Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Novotel Barossa Valley - 5 course degustation

Food Critic Andrew and I were lucky enough to travel to the 2009 Barossa Food and Wine Festival, courtesy of Sunrice last weekend. It was just a flying visit! – 2 nights – and we attended the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort Gourmet weekend dinner, which was held in association with Langmeil wines. Now – I don’t know too much about wines – but these wines were absolutely fantastic, and it was lovely to meet Paul Linder from Langmeil, and his lovely partner, Natalie during the course of the evening.

The Barossa is a really wonderful place, and I’d recommend that everyone visit at some point. Lush rolling hills, and the locals are just about the friendliest, easy going people you’ll ever meet. The evening started off with some delightful canapés including shots of spiced cauliflower foam, which was paired with a sparkling Ondenc Cuvee. The General Manager of the Novotel welcomed us all, and Paul Linder gave us a wonderful talk about the winery and some interesting facts about the different wines chosen for the evening.

Shellfish ravioli (in a Blue swimmer crab bisque, which was so smooth …I wish there had been more of it!) was the second course – which in turn was followed by a Ballotine of Waechters duck with chestnuts and mushrooms. The ravioli was paired with a GWH Viognier – and the duck with a Cabernet. Next came my favourite course – braised aged beef cheek with celeriac and black pepper. The beef was so tender and tasty –I hope that I can convince them to share the recipe with me! This one was paired with my favourite wine of the evening – the 2006 Orphan Bank Shiraz. Now this wine is very special – as I understand it – the grapes come from a small lot of vines that were planted in the 1800's.

The next course was dessert – a Blue cheese crème brulee, which was served with pecans, dried figs and caramelised pears. This was an ingenious course – Food Critic Andrew said that the brulee went perfectly with the aged Shiraz that was served. I'm not really a fan of really strong cheeses, but the pairing was excellent.
Many thanks to the wonderful people at Sunrice, the Novotel Barossa, and Paul at Langmeil Wines. Of course - to everyone that made our weekend fantastic!

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