Archive for June, 2017

Wine and more wine from Clare Valley!

June 11, 2017



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.


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 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


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 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


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.