Category Archives: France

Lunch at Rubicon

A Degustation

On Friday Aussie Wine Guy and associates took lunch at Rubicon restaurant in Griffith, ACT.  We opted for a group agreed 4-course degustation which kindly evolved into a 5-course owing to dietary restrictions of one of our diners.

IMG_1622  IMG_1623  IMG_1624

The menu at Rubicon was as delectable as one would expect in a top tier restaurant.  Choosing between the entree and main options was a delightful but tough chore, however we decided on the following selection (pared with house selected wines in the table below).

  • Entree 1: North Atlantic Scallops, apple and lentil salad, bacon, shiso,
  • Entree 2: Pork assiette – belly with chilli lime caramel; rolled shin and boudin noir, crispy ear and herb salad
  • Main: Chargrilled beef fillet in bacon, charred asparagus, potato boulangere, horseradish cream, olive
  • Dessert: Poached quince, chevre Bavarian cream, caramelised sauternes jelly, peach puree
  • Cheese plate: selected cheese
     
Pizzini Pinot Grigio 2014
Lightfoot & Son
Myrtle Point
Chardonnay 2013
Domaine Joncier – L’o de Joncier Grenache 2013
Carmes du Rieussec Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion 2011
El Candado
Pedro Ximenez
Sherry NV

 

Entree 1 – Scallops

IMG_1626

A solid start, and the pairing with the Pinot Grigio was a superb way to cleanse  the palate.  AWG remarked at the time, that the Pinot Grigio was a remarkably underrated wine.

Entree 2 – Pork

IMG_1627

An outstanding second act paired this King Valley Chardonnay with an amazing pair of pork combinations – fatty and crisp and outstandingly prepared.  The Chardonnay bucked the trend of being overtly sugary, which made it refreshing and crisp a perfect combination to the savoury goodness of pork belly.

IMG_1629  IMG_1630

Main – Beef

IMG_1631  IMG_1632

Our main for the day was accompanied with a fairly obscure 100% Grenache from the southern Rhone.  The beef was served with an array of complementary flavours, from bacon to a fine horseradish cream.

IMG_1633

AWG had to do some research on the Grenache, and came across this snippet:

The Domaine Joncier L’O 2013 is actually a de-classified Lirac making it all the more exciting. Made of 100% of Grenache grapes picked at the beginning of the harvest, in a parcel over 45 years from Lirac. The harvest is manual, the yields are low, the vinification is natural and gentle but all this develop the intensity and the elegance of this wine. The total destemming allows very round and fine tannins.

Source: https://francaboutwine.com/product/domaine-joncier-lo-2013/

Dessert – Poached quince

IMG_1635

Dessert was a nice change of pace, stepping into the sweet, sweet world of after main dishes.  The quince was very nice and full of flavour, but the highlight could well have been the caramelized sauternes jelly coupled with the cream, topped off with a nice cold glass of Sauternes dessert wine direct from the Bordeaux region.

IMG_1634

Finishing touch – Cheese

IMG_1638

Finishing off our fine lunch was this cheese plate containing a variety of soft and hard cheeses.  This was paired against a glass of Spanish Sherry which the party remarked reminded everyone of Christmas.

IMG_1640

Summary

Rubicon is an excellent venue and the food, service and ambiance are amongst the elite in Canberra.  The food is but a part of the dining experience, it’s a truly enjoyable experience which is best enjoyed with good company.

Rubicon on Urbanspoon

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.

IMG_1707  IMG_1708

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.

IMG_1712  IMG_1709

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.

IMG_1713|

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

IMG_1714

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

IMG_1715

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.

Aubergine on Urbanspoon