Posts from the ‘Italian’ Category

Yarra Yering Members Tasting 2011 – What I’m Drinking At The Time 05.05.13


Yarra Yering Members Tasting 2011 Vintage

Many many moon ago, I was fortunate to attend the 2011 Yarra Yering vintage release tasting. I’m sure that I will not tire of this little winery and look forward to eventually have a long list of vintage tasting notes to share with you all in years to come. For now, (and to be updated in past and future posts), a link to the back vintages will be situated at the end of each members tasting.

The 2011 vintage fell a bit short to me especially after the standout vintage of 2010. Wines generally felt a bit tight and closed, little less balanced as usual and will require some time in the bottle. The whites were found wanting whist the dry red stalwarts led the charge and as usual the Carrodus labels didn’t disappoint. A little warmth in the glass will serve this vintage well and the back vintage bracket showing you what could be with a little patience.

In the previous 2010 post, I mentioned I missed out on the private tour around the very picturesque vineyard but was lucky enough to jump into one this year. If you get a chance, it is well worth it, digging into the dusty cellars of this boutique wonderland.

whatimdrinkingatthetime YY Tasting Room

No delicious sparkling this year (if you find some, snap them up!) so straight to the tasting table.

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Attica – what i’m eating at the time 29.05.12


Friends of food, welcome to Attica. Last Tuesday, Nat and I dined at Attica to celebrate my in law’s 24th birthday. There were six of us in total; the birthday boy Steve, his brother Cam and his cousin Scott along with their bosses Sop, Sarah and Nina. Big thanks to Sop for organising and thanks to the peeps for a great night!

Team Attica

Attica has been on a tear shotting out of nowhere to become a global hit, ranking 63rd in the top 100 on the San Pellegreno list; the highest ranked restaurant in Melbourne. With 3 hats, Ben Shewry and his team at Attica has been voted 2012’s restaurant of the year.

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Yarra Yering Members Tasting 2010 – what i’m drinking at the time 06.05.12

Yarra Yering Members Tasting 2010 Vintage

Yarra Yering is a great little boutique winery in the Yarra Valley near Coldstream. Originally founded by the late Dr Bailey Carrodus in 1969, the wines from Yarra Yering gained an international reputation for quality and individuality. The wine is now made by Paul Bridgeman who continues the tradition of making a range of great wines including the delicious Carrodus range.

Couple of weeks ago I received an email from Yarra Yering. They were having a Medallion members only tasting for their 2010 release. I missed the previous one so not going to miss this one! A few friends and I first stumbled upon this winery a while ago whilst trundling around the Yarra Valley looking for something to fill the back of the car with. It’s a very beautiful place, looks like a very old school English house equip with a fireplace, a pond, fruit trees, a veggie patch all surrounded by rows of vines.

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The Fat Duck


The Fat Duck

The name says it all. Heston Blumethal, 3 Michelin Stars, rated as one of best restaurants in the world. Originally inspired by the three star Michelin restaurant L’Oustau de Baumaniere when he was sixteen, Heston taught himself how to cook and in 1995, bought a quaint little pub called “The Bell” which has been transformed into what we all know today as Fat Duck. He led the way of culinary gastronomy and earned his third star in under a decade. Heston loves to question everything and push the boundaries of food and cooking bringing all the senses into the eating experience. Like a kid in the candy shop.

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Rice wines, Sauternes and Barbera – What i’m drinking in China and yesterday 07.01.2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hope you all have a great 2012 with many wine filled memories. Excuse me for my lack of activity, I’ve been in China and just came back, Many thanks to everyone who has been checking out my blog since my last post.

I was looking forward to trying some Chinese wines especially since there were reports of highly rated Bordeaux blends from China. Alas I found Chinese wines difficult to source and wine bars stocked more European and Australian wines, particularly Penfolds and Jacobs Creek. Sigh. Australian wines seems to also have a serious markup over there so if you’re looking to go, be sure to try something local.

I did get lucky though and stayed in a hotel (the Dragon) which happened to have China’s largest wine cellar! Presenting, the Cantina Wine Bar.

Cantina Wine Cellar 

The wine cellar is in the basement of a restaurant and I was lucky to bump into the drinks manager who gave us access. There is a large room where you a chill out, sip some wine and eat some food on comfy couches. Beyond locked glass doors is the cellar. The cellar was a long series of concrete squares filled with bottles of wines from all over the globe based on grape varieties. On the walls hung wooden boxes with wine labels. In the middle of the room was a wine fridge with the bad ass wines, rows of champagne buckets and a bench with the glassware. To be honest, I thought it would be bigger. I had loads of fun scouring the pages of the wine menus and the rows of wine. If you get a chance, check it out.

Some of the Bad Ass Wines

Among my travels, we ate at many restaurants and tried two kinds of wines:

Yellow Wine and Mao Tai

The first wine is Yellow Wine made from glutinous rice and dates back before christ. We had this wine most of the time because the foods we had were very “cooling” to the system. Yellow wine is very “heaty” which would balance things out. The wine was served warm and the bottle would be immersed in a bucket of how water. It was very addictive, sweet but not sugary sweet and low in alcohol. definitely check this out.

The second guy is Mao Tai, made from Sorghum (a kind of plant). This guy was lot more heavy hitting than yellow wine. The guest we had dinner with loves Mao Tai so that’s what we drank (and also some beer). Mao Tai is so so fragrant and flowery, bit like shoving your face in a bunch of flowers. It goes down like a smooth vodka without the alcohol burn and warms your belly. It also has some kind of yo-yo effect and you feel the wine traveling down your body then up and then down again. Very different and very strong but also very nice.

I did get to sample some other reds whist I was in China but wasn’t planning on making any notes on the trip. The above stuff was very different to me so I thought to share it with you guys. Be sure to check it out if your ever I China!

Ok so were back in Melbourne now. Setting the scene, we just came back from our annual ritual of crab fishing with our friends Sriyan, Cathie and Eugene. As it is also customary, we sat down to enjoy our haul of crabs in curry with potatoes, beans, papadums and other tasty condiments. Bobby (Sriyan’s nickname) broke out a Petit Manseng from Chrismont in the King Valley. Being both lazy and polite, I decided to just enjoy the wine and company so no notes on this one guys! After dinner, we broke out a sticky to go with a cheesecake and then broke out another wine just for kicks! We got talking about the wines which prompted me to take down a few notes. Enter some eye candy:

Chateau de Myrat Sauternes 2006 and La Cantina Barbera 2008

Chateau de Myrat Sauternes 2006

Label deciphering time. This guy is a Bordeaux second class (Deuxième Crus) growth in the 1855 classification located in Barsac (Grionde). Brasac lies within Sauterne meaning its a sweet wine made from Sav Blanc, Semillion and Muscadelle and sits as 13.5%. Preeetty. Smells of SPC canned peaches and a thick sweet creamy nose. Palate was not too sweet, extremely pleasant to taste and a great mouth feel. Tasted like poached pears with some of that fruit cheese with apricots and walnuts. Finished off short with peach syrup and passionfruit zing. Super sick wine, will be difficult to keep for long! Checks in at $38. I can’t help comparing this to the De Bortoli Noble One which comes it at $28. It would be very interesting to try these side by side and off the top, I think that the Sauterne is lighter and has more finesse whist the Noble One is more punchy and fuller in flavours. what to do what to do…anyone for a tasting night?

La Cantina Barbera 2008

When I first saw this I was thinking that this was a Barolo (i.e. Nebbiolo) but after some help from Google, I found that Barbera is actually Italy’s third most planted red grape! Well well well….Ok so this guy is from the King Valley and is family owned family grown by Gino and Peter Corsini (check out their site). It’s unfiltered, no added preservatives, 14.5% alcohol and uses very traditional wine making techniques. Lets see how this goes.

Smokey nose, reminds me of the bacon bits you get from old school all you can eat Pizza Huts. It also has some ripe yellow fleshed plums and some earthy dusty bits in the background. Attack starts off a bit tart (lemon curd?) and it continue into the mid palate, settles down a bit but still in the forefront. There is some vanilla essence in the background and in the finish with a touch of heat. The mid palate also has some cauliflower and kale (Tuscan cabbage) flavours and evokes holly and spiked leaf images. Finishes is a bit like balsamic vinegar balanced with cream brule and caramel. Quite nice! Very interesting wine and surprisingly nice on its own for an Italian wine, probably matches well with some Italian sausages? Hungery now…

Some other remarks on the wine, Bobby says it’s very meaty on the nose and gets some bitterness in the wine, something akin to witlof and Eugene says it’s a very easy drinking wine with alot of up front fruit flavours.

At $15, I think it’s a steal. To be honest, I’ve never been that big on Italian wines (besides Sangiovese) but this is slowly turning me around. Another one to put on your shopping list.

It’s good to be back, thanks for reading!


Carpineto Chianti Classico 2009 – what i’m drinking at the time 07.11.11

Hi everybody! First post and i’m excited.

I’ve been posting pictures of wines and other assorted booze on my facebook page for a bit and decided to start a blog. Recently caught the wine bug so still a wine noob. Love to listen and learn and looking forward in sharing with you all my drinking and food escapades!

So, what am i drinking today?

Carpineto Chianti Classico 2009

I’m a big fan of trying new things and this is my first experience with Chianti. Save you guys the googling, Chianti is a Tuscan red wine  predominately comprised of Sangiovase (a very tasty grape indeed). Chianti itself covers a large part of Italy and Chianti Classico is almost within the centre of this region.  This spicy number is 90% Sangiovase, 10% Canaolo and 13% alcohol.

So what did I think of this wine? Spoiler, i’m on my 4th glass…

I decanted half of this wine cos I wanted to see how it would taste with some air and without (straight outta bottle), see how it develops over 24 hours and also, I can’t really drink a whole bottle in one night…or can I 🙂 ? I also made sure to drink this with something Italian – a tomato based pasta with fresh garden vegies, prawns and spicy chorizo. As a side note, the pasta was a major high five moment.

Tasting the decanted wine (just over an hour in the decanter). Straight off the bat, earthy tones and a big nice semi ripe red fruit – think cherries. There is also a depth in this wine; it makes me feel that I’m going into a deep tunnel, into the earth with fruity goodness. Attack on the palate is straight up beautiful red fruits which slowly crescendos into a mid palate of excellence balance sweetness, acidity and tannins. Its light on the tongue, very easy drinking and a little bit dry, packed full of earthiness. Makes me think of dirt and fresh green capsicum skins. Finishes long and acidic and extremely pleasant. Tickle me impressed!

Had to try some more, so I poured some straight out of the bottle. It’s a much punchier wine, nose is much deeper and almost black plums. There is also more heat/alco. Taste is richer, much more intense, still pleasent and more fruitier and the tannins comes across a tad bitter and thicker. I like both.

Defiantly recommend trying some Chianti Classico if you haven’t already, either to drink now or to celler for a couple of years. Picked this bottle up for under $20 and I’d do it again. If anyone has any recommendations, please post and let me know!

Till next time, and thanks for reading!