Lunch 14 June 2016

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Paul Ferman, smartly dressed in a beret (well not just a beret), provided local colour to his French countryside inspired meal.

Canape. The first was a classy pork terrine followed by a rustic vegetable soup served in cups. The soup was rich, full of flavour and very filling.

Aperitif wine. We enjoyed the Hugel Gewurztraminer 2012 wine with the usual sherry for those of that ilk.

Main course. The main was a French style braised chicken and vegetable dish. The chicken was on the bone and had great flavour imparted by the on-bone approach and the myriad of vegetables.

The wines.

$1·        Chateau de Pizay Morgon (Beaujolais) 2013

$1·        Glaetzer-Dixon Avance Pinot Noir 2012 (Coal River Valley)

$1·        Christmont La Zona Barbera 2010

$1·        Epilison Barossa Shiraz 2006

The first bracket was interesting in that the Pinot was made in the Beaujolais style. The Morgon (a Cru class) was scented, savoury and so silky smooth. Someone used the term tannins like satin. Much enjoyed and the pick of the day for many. The Pinot had a very similar profile and a damned good lighter weight Tasmanian example.

The cheese wines were a very different act. The La Zona Barbera was dark and brooding but as expected from the variety soft with light tannins. Enjoyable in that style but definitely not be confused with the Piedmont original. The Epilison was again deep coloured in the Barossa style.  Some extra tannic grip may have helped to offset the soft rich fruit. Probably at peak.

Cheese and coffee. James Hill in his acting Cheesemaster role presented Taleggio from Lombardy a cow’s milk cheese. Whilst mild and creamy it was a first class fromage.

Ferrier Spencer was on-site at lunch and introduced his Kenya AA coffee which greatly disappointed him. It was strong with a touch of bitterness. He promises to return with the coffee next week and have a closer look at quantities used in the plunger.

Lunch 7 June 2016

We had the very popular duo of John Rourke and Terry McDowell cooking for us this week.

Canape. We were treated to two very moreish starters with a duck liver mousse on bread rounds and a classic terrine de campagne with cornichons. The duck livers were marinated overnight in milk and made with orange liqueur and topped with onion jam. The pork terrine was made using pig’s belly, chicken liver, brandy, spices and a good wack of muscat. Both wonderful and in very good quantities.

Aperitif wine. To accompany these rich starters Paul served Tim Smith Eden Valley Riesling 2011 and Delatite 'Deadman's Hill' Gewürztraminer 2012. The Riesling was well passed its best and unloved by all. The Delatite however was a fruit driven wine with perfume, spice and a crisp acid finish which went well with the food.

Main course. John selected duck à l'orange as our main. The duck breast and leg joint were sou vide for 24 hours in a marinade including salt and herbs. John explained that the salt component should technically be 15% of the weight of the duck. He lowered that somewhat and was happy with the result. The meat was served with creamed spinach and baked potatoes, parsnip and pumpkin and of course the orange sauce. The meat was tender and moist and attracted praise from the floor.

The wines.

$1·         Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2010

$1·         Port Phillip Estate (Mornington) Pinot Noir 2010

$1·         Yannick Amirault St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil 2010 (100% Cabernet Franc)

$1·         Majella Coonawarra Cabernet 2002

The two Pinots were a real contrast in style. The NZ came in at 14% and was that sweeter style that New Zealand tends to produce. Many find it hard to go beyond one glass. The Mornington was a lighter, more astringent and savoury. Having said that there was a dichotomy on the preference. At one level they both matched the duck albeit in different ways.

St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil is an appellation in Loire which is predominately Cabernet Franc. The Amirault was a very good example. Drinking well at its peak with perfume on the nose following with some austerity on the palate. A wine style that matches many foods and a style that Australia can’t seem to master. The 12.5% alcohol was welcome. It was overshadowed in fruit by the Majella, a “normal” 14% with lovely Coonawarra fruit on nose and palate. Many commented on the “peppermint patty” nose reminiscent of the famous 1963 Mildara Coonawarra Cabernet. To be unkind many see that as a green fruit fault. Probably the best liked wine of the lunch.

Cheese and coffee. James Hill in his acting Cheesemaster role presented Gippsland Tarago Shadows of Blue. Beautifully crumbly it defied the attempts of each table’s cheese cutter to serve it nicely. This is a top world blue cheese made with Roqueforti mould. Wonderful.

Ferrier Spencer was on-site at lunch and introduced his Kenya AA coffee which greatly disappointed him. It was strong with a touch of bitterness. He promises to return with the coffee and have a closer look at quantities used in the plunger.

Society Hunter Valley Tour. James Hill gave an outline of the Hunter tour planned for members and partners over 23 and 24 September this year. Members will receive a notice and will have the opportunity to register an interest on the Society’s web site.

Lunch 31 May 2016 wine tasting

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Our President Keith Steele was our Chef of the Day for the June wine luncheon assisted on canapes by Gary Patterson. Below is a photo of them in full flight. A fully booked lunch made for a day of great food and wine overseen by our Winemaster Paul Ferman.

As a side line to the main event the President presented the Chef of the Year Runner-Up Award to James Hill. The award was a high end knife to enable James to cook one of his numerous lunches for the Society in 2016.

Canape. We were served two canapes. Firstly pan cooked chicken (hand minced by Keith apparently) and ginger balls accompanied by a chutney sauce. Then came fish cakes comprising smoked rainbow trout, potato and dried herbs lightly covered in breadcrumbs and lightly fried. Both enjoyed with the latter being somewhat of a challenge to remove from the plate in one piece.

Aperitif wine. Paul presented us with aged Tyrrells Vat 1 Semillons from 1991, 1994 and 1997. Whilst the latter was the predominate vintage it was interesting to taste the three vintages. Not everyone had all three and not surprisingly there were poor examples given the 20 year plus age and the cork factor. A worthwhile experience. It raised the question of the results of such a tasting in 10 years when we will have all the Vat 1s under screwcap. Will they develop as well but remove the bottle variation?

Main course. It was a cold, dark and stormy day…. Keith rose the occasion with an appropriate main of lamb forequarter shanks with a sumptuous sauce on potato mash accompanied by beautifully cooked crispy beans. The shanks were initially treated to a spicy rub (a Steele special) and slow cooked. The spicy vegetable sauce included carrots, chickpeas and tomatoes. Very much suited to the day and empty plates were dominant when returned for the kitchen.

The wines.

As a last minute bonus to the wine lunch Ray Healey provided two 2014 Burgundies which we saw at the Burgundy tasting last month in their barrel sample form. Ray now provided the two bottles with pre-bottling treatment.

$1·         Christian Clerget Chambolle-Musigny 2014

$1·         Georges Lignier Chambolle-Musigny 2014

$1·         Prunotto Barolo 2008

$1·         Charles Melton Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

$1·         Houghton Gladstones Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

$1·         Huntington Special Reserve Mudgee Cabernet Sauvignon 2002

$1·         Penfolds Bin 389 2002

The 2014 Burgundies, though decanted, were a little closed but had power with a mouth puckering finish. They both need time of course. Many of those present had little experience with young Burgundy and Ray gave an informative oversight of the wines.

The 2008 Barolo had a somewhat darker rusty tinge in line with expectations and also had already begun to soften. Most enjoyed the savoury character so rare in Australian wines.

The three Cabernets drew differing views. The Melton was surprisingly elegant for a Barossa whilst the Houghton wine was more full bodied and fruity. The Melton was possibly drinking at its peak with the Houghton Gladstones (a high end wine many had not seen before) needing some years to develop in full. The Huntington reportable had some bottle variation but was a medium bodied style and not without elegance and subtly. Three good wines with preference very much personal.

Finally the Bin 389 2002. A member’s favourite it was in wonderful condition just showing what the old Aussie Cabernet Shiraz blend can provide. Blackcurrant, chocolate and sweet fruit and in fine form.

Cheese and coffee. James Healey presented the chef’s favourite, Onetik Ossau Iraty a semi-hard sheep’s milk fromage from the Basque region of France. It is also a favourite of many members with its beautiful supple texture and nutty flavour.

Coffee by Ferrier Spencer via Forsyth Coffee was a Peruvian Andes Santa Martha Estate. It was commented on well and was aromatic, strong and sweet.

CotD 24 May 2016

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This day in 1976 marked the wine tasting event referred to as the Judgement in Paris where French wine judges tasting blind, picked as their top white wine a Californian Chardonnay. Sacré bleu. The French have never been the same since.

Our Food master Nick Reynolds was in the kitchen and managed it pretty well all on his lonesome.

Canape. Nick served a stunning looker (see photo above) of filo pastry cases filled with a mascarpone and feta cheese mix topped with slices of olive and sun-dried tomato. A beautiful mouthful to go with the aperitif wine.

Aperitif wine. After seeing quite a range of post-General Meeting wines Paul served the Richmond Grove Watervale Riesling 2002. Under screwcap it was in excellent condition. Lemony yellow and a complex aromatic nose with polished fruit on the palate. Delicious.

Main course. Nick served slow cooked beef cheeks (8 hours) set on a mash with a powerful and complex dark sauce. The mash, despite many wrong guesses, was from cauliflower with lashings of cream and butter. The sauce was a combination of celery, carrots, onions, PX (of course) and Sangiovese all cooked with the cheeks. This was topped off with slivers of deep fried parsnip. The cheeks were very tender and non-fatty. Comments of “attractive to the eye”, “terrific flavour” and “bloody good” ruled.

The wines.

$1·         Burton Wines McLaren Shiraz 2004

$1·         Schild Estate Barossa Shiraz 2004

$1·         Allegrini La Grola 2010 (Veronese IGT)

$1·         Oliver’s Taranga McLaren Shiraz 2009

The Burton wine was thought soft, elegant, in excellent condition and probably at peak. Some thought it wine of the day. What a contrast to the Schild wine which was extracted and alcoholic. The 14.5% may have a typo for 16.5%.

With the cheese we had another significant comparison. The Veronese wine was predominately Corvina the mainstay grape of Valpolicella. In this case it was an IGT as it had a small proportion of Syrah added. Very soft, mouth filling and with a fruity though dry finish as would be expected. Ideal food wine. The Oliver’s Taranga was thought forward for an 09 and of medium body. It just lacked some middle palate and style.

Cheese and coffee. James Healey presented Grubb Cashel Blue non-pasteurised cows’ milk from Tipperary, Ireland. This cheese was mid-way through its aging process, still firm but starting to soften. It was much enjoyed.

Coffee by Ferrier Spencer via Forsyth Coffee was Kenya Karina Kirinyaga AA. 

CotD 17 May 2016

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After researching famous wine makers and chefs with birthdays on 17 May there was a blank. So Greg Sproule was our Chef of the Day and celebrity of the day.

Canapés. Greg simplified the day with some prosciutto on both crackers and rounds of baguette.

Aperitif wine. A wonderful start with Tyrrells Vat 4 Semillon 2003. Whilst it was under cork there was little bottle variation reported. The quality was high to very good being reflected in the colour.

Main course. Our CoTD served a barely rare lamb neck dish with Tuscan spinach and grilled eggplant accompanied by chimichurri type green sauce. The meat received a mixed reception with many suggesting lamb shoulder and commenting on it tough texture. However, the rich flavour was acknowledged. The recipe was chicory based but as it was not in season the spicy flavour came from radicchio. The green sauce was based on spinach, anchovy, capers, pine nuts, lemon and a touch of red chilli to keep us attentive.

The wines. Paul served a range of richer reds.

$1·         Taylors Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 (Clare)

$1·         Tiefenbrunner Lagrein 2011 (Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto-Adige, Italy)

$1·         Tatachilla Partners McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2001

$1·         Taturry Mosselini Shiraz 2013 (Mornington)

The reds were richer styles to match the lamb. The Lagrein attracted some criticism but was a very northern Italian wine which was incredibly soft and of a fuller style. A first for many members. Great with food. The McLaren Vale red was still drinking well but at its best and fading.

Cheese and coffee. James Healey provided a Berry’s Creek Riverine Blue fromage. A beautiful cheese of quality to match the world’s best. Much loved. A quick hands-up quiz by James left many on the sidelines when the Gippsland buffalo origin was revealed. It was served with a mix of almonds, pomegranate and dates. Lovely.

Coffee from Spencer Ferrier was a Kenya Wanjengi - Muranga AA blend. No one picked it! A very fruity coffee.

Lunch 10 May 2016

Not a DeLorean in sight, but it was still back to the future, as Peter Kelso, assisted by Martin McMurray, gave us old-fashioned, and therefore comforting, food to match some interesting wines.

As canapes, the old standby of gravlax with mustard dill mayo on toasts proved once again popular, as did a mini lavoche spread with potted anchovies, or pounded anchovies blended with unsalted butter with a slight kick of cayenne to help things along. Comparisons to Peck's paste, in a nice way, flowed, proving a little does go a loooong way. Served with them, along with the staple and ever reliable Lustau fino sherry, was a 2008 Mitchell Watervale Riesling, fully developed but still showing a bit of grip and style.

The main course was a reversion to colourful presentation of the kind beloved by former members of note. Lamb backstraps were seared and briefly baked before being sliced and served in a ring on a bed of green sauce surrounding a roasted slice of eggplant topped by half a roasted tomato. The sauce was revealed as a cream base enriched principally with sage. Some contrasting flavours and textures, with the lamb (mainly) good and pink, despite inevitable backstrap variation, and a good match with a choice of a 2009 Dao Alvaro Castro red from Portugal, made on an indigenous grape, and a 2002 Alkoomi cabernet from Frankland River in WA. The import was the more interesting of the two, a bit short on the finish but showing some drying savoury characters up front; whilst the Alkoomi, although showing good sweet dusty fruit in the better bottles, was also definitely showing its age.

The highlights came with the cheese: first, the cheese itself, a mature Comte from the Alpes-Rhone region of France, a wonderful deep gold colour, firm but not crumbly texture and, above all, a lasting sweet nutty flavour which kept going. A bitter leaf salad with a sharp vinaigrette balanced by pieces of sweet ripe figs and toasted walnuts went well, as did a 2010 Coldstream Hills pinot from the Yarra, with characteristic nose and good upfront fruit with some bottle development; and, at least with good bottles, a 2000 Tyrrells Vat 47 chardonnay, the still relatively austere acid balanced by developed stone fruit flavours which matched the cheese very well and proved that whites with the right cheese are often the way to go.

The lunch concluded with a quality Yurgachef medium roast coffee from Ethiopian beans, rich dry characters in the mouth balanced by some citrus acidity on the back palate.

Lunch 3 May 2016

Greek (Orthodox) Easter has come and gone, but that didn't stop Bill Alexiou-Hucker, assisted by Peter Squires, from turning on a lunch which mixed Greek elements with some more Australian fare.

We started with some (bought-in) dolmades which had been warmed to enhance their flavour and the bitterness of the vine leaves went well with the aperitif wine, a 2002 Richmond Grove Watervale Riesling, bottled under stelvin and showing top uniformity of bottles in a mature but still fresh wine ,sweetness starting to come up under the acid. Also on hand was salmon ceviche with spicy avocado on toasts, the salmon pieces soft and unctuous without any acidity from the curing lemon juice; and what looked and tasted just like bruschetta, with the onion omitted.

The mix continued into the main course with a Greek lamb pie, made on shredded leg and shoulder with tomato, onions and big chunks of field mushroom, served on a bed of mash with green peas. The short crust pastry cases were hand- made but a bit heavy on pastry, while the spuds, although traditional Oz, were redundant, and the peas were peas. Terrific flavour in the slow-cooked lamb, with the ingredients (minus garlic) coming together well. In the wine department, the Master Paul Ferman got into the spirit with a 2012 Agiorgitiko by Gaia matched with a 2009 Dom Gerovassiliou shiraz/merlot. The former, made on indigenous Greek grapes, was interesting but a little hard and short; whilst the older wine, made on "imported" grapes, showed greater maturity with good fruit and fine, if slightly thin, tannins.

The cheese course was a change of style, James Healey providing a goats' curd with the consistency of yoghurt, with typical lactic characters balanced nicely by some lovely little candied figs and by a bitter green salad with a sweetish dressing. The accompanying wines were wild: a 2011 Seghesio zinfandel from Sonoma, Calif with 14.8% alcohol and showing it; and a more restrained tempranillo from Glandore in the Hunter, made by the winery owned by member David Madson from grapes brought in from Broke.

The coffee, unidentified, was nicely astringent if a bit hard, and was accompanied by a Mavraki grape spirit liquor, in the style of grappa but pretty good and better than most of the grappa on the market.

Lunch 26 April

Lunch 26 April 2016

This date in history has experienced its fair share of disasters including the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion. Whilst Tuesday’s lunch with CoTD Josef Condrau may not rate with that incident it was nonetheless harrowing when the raw duck breasts finally arrived in the kitchen at noon. A good team effort from Josef, Chef Pete and Joseph in the kitchen had the meal back on course to accompany the twelve fabulous Burgundy’s presented by Ray Healey. A veritable team of helpers on canapes.

Canapés. Josef served three starters which were:

$1·         Smoked rainbow trout from the Blue Mountains on sourdough baguette with a little horseradish

$1·         Air-dried beef (Swiss speciality) wrapped around a piece of melon

$1·         Escargots done in butter with garlic, shallots and parsley served on a spoon

The trout and beef based dishes provided a good contrast with the beef exhibiting a good likeness in texture and style with prosciutto. The escargots were served after being seated and were a real treat.

Aperitif wine. The day being a Burgundy focussed event the starting wines were for whetting the palate before getting into the real deal. We enjoyed Aubert NV Champagne, Denmar Chardonnay 2010 and the mandatory Lustau Fino.

Main course. Our CoTD after overcoming the first hurdle served duck breast in a sour cherry sauce from a reduction of Pinot Noir, balsamic vinegar, juice of sour cherries, brown sugar, spiced with grated fresh ginger, tarragon, cayenne pepper and kirsch. This was served with pitted Hungarian sour cherries, polenta and beans. The breasts were of a substantial size (often commented upon) with a thick fat layer which kept the meat moist. The sauce was complex and beautifully matched to the duck.

The wines. A magnificent selection of 2014 Burgundies from Ray Healey. They were:

$1·         Philippe Chéron, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Seuvrées

$1·         Chéron Gevrey-Chambertin Champonnet 1er Cru

$1·         Phillipe Chéron Vosne-Romanée Les Barreaux

$1·         Phillipe Chéron Chambolle-Musigny les Quarante Ouvrées

$1·         Phillipe Chéron Chambolle-Musigny Clos de l'Orme

$1·         Christian Clerget Chambolle-Musigny

$1·         Georges Lignier Chambolle-Musigny

$1·         Christian Clerget Vosne-Romanée Les Violettes

$1·         Christian Clerget Echezeau Grand Cru

$1·         Georges Lignier Clos-Saint-Denis Grand Cru

$1·         Georges Lignier Clos-de-la-Roche Grand Cru

$1·         Georges Lignier Bonnes Mares Grand Cru

Ray also treated us to a magnum of the 2012 Georges Lignier Clos-de-la-Roche Grand Cru for a comparison with its younger 2014 sibling. The 2014s were as expected tight with ranges of tannin and the comparison with the 2012 showed how quickly the wines can become more approachable whilst far from their peak.

Whilst the Grand Cru bracket were extraordinary the bracket of four Chambolle-Musigny were equally absorbing with the range of power and tannins. Thank you Ray for a wonderful tasting and an educational experience for many.

Cheese and coffee. James Healey was asked to provide a Swiss mountain cheese by the CoTD and did so with Blumenkase, from pasteurised cow’s milk. It was texture wise much like Gruyere but with more sweetness. A very good choice was the general view.

Coffee from Spencer Ferrier was a 50/50 blend of Goroka Pearl and Devon Estate both Society regular coffees. It was intense and certainly pleasing.

Lunch 19 April


Mixed Lunch 19 April 2016

Our Chef of the Day, Gary Linnane, attracted a large contingent of 48 members and guests of both genders for his Elizabeth David inspired lamb and aubergine stew. He was ably assisted by Mark Bradford and with co-opted support of the two James’s Hill and Healey assembling the array of canapes.

Canapés. We were treated to not one, not two but three canapés hence a production line of assemblers for the large numbers. These were:

  •             Smoked salmon and cream cheese on ryebread toasts
  •       Southern France based onion and anchovy tart
  •       Egg mayonnaise with tapenade on pumpernickel

 All three were snapped up amid a healthy background of frivolity and laughter

Aperitif wine. Paul Ferman provided a range of aperitif wines soundly anchored with the Marc Bredif Vouvray Brut NV sparkler. This went like the proverbial hotcakes. Also served were the Belgravia Apex Chardonnay 2010, the Denmar Chardonnay 2010 (both also much liked) and our regular Lustau sherry.

Main course. Gary’s lamb shoulder stew with aubergine and mint came to the table on brown rice which gave it a nutty accompanying flavour. On the table to go with it was a yogurt and cucumber mixture and a mango chutney. Comments from the floor about the tender flesh, flavours and presentation indicated that the dish hit the spot as a lovely autumn course.

The wines.

  •          Domaine Anne Gros & Jean-Paul Tollot 'La 50-50'  2012 (Languedoc-Roussillon)
  •          Eden Road The Long Road Syrah 2013 (Canberra District)
  •          Chateau Teyssier Pezat 2010 (Saint Emillion Grand Cru)
  •          Hugel Gewurztraminer 2012 (Alsace)

The first two reds were both mid-bodied wines which well matched the subtle flavours of the lamb dish. Opions varied as to the better match but neither overpowered the meal. Carignan was the dominant grape in the first wine from the Minervios region.

With the cheese there was a stark difference between the softer merlot based St Emillion and the fruity Gewurztraminer from that fine maker Hugel. That difference was reflected in the diversity of comments. Some felt that the white was out of place as a match for the hard cheese whilst some defended the match. Either way most enjoyed both wines no matter the match.

Cheese and coffee. James Healey presented the “king” of Italian cheeses, a Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano. James and Gary both bought their distinctive Parmesan cheese knifes to serve the cheese already dismembered. There was also honey on each table for those of that persuasion. The two old year cheese was beautifully moist with some nuttiness and was served with fruit bread. The 3 kg served was just a chip off the full 36 kg wheel that left Emilia-Romagno.

Coffee provided by Spencer Ferrier was Pearl from the Goroka region of Papua New Guinea. It presented with a sweet lighter flavour.

The President closed the lunch by thanking the large contingent of ladies for their company.

Lunch 12 April

Lunch 12 April 2016

To mark the 55 years since the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space in 1961, David Madson served us a fine pork based dish. By the way, Yuri was in space for 1 hour 40 minutes, less than a WFS NSW lunch excluding aperitifs and cleansers. He should have joined us for lunch instead when the Hon F M Hewitt MLC was President and Rudy Komon was Cellarmaster. Some of us were at school that day.

Canapes. David served two seafood based starters. Firstly a classic Bruschetta Nicoise comprising tuna with a mixture of terrific white anchovies, black olives, egg tomatoes, capers, celery and other bits all served on olive oil and garlic drenched toasted baguette rounds. Following was smoked eel on both black and “white” rice crackers with mayonnaise, sweet red chillies and assorted herbs. Feedback on both flavoursome starters was consistently good.

Aperitif wine. Paul Ferman served the Tyrrells Vat 1 Semillon 2000 which was under cork. Paul did predict some cork affected variation and he was spot-on. Only one bottle was out of bounds and the others varied from good to so-so with filters needs for some as the corks broke up. Comments from members varied more than the condition of the wine. It was believed that the 2000 vintage of the Vat 1 was the last under cork. The good old days are not always so good.

Main course. Our CoTD served us pork ribs braised in an orange juice and soy sauce jus. This was set on a cumin flavoured carrot and kumera mash accompanied by apple and chilli slaw. The juice of some 30 oranges in the much reduced sauce along with a ginger overtone made it wonderfully sweet and luscious. To say the portions were generous and the pork tender would be an understatement. Some comments were made about the generosity of the slaw quantity but the mostly empty plates heading back to the kitchen indicated something.

The wines.

$1·         Hahndorf Hill Blaufränkisch 2009 (Adelaide Hills)

$1·         Heidi Schröck Blaufränkisch 2012 (Austria)

$1·         Saltram Mamre Brook Shiraz 2004 (Barossa)

$1·         Elderton Shiraz 2004 (Barossa)

Society luncheon attendees are not unfamiliar with Blaufränkisch and some have previously stated that the familiarity is way too close. However, the wines worked glove in hand with the sweet pork dish providing a medium bodied fruity balance, not unlike a matching with Pinot Noir. The general comments seemed to support the younger and finer Austrian wine as being a better match and a better wine.

With the cheese we had Australian monsters from the deep Barossa. Some may say (and some did) that these wines are a throwback to the days of massive, alcoholic and sweet South Australian reds. True, but they are a style much loved by many members and the Cellarmaster will keep smiles on faces by serving them. The Elderton was under screwcap and was a more clean wine (more modern style?) whilst the Saltram was just as big but more traditional.

Cheese and coffee. James Healey presented arguably the best cheddar style cheese in the country, Pynegana from Tasmania. In terrific condition, not yet crumbly, and a Society favourite. It’s so popular, our suppliers have a wait list of buyers.

Coffee, as the President said, was coffee and closed the lunch. We think Illy but we could be wrong as there was no delivery on the day.