Eating out around Noosa

Posted by Martin Field on 20 October 2010 in Restaurant Reviews

XO Bistro Wine Bar Sunshine Beach Queensland

Melbourne visitors treated us to dinner at this newish eatery. Impressive. Busy and bustling. Helpful and friendly staff. Lovely gnocchi and the best pizza I’ve had in a long time. Extensive list of wine by the glass or choose a bottle from the integrated wine shop and pay a little more than retail to drink at your table.

By Noosa standards the prices were excellent. Highly recommended.

Noshtalgia

Posted by Martin Field on 20 October 2010 in Food and Wine

Goulash, Transylvania, Barry Humphries

As I read the final pages of Barry Humphries’ Handling Edna, I recalled a brief meeting with him in, I think, 1971.

Back then, pub rock in Melbourne centred on Saturday afternoon live sessions at the Station Hotel* in Greville Street, Prahran. All the young dudes and dudettes dressed in a variety of op-shop rock-chic, Miller western shirts (lurex thread, pearl topped press studs), Lee jeans (brass button flies thank you) and tan, Cuban-heeled RM Williams boots, as they thronged to hear the bands and to see and be seen.

The person to see one afternoon was an older, solitary figure observing the goings on. It was Barry Humphries, already a legend in his home town of Melbourne. If my memory serves me correctly he was wearing a fetching blue yachting cap. Read the rest of this entry

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 20 October 2010 in Wine Tasting

Moondah Brook Verdelho 2009 – up to $18 – **

Gingin, Swan Valley and Pemberton, Western Australia. Pale straw. Bright aromas of tropical fruit salad. Medium weighted juicy palate continues with young pineapple and paw paw along with soft acidity.

Mount Langhi Ghiran Cliff Edge Riesling 2009 – up to $25 – **

Western Victoria. Pale with light green edge. Lemon zesty nose. Fresh lime, Granny Smith apples and dried pear on the palate lead to a slightly off-dry finish. Read the rest of this entry

A wine dinner in Alice Springs – 1981

Posted by Martin Field on 14 September 2010 in Food and Wine

Alice Springs is situated right in the heart of Australia but when I lived in the Alice thirty years ago it was hardly the centre of Australian haute cuisine. Gerry White, head of hospitality at the local college, was determined to change that. He asked me to run wine courses for the students and at the same time he created a ‘Wine and Dine Group’ for local residents.

An inaugural dinner (modestly priced) took place in the college restaurant on 11 November 1981. Gerry and I concocted the tightly budgeted menu and wine list below. Student chefs and waiters were in charge of the kitchen and service. Note the French influence in the menu items. Note also that the terms “sherry, white burgundy, claret, port” are now no longer legal on Australian wine labels. Read the rest of this entry

Recipe for a good cork

Posted by Mike Tommasi on 13 September 2010 in Wine

cork oak

Corks are not made the way they should be. Shortcuts result in bad quality and cork taint. The industry should go back to the original recipe, given here in its simplified version:
Read the rest of this entry

Napa Valley Visit

Posted by Martin Field on 5 September 2010 in Wine Travel

By Annie Field

We started this morning with a vague plan, to try some wine and enjoy ourselves. Not being at all familiar with the local viticultural regions we took a punt and picked a route around Sonoma, Glen Ellen, Napa and Petaluma (our base). This plan was rapidly turfed when we started battling Labor Day Holiday traffic both on and off (tasting tables!) the road.

Our first stop was Domaine Carneros in Napa. Owned by the Taittinger Champagne House, it is certified organic and just a little bit fancy! We tried four of their wines for an affordable $25 (a person! Ouch!). The stand out was Le Reve Blanc de Blanc: light golden in colour, lemons and apples on the nose and peaches and shortbread on the palate. The finish was smooth and dry. Read the rest of this entry

Older Yarra Yering Whites

Posted by Martin Field on 28 August 2010 in Wine Tasting

The other night a friend brought two older Yarra Yering whites to a Vietnamese restaurant for dinner. Both corks were in perfect condition with no ullage. (He bought them new and they’ve been cellared in an airconditioned, humidified cellar).

The first we tried was the Yarra Yering 1997 Chardonnay – well past its peak. Gold hues, appley, slightly oxidised nose. Soft on the palate, faint fino flavours along with dried pear. Lacked acid balance.

Next was the Yarra Yering 1998 Dry White No. 1. – a semillon and sauvignon blanc blend. Almost water pale in colour. Lifted nose of dried grasses, with a hint of lemon zest. Light, elegant, steely dry palate. Beautifully structured, fruit starting to develop secondary vinous characters. Lip-smacking finish of almost perfect acid balance. If I had tasted it blind my first guess would have been “Fine French dry style.” Curious to drink one of the best whites I’ve had in a year with such a simple meal.

Magical History Tour – Barossa and Clare Valleys

Posted by Martin Field on 18 August 2010 in Wine Travel
Penfolds Kalimna

Penfolds Kalimna

After years of writing about wine I recently visited the Barossa and Clare Valleys for the first time.

Just three days in the Barossa and one in Clare was far too short a time to do the area justice but we popped around the vineyards in a disorganised fashion and tasted a fair number of fine wines.

As I discovered, the Barossa is a series of small towns spread out over mostly flat plains, the populated areas separated by numerous historic (and new) wineries and gnarled vineyards. Read the rest of this entry

Farewell Slingers

Posted by Martin Field on 18 August 2010 in Wine

Sad to report that David Slingsby-Smith passed away on 17 August 2010. “Slingers” was a long-time De Bortoli winemaker and all-round good guy.

Star Drinking

Posted by Martin Field on 18 August 2010 in Wine Tasting

Taltarni ‘T’ NV Sparkling – $15 – ** – A non-vintage blend of chardonnay and pinot noir. Medium bead, with the faintest blush – from the pinot component? Peachy nose has a hint of strawberry fruit. The strawberry is also apparent on the palate and the wine finishes just off-dry.

De Bortoli Windy Peak Pinot Grigio 2009 – $14 – ** – Very pale with a green apple, sherbet-like nose. Clean, fresh, grapey flavours are enhanced by soft citric undertones and a mildly acidic finish. Read the rest of this entry

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