7.46am, Wednesday 12th May, The Bogey Hole, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Good morning all, and it’s a very different day in Newcastle. The southerly change is coming through, it’s quite chilly, and yesterday it was surfer city out on the water from dawn to dusk – today no one is out there in the frothy swirl.
I just want to report on last night’s consumer dinner at the Beaches Hotel. It is in Merewether and owned by John & Lyn Twohill, and it is their world around there, so last night I renamed it “Twohillville”. Anyway, the dinner was up to the high standard we set at the first one six years ago. This is where we debuted the dinner game “Wine Red Faces”. Without any preparation, folks got up and did talent acts and it contributed to a magic night for all concerned.
The Beaches sits up on the cliff and has the wine shop at street level downstairs, and this is where we started with canapes and the new vintages of Vermentino and Wild Ferment Chardonnay, then the big gun run of 2007 The Menzies, 2005 The Octavius, 2005 The Signature 2004 The Reserve.
Then upstairs to dinner with the new vintage 2009 Y Riesling – very citrus snappy for anyone looking for something to go with tempura garfish! – the 2008 Eden Valley Viognier, 2008 Patchwork , 2008 Scribbler, and the 2008 Botrytis Viognier with the most exceptional sticky meringue topped pot of passionfruit mousse!
I’m sorry I didn’t take any photos at all because I was flat out talking my face off around the tables, answering 20 wine questions and catching up with old mates that have supported all of these Beaches dinners. My partner in wine on the night was Sir Wiggo, Wine Knight of The Central Coast, and it’s always a treat to come up and do this event with him – special mention of how much time he put in on that one table of attractive young gals that called themselves beginners with wine! And at our table were the Plumbers – Senior & Junior you know who you are – and their mates. A lovely bunch of knockabout blokes who just love red wine and love getting amongst it. Thanks a huge amount for your continued support. We missed the two tables from the local wine club – all out of town – but we’ll see you next time, and we’ll make sure it’s not as long between visits next time.
**For the gals at The Nerve Centre – you also know who you are – here’s one for you. You seriously never know what you’ll run into at these dinners, and during the course of the evening, one of the local identities that I met showed us a video – on his iPhone – of himself in a G string getting an all-over body spray tan in preparation for doing a karaoke presentation of “You Can Keep Your Hat On” at a local fundraising evening. Then there was the video clip of the performance. So being the consummate professional that I am, I congratulated him on the performance and wished him the best with his future career as the Karaoke King. It never gets dull out here!
So we’re having breakfast here at The Bogey Hole – scrambled eggs are required this morning as a solid start to a big day and night combination. Wiggo drops me down to Sydney where I get to work with Garthy G tonight at the stellar dining establishment Aria.
So to everyone we know in Newcastle and down the coast in “Twohillville” – thanks a massive amount, we love your work and we’ll see ya in the not too distant, hopefully down at the winery around Vintage Festival time next year.