Thursday, 25 June 2015

Ragu and Red Wine

As much as we love to eat out, I also love to have people over for a good home cooked meal. When a fellow wine-loving friend was visiting from interstate recently, it was the perfect opportunity to put on a yummy meal, matched with some equally yummy wine.

We started with some yummy cheeses; a Bruny Island number and the ashed goats cheese from Yarra Valley Dairy. We paired this with the Kay Brother's Grenache.

 After the first bottle we moved onto the main; a 10-hour slow cooked lamb ragu, paired beautifully with the Wolf Blass St John's Shiraz (above).

Then to round out the evening, a simple lemon tart (made with homegrown lemons), paired with a 2000 Vasse Felix Noble Riesling. The perfect combination of a tart dessert and a honey-like dessert wine (provided by our guest).

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Rolf Binder at Noir

June brings with it the Good Food and Wine show, and more events than any one person can handle. After visiting the cellar door earlier this year, we decided to join Cynthia and Rolf, from Rolf Binder, for a fabulous dinner at Noir in Richmond.

The menu consisted of five courses: canapés on arrival, two entrées, a main and dessert.

There was also a rather impressive array of wines, from new releases to magnums of older releases. The Bull's Blood is definitely one they are known for and a bit of a favourite.

The first entrée arrived; the most delicately presented dish I've ever seen. Kingfish with broad beans, and a 2014 Chardonnay.

The next entrée to arrive was the duck risoni. Just a little bit salty and with a gorgeous nutty crunch. This dish was carefully paired with the 2012 Heinrich SMG.

Next was the main, and an impressive selection of four beautiful reds. From left to right: 2012 Heysen Shiraz, 2004 Heysen Shiraz (Magnum), 2012 Bull's Blood, 2004 Bull's Blood (Magnum). The 2012 Heysen was definitely my favourite for the evening.

With these impressive wines came a lovely piece of beef, served with a beetroot puree, apple, walnut and a zingy sprinkle of Roquefort. Not the best piece of beef I've eaten but certainly pleasant and a great match to the chosen wines.

Last, but certainly not least, was the dessert course: a selection of cheese, fruit paste, bread and biscuits (and someone beat me to it), and some chocolate truffles. This last course was paired with a 2012 Hanisch Shiraz, and a 2001 Hanisch Shiraz. Both very impressive reds.

Monday, 15 June 2015


Last spring my partner and I went looking for cider in the Yarra Valley, and accidentally stumbled on Meletos. The café is something of a joint venture; an intimate café from the owners of Stones of the Yarra Valley, sharing a space with the Napoleone Brewers.

Winter is the perfect time to visit the Yarra Valley; choose a sunny day and you can't go wrong. Keeping in mind that Meletos does not take bookings on the weekend (except for groups of 8+), we arrived about 11.45am and were immediately seated. By 12.30pm the small space was packed.

The café has an impressive wine list, but I come here for the on-tap cider. You can't go past the Napoleone Apple Cider, served in impressive pint glasses.

The menu features a range of small share plates, larger plates, salumi and wood-fired pizzas. We started out with a few small dishes: the prosciutto, the Mount Zero Olives, and the Prosciutto & manchego croquettes. The salsa verde with the croquettes has a lovely fresh zing, and goes well with the in house bread and prosciutto.

Choosing a main was difficult, so we chose three different dishes: the beef cheeks, semolina gnocchi, and the duck. We also ordered the pork and fennel sausage pizza.
I usually avoid duck, but the meat was beautifully cooked, falling from the bone and delicate in flavour. The beef cheeks came out in their own cast iron pot; rich and melt-in-the-mouth, and with a generous side of mashed potato.

And the semolina gnocchi. Not quite what I expected; a single "block" of gnocchi, also in its own pot, bathed in melted tallegio and accompanied with roasted pear and little shallots.

 And the pizza. Perfect thin, crispy base. Minimal ingredients. No fuss, good food.
Then came the offer of a dessert menu, and who was I to refuse? An easy choice; the salted caramel and chocolate tart, with salted caramel ice-cream and a generous smear of caramel. The perfect balance of sweet and salty, and a great way to finish our long lunch in the Yarra Valley.

Meletos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato