10.41am, Saturday 5th June, Gate 11, Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Time to fill in all the gaps on this last week, whilst waiting for my flight up to Coolangatta. This will be in sections, because I don’t trust myself. I wrote the whole week up, then forgot to press ‘publish’ … again! So it’s all lost … again! So here we go again. Really varied week where we spoke to lots of trade – retail and restaurant from both the metropolitan Melbourne and outer suburbs area, plus the regionals – as well as our favourite folk – the consumers! So I’m going to give you the absolute highlights:
Monday, 31st May
We had a dinner for 45 wine store managers and floor staff at Mediterraneo – Sonya and Michael’s small terrace house restaurant in Albert Park – renowned for their King Island aged steaks. It’s just such a great set of parallel lines: the Great Australian steak and the Great Australian Red. Easy really, so it’s not surprising that I’ve been watching top local beef being set up with our big gun reds consistently for the last 4 weeks on this tour. It’s the many and varied cuts, ages, origins, sauces, vegetable side dishes, and aromas of the whole thing that has impressed me no end. There’s a cookbook in it somewhere!
Tonight’s options included King Island Scotch Fillet (pictured) and the Gippsland T-bone, all served up with a choice of muscat & mushroom, or brandy & pepper sauces. The special effect here at Mediterraneo is the way they cook the steaks – on a custom-made mallee root grill. This way you get the added aromatics of the wood smoke, and you lose most of the fat as it drips away. And one of the good things on the night was that we had folks from all parts of the metro area – from Berwick on the way to the Gippsland region, to the young gals from Doncaster.
No end to the questions on the night – from revegetation to water to wild yeast ferment to Coonawarra boundary debates – which is always an indication that the wines are travelling well, and that we’re doing interesting things – in and out of the glass – at Yalumba.
***Just for interest we put on a couple of bottles of back vintage The Reserve – 2001 & 2002. Happy to report the 2002 is barely moving and still showing mostly primary fruit with a bit of tobacco, and the 2001 is into it’ secondaries with a lot of savoury leather and baked spices showing. Both palates long and holding!