Tapas Japonesque

Posted by Martin Field on 9 September 2011 in Restaurant Reviews

Dinner time at another newish place in sleepy old Noosa Junction. This one is Jardin Japonesque, run by chef / proprietor Kisa Juri Kobayashi – ex Noosa’s renowned Wasabi Restaurant.

First impressions were the unobtrusive minimalist white decor and the exquisite, antiquey looking serving bowls.

“Otsumami” appeared at the top of the menu, translated in brackets as “Appetisers / Tapas”.

And so we chose a few tapas-sized serves. First up was Soy-burned Roasted Organic Garlic. Four plump juicy cloves, caramelised to sweetness and with a mild, roast  garlic savour. Read the rest of this entry

Top Shelf Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 7 September 2011 in Wine Tasting

Yering Station Cold Pressed Pinot Gris 2010 (375 ml) – $33 – AAA

Yarra Valley, Victoria. Cold Pressed means grapes were frozen and cold pressed at -18C. Light straw. Sweet nose of ripe apricots, pears and Seville marmalade. Palate is light and elegant with sweet fruitiness balanced by lemon zest acidity. Excellent dessert wine. NB I read the back label after tasting this wine and was surprised to find similar comments.

Reillys Riesling 2010 – $18 – AA+

Watervale, Clare Valley, South Australia. Near water pale, light green hue. Fresh sherbert and lime blossom nose. Dry, full, lip smacking, lemon / lime juiciness. Beautifully integrated acidity at the finish.

Thistle Hill Preservative Free Chardonnay 2011 – $22 – AA

Mudgee, New South Wales. No sulphur dioxide added. Very pale in the glass. Nose of white peaches with a hint of lemon zest. Soft rich palate shows dried pears with a hint of tropical fruits. Read the rest of this entry

Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino: pure sangiovese or with cab?

Posted by Mike Tommasi on 6 September 2011 in Wine


The typically Italian controversy currently raging over Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino is a battle between extremists. On one hand, conservatives want to keep the dogmatic principle of the single grape variety, which I hope to show is inconsistent with Tuscan tradition and penalizes those who want to make good wine in these areas. At the other end shameless opportunists are ready to perform a viticultural sacrifice by drowning Sangiovese with Bordeaux grape varieties that will leave no organoleptic trace of the Tuscan variety par excellence, to the point that it could safely be removed from the mixture altogether.

In addition, everyone feigns that the problem is limited to Rosso di Montalcino, which was created as a catch-all repository for wines unworthy of the Brunello label, while everyone knows that the real issue is Brunello, and a vote on cheapening Rosso is a test before moving on to attack the prestigious cousin Brunello… Meanwhile, a recent scandal revealed that producers in Brunello were adding cabernet, syrah and merlot, and at least one prestigious producer got caught.

I think it is self-evident that Bordeaux grape varieties will irreversibly pollute traditional Tuscan wine: it makes no sense to add them to Sangiovese, and I would be tempted to call such wines “Bordello di Montalcino” or “Cabernello”.

But to insist on 100% varietal is no less absurd, and is certainly not coherent with Tuscan tradition, rather it is an accident in the recent history of Brunello.

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Ipazzi Restaurant – Noosa

Posted by Martin Field on 27 July 2011 in Restaurant Reviews

Not so crazy

Ipazzi Ristorante is a tiny new eatery in Noosa Junction, a couple of minutes over Noosa Hill from the Hastings Street resort strip. It is fast gaining a reputation as the best Italian restaurant in town.

Ipazzi, Ruby explains, means something like “We’re crazy!” Ruby runs everything front of house and Fabio, her husband, is chef.

The narrow room features well-separated small tables and is all red and white checked tablecloths with candles burning in old bottles. It looks like a full house would max out at 25 covers.

Fabio, I learn, prepares house-made pasta each afternoon and the choices on our menu are fettuccine, spaghetti and maltagliati. Read the rest of this entry

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 18 July 2011 in Wine Tasting

Bardinet Rhum Negrita – $30

A French blend of dark rum from the islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and Réunion. Light tea hues. Aromatic nose, molasses predominant. A smooth, medium-weighted style; not as medicinal as some dark rums. Well suited to mixin’ rather than sippin’ straight.

d’Arenberg The Noble Botrytotinia F*ckeliana 2010 – $20 – ˜˜˜˜****

Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale, South Australia; Semillon / sauvignon blanc blend; 8% alcohol. Sounds more like something itchy you’d go to the clinic for than a sweet white wine. Bright gold. Nose of passionfruit and zest of Seville oranges. Palate is smooth and viscous, laden with flavours of marmalade and rich apricot sauce. At first it tastes indulgently sweet but any hint of cloying is offset by upfront citric acidity. (Re net censors – insert *U above.) Read the rest of this entry

Random notes in Dijon

Posted by Martin Field on 18 July 2011 in Wine Travel

Recommended dining

On another Dijon evening we dine at Restaurant Le Verdi, Place Emile Zola. We share a Salade Chevre Chaud – squares of grilled chevre topped with pine nuts, set on crusty bread over a dressed green salad. Also, a perfectly al dente tortellini filled with ricotta and fresh asparagus sitting on a bed of creamy sauce dotted with petit pois. All washed down with a 500 ml pichet of Pays du Gard Rouge.

Salade Chevre Chaud

Food Observations Nowadays in France you can’t help but notice a significant amount of “biologique” (organic) food and wine in the shops. Organic wine apparently accounts for 10% of the French market, with consumption growing rapidly.

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Gevrey Chambertin

Posted by Martin Field on 18 July 2011 in Wine Tasting

We visit the Cote de Nuits village of Gevrey Chambertin. Leaving Dijon, the bus sign for the Route des Grands Crus reads like labels on the top shelf of your fine wine store: Gevrey Chambertin, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanee, Nuits-St-Georges, etc.

Gevrey Chambertin

After wandering around the quiet and ancient village we finally find the establishment of Domaine Pierre Naigeon, where it’s time for a glass or two of pinot noir with winemaker Pierre Naigeon himself. Read the rest of this entry

Springtime in France

Posted by Martin Field on 18 July 2011 in Wine Travel

Sparkling Burgundy

Early June, it’s springtime in France and we’re on the fast train to Dijon, capital of Burgundy. After Dijon, we’ll head towards Avignon, Aix en Provence and Marseille.

Asparagus - Les Halles

No rental cars or rural retreats this trip. It’s all train and bus from Paris to Marseille, staying at pre-booked, self-catering apartments in the heart of each town.

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Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 19 May 2011 in Wine Tasting

Champagne Duperrey Premier Cru Brut NV – up to $50 – ˜˜˜***

A chardonnay and pinot noir blend from the house of Martel. Pale gold in colour with the slightest pink tinge; flowers and subtle notes of brioche on the nose. A fuller style, with apricot and dried apple flavours in the mouth along with a hint of citrus. Opens with fruit sweetness and firms up towards the finish.

Hollick Coonawarra Savagnin 2010 – $21 – ˜˜**

Juicy, fresh nose. Zesty, tangy palate with hints of lime and sherbet. Dryish flavoursome finish. Good entrée style. Read the rest of this entry


Posted by Martin Field on 19 May 2011 in Wine Tasting

Astrid of Alphington asks, “Recently a friend passed on a recommendation for bargain French bubbly. I was almost sold, then I read the tasting notes that used the term “meaty”. Now I know I am a vegetarian, but eeew! Is this a flavour anyone wants in their champers?

“Picking up my newspaper today one wine in the Penfolds range, was described as having “mature meaty/gamy” flavours and another as having “‘meaty’ complexity”. Is all this butcher shop terminology some sort of new fad amongst wine writers, and seriously, can a wine taste like meat?” Read the rest of this entry

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