Sunday, January 28, 2007

Wardy's at Manly and Peter Lehmanns Resling

Yesterday was one of those days here in Ipswich that I dread - 37 C, no breeze and humid as hell. So we decided to go down to the bay in the hope that it would be a bit more comfortable. It was still hot and humid with a slight sea breeze. We were after some lunch and on a recommendation from a friend (thanks Justin!)we went to Wardy's on the Water at Manly Esplanade. First up I have to say that the service was first class - we had a new waitress (she only been there for 2 days) that made the whole experience a joy. The food was 1st rate. We had duck spring rolls with an Asian dipping sauce to share as a starter, followed by battered whiting - for me - and my wife had salt and pepper squid and prawns. Simple, classic dishes made perfectly. The food was perfectly matched by a bottle of Peter Lehmann's 2005 Riesling. I feel this has to be the best Riesling for your money. It went perfect with the duck and the sweet dipping sauce and complimented the light seafood dishes that we had. The whole thing was wrapped up by excellent coffee and beautiful light dessert. Extremely highly recommend by The JW's!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Wine Library TV

I have come across this web site that is truly awesome.
It's called Wine Library TV and its all free and you can even watch it on your ipod. There are now 170 episodes that can be watched and the once I have seen have been very informative and you can't help been swept up by the host enthusiasm.

Go and check it out.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Penfolds Trial Bin 1997 Adelaide Hills Semillon

This is a bit of a cautionary yarn about online auctions. I made a big mistake while at grays online auction site. I clicked on bid now when I really did not want to and therefore bid on a bottle of Penfolds Trial Bin 1997 Adelaide Hills Semillon. This bottle cost me 58 bucks. I send an email to Penfolds to find out about the wine – hoping that they will tell me that it’s really special now. However the response was “Unfortunately your wine is now likely past its best drinking”.

With some trepidation I opened the bottle last night. The smell was OK – not corked- but it was a bit flat. I could have missed many of the more subtle smells as my noise is completely blocked with dust. I love the colour of old white wines, its just such a deep yellow. Now to the all important taste. It had a rich long taste with a slight cork tainted finish – only really slight. Strawberry was the most pronounced flavour and even this was not all that strong.

We had Peking duck with cherry couscous and the wine cut thought the fate of the duck like dishwashing liquid on grease. I could literally feel my palate being cleansed leaving my mouth ready for the next bite of the bird. The wine was close to perfect with the duck as the slight tainted was completely over powered by the meal. The meal and wine combo was another clear example of how good food and good wine can make the meal more that its parts. I love when that happens – its alchemy.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pub Food

We went out last night to the local Pub. The food normally is quite good (nothing special) and if you get the special its not badly priced. However Pubs are now charging prices for steaks that are quite outrages. Why would I want to spend 30 bucks plus for a steak that I have to order at a counter and even collect it ('your BBQ is ready Mr Wicher' ala the Breaky Creek Wharf Hotel) when I can go to a top class restaurant for the same price. The steak might be good at most pubs but the side salads or vegies without fail have been terrible. I know its good to have some pubs like this but please bring back - at least some - old fashioned pubs that serve a good counter meal (and have no bloody pokies).

It seems that the only attention is given to the meat and none at all to the rest of the dish. Even with this being the case it's still a rarity that the meat comes out as order. I like my Steak Medium Rare but I have to order it as rare just so that it won't be served well done.

I did have to laugh and shake my head at the same time. I thought that Australians had become a bit more knowlegable about wine. Not so it seems . While at the bar getting a couple of beers the person in front of me ordered some wine. It went something like this:

Patron: A 4x and a wine
Serving person: White or Red?
Patron: White thanks.

I actually though those days had gone

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mission Statement

Why have I created this blog? I have become extremely passionate about good food and drink (mainly wine and beer) over the last 5 years. I have found that I need to put my thoughts into print so that I can get it clear in my head if nothing else. How often have you been to a restaurant and tried some wine that was great but next time you are in the bottleo you can't remember the name etc. I have started to keep a notepad handy so that I can keep track of all the food and wine that I have eaten/drunk. Also by writing down my thoughts I hope it will force me to think more deeply about why I like something or why it did not tickle me pink. I am hoping that by sharing my findings it will help you to find some real treats and avoid some of the bad food/wine out there.

I don’t pretend to have higher power to understanding food and wine but I think that’s why this blog might be just the ticket for other lay persons with a passion for the finer things in life – just like me. A quick background on my food life:

Born in Germany near the French border to parents that love to go out for dinner and try new things (We also travelled a fair bit throughout Europe – eating local food at local restaurants as much as possible)

After school I worked as a baker at my parents bakery before starting a Chef apprentership (only did the 1st year)

My parents bought a Deli specialising in European food

I have managed a bar and a coffee shop (during my Uni days)

The main focus will be on food and wine but it won’t be limited to them. We (my wife and I) also love coffee, going to food markets and travel to areas where good food is sold. We recently did a tour of Tassie to try the local delights.

I hope you come back often, as I will be updating it at least once a week but to start of with it will be more often as I need to build up the contents. My wife will also contribute to these pages. I hope this will ensure a more balanced view as we have different taste in food and drink.