23 July 2019 - CoTD Milan Thapaliya, Head Chef, Brick Lane

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In the kitchen today was Milan Thapaliya, the head chef of the Brick Lane restaurant, the group who also operate the Royal Exchange. Milan was serving fusion Asian dishes of Indian/Nepalese with a few other influences.

Canapes

Milan served us two canapés to kick off the day. The first was “chicken poppers”, chicken thigh fillets diced and marinated overnight with ginger, garlic, chilli, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and cardamom and then flame-grilled. They were served with sweet cardamom-infused yoghurt. Delicious but sadly only one per head!

Next up was a vegetarian dish, onion bhaji served with tomato chutney. The Indian fritters made with onions were beautifully spicy and crispy.

Aperitif wines

Chilly Hargrave served us two KT Wines, the 2016 Riesling and the 2015 Riesling. KT Wines are located in the Clare Valley and have over the past few years developed an excellent reputation for their Rieslings winning many awards and medals. Both were typical Rieslings reminiscent of their birthplace. The 2015 seemed to have more lively acid to be enjoyable now whilst the 2016 was closed and a little dumb which is probably a reflection of its youth.

Main course

The main today was a goat curry which Milan ensured was all meat, having removed the bones, a gesture I wish all Indian restaurants replicated. The goat was cooked in a rich tomato sauce with garlic, ginger, chilli, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves and cloves and served with a zesty slaw of carrots, cucumber, cabbage, spring onions and coriander. This Indian/Nepalese dish was served with rice and Milan had ensured that it was warm rather than too spicy for many of our constituency.

A tasty satisfying dish with a number of my table wishing they had an extra portion.

The wines

Selecting wines for such a meal was not for the fainthearted, but Chilly Hargrave was up to the task.

Tyrrells Steven Semillon 2007

Under screwcap, this Semillon showed a cleanness and balance whilst being a substantially flavoured example of typical Hunter Valley Semillon. Citrus was evident and it will age further, without the worry of cork failure.

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2012

A light typical Australian Pino showing substantial browning on the meniscus. The fruit was fading, and the wine is a definite drink now prospect.

Saltrams Mamre Brook Shiraz 2012

This well-known Barossa Valley Shiraz surprised no one with its rich, though somewhat jammy finish. A commercial wine, it was medium to heavy and one-dimensional. Not my favourite.

Bests Bin No. 1 Shiraz 2012

Bin 1 was introduced by the Thompson family at Bests to provide a cheaper commercial alternative to the scarce Bin No 0. The results have been stunning. At 7 years of age, the wine was showing a very slightly brown meniscus and a typical spiciness from the area. A very good value commercial wine.

Cheese

James Healey bought us back to Australia today with a perennial favourite, the Maffra cloth aged cheddar. In line with the theme of the day, the cheese was served with riata with cucumber, yogurt and turmeric. The Maffra from Gippsland cow’s milk is a very good example of what Australia can produce. Many picked the cheese as being English.

Coffee

Whilst Spencer was absent today he supplied us with Rwanda coffee. Spencer advises "coffee bean growing was encouraged by the Clinton Administration after the civil war. It is better than when presented a year ago but still does not reach the great African or South American coffees" Nonetheless, I thought it a strong performer.


 A very enjoyable lunch from Milan. We were reminded that he will be cooking for us again at the Melbourne Cup lunch as he did in 2018.

16 July - CoTD Leigh Hall

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Thanks to James Hill for the food review.

Leigh Hall was in the kitchen this week after a sojourn in Europe with food inspired in the Basque region of southern France and northern Spain. Denis Redfern assisted in the kitchen and on canapés.

Canapés

Leigh served us four canapés (pintxos) to start the lunch. The first three were served warm in savoury tart shells (some gluten-free). In no particular order, we had sardine and anchovy that had some heat from the cayenne. Leigh informed us that it was a last-minute addition to spice up the canapé. Next was mushroom and chèvre and an olive tapenade. They were all full of flavour and had the authentic taste of the region.

On a recent hunting trip, Leigh had bagged a deer and we treated to his home-made venison salami and pickles.

Main Course

Leigh served 'Pimientos Rellenos' as our main. This was capsicum filled with beef, onions, garlic, parsley, red wine, pimento, cinnamon and pepper. This was topped with the sauce of onions, passata, white wine and garlic. To accompany this, we had corn and green beans that came to the plate with perfect texture and an abundance of flavour. Leigh had debated whether to skin and bake the capsicum, however, chose to serve as is.

It looked good on the plate and had all the colour of Spain and was delicious.

Cheese

Gary Linnane presented a cheese selected by our Cheese Master, James Healey. Most members guessed it as a Manchego by identifying the distinctive markings on the case. Not quite correct as was a Merco Iberico, a pasteurised mixed milk of cow, goat and sheep from central Spain. It came to the table at room temperature. The mixture of cow, goat and sheep milk gives this Spanish cheese a three-dimensional character. Regulations require that it contain not less than 25% and not more than 40% of anyone milk type and the flavour has elements of all three. The creamy texture melted in the mouth gradually releasing a rich full body nuttiness finishing with a fruity tang.

Coffee

Spencer continued his theme of a worldwide tour of coffee-producing countries today presenting a coffee from Guatemala, a smooth good coffee.

It was good to see a former member Roger Carpenter in the room today. He was visiting from Arizona where he is owner/sommelier of two restaurants. He credits his time at the Society with tutelage from the likes of Les Howard-Bath and John Thomas that helped make a career move. He welcomes any member visiting Arizona to make sure they contact him.

9 July 2019 - Chefs Nick Reynolds, James Hill, Steve Liebeskind

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Society member Keith Tulloch provided wines for this lunch and we had the somewhat unique opportunity to have three Chefs of the Day, James Hill, Nick Reynolds, and Steve Liebeskind, all acknowledged and experienced chefs for our Society. Each of these provided a canapé and a small main. This was a very popular event with very large numbers.

Canapes

In no particular order, we were served the following.

  • Nick served filoette tarts filled with puréed hard-boiled eggs and Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise topped with grated winter truffle.
  • Steve served chicken loaf with beetroot chutney on bread round. The chicken was a combination of chicken mince, mustard, onion, paprika, onion and cooked rice. It was topped with homemade beetroot chutney.
  • James served celeriac remoulade with green and black olives on Iggy's bread.

These three guys obviously spoke about this beforehand, but their ideas bounced off each other to present a wonderful diversity of food to start this lunch.

With canapes, we enjoyed a range of wines, red, sparkling and white from our REX wine cooler.

Main courses

Nick - Miso marinated Cape Grim bavette steak cooked for seven hours sous vide at 55 C and then finished over white binchotan charcoal on a Japanese Konro served with charcoal-grilled spring onion and charcoal-grill finished sous vide cooked king oyster mushroom. All this gear was in the REX kitchen.

Steve - Salmon tartare served on a light salad with a spicy Asian dressing topped with deep-fried vermicelli and oven-roasted crispy salmon skin. The salmon was deskinned and cut into small cubes and prior to serving pickled ginger and Asian dressing was added. The salad was lettuce (shredded), fennel and bean sprouts with coriander and large chilli slices added and dressing added just before serving. The Asian dressing included lemons, limes, fish sauce, grated ginger and palm sugar.

James - Duck terrine with home pickled carrots, cucumber and onions with watercress and quince paste.

We could not have asked for more diversity and the effort put in by these three in producing all the food was nothing short of lovely.

The wines

Keith Tulloch was with us today and had joined the Society since his 2018 tasting. All wines were from Keith Tulloch Wines. They were:

Latara Vineyard Semillon 2108

A young but very drinkable Semillon. Once again it destroys the perception that Hunter Valley Semillon needs time to be drinkable. The acid balance was perfect, and the wine has a good future

Field of Mars Semillon 2015

At 3 years of age, this Semillon still very prominent acid, as one would expect, and needs time to develop into a fine example of Hunter River Semillon.

McKelvey Chardonnay 2018

A softer style of Chardonnay with quite evident fruit though avoiding sweetness. Very drinkable at its young age.

Field of Mars Chardonnay 2015

A richer style Chardonnay was adequately balanced by significant acid with a lanolin type nose. Wonderful drinking but will age.

Bainton Vineyard Shiraz 2017

No mucking about with this wine. It had plenty of depth with chocolate and berry with big colour and structure. Good to taste but better to age for many years.

Field of Mars Shiraz 2014

A wonderful wine with depth and colour showing chocolate and coffee overtones. To repeat, good to taste but better to age for many years

Botrytis Semillon 2017

Tropical fruit with a good acid/fruit balance. The wine lacked a little lusciousness but will develop into a fine aged example of Australian dessert wine.

Cheese

A trip to Ireland today with Grubb Cashel Blue presented by James Healey. A very mellow cheese with a beautiful soft interior making it difficult to cut and serve but worth it.

Coffee

Spencer chose Brazilian AA today for us today. Always good with its rich and sweeter style.

2 July 2019 - CoTD Peter Kelso

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Thanks to James Hill for the food review

In the kitchen today was our president Peter Kelso assisted by Martin McMurray.

Aperitif

The team took us back to last century with 'retro' aperitif in the form of dressed or Russian eggs: hard boiled yolk mixed with almond meal, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and topped with caviar. Then followed home-made gravlax topped with a mustard dill emulsion. It sat on lavosh crisp bread. The gravlax was perfect however some comment made on the large serving of the emulsion as it tended to overpower the flavour of the gravlax.

Phil Laffer commented on the quality of the aperitif wines saying it's the first time he's seen Ray Kidd not reach for the sherry!

Main course

Our main today had an Asian influence with pork neck with a caramelised sauce made from the marinade. Accompanying the meat was whole bunches of choy sum and rice almond and parsley. There was some table variation on the tenderness of meat however it had a good robust flavour. The sauce went well with the pork and some commented that they would have preferred more sauce on the dish to eat with the rice and vegetable.

Cheese

James Healey presented a cheese today that had everyone guessing its origin and suggesting it was definitely European. It was from Geelong, L'artisan Fermier a pasteurised organic cow’s milk.

Made in the traditional cheese style of the French Alps it's a semi-hard smear-ripened cheese with an ash layer through its centre. It is pressed for 12 hours in cloth salted by hand and then washed every second day with a brine solution and after six weeks the rind develops a reddish tinge. It has a buttery well-rounded flavour with the slightest nutty finish and develops a stronger earthy character as it matures.

Coffee

Spencer chose Columbian coffee for us today.

He cupped it in the morning, and it had Columbia’s characteristic smooth and widely flavoured style. It is particularly suitable for plunger but also goes well in the Espresso style.

25 June 2019 - CoTD James Hill

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For our June wine lunch, James Hill was back in the kitchen again. Again. He was assisted in the kitchen by Paul Thorne also produced the canapés today.

Canapes. Paul showed up super organised with two canapés. The first was ‘borscht but not borscht’. This was a beetroot (roasted) based soup along with ginger and saffron and was served in small shot glasses. The next were blinis topped with alternatives of salmon and white anchovy with some use of creme fraiche as a topper. Both went down a treat.

Main course. James purchased some fantastic looking organic beef fillets which were served on potato mash (mainly butter and cream and a light touch of potato!!) with silverbeet. These had been simply poached in veal stock, chilli, garlic, star anise, Pernod et cetera et cetera. The pinkness or otherwise of individual servings depended on the position in the fillet that ended up on your plate. Knives were technically redundant as I could quite easily cut mine with a light lean on the fork. Beautiful beef, beautiful flavours.

Cheese. James Healey went local today with a Pecora Dairy Mezza from Robertson in New South Wales. This was a semi-hard cheese made from Friesian sheep and it is aged for 6 to 9 months. Some lunchers thought the cheese a little bland but that is, James explained its style and he fulfilled the Society’s educational objectives with a cheese new to all of us.

This being a James Hill lunch we enjoyed Iggy’s bread. James served organics dried fruit with the cheese. Excellent quality.

Coffee. Coffee today from Spencer Ferrier, in absentia, was a Brazilian AA grade coffee. We were back in South America on our worldwide tour and the coffee quality again confirmed why this of our favourite non-alcoholic beverages.

Wines. Greg Chugg ran the lunch, selected and presented the wines as the Winemaster of the day. The wine theme was three reds from 1996 and three from 1998.

Aperitif.

We started off with a Jim Barry Riesling 2013. This Clare wine was showing some development and was a very good Australian Riesling style. It remains a conundrum, why Riesling remains a hard sell to the broader market busy quaffing Savvy.

Wynns Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

This was built in the Black Label style and whilst opinions and taste experience vary, this 1998 was one of the better examples, although a little on the sweeter side.

Katnook Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

It goes without saying that given six wines over 20 years of age, there was bottle variation. Mine was a little oxidised with the fruit past its best. For others, it was a wine of the day. The fun of old wines.

Seppelts Drumborg Cabernet Sauvignon 1998

Although a firm wine with tannins dominant there was a softness and pleasing mouthfeel and finish. Certainly, a different style from the Coonawarra’s that preceded.

Orlando Jacaranda Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 1996

It has been some time since one of these wines has been served at the Society and it was in very good condition. The tannins had softened and there was more than just a little residual fruit to make this very good drinking.

Lindemans Limestone Ridge Shiraz Cabernet 1996

For some, this dominant Shiraz blend from Coonawarra was the wine of the day. It reminds us that the Trio of Lindemans has been a bedrock for wine drinkers. Ray Kidd stood to speak to this wine, one of his ‘children’.

Yeringberg Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec 1996

This wine was the lowest in alcohol of the day at 12.5%. Yeringberg is a much-admired Yarra Valley producer and it was unfortunate that the bottle that I tasted today was a little past best although wonderfully mellow.

Another classic wine lunch for wine and food with many satisfied punters.

18 June 2019 - CoTD Paul Kuipers and Goldy (WFSNSW 80th Anniversary Lunch)

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Thanks to James Hill for the food review and Hilton Chapman for the wine review

The room was packed today for the lunch to celebrate the 80th anniversary of our Society. Executive chef John Goldsbrough organised Paul Kuipers of Courtney's Brassiere to provide a degustation worthy of the event. We also had an 'artist in residence' in Graeme Biddell drawing charcoal caricatures of members on the day. Wines were chosen by Hilton Chapman with a specific theme of New South Wales' wine from Tyrrell's.

Peter Kelso welcomed members and guests noting that we had nine past presidents in attendance. The toast to the Society was taken by a former president, Ted Davis, who reminded us of our past where the food was served blind and critiques undertaken by members whom often ended up red-faced because they got it wrong.

Ted said the tradition of talking to food on quality, as well as wine matching is the essence our Society and needs to be continued, however, we must also ban the word 'nice' from our lexicon. Response to the toast was taken by centenarian Wal Edwards who recounted tales of the early days of the Society and his involvement in the wine industry. He gave us an account of the first lunch of the society and who was present when he was aged 23.

Food.

Canapés today were smoked eel with olive salsa en croute and black fungus salad then followed roast coffin bay scallop with a basil tomato and lemongrass consommé served in a glass.

Perfectly matched by our aperitif wine Tyrrell HVD Semillon 2014.

We sat for our next courses of:

Celeriac tarte tatin with winter mushrooms and truffle

Glazed chicken liver and sauternes jelly with potato and pear terrine

Slow cooked Mudgee venison leg, ricotta gnocchi, spring onion and textures of Jerusalem artichoke.

Fresh Willowbrae goats curd (set) with baked quince and a honey truffle blue sauce.

Special mention should be made of the bread accompanying our degustation black cockatoo ancient grain bread with Pepe Saya butter.

Presentation was excellent and the food was first class showcasing the quality, flavours and textures that Paul produces.

Spencer Ferrier presented the coffee a 'Forsyth' Blend, a secret recipe.

Spencer acknowledged Rob Forsyth for the help he gives and that an anniversary lunch was the ideal place to do so. He also donated the coffee on the day.

The kitchen and floor staff were kept busy today with food turnaround and plate cleaning and they were up to the task. REX Manager, Ida Noren, was thanked by President Kelso for her team’s professionalism and help not only for today but every Tuesday when we meet.

Our wines today were all Tyrrell's and member Bruce Tyrrell spoke to the wines and some family history of our society when we had 'juniors ' society with his sister, Anne, the President. Not forgetting his father, Murray, who was very active in our Society in the early days. The family continues the association as his son, Chris, is also a member.

A memorable day for our society and one upholding the tradition of good food, good wine and a shared table.

Wine

Aperitif

2014 Tyrrells HVD Semillon. A wine from an outstanding Hunter vintage and great value for money. The wine had perfect balance and was well appreciated by the attendees.

Entrée Courses

2011 Tyrrells Vat 1 Semillon. Beautiful colour and good structure. It has a good future although drinking well today

2007 Tyrrells Vat 47 Chardonnay. A glorious wine with good fruit and oak balance drinking at its peak resulting from a hot year.

Main Course

2010 Tyrrells Vat 9 Shiraz. The “claret” of the bracket. Still with a good future and good balance.

2010 Tyrrells Old Patch Shiraz. The outstanding shiraz on the day with great balance. Beautiful medium-bodied fruit and the “Burgundy” of the bracket.

The Tyrrells wines all benefitted from the stelvin closure and were a very fitting tribute for an 80th anniversary.

Cheese Course

2005 Chateau Rieussec (375ml bottles).  Perfect sweetness matched the goat's curd and a great finish to the lunch.

A day of wines and food worth remembering and fitting for the 80th anniversary.

11 June Chefs of TD- Bill Alexiou-Hucker and Voula Price

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The society was in mixed lunch format today and in line with that principle, Bill Alexiou-Hucker and Voula Price (a friend of Bill’s) were our joint chefs of the day. Over 40 attended lunch.

Canapes. Bill started the day off well by leaving one of the prepared canapés in his home fridge. However, it is very “freezeable” and we will say see it later in the year. First off was hummus topped with crispy chicken skin on a crisp bread. The chicken skin really set off the flavour of this starter. Next up was a simple but tasty fallback of grated Parmesan on bread pieces tasted in the oven. An excellent compromise

Soup. But wait, there’s more. Before our main was served. We were presented with a vegetable soup with crushed chicken skin on top. There were many guesses around the room as to the vegetables, but this tasty liquid was actually choko, a much-disliked vegetable by many as it brought back unpleasant memories of childhood food. In this case, the soup was beautifully tasty.

Main course. The main was Voula’s recipe where we each had an individual spatchcock that had been stuffed with a range of herbs and rice. A substantial plate of food. The stuffing set off this dish and it was a great success. The chickens have been poached in stock and wine, and then basted with butter and herbs to give the skin of the chicken a beautiful brown toasted appearance. This was served with carrots and broccoli with a sauce of the reduced stock.

Cheese. James Healey was back from his overseas travels and presented a Taleggio which hails from the Lombardi region in Italy. This sticky, runny cheese with a smell that goes into the next room was in excellent condition with all the flavour you would expect of an aged example. The cheese was served with honeyed mandarins and ouzo infused Turkish delights.

Coffee. Today was coffee, coffee and tea. Specifically, the plunger coffee was Brazilian AA, always good but Spencer had a special treat hand making small cups of Turkish coffee (think strong and thick) for those interested. Finishing up was a plunger of English Breakfast tea for those who avoid coffee. A great mix.

Wines. Graham Gardener selected and presented the wines today.

Aperitif.

An unusual start to the meal, in terms of wine with a Prosecco. Not your everyday Prosecco this Ca’ dei Zago Col Fondo was a slightly sparkling example made mainly from the Glera grape and was bottled under cork. Certainly not a budget wine and was not particularly well liked. It was very dry and lacked any fruit overtones. It may work with certain types of food on a warm day, but most did not like this wine.

Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay 2014

Showing classic peach overtone with good acidity, a very good Australian Chardonnay from Lenswood.

Curly Flat Pinot Noir 2015

The most striking initial feature of this wine was its very light colour but with just a touch of brown on the meniscus. Not for those who like their Pinots heavier, but it was very elegant and I thought a good Australian example.

Tyrrells Steven Shiraz 2009

This Hunter Valley Shiraz was a typical example of high-quality Shiraz and a classic Hunter. It had a little bit of spiciness and was very refined. It was the wine of the day for some.

Wynns Black Label 2009

Another 2009 Australian wine which bore no resemblance to the Tyrrells Steven. Still, a substantial wine at 10 years although drinking comfortably and confirms yet again what Wynns do well with their Black Labels year after year. It was still packing a bit of tannin and will last for years.

Having Greeks cooking for us we, of course, finished with Mastiha liqueur.

A splendid lunch.

4 June 2019 - CoTD David Madson

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David Madson was cooking for us today assisted by Peter Fitzpatrick and James Tinslay.

Canapes. Three canapés have become somewhat normal in the past few months and today that trend continued. First off was a mushroom dish, including three types of mushrooms which had been pan-fried with shallots and garlic and finished off with Saki and cream. This was served in pastry shells and was wonderfully smooth, light with this Saki lifting the mouthfeel. Next was crab meat served in pastry shells with lime, chilli, coriander and mint. Spicy with lime sharpness. Finally, lamb and pork meatballs made with pistachio nuts and rocket.

Main course. David Madson is known for his quirky take on food and today was no different. A traditional Bolognese sauce but not served on pasta but rather with shredded zucchini and squash. Included were some roasted hazelnuts to add some crunch which set off this dish. David had intended the sauce to be a little less liquid, but this did not affect the taste or the mouthfeel of the crunchy vegetables (which cooked slightly on the plate with the heat of the Bolognese sauce). A different approach to a classic Italian dish and was much discussed.

Cheese. Gary Linnane served the Gippsland Shadows of Blue Tarago. With some age, this cheese started to crumble. It was beautifully creamy and clearly not good for one’s heart condition.

Coffee. Spencer Ferrier today served a Lavazza, commercial blend which he described as one of the top styles in its genre. Medium bodied and very approachable.

Wines. Richard Gibson selected and presented the wines today.

Aperitif.

Back to the homestyle today with a Leo Buring Leonay Riesling 2014. It did not disappoint and was true to style. Lean acid, clean and long.

Chateau Lanessan 2010

The wines from this Bordeaux Château are well known to regular lunch attendees. A Left Bank, a predominantly Cabernet blend, the wine had a meniscus of medium brown that followed through on the palate with a rich but drying finish. At its peak.

Antinori Chianti Classico 2010

Another 2010 but from a neighbouring country. A wonderful Chianti Classico with sweeter Sangiovese fruit with cherry overtones. A great example of the style.

Craggy Range Shiraz (NZ) 2008

The only wine today under screwcap, it was certainly in a larger fruit style with different views expressed from the floor. I found it a little bit extracted although certainly clean. Many loved the style, it could have been mistaken for Australian wine.

Pira Chiara Boschis Cannubi Barolo 2011

This wine was donated by our Winemaster of the day, Richard Gibson. 2011 was a wonderful year in Barolo and even ignoring the transformation/lowering of the Barolo drinking window, the 2011 is a more approachable style. The rusty tank water meniscus of Barolo can be misleading for the uninitiated, as it leads to substantial wine with significant tannin to match the dominant Nebbiolo fruit characters. Whilst an early drinking year, it was in great balance but will last for a decade at least. My wine of the day.

However, a generous diversity of wine styles today.

Thank you to Richard for his generous donation of Barolo.

28 May 2019 - CoTD Roger Straiton

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Thanks to James Hill for the reviews on food and wine.

In the kitchen today was Roger Straiton cooking for our monthly wine tasting.

Canapes. Roger served seafood for our canapés first up was pastry parcels with smoked cod pate with baby scallops on top. Delicious

Then we saw prawns and baby scallops both perfectly cooked with garlic served on spoons.

It was great to see something different and this was in the form of the baby scallops. Most members hadn't seen them before, and Roger advised that you only able to buy them at Coles Chatswood. Canapés were great match for our aperitif wine which was Seppelts Jaluka Chardonnay 2012 from Henty, Victoria. A rich elegant style of Chardonnay with some comment made that it was showing some sulphur.

Main course. Roger decided to tackle some standing rib roast, 17 kilos in fact!

It came to the table perfectly cooked a little grey on the outside and pink in the middle. Tender and flavoursome it was served with potato mash with cream butter and Dijon mustard. Also, on the plate some crunchy beans, a red wine jus and a condiment of creme fraiche and horseradish. A perfect dish for our wine tasting.

Roger advised that the beef came from Woolworths and at a very good price. Goldy commented that Woolworths are regular buyers at the Royal Easter show and are known for their good quality of beef.

Cheese. Gary Linnane presented an aged Comte cheese, an unpasteurised cow’s milk cheese from France. Comte has a concentrated nutty texture, elegant caramel sweetness and lingering flavour. Todays was a perfect example. Roger served a Spanish log of walnut and date to accompany the cheese.

Coffee. Spencer chose an Indonesian blue coffee grown in the style of Jamaican blue mountain soft on the palate with good flavour.

Wines.

Leeuwin Estate Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (under stelvin)

Good structure and tannin quite integrated still drinking young.

Chateau Cantemerle 2009 Haut Medoc 2009 (under cork)

A Bordeaux blend predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon. A ripe year showing some bret but good tannin structure and well-integrated.

Chateau Haut Bages liberal 2002 (under cork)

A Bordeaux blend predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon. Developed elegant and balanced with good fruit length.

Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 2002 (under cork)

Big rich fruit dominant wine with a good balance of tannin and acids.

Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz 1998 (under cork)

Jammy, well developed and balanced.

Alex Corton Burgundy Premier Cru 2005 (under cork)

Our cheese wine some commented and wine of the day. A great year, elegant and complex.

21 May 2019 - CoTD Leo Rachid (REX Chef)

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Today we had the Executive Chef from REX, Leo Rachid, cooking for us.

Canapes. First off was baby snapper ceviche, using Peruvian corn, coriander, red onion, lime and avocado all served on spoons. Very refreshing with the onion, adding a nice bite. Next up were Argentinian themed empanadas filled with spinach, mozzarella, ricotta, onions and nuts and baked with a duck fat topping to really set off this tasty dish.

Main course. Leo hails from Brazil so today we had a traditional Brazilian seafood dish, moqueca. This is apparently often served in a soupy style, but today, as you will see from the photograph, this dish made from prawns and fish was drier and look fabulous. It also tasted fabulous. It was made with coconut milk with the yellow colour coming from palm oil and served with rice. Banana crumbs to set it off. For most of us it was a totally new experience.

Cheese. On cheese today was Gary Linnane. Once again, we were served cheese sourced from the well-known Will Studd selection and in this case a hand ladled traditional Stilton. Quite a crusty rind with a remarkable creamy texture and typical salty finish. The cheese was served with caramelised cashews.

Wines. Chilly Hargraves presenting wines today selected by Paul Ferman

Aperitif. A tricky start to the day for most people, starting off with a Chambers Goulais which was served quite recently at another luncheon. There was strong confirmation that the wine had not improved. The two bottles of Lustau Amontillado that were served were variously described as stale, old and mousey. An inauspicious start.

Framingham Riesling ‘F’ (NZ) 2016

Continuing in the rocky theme many at the lunch reconfirmed that this was not a wine that they prefer to drink. Off-dry at 10 g/L and wild fermented, it was a little funky for some, but the canapés improved the experience for others.

Tellurian Rose (Heathcote) 2013

For dyed in the head rose lovers, like me, this was an enjoyable wine. However, for many, the wine was tired, too old and should have been used years ago. A difference of opinion is a wonderful thing.

Seppelt Chalambar Shiraz 2008

A little closed and dull but quite acceptable. Still quite grippy with evident pepper.

Taylors Jarraman Cabernet 2005

A grand solid Clare red showing a little browning at 14 years. The Society has a marked preference for large wines with a touch of stew, and most people liked it.

A very solid lunch from Leo who gets positive commentary every week from those members who are cooking for his support, advice and encouragement.