slip a red wine in this week with a small glass of Vasse Felix’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. The wine was light bodied and smooth and it was good to have a red wine as with it being summer I’ve been tending to stick to white, rose and sparkling wine. I have always been impressed whenever I have a Vasse Felix wine and this one did not disappoint me! Expect to see a more in depth review of this wine when I review the meal I had with it at the Blue Duck in Cottesloe.IMG_1006

This week was also the first time I met up with The Perth Wine Enthusiast and The Perth Food Journal for our Wine Century Challenge meet. We added two new varietals to the list as well as having the chance to taste the range from a small winery in the Yarra Valley which is run by some passionate wine makers as well as a blind tasting of Mourvèdre which was my first time trying this varietal straight. You can read about our meet in this blog post. We also had some food at Steve’s Fine Food and Wine in Nedlands where we met up so there will be photos of that in the post also.

Last wine to quickly slip in this post, is one which BF actually picked out last night when we went for a quick meal to celebrate my final marks at uni meaning that I will be graduating at the end of summer! BF is a keen lover of cricket and the label of this wine played into that love leading to a big decision of which of the two label for this wine to pick (he chose the one on the right). We ended up taking this Jim Barry Sauvignon Blanc Semillon to Blend Cafe in Melville as I had a friends birthday party in the area to go to afterwards. The wine was a good, and for a bottle that was picked for the label BF did good. There was recently cut grass on the nose along with a hint of lychee and tropical fruits, on the palate it was slightly fruit sweet with a good amount of acid but little on the finish. Tasting notes for the wine can be found here.

Wine Labels.

Wine Labels.

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 1)

Hi everyone,

Hope you all had a good weekend and sorry that this post is up so late but I was down south all weekend and without internet so I had to delay posting this until I could get back to Perth to edit and upload this post.

For a review of the wines I tried as part of the Wine Essentials Class this week then head over to this post. This weeks wine class focused on white wines and the class was encouraged to bring in a white wine that we had tried over the past week, preferably one that was not a common white varietal. For the class I brought in a bottle of Vermentino. I went into the Wine Store bottle shop in Fremantle and spoke to the guy who was running the store at the time, he was so friendly and helped me out as I explained I was more a fan of Rieslings than Sauvignon Blancs but was looking to try a new varietal so he recommended the Vermentino to me. This varietal was a pale wine with a slight green tinge. Passionfruit and citrus notes on the nose that increases as the wine warmed in the glass. Crisp and creamy texture on the palate with just the right amount of acidity for me.

Vermentino.

I also had the chance to add two new grape varietals to my collection from people bringing in bottles of wine for the class to try in the Wine Education Course. For a review of these two varietals check out the blog post for the Wine Course linked here.

Verdecchio.

Albariño.

I spent this weekend down south at the Gourmet Escape in Margaret River. I had such a great time at the event and got to talk to lots of people involved with the different wineries from owners and wine makers to people who worked for the wineries or did sales in the city. This event is one to keep an eye out for next year!

Gourmet Escape Tickets.

I will have a blog posts up for the Gourmet Escape this Friday and the Blend your own Grand Cuvée Class at Howard Park Winery the following Friday as well as a review on the lunch I had at Capel Vale with BF before we headed back to Perth today tomorrow.

Quick Highlights of my weekend at Gourmet Escape:

Devil’s Lair – I adore this winery and cannot praise them enough! Fantastic value for money on their higher ranges but even their entry level 5th Leg range is a decent drink if you’re looking for something to go with a meal.

SBS with lychee notes – I am being slowly but steadily converted to SBS/SSB as I try this wine more and more thanks to this blog and BF loving white wine more than red but the lychee on the nose and palate as I can across first at Gourmet Escape at Knee Deep Winery, the wine was refreshing and definitely got me in the mood for summer!

Blend your own Grand Cuvée – I got to ‘disgorge’ a bottle of bubbly which involved me removing the crown cap off a bottle after the neck had been frozen so that the lees would be trapped in the ice and expelled by the pressure of the wine. And then after doing so I had the chance to select my choice of ‘dosage’ which is the final step of the traditional champagne method which sees the addition of sugar of brandy to bubbly to determine the bubbly’s final sweetness. A full review including tasting notes and photos will be up friday week.

Have a great week everyone!

Until next time!

Wine Essentials Course: Week 2

This week the Wine Essential Course focused on white wines including their production as well as a tasting of some common varietals along with samples of different white wine varietals which were brought in by members of the class at the request of .

1. Kilikonoon, 2011, Mort’s Block Riesling, Clare Valley ($36): pale lemony clear wine with crisp citrus and green fruit (pear and apple) on the nose, pronounced fruit on the palate balanced well with the acid and a long finish.

2. Redgate, 2011, Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Margaret River ($19): bight and clear pale yellow wine with waxy, grassy and tropical fruit (pineapple) on the nose. This wine was quite disappointing when tasted, while the wine was smooth and balanced it was weak on fruit, acidity and overall not an impressive SBS for me personally.

3. Upper Reach, 2010, Verdelho, Swan Valley ($20): this wine surprised many of us in the class. Clear pale yellow in the glass, pronounced stone and melon fruit on the nose and ripe fruit was balanced on the palate well however the wine lacked persistence of the fruit flavour and developed at the back of the mouth into what one lady described on the night as a ‘sherberty’ texture. This wine would do well with a chicken salad this summer and was personally preferred to the SBS.

4. West Cape Howe, 2011, Unwooded Chardonnay, Margaret River ($17, $19 at Liquorland): clear and bring yellow wine in the glass with tropical, melon and cucumber on the nose. The wine was dry and fruity with ‘structural richness’ on the palate. This wine is one of the few Unwooded Chardonnays, which I have enjoyed and is making me rethink this wine style. This wine is great value for money and another excellent wine from West Cape Howe.

5. Rosabrook, 2010, Chardonnay, Margaret River ($22 at Liquorland): Clear and pale golden wine with a vanilla and charred oak notes on the nose combined with zingy tropical fruits (pineapple) making for an interesting bouquet. The wine was well rounded between the fruit, oak, acid and alcohol with fruit such as grapefruit and nectarines coming through on palate. This wine while not being overly complex also endeared me to the more fruiter styled Chardonnays which Australian wine makers and drinkers tend to favour.

6. De Bortoli, 2008, ‘Nobel 1’ Botrytis Semillon, Billal ($60 for a 700mL bottle, $36 at Liquorland for a 375mL bottle): dark orange in colour and smells devine! Think marmalade and honey notes on the nose. Sweet and fruity on the palate with enough acid to allow the palate to not feel gluggy from the sweetness of the wine, this wine would be perfect for Christmas desert or cheese platter!

The favourites of the night, not including De Bortoli’s ‘Nobel 1’ was the Rosabrook Chardonnay and the Kilikonoon Riesling, both of which I highly enjoyed and ended up being the swing vote to make the Riesling the overall favourite wine of the night.

I also had the chance to sample 2 new wine varietals from samples, which people brought into the class. I had the chance to try an Italian Verdecchio and a Spanish Albariño. Both were new varietals for me as part of my Wine Century Challenge and I enjoyed trying both varietals and would happily try them again. The Verdecchio was brought to the class warm and was quite watery on the palate; it would be interesting to try this varietal again but chilled. The Albariño was delightful with white peach coming across on the palate.

Albariño.

Verdecchio.

This weeks course definitely opened my eyes up to the numerous white wine varietals as well as how even a well known wine varietal can still surprise me in how varying the textures, bouquets and tastes different wineries can produce with the same grape varietals.

For those of you who missed my post for the first week’s class you can follow the link here to it.

Currently down in Margaret River for the Gourmet Escape event which is occurring this weekend. Tomorrow’s post will be late as I am driving back that afternoon. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! And come say hi if you are at the Gourmet Escape today (Saturday) and see me!

Until next time!