If you love fresh and crisp white wines, then you must hunt some out stat. Vermentino is an Italian white wine grape that is typically grown in Sardinia and Tuscany however you’ll also find it as the secret ingredient in many Provence Rosé (thanks for the insights Wine Folly)! Continue reading →
I am very partial to the Mash “West Coast” wheat beer. However it’s never tempted me to have a meal. Recently a friend invited me to lunch at the craft brewery as it’s one of her and her husbands favourite spots in the Valley for a meal, so how could I say no 🙂 Continue reading →
The Qantas Wine Awards are Western Australia’s most prestigious wine show which has been running since 1978. I was completely blown away to be invited along by the lovely team at Evans & Tate to the Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency in Perth.
The night was full of glitter and glam as the winners of the each categoray were announced. In between the announcements and entertainment we were served up some absolutely delectable morsels of food, which were paired with the top wine of each category.
It was an amazing experience for both Mr. Spittoon and myself to attend as guests and mingle with WA’s elite winemakers and sip on the best drops in the state. Plus I have to admit it was pretty cool to be sitting at the table of the winery that won 7 out of the 19 awards. The 7 awards won by Evans & Tate (E&T) included the prestigious trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor as well as the Highest Aggregate for a Winery. Well-done Matt Byrne and the E&T winemaking team.
It’s safe to say I will be stashing away a few bottles of the E&T 2010 Redbrook Chardonnay (which won Best White Wine and Best Chardonnay) and the 2011 Redbrook Shiraz (which won the Best Wine of the Show, Best Red Wine and Best Shiraz) when it is released in April 2014. Check out Evans & Tate blog post on the awards night here.
Another fantastic result was seeing Mandoon Estate from the Swan Valley pick up three trophies for; Most Successful Exhibitor Processing under 250 Tonnes, Best & Most Distinctive Character for their 2012 Cabernet Merlot and Best Red Blend also for their 2012 Cab Merlot. Well-done Mandoon!!
The food was definitely worthy of the award winning wines with the main dish being slow-roasted Liveringa Beef rib, white soft polenta, Manjimup truffle oil, braised leeks, sautéed cavolo nero, vine ripened tomato, glazed baby carrot and red wine jus and dessert was a rhubarb and Valrhona chocolate delice, hazelnut biscotti, symphony of tomato and raspberry. Click the image on the right to see a larger version of the menu.
It was an amazing night and it was so great to get to known the E&T team who are just so much fun and down to earth. Definitely no wine snobbery there, they simply love to make great wine and share it with everyone.
Well done to all the award winners and wines entered. I feel truly lucky to be living in a state with so many fantastic wines and wino people! For more photos from the night, check out my WA Qantas Wine Awards Facebook album here.
Recently my parents from New Zealand visited me for 3 and a half days here in Perth. The reason I love wine so much is because of those crazy two! My very first after school job was as a Cellar Hand at a local winery, this came about due to my parents visiting that winery so often.
So when they decided to come to Perth it was only natural that I had to make sure I showed them as many of my favourite wine haunts in and around Perth in the short time they were here! It was a hard few days but we managed to get to; 16 wineries, 1 brewery, 1 chocolate factory, 1 distillery, 1 cider house, 1 coffee specialist and a handful of foodie spots.
It’s nice to see and hear the first impressions of people new to the area so I asked my parents to come up with 1 sentence to describe each place we visited. I left this completely up to them, their words not mine. Here is what they thought…
Pinelli Wines, Swan Valley “I’m not sure about the Cab Sauv in the flagons but they’d be ideal for a BBQ or party”. Wine Pick: 2011 Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon & 2012 Durif
Providore/Coward & Black, Swan Valley “Great tastings, not just of wine either the oils, sauces and jams were to die for”. Wine Pick: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Lancaster Wines, Swan Valley “The magic show by the managers son was pretty special as was the cheese board. The sticky Shiraz was a definite highlight”. Wine Pick: Sticky Shiraz
Sandalford Winery, Swan Valley “Great deal by Callum on the wines. However a few team members cared more about cashing up than customer service”. Wine Pick: 2011 Botrytis Semillon
Tyler’s Vineyard, Swan Valley “Mrs Tyler was absolutely lovely, it was just delightful to be there. We felt very welcomed and they have lovely Grenache bubbles. Super friendly, nothing was a problem”. Wine Pick: Grenache Sparkling Wine
Windy Creek Estate, Swan Valley “Tastings with the cheese and crackers were good. Lovely port”. Wine Pick: White Port
Olive farm Wines, Swan Valley “Very efficient Kiwi girl at the cellar door, there were some exceptional wines particularly the Cab Sauv and the Petit Verdot made the cut to be taken home”. Wine Pick: 2009 Petit Verdot
The Cheese Barrel, Swan Valley “Good selection of cheese and wine and the coffee wasn’t bad for the skipper: it was good to have the matching wine and cheese board, the Australian board was exceptional”. Wine & Cheese Pick: Olive Farm Wines Crystal with the Tarago Shadows of Blue
Paul Conti Wines “Lovely underground cellar, best Sauvignon Blanc tasted in Australia – nice and crisp. Very great wines”.
Wine Pick: 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
Ugly Duckling Wines, Swan Valley “Great customer service, very friendly… Picked up some lovely olive oils”. Wine pick: 2009 Reserve Shiraz
Mandoon Estate, Swan Valley “The history of the property is amazing, the Irish lady at the cellar door was good value”. Wine Pick: 2010 Reserve Research Station Cabernet Sauvignon
Ambrook Wines, Swan Valley “Very pleasant cellar door lady”.
Wine Pick: 2012 Rosso D’ Amore
Great Northern Distillery, Swan Valley “Tasting platter was very disappointing, the coke didn’t taste like natural coke but rather a cheap soda-stream alternative”. Spirit Pick: OP rum if I had to choose one.
Rose & Crown Hotel Pub, Guildford “Beautiful meal! The lamb rack and sirloin steak were simply lovely. Great bar downstairs but pity we didn’t see a ghost”.
My parents had an absolutely fabulous time and they were already talking about their next visit. They would definitely want to head back to Olive Farm Wines and MyattsField to stock up their cellar and they would love to get down to the Margaret River and the southern regions next time!
Is wine at 9am acceptable? Hell yeah it is! Banish those fears of looking like a complete alco by drinking with breakfast, a Champagne breakfast or sparkling wine breakfast is a true sign of luxury and indulgence, trust me – google it.
There are actually not that many places in the Swan Valley that do a bubbly breakfast. Having tried a bubbly breakfast at Edgecombe Brothers Winery and Jezebelle, the next on my list was Sunday breakfast at Broads Restaurant at Upper Reach Winery.
Broads Restaurant only do breakfast on Sundays from 9am till 10:30am with the latest seating at 10am. It was a bit of a struggle to get up and out there for 10am, but I was happy that we did!
The restaurant overlooks the vineyard, it really is a beautiful spot. The floor to ceiling windows allow you to really soak it all up, and having lunch on the balcony is truly a lovely experience (read my post here).
The menu is compact, just a one pager with a handful of food and drink options. My kind of menu since I am one of the most indecisive people around!
A glass of the sparkling Chardonnay is $10 a glass or $38 a bottle which I find a little cheeky since at the cellar door it’s $28 a bottle. I presume this is to do with the restaurant being a separate entity from the winery. It just meant that I had to pop in to the cellar door to get a couple of bottles to take home!
You can also opt for a glass of ‘Bucks Fizz’ for $7 which is a mix of the sparkling and orange juice plus there is a selection of plain juices, teas, coffees and hot chocolates.
In terms of the food, 3 out of 4 of us went for ‘The Lot’ which includes poached eggs, grilled bacon and tomato, a sausage and a delicious potato hash cake (finally potato hash that lives up to my mighty high potato expectations!). All topped with freshly cracked pepper for a reasonable $17. Mr. Spittoon is not a fan of poached eggs and asked for scrambled eggs which was absolutely no problem.
Our other friend went for the Moroccan breakfast and as soon as it came out we were all ‘oooooing’ as it came presented in a traditional Moroccan tagine dish. What a lovely touch! Inside the tagine were two baked eggs with chorizo sausage, spinach and tomato. This was also $17 and our friend seemed suitably happy with his choice. We were also brought over a basket full of toasted fresh bread and butter.
Overall I think the meals were well priced with lovely presentation and most importantly were very tasty. The Sparking Chardonnay went down an absolute treat. I may have been grumpy at getting up so early on a Sunday but it was definitely worth it. I’ll go back again for sure.
Unfortunately I lost most of my photos from my visit. It looks like i’ll definitely have to go back soon 😉