Saturday, April 15, 2006

Another night, another red or two!

We had a wonderful Good Friday. Went down to another wine amateur’s place (Rob, my brother in law) and he cooked a sensational brunch on the BBQ. All washed down with ………….. wait for it ……………… orange juice. Come on now, you didn’t expect red wine at 10.00am did you? I may be mad but not quite that bad.

Whilst at brunch we decided on a BBQ dinner at our place last night. Obviously, being Good Friday, there were no stores open so we both contributed what we had and ended up with more than enough and a good range of foods. For mains we had a choice of grain-fed rump (from Rode Road Meats) and some large Barramundi fillets that Rob picked up from the new Coles at Newmarket (I must say it is the best Coles store I have ever been in).

I made some mash potato (don’t forget to use some Parmesan and add a couple of eggs to make it creamy) and Karyn cooked some corn, carrots and broccoli and made a packet gravy (sometimes you go for the easiest option). For a slapped-together meal it was great. The meat was tender and tasty and the fish fantastic on the barby (sic).

Rob brought a Wynns Coonawarra 2004 Shiraz (have I ever mentioned I don’t mind a shiraz – apparently neither does Rob) and I contributed a 1999 Balgownie Estate Shiraz (Bendigo). See photos of bottles.

The Wynns was still young but nice and had peppery aromas. Rob also got some plumy aromas – but I couldn’t – Rob is a shameless show-off!! It was a most enjoyable wine and even though I didn’t ask how much Rob spent I believe it to be around the $17-$18 range.

James Halliday, in his “Australian Wine Companion 2006” rates the 2002 at 90/100. This does not necessarily translate to the 2004, especially seeing as how Halliday also rates the 2004 vintage in Coonawarra only a 7/10 against a 9/10 for the 2002 year.

I have found Halliday’s Wine Companion and other writings quite good and encourage you to consider using a wine guide, like the Wine Companion, to assist in purchasing decisions. At some point in the future I will devote a blog to using outside sources and possibly critique a few. For example, Halliday rates his best reds and whites under $10 and between $10 and $15. I haven’t tried them all but, on past experience, if Halliday rates it highly it usually is quite good. Maybe he knows something about wine??? I think so! His taste buds seem to be similar to mine although there are a few wines that I think could make it into the best under $10 or $10-$15 that he hasn’t put in, but more about that at a later date.

The second wine pictured, the 1999 Balgownie Estate Shiraz (Bendigo), was superb! Halliday rates the 2003 at 93/100 but again that doesn’t necessarily translate to the 1999. It was rich and luxurious and had hints of chocolate and would definitely go a few more years in the bottle. I can’t recall when I bought it or how much I paid for it other than knowing it has been in the cellar (ie cupboard downstairs) for a number of years. The 2003 retails at around $30 but I don’t believe I would have paid that much for it.

In the end it was another night, another red or two - YUM.

If your night was better please tell us all about it and the wine. Really I would love to hear what you have been up to and what wines you are drinking! Just post a comment.


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