Winelander – July 14, 2023


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A few months ago Steve at the Bribie Golf Club booked an Opera/Wine night for a Tuesday night, in fact Tuesday 27th June to be precise, I felt we wouldn’t get the numbers being early in the week, just under 100 attended the other night how wrong was I!

The evening featuring opera singer Steven Hyndman was a follow on to last year’s very successful night and began with a tart filled with baby tomato and olive ricotta served with Pizzolato Prosecco a new arrival to Australia from Italy and looked resplendent in a dimpled bottle, an excellent start to a terrific evening of great food and fine wine. The second course followed with marinated swordfish on mini Bruschette served as kebabs which was served with a Calabria Belena Pinot Grigio. The Calabria families vineyards were established in 1945 in Griffiths NSW by Domenico Calabria and his son Francesco as a way of supplying friends and family and as Bill Calabria, the son of Francesco, commented “making homemade wine was simply to survive and provide an income for his parents, something that he and his family have been eternally grateful for “ The wine was well received by everyone and is available in the Liquorland stores here on the Island. The wine has delicate aromas of nashi pear and lychee and finished pleasantly dry but fruity as is expected from the Pinot Grigio grape A highlight for me was the next course of mini Gnocchi served on a bed of melted Taleggio cheese simple but outstanding and served with a Rocca Soave another new wine from the Northern Swiss borders of Italy, the wine had a clean acidic fresh finish, a perfect wine to match the flavours of Taleggio. The tasting notes show that some words can be lost in translation and explained the wine has a pleasant bitter aftertaste.

This was followed by thinly sliced marinated Venison backstrap served with salsa verde with garlic, rosemary kipfler potatoes, another excellent tasty plate of simple food matched with a Bindi Chianti from Tuscany, a family vineyard that has been involved with winemaking for over 700 years. The wine was excellent although club manager Steve found removing the corks of 36 bottles of wine a lot different to the simple screw top Australians have become used to! The wine was rated 93 points by Wine Spectator and was smooth with aromas of cherries, a typical Chianti wine made from the famous Sangiovese grape. The main course of tender slow cooked Manzo Osso Bucco cooked in red wine, mixed vegetables, tomato paste was served on a bed of polenta mash. The wine for this course was the Moretti Barolo 2016 vintage and my highlight, a wine from just north of Genoa, made from the famous Nebbiolo grape, and considered by many to be the greatest red wine making grape from Italy. Although not heavy in colour the aroma was intense of cherries and raspberries, the 2016 is considered to be a great vintage and served with the Osso Bucco was perfect. The wine was sourced from Dan Murphy’s.

The deconstructed desert of Tiramisu was a triumph from chef Brian and a great finish to the evening and quite frankly to match it with a wine was the only cause for concern as it had flavours of coffee, mascarpone and chocolate, how on earth do you match this with a wine? The answer, and this was purely good luck, was the Calabria Belena Dolcetto Syrah a red wine that is very light with aromas of cherry, redcurrant with a hint of raisons and hit the nail on the head, this wine can also be served chilled and can also be found in the Liquorland stores. An outstanding evening from all the comments I received wandering around the tables and a credit to the golf club and a special thanks to Steven Hyndman for the entertainment, unfortunately he couldn’t perform his usual repertoire and had to adjust his song selection however he put his best foot forward and his rendition of ‘We Are Australian’ was outstanding, no doubt the evening will now become a regular favourite for the golf club.

If you are considering venturing into Italian wines look for the paper label found on the neck of the bottle it will show the words DOC or DOCG. DOC wines come from the region best known for producing very good wines made from the grapes shown on the bottle whilst DOCG wines are wines that the Italian Government has approved to be the best from the regions shown on the label. France has a similar code of showing outstanding wines which is shown as AC or Appellation Control which again is a government code of outstanding wine, perhaps we could take note?

Philip Arlidge
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