Another first timer appeared in the kitchen, this week Peter Black, with a helping hand from Paul Thorne.

Proceedings kicked off with two varieties of terrine – chicken liver and pork, and chicken breast and pork – enriched with sundry herbs and brandy and served on sourdough half rounds topped with a piece of cornichon, or with a sweet and luscious onion jam. The flavours were good, if subdued, and very moreish. The aperitif wine was a 2000 Alkoomi Riesling from Frankland River in WA, still holding but showing traces of oxidation on the nose and past its best. Also on offer were a choice of the fino and amontillado sherries from Lustau, always reliable.

For his main course, Peter followed the sous vide trend, with beef ribs vacuum packed and cooked for about 72 hours on low heat. There was a surprising variation in doneness for a process designed to give uniformity, but in the main the meat was soft and (almost) falling off the bone. A rich mushroom sauce, with lots of wine and stock, was poured over, and served with a creamy mash enlivened with celeriac, and crunchy brussels sprouts producing the usual division of opinion. The accompanying wines were both in the big and bold SA mould, a 2008 HardysardysH HRB/D646 cabernet/shiraz from McLaren Vale and Clare, and an Olivers Taranga Shiraz from McLaren Vale. The former showed good hot fruit (14%) but an extractive hardness on the palate, whilst the straight shiraz, although a hefty 15% alcohol, was in excellent balance with sweet fruit but drying tannins and a clean finish.

The cheese, showing soft buttery texture and a lifting mushroom-flavoured blue mould, turned out to be a Shadows of Blue from Tarago River in Victoria, made in the soft blue castello style and very well received, as was a tasty salad of rocket, sliced pear and shaved fennel in a plentiful bath of vinaigrette. The matching wines were a 2010 La Zona barbera from N Victoria, lighter in style and with dry tannins but needing a bit more time to settle down, and a great old 2000 Ingoldby McLaren Vale shiraz, with developed sweet fruit in harmonious balance with soft tannins and good residual acid.

The coffee this time came from Sumatra, an Apko Gaya plantation bean producing a strong dry cup with a distinct burnt orange tinge. Just the thing with a superb Morris Black Label liqueur muscat, fruit cake in a glass, provided by birthday boy Terry Stapleton