Tag Archives: Wine Pairing

Lunch at Courgette

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Last Friday Aussie Wine Guy and his associates dined at one of Canberra’s prestige restaurants, Courgette, which is located on Marcus Clarke street in the city, provides a central and accessible location.  The establishment is well appointed with a relaxed but refined ambiance.

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Service was prompt and courteous, providing us with a superlative menu of options for our lunch.  The restaurant also has quite a formidable wine menu, although as a party on the whole we decided to leave the wine paring to our capable hosts.

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AWG decided, after much agonizing, on an entree of chicken liver parfait, brioche, quince onion jam, sultanas and winter flowers.  This was paired rather boldly with a Sauternes style Darlington Point botrytis Semillon, lusciously thick, viscous and sweet with just the right mix to compliment the salty, savoury tones of the parfait – an inspired paring which was the envy of the table.

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For the main, AWG went with Dutton park confit duck leg, red cabbage, parsnip puree, roasted chestnuts finished with a port and thyme glaze.  This was paired with an unsurprisingly refined French Grenache, which featured a slightly spicy aftertaste well paired to the delicious flesh of the duck leg; the port and thyme glaze providing the smooth flavour bite after bite.

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To finish up, AWG’s dessert selection was a serving of baked chocolate mousse, banana fritters, honeycomb with salty nutty ice cream.  This was paired with a tasty Italian dessert wine, consisting of the more unusual Carmenere and Oseleta grapes.  It proved to be an excellent companion to the sweet mousse and coolness of salty ice cream.

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The enjoyable lunch was the highlight of the week, no contest,  Canberra is blessed with an array of fine dining options, and Courgette proves to be a top competitor in the market.  The staff were exceptionally helpful and welcoming, the menu was simply delectable and the depth of the wine range very impressive.

One day, Aussie Wine Guy would love to return and place an order for a bottle of Chateau Petrus, which AWG understands is a feature of Courgette’s very well appointed and comprehensive cellar.

Lastly a big thanks to Mike H for taking the lead on booking a superlative lunchtime option.

A lunch at Aubergine – 2012 Jean Foillard Morgon Beaujolais

Today Aussie Wine Guy and colleagues had the opportunity to dine at the well regarded Aubergine restaurant in the heart of Griffith, in the heart of Canberra.

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As everyone’s orders were slightly different, we needed a wine which would compliment a fairly diverse range of textures and flavours.  AWG’s initial temptation was to order a bottle of either new world or old world Pinot Noir, however the house sommelier had a much more inspired suggestion: Beaujolais.

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Beaujolais had acquired a bit of a nasty reputation in more recent decades, mainly as “cheap plonk”, and perhaps had been all but written off until recent vintages.  Then, unexpectedly, came a new wave of quality releases – and the basis for the recommendation today.

The specific label recommended – a 2012 Jean Foillard Morgon “Côte du Py” – is a remarkable wine made organically (never using synthetic herbicides or pesticides) and with such attention to detail that only the healthiest grapes make the vintage.  It paired brilliantly with our selections. 

Aubergine is a first rate establishment, with impeccable service.  It is rated amongst the top restaurants in town and for good reason.  The food, presentation and atmosphere harken to an era when dining out was not just an occasion to eat, but to be experienced!  At this, Aubergine certainly delivers. 

Rather than describe each dish, AWG prefer to let the pictures do the talking.

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Shiro kin wagyu rump cap, celtuce, marinated leeks, oyster vinaigrette

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Bangalow sweet pork neck, parsley root, braised endive, muntries

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Chocolate and praline delicé, vanilla cream, lemon curd

The three course affair was most pleasing to the tastebuds, each dish was expertly crafted to provide a gourmet contrast to the wine.    Speaking of.. if you have written off beaujolais.. now’s a good time to take another look.

This wine had a most agreeable body, the bouquet was a powerful and tempting array of flavours (currants and a hint of cloves) which was well met by a suple and smooth textured finish – a fine array of complimentary flavours, from berries to spices and complete with well structured tannins which seem to hold up to scrutiny one might reserve for a highly praised Bordeaux!

Indeed it’s an interesting time for Beaujolais, AWG wouldn’t be surprised if the wine wasn’t overdue for a resurgence in what is an increasingly competitive market.  Keep an eye on this region.

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