Posted by Martin Field on 18 August 2010 in Wine Travel
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
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.
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
Posted by Martin Field on 19 May 2010 in Wine Travel
Water water everywhere…
In late March, early April, we sailed on the Legend of the Seas from Shanghai to the Japanese ports of Miyazaki, Kobe and Fukuoka and to the South Korean port of Busan, before returning to Shanghai.
The Legend’s restaurant wine list was typical of cruise lines – a fair range of wines with over the top prices. To give but one example, a bottle of Wolf Blass Yellow Label Merlot cost a whacking $46.50 (Australian dollars, including an obligatory 15% gratuity, at the then current ship exchange rate). This wine is easy to find in Australia for less than $10.00. Read the rest of this entry
Posted by Martin Field on 19 May 2010 in Wine Tasting
Peter Lehmann Princess Moscato 2009 – 500ml – up to $18 – ** – Red frontignac, carbonated, low (7.5%) alcohol. Faintest onion skin tinge of colour. Pleasing raisiny nose and palate in a mid-sweet, spritzy style.
Yellowglen Bella Bianco 2009 – up to $20 – ** – Low (8%) alcohol bubbly. A blend of white frontignac and riesling. Bouquet of ripe pears and apricots. Notably sweet palate continues the fruity pear theme with maybe a hint of oranges and lemons at the finish. Pleasant luncheon or picnic style. Read the rest of this entry
Posted by Martin Field on 19 May 2010 in Wine
‘Anything but New Zealand sauvignon blanc!’ A friend muttered as we perused a wine list recently. It’s claimed that eight out every ten bottles of wine sold on Australia’s Sunshine Coast are NZ sauvignon blanc so it is hardly surprising that locals’ palates are jaded.
Nothing wrong with the stuff, occasionally – but every day? Like watching endless re-runs of Frasier – monotonous.
The river of NZSB flowing into Australia has turned into a torrent. And especially at the cheap end there tends to be a certain sameness of style: underdone, lightweight, green grassy, acidic and thin.
At least Australian SBs exhibit a wide range of styles – from tropical to cool climate, but to this palate NZSB has become a cold-climate, one–dimensional trip. I mean, how many hits of hyper-methoxypyrazine can a wine drinker handle in a year? It’s almost enough to drive one back to Australian over-oaked chardonnay.
Posted by Martin Field on 17 March 2010 in Food and Wine, Restaurant Reviews
Two kinds of Tofu
Gary Hounsell, owner of Toolangi Vineyards in the Yarra Valley recently hosted a lunch at Urbane in Brisbane to celebrate Toolangi’s 10th anniversary; your itinerant reporter was there.
Gary showed guests a selection of his estate and reserve chardonnays and pinots dating back to the 2001 vintage. In an unusual approach to winemaking he explained that in its short existence, Toolangi wines were made by different winemakers at a number of wineries, among them Giaconda, Shadowfax and Yering Station.
Read the rest of this entry
Posted by Martin Field on 13 March 2010 in Restaurant Reviews
iS Tapas Bar (249 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville, Queensland, 07 5447 1818). In usually sunny Noosaville it was gusty and alternately raining and shining, looking for a light lunch we stopped at the open-fronted iS Tapas Bar and were given a table with views of the Noosa River.
iS is fully licensed but allows patrons to bring their own wine ($4 corkage fee per bottle) and we took along a 2003 Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling. Despite its rather warm cellaring in our house it was in excellent condition – sprightly and lemony with just an occasional hint of that aged riesling character that we all know and love yet find hard to describe without annoying winemakers.
From the longish menu we chose Chili mushrooms – in a light sauce/marinade of butter, lemon juice, chili, garlic and finely chopped herebs; Parmesan crumbed artichokes – these were served with the stems (quite edible) attached and looked a little like chicken drumsticks – served with a truffle and lime mayonnaise; Manchego cheese croquettes – crumbed, about the size of pool balls – with a quince paste sauce, and Tempura vegetables on skewers -tiny morsels of crisp veg in the lightest of batter.
The food presentaion was attractive, the waiter was hip and we really enjoyed each dish. The bill for two, including corkage, totalled $42.
Posted by Martin Field on 3 March 2010 in Food and Wine
The latest edition of glossy mag Spain Gourmetour arrived recently and I tucked in a napkin to catch the saliva as I read it through.
If ever there was a food and wine magazine with high production values this is it. Even the ad photos look good enough to eat.
Among the classy articles about Spanish food, wine and travel, you will find recipes reflecting Spain as a world leader in avant garde cuisine. I’ve fiddled successfully with recipes in the latest issue: the dessert, ‘Mango, papaya, citrus fruits and orange blossom honey jelly’ was stunning.
Spain Gourmetour is published three times a year. Best of all, it’s free to professionals in the wine and food industry.
To request a subscription, simply email your details and postal address with the subject line ‘Spain Gourmetour’ to the Economic and Commercial Offices of the Spanish Embassy in your country. For email addresses see Spain Gourmetour site.
Posted by Martin Field on 26 February 2010 in Wine Tasting
Coopers Clear Low Carb Dry Beer – around $15 the six pack
This is a full-strength – 4.5% alcohol – beer sold in clear glass 355ml stubbies. A very different style from Coopers Sparkling Ale but quite enjoyable for all that. Lightish amber in colour with a pleasing malty nose. Surprisingly full-bodied in the mouth with the malt continuing to a dryish finish.
Reschke Coonawarra Sauvignon Blanc 2009 – $19 – **
Pale, hint of lime green in colour. Aromatic, almost pungent fruitiness on the nose, with the faintest hint of grassiness and toasted oak. A rather full-bodied style of sauvignon blanc on the palate, showing notes of tropical fruit salad that lead to an off-dry finish. Read the rest of this entry