Category Archives: New South Wales

New South Wales

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.

Dinner and Drinks in Orange

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Central NSW, past the colourful canola fields and through the elevated cool climate vineyards, today AWG found his way to the town of Orange on business; but naturally gravitated towards a wine related sidebar to enjoy some local wines.

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Dinner this evening was generously hosted at the local restaurant eighteen70 which features a delectable menu and impressive wine list.

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Earlier in the evening, the tasting began with two glasses from local producer Belgravia of their 2011 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon.  This was an elegant cool climate red, still young and developing but already charming with a sweet bouquet and intricate body, even better after a few swirls in the glass.

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Fastforwarding to the dinner venue again, the restaurant was an impressive location, well appointed and cosy (particularly around the gas fireplace), but at the same time well laid out and spacious.  The menu was equally impressive which made meal selection even harder.

At dinner, paired to backstrap lamb with cherry tomatoes, polenta chips, mint pesto & shiraz jus, we continued the Orange wine journey with two bottles of Shiraz (2010) from another well regarded local label Bloodwood.  The selection was superlatve, the Shiraz (resembling a Hunter Shiraz to a degree) was well balanced and contained fine tannis after what would have mounted to a fairly short time spent maturing in the bottle.

The wine was delectable with a sweetly perfumed scent which induced the appetite making the lamb and accompaniments even better than they already were –  a fine pairing.

If you haven’t considered a trip to Orange to taste the local produce and wines, AWG highly recommends a visit.  This article on Gourmet Traveller does a brilliant job of capturing the experiences on offer here.

A huge thanks to Nick, Rod and Caroline plus our local hosts for an excellent evening out in Orange.