Level 7, 224 Queen Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: (03) 9600 9401
Website: Moortangi Estate
I think one of the most cliche, but yet accurate phrases, uttered by people about wine is "I don't know much about wine, but I do like drinking it". The image most associated with wine is that of rich older people drinking it in their fine dining restaurants. However, this isn't entirely true as wine is enjoyed by people of all ages. I think it's just that with anything in life, the more you learn about it, the more you know. So obviously, if you've been drinking wine for a longer time, you'll inevitably know some more about the complex nature of wine.
The aspect of wine that scares most people, myself included, is that there are so many varieties, which all vary in their taste, what foods they match best with, how long you can store them and of course, the price range. Tasting notes are a good tool, but sometimes you almost feel like they're made up by people in the industry to keep you confused so that you will overpay for a wine. Hence, it was with great delight that I was invited to a bloggers wine tasting event by Moortangi Estate.
Moortangi Estate is a small family run business, headed up by Nina Schultz as Director and Sandra Kärcher as Marketing Co-ordinator. The winery is a small vineyard in the Yarra Valley, with it's first vintage being released recently. Due to the vineyards being affected by the terrible bushfire, their first two wines released are actually sourced from Heathcote. The released wines are the 2005 Cambrian Shiraz and the 2005 Heathcote Old Vine Shiraz.
The wine tasting night consisted of tasting both wines and pairing them with cheese. Wine and cheese are definitely always a good combination so I was looking forward to trying to pick up the various flavours, as that's what I always have trouble doing.
Cheese from bottom: Roy de Vallees, Pieffe Reggiano, Quickes Farmhouse Cheddar, Carles Roquefort
We started with the Cambrian Shiraz, which had tasting notes that showed a bouquet of ripe plums and black cherry, with cardamon and vanilla. The palate was to contain the cherries, plum, cloves and cardamon. So we all swirled our wines and had a good smell to try and catch the flavours. Sarah has a good photo of everyone sniffing like hound dogs into the wine glass. For myself, I couldn't pick out too many flavours, but definitely noted that it was a much sweeter Shiraz than I normally have. It had a nice softness to it, without being bland. For me, I thought this wine paired best with all the cheeses, especially the Roy de Vallees. The cheese really did bring out more flavours from the wine, which I had trouble picking, but could taste on my tongue.
We next tried the Heathcote Old Vine Shiraz, which was a much bolder wine and quite tannic when I swirled it in my mouth for a while. For me, the flavours that I kept getting from the wine made me think of Chinese Five Spice Duck. I'm not sure this is correct, but I don't profess to knowing much about wine. The tasting notes said this wine should have a bouquet of red berries and spicy, earthy undertones, giving way to liquorice and white pepper. The palate should consist of red berries and plum, again with earthy flavours and hints of mint and violets. There is the influence of the oak barrels and also a hint of spice. So maybe I wasn't entirely off, as I'm probably picking up the spice. This wine tended to overpower the cheeses, and should probably be drunk with a nice red meat, or maybe even a Chinese Five Spice Duck.
By the end of the night, we were all probably a bit tipsier, but having learnt a bit more about wine. I shall try to pick out more flavours in my future wine drinking by using the very helpful taste chart provided. We were also treated to a nice surprise when Sandra made some red wine cupcakes. Finally, we were all given a nice bottle of the Cambrian Shiraz to take home and sample. Both wines are definitely worth checking out at the following restaurants around Melbourne: Attica, Ezard, Cutler & Co, The Stokehouse, Asiana, Comme, Lamaro’s, The Chambers, Sapore, and The George Melbourne Wine Room.
It was great to catch up with some fellow food bloggers who I knew, and some new ones who I now know.
Syrup and Tang
Off The Spork
My Food Trail
Jeroxie (Addictive & Consuming)
My Kitchen and Gym Diary
Thanks to Nina Shcultz and Sandra Kärcher from Moortangi Estate for inviting me to an enjoyable wine tasting night.