We Aussies tend to look beyond our shores when planning a holiday. Whether it be in search of adventure amongst natural beauty or a gastronomic escapade, our outlook is often outward rather than in; but why have we not thought of putting our passports away, and heading south to Tasmania?
Food and wine are two of my passions and whenever I have a chance to pair the two together, I’ll be there in a heartbeat. The Marriott Hotel in Circular Quay played host on Thursday night to Three Bottle Man’s Taste of Tasmania laneway cellar door, which saw Bulletin Place transformed into a secret culinary paradise, away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD.
The narrow lane was scattered with multiple stalls showcasing Tasmania’s best wines and spirits, interspersed with live oyster shucking, interactive cheese stations, food stalls and roaming trays of delectable hot food.
I like to pretend I know a bit about wine, but in all honesty, all I really know is I enjoy drinking it. Whenever I look at a wine list when dining out, like my travel choices of the past, I frequently look to wineries and vineyards far from home. I’m glad I attended this event as it really made a strong case for the wine produced out of Tassie, and I’ll be sure to consider it top of mind more often.
My standouts from the evening included:
- Derwent’s 2016 Riesling, a tropical and fruity drop which was quite bold in flavour; not at all what I expected in taste.
- Storm Bay’s 2018 Pinot Noir, I’m not normally a fan of pinot noir, but wherever I can, I try to change that stance. This glass packed a punch initially but then becomes smooth and really easy to drink.
- Sailor Seeks Horse’s 2017 Pinot Noir, this glass on the other hand was delicious upon first taste, but had an abruptly ended after taste, with nothing left to savour; quite dangerous when you’ve got a bottle in front of you!
- Clarence House’s 2016 Reserve Chardonnay, all I can see about this is, wow. I’ve never tasted a wine that smells smokey and oakey but was buttery and and sweet to taste. If you want to try any of the wines, I highly (strongly/incredibly/whole-heartedly) recommend this one.
And now, onto the food of course. All dishes were sourced with the freshest Tassie ingredients and produce and put together by Michelin Star-experienced chef, Raphael Szurek, from the chef-hatted Silvester’s Restaurant.
To start, I indulged in Little Joe’s steak sandwich, a soft, freshly baked roll overflowing with bush tomato, chutney and caramelised shallots. It was a little tough to try and eat whilst standing in a crowd, but once you get your first bite, you almost inhale the rest.
At the same station saw Little Joe’s short rib slides, which were bite-sized flavoursome mini burgers, and I’m not embarrassed to admit I went back for seconds.
The Bay of Fries cheese cheddar was bitey and creamy at the same time with each bite closer to the rind, becoming more ‘blue’ in taste. When paired with the Storm Bay Pinot Noir, the flavours were enhanced tenfold and the pickled figs and muscatel chutney married it all together perfectly.
Feeling quite well fed by the end of the night, I couldn’t possibly leave without getting my hands on the warm apple tart served with Meander Valley Dairy double cream, and I’m so glad I did. The cream was firm in texture yet smooth in taste and cut through the spice and cinnamon in the tart. After sipping the Clarence House’s 2016 Reserve Chardonnay, I was curious to pair this with the dessert, and my suspicions were correct as the two together were divine. An infusion of buttery goodness coupled with fresh apples and cream was the perfect way to end the evening.
If you’re not drooling already, I suggest you follow these two steps. First, open up google and check out flights to Tasmania to explore both the natural beauty and diverse food and produce on offer first hand. Secondly, keep an eye out on how you can support local Aussie farmers in Tasmania and purchase their products next time you’re at the store, because it’ll make your meals a whole lot better.
Now, I think I need a nap to digest all this food!