Recently I was lucky enough to be accepted to join The Wine and Food Society of Victoria Inc. This is a quite passionate society full of members that are able to bring their knowledge to the table (literally). The society’s premise is to showcase extraordinary wines that have been hand picked from their cellar to pair with the specially selected and paired food. The interesting point which I feel I must share here is that unlike many gastronomic and food society’s this one has an interesting theme which is both the food and wine you taste blind (this is not whilst wearing blind-folds) the paired French wines (two per course) are covered in foil and only revealed after each course after one of the members have presented their critique. The course tasted will also be critiqued and verbally deconstructed so we decide what and how the chef prepared the dish. Thereafter the chef will brief us on how he cooked and prepared his courses; often we come quite close.
Chef Neale White of Papa Goose certainly prepared an interesting menu. The hero of the courses on this occasion for me was the starter. The smoking of the scallops was presented with a scallop tartare, radish, salmon roe with lime and rosemary granita. YUM! YUM! YUM! The smoking process was superb turning the scallops warm orange in colour and the taste bursted in your mouth. …. gosh I can’t wait to enjoy this again. This was paired with a couple of Mersaults: 2010 Domain Jean-Marie Bouzereau Mersault “Narvaux” and the other 2010 Domaine Henri Boillet Mersualt !er Cru “ Les Chaumes”.
The next course included wild boar (which was a little tough) but the pork belly made up for the boar’s lacking texture. This was laid on a bed of parsnip mash, with roasted grapes & baby turnips upon were bursting with flavour and the Stone’s Green Ginger Sauce was beautifully rich. This was paired with two Pinot Noirs, the first a 2006 Domain Gros Freres Vosne Romanee 1er Cru and the other 2006 Domaine Pierre Amiot Grand Cru Glos St Denis.
Well the chef must have heard our words ….Bring us lamb !!! As he did we had beautiful offerings of slow cooked Tarwin Lower salt bush lamb with smoked bacon, sweetbread, hoco & lemon & thyme. The smoked bacon was cooked in a round and was simply delicious. My husband likes his sweetbreads so he enjoyed mine but I will add it was pale in complexion and from the thyroid and was soft and not over cooked. This dish was paired with big red Bordeaux which were a 1996 Chateau Haut –Marbuzet, Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel, Saint Estephe and a 1996 Chateau Lafon-Rochet, 4th growth, Saint Estephe.
To conclude, our last course was delightfully light. We had fresh figs with a yogurt sorbet served with a mandarin & leatherwood honey granita, pistachio granola this was paired with a beautiful Sauternes a 1997 Chateau Coutet. Personally I would have liked to have the figs lightly tossed in butter to caramalise, nevertheless this was a fine dish and a beautiful conclusion for yet another beautiful dinner.