Halliday Day: Week 12 – Yering Station

Hi everyone,

There will be no Wino101 post this week, instead for you I have yesterday’s Halliday Day post.

Yering Station is rated solid 5 star winery by James Halliday in his 2012 Australian Wine Companion. Yering Station was established in 1988, on land that had vines planted on it since 1838. Yering comes from the Aboriginal title of the land. The wine makers consist of Darren Rathbone of the Rathbone family which purchased Yering Station in 1996 and Willy Lunn (since 2008) who is well known for hist cool-climate wine making experience and knowledge.


Champagne Devaux in 1996 signed a deal with the Rathbone, the same year they bought the Yering Station property which lead to the production of Yarrabank Sparkling. I had the chance to try the 2004 Late Disgorged Yarrabank Sparkling along with the 2008 Yarrabank Curvee, while both were exceptional cool-climate sparkling wines however the 2004 was clearly the superior wine of the two and one I wish I could have had room to bring back to Perth with me.

Cellar Door.

Cellar Door.

While I was at the cellar door at Yering Station I also tried a selection of their red wines including their Pinot Noir’s which the Yarra Valley wine region is well known for. Yering Station’s two Pinot Noir’s included one which was light and easy to drink like a Rose while the other was filled with dark berries, and a good weight on the palate to please any lover of red wine. My full review of their wines which I tried can be found in this blog post.

This winery is one not to miss to see quality wines showing common characteristics of the Yarra Valley region. I thoroughly enjoyed the cellar door and if I had more time in the area the Chateau on the property would have been a nice property to look at along with the restaurant on premise.

Until next time!

Halliday Day: Week 11 – Domaine Chandon.

Hi everyone,

By the time this post goes up on Gourmet Vicariously I will be in Melbourne for a week of wining, dining, retail therapy and some well needed quality time with my mum and cousin. While we’re in Melbourne I have been promised a day in the Yarra Valley and have spent time ever since them researching which wineries in the region to devote my limited time to. One of the wineries that was on the list from the start was Domaine Chandon, which was established by Moët & Chandon from France.


In the 2012 Australian Wine Companion James Halliday rated Domaine Chandon a solid 5-star winery. Established in 1986 Halliday claims that Domaine Chandon is one of the two most important wine facilities in the Yarra Valley region. The cooler climate that the Yarra Valley makes it the perfect climatic region for wines such as Pinot Noir and Traditional Methode sparkling wines, Moët & Chandon and then went a step further and chose a location for their vineyard that had a history very fertile soil. Their location decision was well picked and has enabled Domaine Chandon to be one of the top wineries in the region.

Domaine Chandon is located on land which was formerly a dairy fan called ‘Green Point’ consisting of a spur of land running from Yeringberg Hill to the Yarra river. The reason for this is that the ancient alluvial soils at Green Point are deep and therefore retain moisture well into the summer. These soils combined with the Yarra Valley’s cool climate, define a site with ideal ‘terroir’ for growing wine grapes. Domaine Chandon having French origins focuses on the wine produced at this winery reflecting the characteristics of the region, which in turn has led to the varietals produced at the Yarra Valley location for Domaine Chandon including; Méthode Traditionelle Sparkling Wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Cabernet.

Domaine Chandon run free 30 minute guided tours of the winery three times a day and I hope to be able to attend one of these tours when I visit the winery. (at 11am, 1pm and 3pm). So look out for an quick write up of that when I put my Yarra Valley post up in the coming weeks.

Until next time!

Wino 101: Australia Day BBQ – Pairing White Wines.

Hi everyone,

The first post of 2013 is quite fittingly about barbecues’ and in particular the one many Australians will have on Australia Day at the end of the month.This will be the first of two posts, this one will focus on white wine pairing while the Wino 101 post next week will focus on red wine pairings. When pairing wines with a barbecue the main aim is to keep the wine simple as the food is simple and uncomplicated. When it comes to white wines you are spoilt for choice as summer is the season for white wine as it is drunk chilled, which helps to fight off the summer heat.

Sparkling wine can be drunk throughout the entire meal. Sparkling wines range in degrees of sweetness as well as flavours and aromas. Common aromas include nutty, toasty, fruit, and yeast. With common flavours on the palate including those listed for aromas as well as the texture from the bubbles and the final finish of the wine. Below is a  Tasmanian Sparkling which I sampled on Christmas Day. Tropical fruit with a nutty finish, this wine would be a great drink to sip on throughout the entire barbecue.

Ninth Island NV Sparkling.

Ninth Island NV Sparkling.

For those who like it sweet can consider a

  • Sweet still: eg. a Chenin Blanc or Moscato or,
  • Sweet sparkling: eg. a Moscato or Spumante.


Banrock Moscato is one that I tried this past weekend so as to be able to recommend wines at work. Personally this wine reminded me of Brown Brothers which is the ‘premier’ Moscato that people think of when they come in for a bottle at work. The tiny differences between the two wines can be easily justified by Banrock being roughly half the price of Brown Brothers. This is a wine is sweet with passionfruit on the palate and a delightful drink when chilled.

When you have your meats cooked and salads out of the fridge, you can choose to continue with the sweeter white or instead opt to move onto the more dryer white wines which have along with the fruit the sweetness from the sweeter wines is replaced by oak and/or acid coming through on the nose and palate depending upon the varietal you choose. Favourites for a dry white wine include:

  • Rieslings: acid and stone fruit – think Great Southern or Tasmanian,
Plantagenet 2012 Riesling

Plantagenet 2012 Riesling

  • Sauvignon Blanc: citrus, grassy and crisp – think New Zealand.
  • Semillon Sauvignon Blanc: tropical and citrus fruit, the wine has more aroma on the bouquet than the Sauvignon Blanc – think Margaret River where my favourite ones have lychee on the palate for a zingy surprise that leaves you feeling refreshed at the end of the glass.
Leeping Lizzard Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

Leeping Lizzard Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

Next week I will post up some options if you’re more of a red drinker for what to drink at a summer barbecue.

Until next time!

Sunday Crepe Brunch.

Hi everyone,

BF and I got out the crepe maker that I received as a gift last christmas (and one I have enjoyed using throughout the year) and we decided to finish off the left over bubbly from my graduation dinner. The recipe is nothing flash, we just followed the recipe provided in the instruction manual of the crepe maker.

Making the crepes.

Making the crepes.

The process of making the crepes is a simple as:

1. make the batter.

2. pour the batter onto a plate (the plate in the middle of the above image).

3. flip the crepe maker over into the plate of batter, count to 3 and then flip the crepe maker back over and allow the crepe to cook (as it is doing so in the above image).

4. repeat until batter is all gone.

5. wash and cut up some fresh fruit and serve with cream, ice-cream, maple syrup, sugar, lemon juice, etc.



This device is seriously fool-proof and has led to some delicious brunches. We kept it simple this time with some strawberries, blueberries and bananas along with maple syrup and cream. However in the past there has been some quite complex and intricate arrangements of toppings.

Crepe brunch.

Crepe brunch.

If you know anyone who loves their crepes this is a device I’m sure they would love to receive for Christmas!

Until next time!

Jete-Methode Traditional Wine Experience

Hi everyone,

BF and I went to Howard Park Winery when we were down south for the 2012 Margaret River Gourmet Escape to partake in the Jete-Methode Traditional Wine Experience.

The tasting occurred in their cellaring room and the numerous barrels filled with red wine made for a delightful aromatic setting to conduct our tastings in.

Barrels of red wine.

Barrels of red wine.

1st Tasting: Blind Tasting

We began the session with our first tasting which consisted of a blind tasting of 6 different Australian sparkling wines and Champagnes.

Blind Tasting.

Blind Tasting.

Tasting Notes

Wine 1:

Nose: fruity.

Palate: dry, fresh, vibrant, zesty, not overly developed.

Wine 2:

Nose: toasty and nutty.

Palate: dry, butterscotch overtones, very spritzy and creamy.

Wine 3:

Nose: lime and citrus.

Palate: Smooth, sherberty texture, dry and tight – potential for cellaring.

Wine 4:

Nose: syrupy/Fortified, nutty,

Palate: not a fan.

Dark colouring, potential cork taint?

Wine 5:

Nose: fresh, vibrant, musky fruit tones.

Palate: dry and creamy.

developed but still tight.

Wine 6:

Nose: sherry,

Palate: slight fortified aftertaste, full-bodied, rustic – barrel fermented.

limey colouring.

Blind Tasting Revealed (not in order).

Wine 1: Voyager Estate 2010 – 100% Chardonnay, recently disgorged and not yet relaxed.

Wine 2: Cestulat Champagne – Pinot Noir Chardonnay blend.

Wine 3: Grand Jete 2009 – Disgorged in October 2012.

Wine 4: Penet Chardonnet – 100% Chardonnay.

Wine 5: Veuve Cliquot NV.

Wine 6: Stella Bella 2009 – 100% Chardonnay and Brandy dosage.

2nd Tasting: Chrysallis to Butterfly – taste the journey from raw base to finished wine.

The purpose of this tasting was to show how a traditional-methode sparkling develops. To do so we tasted our way through from the raw base, 4 different vintages and finally the finished product.

Tasting 2 in order.

Tasting 2 in order.

Wine 1: 2012 base wine.

Nose: fruity.

Palate: dry, citrus, fruity, still.

Wine 2: 2012 in triage 3 months.

Nose: yeasty and nutty.

Palate: carbonated.

Wine 3: 2011 on lees 12 months.

Nose: nutty.

Palate: carbonated.

Wine 4: 2010 on lees 24 months.

Nose: nutty.

Palate: beginning to taste like a sparkling wine.

Wine 5: 2009 on lees 36 months.

Nose: nutty.

Palate: smooth and creamy.

Wine 6: 2009 as a finished wine.

Nose: nutty and syrupy.

Palate: balanced, creamy, smooth, rich.

After the second tasting we were taken through to the machinery when the disgorging, corking and packaging of sparkling wines occurs. We were also shown that while there is modern machinery that can do a lot of the process of the traditional-method there is still the presence of the traditional racking method.

Racking for sparkling wine.

Racking for sparkling wine.

Tasting 3: Dosage

The final tasting consisted of different final dosage’s

Dosage 1: water with 5gLt (grams per litre).

Dosage 2: water with 10gLt (grams per litre).

Dosage 3: 1% Brandy, no added sugar.

Dosage 4: still wine with 5gLt (grams per litre).

Dosage 5:still wine with 10gLt (grams per litre).

From this tasting we individually determined what the dosage would be for our own personal bottle of 2009 vintage Jete. I chose dosage 4 while BF chose dosage 5.

While we waited for our dosage to be added and the bottles to be corked we had the chance to sample Howard Park’s non-vintage Jete and Rose with freshly baked bread, soft white rind cheese and smoked salmon. The NV in comparison to the vintage were not as good I think having tried all the other champagnes and sparkling wines at the start made for the NV to be a little disappointing at the end.

I highly recommend that if anyone gets the chance to do something like this to do so! The experience of disgorging and the chance to try numerous different sparkling wines and Champagnes was amazing!

Until next time!