Penfolds wine and dining out

By Philip Arlidge - Wine Expert


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Tags: Penfolds wine and dining out. Wines. Sparkling. Reds and Whites.


The latest Beefsteak and Burgundy Club dinner was held with the new owners of the Kai Restaurant and featured Penfolds wines. As the only sparkling wine in the Penfolds stable is Minchinbury I decided that this wine is not up to the standard of our evenings.

On arrival with the canapes I put on The Freixinet Cordon Negro Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine that is reputed to be amongst the largest selling sparkling wines in the world made in the methode traditionnelle I would recommend this as a pleasant way to any special dinner. Although Penfolds have a reputation for making some of the finest red wines in the world they have never been able to replicate this fame with their white wines and they have quite a limited range so to go with the first course of Moroccan chicken with a roast vegetable salad (here things didn’t go quite to plan but that’s another story) we had The Koonunga Hill Chardonnay and despite not specifying the vineyards the wine was very good.

For the main-course Kevin produced individual beef and mushroom pies with a filo crust and greens which we matched with the Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz Mataro 2013 and The Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon2012, two wines which show why the company has such a great reputation for red wine making.

The Bin 2 was first introduced in 1962 and the 2013 showed a deep red colour and pleasant spicy aromas whilst the Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon showed that Penfolds can produce other great reds than Shiraz. To complete the night we enjoyed one of the country’s finest 10.Y.O. ports, the Penfolds Father Grand Tawny. The unfortunate thing is that since we have had to remove the words of Port and Sherry from our fortified wines they have slumped dramatically in sales which is a shame because there are barrels full of aged stock lying in the wineries and the prices in return for quality make Australian fortified the best value for money in the world.

Should you wish to come along to one of our evenings drop me a line on [email protected] (sorry but we missed the au. the other month if you tried to send a message.) This month we will look at Taylors Wines from The Clare Valley which has been one of the great success stories in The Australian Wine industry over the last fifty years. By Australian standards Taylors are a relative newcomer to the Australian winemaking scene having started in 1969 a mere three generations of winemaking.

The family found 178 hectares by the Wakefield River in the Clare Valley and from the first vintage produced a Cabernet Sauvignon wine that won the Montgomery Trophy for the best red wine at the Royal Adelaide Show, following this up with a gold medal at every national wine show in 1973.

To date the winery has now won over 5500 medals at wine shows around the world including 70 trophies, 974 gold medals and 1575 silver medals and have been voted as one of the top five wineries in the world by The World Association of Writers and Journalists of Wines and Spirits, and the most impressive point is that most of their wines are very affordable! At the China Wine and Spirit awards in 2016, which is one of the largest in the world, Taylors won the following awards:

  • Taylors Estate Merlot 2014 Trophy and Double Gold,
  • Taylors Estate Riesling 2014 Trophy and Double Gold,
  • Taylors Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Double Gold,
  • Promised Land Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Double Gold,
  • Promised Land Merlot 2014 Double Gold,
  • Taylors Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Gold,
  • Taylors Estate Tempranillo 2014 Gold,
  • Taylors Estate Pinot Gris 2014 Gold,
  • Promised Land Riesling 2014 Gold,
  • Promised Land Pinot Grigio 2014 Gold
  • Promised Land Unwooded Chardonnay 2014 Gold.

Taylors Estate Wines can be found for around $14.00 per bottle, Promised Land $10.50 and St. Andrews $52.00. a family winery that produces fine wines for any occasion, we enjoyed a 2016 Riesling at the Surf Club recently and the wine was outstanding.

An Englishman is
responsible for this entry
in the visitors’ book at the
Quinta la Rosa Winery in
Douro Portugal.
Oh God of Wine deliver me
Now half way across life’s
stormy sea
From Snares and Sins
of every sort
And bring me safely back to Port
From the Beggars’ Opera.
Wine can clear the vapours
of despair
And make us light as air.
Poetry in motion?

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A highly successful sales and leadership career working in a number of different and very competitive industries. Engaging with decision makers at all levels in business and government. Three decades employed by corporations, SME businesses in senior roles and almost twelve years operating as a freelance contractor has equipped me well for all aspects of business. Whether leading and mentoring sales teams, or in a direct sales role I enjoy the challenge to meet and exceed expectations. Making a real and tangible difference in either a team environment or as an individual is an important personal goal I have consistently achieved throughout my career. In all of my business and personal dealings over the years there is one issue that stands out above all others - communication. Excellent communication skills creates trust, helps with mutually beneficial outcomes and above all cements long lasting positive relationships. I strive everyday to communicate effectively with the people I encounter.