Wine and more wine from Clare Valley!

June 11, 2017

Greetings!

 

Yesterday’s trip was full of wine! And sun, it was a glorious day in Clare Valley, much sunnier and nicer than Adelaide. And with Sea and Vines ongoing in McClaren Vale, it is perfect to visit other regions.

Taylors..oh yes. Long weekend sale, so we arrived early and immdiately laid our hot hands on a box of museum release Jaraman Chardonnay. The find was the Riesling thoughEden Valley grown from 2004 for 75 dollars for six bottles. Smooth, elegant Mosel style, wonderful, no tongue curdling Watervale ‘mild corrosive for cleaning reluctant teeth’. Our friends who asked us to buy Gewurztraminer if they had any on sale will be thrilled! If not, that box is MINE!

Then there were TWP Montepulciano, and a nice Merlot, and then we got three kinds of Cab sav, 2010 Jaraman, 2009 and 2010 Taylor’s own brand Cab sav. The Jaraman is made from Coonawarra grapes, and is absolutely fabulous! Oh and there were quite a few people there ūüėč and no, we did not buy any Shiraz. We did buy a bit for friends and colleagues, I am sure that they will be thrilled too.

After that…phew….we went to Eldredge and sampled their beautiful Malbec and checked in to see how their Blue Chip Shiraz was going. We were joking about the fact that we have their 2015 vintage of Blue Chip at home, the bottles are hoarded, and then we go to their cellar door during the year to sample and find out how the wine develops. We did have a long nice conversation about the next edition of their Gilt Edge Shiraz, one of the best Shirazes out there. A year away, le sigh. We do have some 2007 left.

Then Skillogalee for a late lunch, and wow, they have released a 2015 Gewurztraminer, which achieved a whopping 95 points from James Halliday, and whilst I may not always agree with the rating but this time, this is hands down one of the best and most powerful fragrant aromatic Gewurztraminer here in Oz. Get¬†it¬†before it is too late. Who cares if it is Winter! It took on pasta, anchovies, capers, tomato…..without batting an eyelid ( we had the roasted garlic and anchovy dip with Cabernet soaked toast as a starter, then a wonderful Vitelli tonnato with capers-fried,¬†recipe¬†and then a small pasta dish …..with the Gewurztramner, what else?).

Whilst in Clare, we did what we almost aleays try to do…visit a new winery, so this time we went to Jeanneret. I did a double take because their tasting list was very similar to Eldredge, but ( didn’t sample the Rieslings)…..too much sugar, everywhere. The poor Malbec! The Grenache blend..vojne. But Jeanneret is also the home of the Clare Valley brewing company, ‚ô•ÔłŹ so not all lost.

A long wine inspired day. And smashing food at Skillogalee. It is June so middle of Winter in the Southern Hemisphere, which means it gets dark at six. And it is cold.

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Those chairs!

June 7, 2017

Anus chairs  

Retro…cool?!? And they are everywhere…and in a multitude of colours. To brighten anyone’s patio. And there was a herd of them in Canberra at our hotel and associated restaurants. No wintry tree leaves to be seen resting on the furniture.

 

In other news, it is COLD in Adelaide. Winter…almost freezing this morning. I wore my¬†Enchanted Mesa no 2¬†and my shawl¬†Shetland adventures¬†and a wrap on top. Stayed warm!

Work is very busy, so very little energy left for crafts. But yet again this year, Bendigo sheep and wool will get a visit from us even though I still haven’t used up previous year’s purchases. Hoping to find some more Tirchonaill http://www.spinningyarnweaving tales.com now that I have seen that it is virtually identical to,Debbie Bliss ‘Fine Donegal’ but at a better price.Minus the cashmere but that was always in doubt anyways for anyone who follows the news.

 

In other news…I caved and bought an Apple Smartphone. Most expensive phone ever for me but I have given up hope that the Ipad, my given choice will ever get a ‘phone’ or similar capability. It may change things….possibly. Moneywise..sure. Not getting Facebook, brr..

Back, and wow!

June 7, 2017

Greetings!

Still recovering from four days in Canberra. Can I just say that I liked Canberra a lot? For the non-Australians, it is in a state called ACT ( Australian Capital Territory), and of course, it is the capital,of Australia…( not Sydney or Melbourne). The traffic was hectic, the street signs mostly non existent, so many lanes turned into one lane quickly and mercilessly, ¬†and there are several round abouts in Canberra, all dissimilar from a traffic regulation point of view ( why….oh why) , but on the whole now that I griped a bit…NICE. Despite all, the roads are of good quality, we had a lot of good coffee, good wine and largely excellent food and accomodation.

And of course…..museums. Everyone says museums when you mention Canberra. Well, our lunch crowd at work, argumentative happy and lovely bunch of people say that Melbourne has better museums.

To conclude, the verdict from ‘In a sunburnt country’ by Bill Bryson on Canberra has changed a bit.

And today…it feels good to be back in Adelaide.

This weekend ..is a long weekend, and it is Winter, so….possibly a trip to Auburn Clare Valley to Taylors. There is a sale….even though there is plenty of their wonderful Chardonnay at home…a peek cannot hurt. And….then we will see. Wonderful to have choices!

 

 

Canberra visit and busy times!

June 3, 2017

Wow…busy times! Being dual citizens, we do have to have valid passports for both nationalities, so we figured we would go to Canberra and take care of one, one at the time!

So here we are, in Canberra, and with the passport formalities over and done with, just what is there to do in Canberra, especially if you like me, are here for the first time?

Canberra is the capital of Australia, so museums…..and more museums, and then the governing bodies and¬†Capital Hill. This is all part of ACT, or Australian Capital Territory, Wiki¬†link.

There are plenty of wineries and even microbreweries to visit.

We decided to do two wineries, Affleck was the first, Affleck, where we found a lovely rose made from Pinot noir grapes, 2016. Just lovely strawberry pink flavours, not sweet but still full bodied and lovely. So wonderful!

Tnen we went to a biodynamic winery¬†Lark Hill Winery¬†where we enjoyed a wine tasting and lunch! Wine….we tasted their Riesling (nice!), the Chardonnay 2015, Gruner Veltliner, and blend mr V. I also had the Sangiovese, Dh had the Sangiovese, the Pinot noir, the Cabernet Savignon reserve, and that was it.

Um…the white wines were very good, we were told that Lark hill was the first winery in Australia¬†to have the Gruner Veltliner in 2009, with¬†Hahndorf Hill Winery¬†as no two in 2010. We ended up buying a bottle, just hate not driving and flying home, the Gruener veltliner was that nice. As to the Chardonnay….at 45 dollars, nah…it is good but as you know, Taylors in Auburn SA have the best variety and bang for the buck¬†Chardonnay, and afull ten bucks less. Plus, this is the top of the¬†line Chardy fromTaylors, Jaraman or Taylor’s estate are good as well, and can give this a run anyday. Glad we established that.

The lunch restaurant¬†at Lark Hill…..just lovely. Good food and nice view and another go at the wines. Whites are good when you have some foods to stretch it further, ¬†the reds can’t give the SA reds any competition at all. Bowen estate…your Cab sav is glorious.

Went back to Canberra and decided to give Bentspoke microbrewery a go. link

And they turn 3 on the 4th of June. Just wow on their IPA and double hopped IPA!

 

Food n wine etc in Canberra, the cafe by the visitors centre was pretty good. And we stayed at Peppers hotel with the very nice restaurant Bicicletta nearby. Pizzas and nice ITalian food, oh yum. For breakfast and just a fabulous time, food and fabulous service

this

just caps the globe by being wonderful. Oh ..repetition….because…..NICE. By the¬†same token, just stay away from dinner at A Baker, the diners at the table next to us were grumpy and disappointed but as our cured meat entree was good, we soldered on to our mains, to be greeted by the toughest cooked mushroom ever. When Japnese mushrooms rival meat or rope in consistency…then it is bad. To our astonished eyes, the whole kitchen was in chaos and why would you have so many employees for the #of guests. None of my business, but then the mains must be quicker and better served with so many employees !!

It was so bad after A Baker that we went to Bicicletta and had a pizza to top up and remove the taste. ¬†Yes it is us……it was that strange.

 

Tomorrow….we shall see. Mocan and green grout here we come! Their gravlax and avocado toast was yummy today. Reminds me a bit of Percy and Percy in Bendigo. ¬†So this was mostly about food n wine inCanberra.

More…later.

Found vestiges of my old blog …link

April 29, 2017

Rssing found old blog

 

Hello again,

Oh gosh it felt weird to read all of that. We have come far since transplanting ourselves. And, it is ok, we are fine, enjoying ourselves here in Adelaide, one day at the time.

Tomorrow, there are plans…..Swedish tax, soap making, and cooking….I am thinking of doing a version of potato¬†skins¬† and..hmm….fell upon this version of a Swedish dish¬†Cabbage and mince¬†instead of rolls, make it layers. Hmm. Wonder if I have enough home made stock. If not, there is the odd bag of kassler chop bones saved in the freezer plus one oxtail. Plus stock veggies, it is indeed the time of the year that celery root or celeriac makes its appearance again. Wonderful¬†in stocks n gratins. So plenty of options for tomorrow’s cooking. See you then.

River; Stellan you rock!

April 29, 2017

Greetings,

Must say that it was a serendipitous accident, but we managed to watch the first episode of River with Stellan Skarsgard today. Wow, that was good.

Spoilers!

Seeing dead people is a concept that has been used again and again since a certain movie by Mr Night¬†(Shyamalan), and the chilling whisper…I see dead people, will probably haunt me forever because it was so creepy, so well timed and then so unexpected. Quote by Haley Joel Osment in the movie Sixth Sense (but you knew that).

The dead people in Riverare more like manifests, and…what a quote by River:

I believe that all murderers are punished eventually, unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

A quick web search says quote comes from Henry Fielding and his book Amelia, 1751. Just blew my mind! Can’t wait to see the next episode.

In other news, it is cold, leaves are turning, grey, rainy, and a bit dismal. And if they ever decide to film more Wallander, Stellan would make a superb Wallander, sorry Kenneth!

Our Japanese gas heater has been dusted off, new gas purchased, and I have been eyeing cowl patterns on Ravelry.  Need to find my Knitting mojo!

On wine…pretty quiet except we got a very nice offer from Rich Burge since we subscribe to his newsletter, his Iberian from 2009 for approx 10 a bottle. Nice light lingering flavour Mediterranean style of wine. ¬†It is a blend with Grenache and Monastrell, Touriga and Souzao. Highly rcommended! Not that we are lacking in any way, but it is too nice an offer to pass up. Goes with almost anything Italian, is NOT a Barossa shout large flavoursome wine, but very nice in its own right. I like Rich Burge’s wines very much, and he is one of the few remaining small independant family growers and winemakers. Let’s support them!

And if anyone ever wondered what happened to photos, a new camera has been purchased and a lot of older cameras are now with new owners. Let us say there is a backlog ūüėé

Birgitta’s fantastic recipes..promo!

April 20, 2017

Yohoo from overcast and cloudy Adelaide!

 

Summer is now changing ino Autumn, clouds, rain and more unpredictable weather is now happening, still warm from time to time, a bit muggy, but definitely a different flavour of weather.

So, time for more cooking and flavours. Birgittas English Paleo blog with promo is highly recommended, she regularly shares her wonderful recipes, and Amazon has a nice offer on the Kindle version of her book, another offer can be found here.

Swedish cooking with a soul for discerning taste buds!

 

We have another long weekend coming up…IF you take Monday off. Four days in a row with Anzac Day on Tuesday. Our first Anzac Day as Aussies!

No other major plans…possibly soapmaking, cooking, and just hang. Crafts have been sorely neglected for too long.

More Easter weekend winery visits!

April 18, 2017

Hello again,

 

So we went down to the Limestone Coast wineries over Easter by way of Coonalpyn and Keith. We had seen Coonalpyn featured on Landline, so it was with delight we saw on Good Friday the amount of people stopping and admiring the painitngs and sampling the baked goods and other offerings in Coonalpyn.¬†Here¬†is a link to what was happening earlier this year.¬†Liege waffles¬†is of course another reason to stop there ‚ėÄÔłŹ

Stopping in Keith we were a bit disappointed to find that¬†Henry and Rose cafe¬†wasn’t open, neither on Good Friday nor on Easter Sunday, but hey…hopefully they will be next time.

On Easter weekend, many wineries may crack open their more ancient vi tages, and Patrick of Coonawarra was no exception. When visiting wineries for the second or nth time, we always try to go to at least a new one. Patrick fit the bill, also, cider from local apples and not at all sweet would be a great temptation! And indeed it was, made with champagne yeast, very bubbly, or should I say effervescent ūüėč absolutely fab with food.¬†Link

We tasted some great wines but it is the cider thst stood out. And the aged Risling, just wow and wow. Great! And I was by now pining for lunch and rest and a respite from wine tasting, so we sort of missed out on buying their Savignon blanc fume which angers me a bit because it was truly European in flavour with a nice twist. Exploding with glowy green flavour, a bit emerald or peridot green, not beryl green. Oh my! Of course there are other means but there is so much more fun to be had to do it on e day whilst at the geographic region where it all happens.

Well, the beauty of staying in Penola means that everything is nearby, and takes no time at all, so we hung out at Ottelia for a coffeee. Ottelia is of course another cellar door and restaurant in the heart of Coonawarra, and we are talking the village of Coonawarra, fabulous pizzas(we had none this time), and lovely wine, Chardonnay and Pinot noir, and yes, their wines are from mainly Mt Gambier. Wonderful to find in the middle of Coonawarra! Just coffee and something small to nibble on. Ottelia

Finally…lunch, late luncheon, at Hollick upstairs.

And wine tasting, Hollick makes great wine. Hollick also makes great food. Of all their good wines, their Barbera stands out, as a wine that can, despite its youth stand up to a steak, to Kangaroo, to tomato, flavourful salats, and blue cheese. Barbera

If I was to buy ONE red at Hollicks, it would be this one because versatile, good, but don’t expect a Shiraz or a Cab sav. Barber is simply, Barbera, and these guys make a really good one. Ok, we bought this one plus their Tempranillo. As vintage cellar members ,we enjoyed 20% off, so, why not.

What a wonderful day with food and wine. And it was my first kangaroo, with plenty of lemon myrtle and … sesame seeds, yellow beets, and a compote. Quandong? Yummy.

Getting back to work today was truly hard. And I am thinking Mount Benson and Robe next time, the Museum event is apparently in July where the older vintages are sampled and sold. Or…Southern Flinders. Langhorne creek in August.

Choices choices!

Easter…was good!

April 18, 2017

Belated Easter Greetings from Adelaide!

 

Well um, why bother with belated greetings you may ask, and quite rightly so. But the past weekend was spent touring wineries in Coonawarra and associated wine districts. I have in the past been quite lazy and said Coonawarra about a lot of wineries, but browsing through the latest brochure, I discovered that there are now indeed no less than SIX wine regions: Wrattonbully, Coonawarra, Padthaway, Mount Benson, Mount Gambier, and Robe. Maps and brochures

Coonawarra was our target, and we stayed in Penola Wonderful scenic town and has a lot of history.

Wineries….so depending on which way you drive when you arrive in Coonawarra, it is nearly always the first or the last winery; Kidmans. Sid was there looking after the cellar door, and as usual, lots of talk about the weather, irrigation, and the latest vintage. We quite like his Riesling, fair warning if you are a Watervale Riesling fan, this is NOT the crisp tongue curdling acidic gum cleansing Riesling, in fact it is more Mosel, flinty, whilst not being in the last sweet or flirtatious. Some 2016, and some of course, his 2014 Cabernet Savignon, for us it embodies Coonawarra.

Then, a trip to a small and lovely personal winery. Bowen Estate.

Their Chardonnay I absolutely adore, well balanced, golden, flavourful not the kind you feel you need to take a towel to your tongue after drinking ūüėĀbut the absolute find is their latest release, the 2015 Shiraz. It has the makings of a Grandiose Wine, a wine that will make people gasp and say…this was the best I have ever tasted. Yes, a 2015, and I am sure it will evolve over the years if cellared. It is fantastic now btw. No Barossa Big Red Shout that can leave you feel a bit overwhelmed, but flavourful, elegant, rich with all the trademarks you associate with Coonawarra. Oh and Bowen has a charity used book case, some beauties for 3 bucks. If you have eyes for anything but their beautiful wines. Don’t be deceived, they have four wines on offer, but a lot of wineries with triple¬†that on offer would kill for that quality. A large box of assorted goodies came home with us, plus two books on Native Flora, I need to read up on my plants!

Reeling with happiness, we moved on. and went to diGiorgio Family winery.

Lots of fun stuff here, and I love that¬†they put bubbles in everything, well almost everything. Their Emporio blend is as good as always, we got some of their unoaked¬†Chardonnay to try, must say that the oaked one was pretty good and had hints of Allspice, but back home, they are often not as nice as the memory, so unoaked it was. We were planning to buy a couple of bottles of Frank white aince it is such an easy an nice one, but nah….Chardonnay it was.

Their 2013 Lucindale Shiraz also cme home for trying. Not at all your typical Coonawarra/Limestone coast Shiraz with tannins and a lot of roar (which can be dark chocolate or nicotine, or something brown and musty depending on your taste¬†buds). So, all the things that Shiraz is not, what was it then? Well, may sound strange, but it was fantastic with fennel tasting Sopressa salami, cultured butter, and a large slab of mild South Australian Brie. Match made in heaven and I usually love my Bries to be a wee bit more French than this. Hint of cherry, bitter almonds, and smooth well balanced and not too ostentatious.¬†¬†The lady at the cellar door said this is the type she loves and without the chalk, the shout and the roar. I got it ūüėć

 

Two more wineries…but that is for another blog post. Dinner time! Curry time, and yum.

Easter ahead and Coonawarra

April 9, 2017

It is April, and Easter is almost upon us. Work has been insane, so we went looking today online to see if there was anything left anywhere; we passed on booking the last available accomodation at Arkaroola, mainly because it is all about getting there, planning and enjoying (sigh, some other time) and it is a project on its own and not so much about food and wine,  and Robe was booked out, Mt Gambier too, the Barn (le sigh), so we snagged one of the last accomodations in Penola. This is going to be a first for us staying @Penola. So Coonawarra here we come, Easter, yay!

Divine Cafe holds some nice brekkie memories, and Penola is a nice spot. Hollick upstairs is a nice restuarant, and we shall see if there are more discoveries to be had. ¬†As to wineries..ohh…tough one.

We just received our wine box from Tscharke wines in the Barossa, and are sampling and exploring. More to come, but I can say with the reds, it has taken on a new direction. Very much more European if I may say so. Interesting.