Farewell Sunset at Cottesloe Beach

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 is the last post in the series as it was my last summer activity before I left for the UK. For my last day in Perth I chose to spend it with good company celebrating my favourite parts of summer in Australia. The highlight of the day was watching the sunset at the beach.

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My last sunset at Cottesloe Beach

My last day in Perth was spent with good company celebrating at one of my favourite summer spots – the beach! While I was sitting with my friends on the foreshore watching the sun set after having a swim we all found that we were craving hot chips and a milkshake as the perfect snack. We found that Red Spoon did frozen yoghurt milkshakes and with some hot chips and sauce from Amberjack’s Fish and Chips we then settled in to watch my last Australian sunset for a few years.

Hot chips and a milkshake

Hot chips and a milkshake

I thoroughly enjoyed the view, food and company and think that I will have to spend many more evening like this when I return to Perth. I have recently been receiving reports that the weather is beginning to cool down in Perth so before it gets any chillier I would highly recommend this as a fantastic way to spend an evening!
Amberjacks on Urbanspoon
Red Spoon Cottesloe on Urbanspoon

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.

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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!

 

Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 4)

Hi everyone,

Sorry for this post going up a day late, after a long weekend of catching up with friends, my Cousin’s 21st party and work yesterday it was too hot to do anything but lay under the air-coniditioning  to try and remain cool. This week was a little quite on the wine front, with the heat coming back into full swing in Perth for ‘sweltering February’ drinking anything but water has been low on the priority list.

BF and I went out for dinner this week to Blend with the intention of checking out the recently opened wine bar next door which is run by the owners of Blend. BF ended up requesting to select the wine for dinner and came back with a 2011 Riesling from Claymore Wines. We spent much of the meal not only enjoying the wine but also trying to pin point a flavour in the wine that we ultimately called the ‘margarita’ as it began quite citrusy at the front of the palate but as it slipped down your throat it reminded us of the kick you get from tequila. Not the best description but it really was a nice wine and a very good pick by BF. By the end of the bottle however we wandered past the wine bar next door – Midnight Fox – but decided we would have to return on a different night to sample some of the drinks on offer there.

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This weekend has been another scorcher in Perth. To combat the heat I spent an afternoon with friends with a barbecue, pool and a bottle of 2012 Shiraz Rose from Casillero del Diablo in Chile. This was a dry Rose which I picked up for half-price ($7.50 a bottle) late last year. While normally I would have wished for more flavour in the wine as I felt it was a little lacking. However for the hot weather sipping this wine over ice was the perfect remedy for surviving the hot weather.

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There will be an increase in new wines however in a week or two as we are in the process of gearing up for our next Wine Century Challenge meet – if anyone is interested in meeting up in Perth and trying a few new wine varietals with some food and good company than feel free to send me a public or private message on my Facebook page or send me an email (gourmet . vicariously @ gmail . com – just remove the spaces) if you have any questions or want to be added to the growing list of members. It’s looking like Wednesday nights will be the norm for our meets and we are currently building a collection of locations both north and south of the river.

Until next time!

Wino 101: Australia Day BBQ – Pairing Red Wines.

Hi everyone,

This is the follow on post to last weeks Wino101, which focused on white wines that you could have or bring to a barbecue this summer including sweet, dry and sparkling suggestions. This post will be focused on red wines options.

Red wines are often forgotten about in the summer months and people look for something chilled to combat the heat. Reds however can and in some cases should be chilled when served depending upon ambient temperature as well as the varietal and style of the wine.

Rose is one red wine style which people flock to in the summer months. Rose is a popular choice in the summer months as it is served chilled and has just a hint of colour from some time on the skins. I have rediscovered Rose’s this summer since I attended the Rose Revolution last year, my review of the event can be found here. At this event I discovered some new dry Rose favourites. Since the Rose Revolution I have also found some new Rose’s which I feel deliver both on their aroma and on the palate, these wines are both from Western Australia:

  • Peel Estate Winery Rose.
Peel Estate Rose.

Peel Estate Rose.

  • Moondah Brook Rose.
Moondah Brook Rose.

Moondah Brook Rose.

  • Fifth Estate Rose.
Fifth Estate Rose and Tempranillo.

Fifth Estate Rose and Tempranillo.

Shown in the image above is a Tempranillo, which is originally a Spanish grape varietal that cane be had slightly chilled in the summer or room temperature in the winter months.

Another option for red wine drinkers if you prefer a wine with more body than a Rose is to consider a Pinot Noir. Personally I prefer those from cooler climates such as Great Southerm, Yarra Valley and Tasmania – however I seem to prefer those from the Yarra Valley.

Soumah Pinot Noir.

Soumah Pinot Noir.

And while red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz may seem to heavy for the summer months do not be afraid to leave them in the fridge for about half an hour before drinking them as red wines are meant to be drunk around 20°C which is much cooler than many a day of summer in Perth.

For those who prefer their reds to be sweet consider either a sweet Rose or a sweet red such as Brown Brothers Dolcetto & Syrah or Cienna, Banrock Estate Crimson Cabernet, etc.

Brown Brother's Dolcetto & Syrah.

Brown Brother’s Dolcetto & Syrah.

Brown Brother's Cienna.

Brown Brother’s Cienna.

Sparkling Shiraz is also an option for those who love both their Sparkling wines as well as their reds. This style of wine I have only sampled on a couple of occasions but it impressed me with the refreshing and slight hint of sweetness that the Sparkling Shiraz’s I tried possessed. Common Favourites include Andrew Garrett and Seppelt.

Seppelt Sparkling Shiraz.

Seppelt Sparkling Shiraz.

Andrew Garrett Sparkling Shiraz.

Andrew Garrett Sparkling Shiraz.

Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 6)

Hi everyone,

Last Sunday I only posted up my drinks from Christmas Day, which can be read here. With the heatwave that has struck Perth the last week or so, drinking anything other than water has been not a significant priority for me last week so this blog post and this Sunday’s blog post will likely be quite small. I will be heading off to Melbourne on Sunday so I’m hoping there will be less humidity and heat over east so I can really delve into and enjoy some Victorian wines while I am there.

Last week I also opened up a bottle of Banrock Station’s Moscato so I could tell customers what I thought of it when they ask. This moscato reminded me of Brown Brother’s especially the almost syrupy finish of the wine. For a $5-9 bottle of wine it isn’t bad if you’re in the mood for something sweet however you may feel a little sick by the end of the bottle due to the after taste, not enough acid in the wine to cleanse the palate. Tropical fruit on the palate and served chilled made it a nice wine to have a glass of after getting home from work during the heatwave.

Banrock Station Moscato.

Banrock Station Moscato.

BF and I decided to head out for lunch late last week and opted for the Left Bank outside Fremantle for lunch overlooking the river. The location seemed to attract the breeze which helped fight off the horrid heatwave heat. While we had lunch I opted to try West Cape Howe’s Mount Barker Riesling ($10.5 a glass) for some refreshment. The crisp dry Riesling was a good pick for the weather.

West Cape Howe Riesling.

West Cape Howe Riesling.

I ended the week by heading down south to see some family before heading to Melbourne, where the temperature and humidity were lower and a little more pleasant. While I was there we opened and shared a bottle that Mum and I had picked out for them for Christmas when we went on a tour of Peel Estate Winery last year as part of my Wine Essential’s Class (write up of the winery tour can be found here) a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. For a mere $30 if you buy the bottle individually you receive a bottle of wine which in my opinion stands in the same league (possibly even better) as wines from Margaret River which attract prices over $60. The wine had body, and was showing balance on the palate as well as the potential to have cellared for a few more years. Thinking I need to head back to the Cellar Door at Peel Estate sooner than later to not only try their famous Zinfandel but also to stock up on some more of their value-for-money reds!

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: Bring on Summer

First up is a bottle of wine that I opened as dad needed a red wine for the pasta sauce, a 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon from Casillero del Diabelo (Chile). Otherwise I would have loved to have given this wine a little longer in the bottle as 2011 is much too young for a red and it showed when I tasted the wine, even after using the Vinturi and allowing it some time in the glass there was a definite lack of body, and it was unbalanced, lacking tannins and the alcohol and acid were a little high. This wine will only be found in Coles Liquor outlets and retails for ~$15 a bottle. Personally if it is this young then let it age on the shelf (or in your cellar if you have one) a few years before picking up a bottle.

Casillero del Diabelo Cabernet Sauvignon.

I also went to the Rose Revolution (Facebook page here) this past week, which encourages people to try dry Rose this summer. Had some fabulous wine, and some that smelt divine but on the palate were lacking in fruit flavour and depth and were quite disappointing. The top 3 overall wines that I tried along with my favourite packaging are shown below. Full review of the event will be up on the blog next week!

Top 3 Wines from Rose Revolution.

My top 3 Rose’s were (in no particular order):

a) Deep Wood 2012 Rose from Margaret River, which was a blend of 35% Tempranillo, 30% Shiraz, 20% Merlot and 15% Cabernet. A pleasant drop and hopefully one that will make it into Liquorland soon as the red and white from this line are presently in some stores. Tasting notes can be found here.

b) Dandelion Vineyard 2011 Rose from the Barossa, which is 100% Grenache which has spent some time in French Oak. I am quite the fan of Grenache so it was a nice one to stumble across! Tasting notes can be found here. I am not sure where in Perth this wine is stocked but if anyone does see it please let me know!

c) Dal Zotto 2012 Rosato from the King Valley, does not list what grape varietals it is made up of. This wine was highly recommended to some of the people who I spoke to at the Rose Revolution event and I have to say it was a pleasant drop! Again I am unsure as to where you can find this wine in Perth but do share if you see it!

The Abstainer Rose, part of the Ministry Series.

Back label for The Abstainer Rose.

The 2011 Abstainer, produced by Capital Wines in the Canberra District; has a cheeky label which caught my eye and I would have to say that the wine was not bad either, and may have been top 3 material for me but it’s label made it deserving of a special mention all of its own. This wine is made from a combination of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Like I’ve said for most of the wines tonight, I do not know where you can find this wine in Perth but do let me know if you see it!

I also tasted some wines this week while at my Wine Education Centre course and reviewed them in my blog entry on the course which can be found here.

I also popped open a bottle of Cave de Lugny’s Crémant de Bourgogne to celebrate what I hope is the end of my undergraduate degree! I am quite pleased with this wine, especially at ~$20 for a French (note: from Burgundy not Champagne) bubbly. A full review of this wine will be up with the Restaurant review.

Cave de Lugny’s Crémant de Bourgogne.

Happy Drinking everyone! Hope you had a good past week and weekend! Best of luck to those who still have exams to sit, I am fortunate enough to be free from the constraints of university to expect many more posts on wines as I revel in the start of my summer vacation!

Until next time!