Monthly Archives: August 2012

No I didn’t forget!

4.07pm, Friday 17th August, Yalumba Clocktower, Eden Valley Road, Angaston, SA

Afternoon folks, and somewhere in the world right now, it’s still the 16th August – the anniversary of the death of the King of Rock’n’Roll – yep…..that would be Elvis Presley. I got out one of my favourite things last night – my ‘pop up’ Graceland book – and made a pop up pilgrimage to Elvis’s great old homestead, just like folks will be doing tonight at the annual candlelight vigil right there on site in Memphis. So folks, just put a little “Burning Love” in your day – or night – And never forget…..”the sun never sets on a legend”!!!


Dinner at Andre’s Cucina……..Tonight!!

6.21pm, Wednesday 15th August, 93 Frome Street, Adelaide city, South Australia

Evening folks – I’ve been off the air lately, getting set for another 8 weeks of events across the USA – starting September 3rd. But tonight we’re back at Andre’s Cucina and polenta bar – yes the home stove of Andre – my “fluffy gnocchi king”!! It just wouldn’t be a Yalumba wine dinner without fresh gnocchi on the menu, and tonight it’s going to be our 2010 Cigar Coonawarra Cabernet with Andre’s ‘lamb filled gnocchi with rocket pesto and pine nuts’. Yes……il get a photo! For now, here’s the proper Italian base stuff for those fabulous flavor balls…..


The lighting is romantic – well done Rohan – it’s warm inside (positively arctic end of winter stuff outside) and we’ve got all the red wines pre poured so it smells great. Here’s the ‘before’ look at the restaurant, and that’s the delightful Sebastian and Rohan up at the bar….see ya when it all gets underway


Emma J takes on Tuna Town

9.06am, Saturday 4th August, Port Lincoln Airport…….still!

Seeing as our aeroplane that’s taking us back to Adelaide has only just left to come and get us – low fog in Adelaide this morning – I can introduce you to the new Yalumba sales gal for Port Lincoln and the Eyre Peninsula in general – Emma Sawrey. Now I’m a bit superstitious with all the traveling that I do – always on the lookout for good omens! Yesterday we caught up with Marty and Melissa, the owners of The Marina Hotel which sits right on the shipping passage in and out of the commercial fishing docks for Port Lincoln.

The tuna boat ‘Emma J’ came in just as we were leaving with a bumper catch of tuna, and seeing as it was Emma Jane Sawrey’s first day on the job – good enough omen for us that things will go well for our seriously tall and talented sales gal from the start! Such Good Luck Emma J.


Goodbye Tuna Town…..For Now

8.34am, Saturday 4th August, Port Lincoln Airport, South Australia

Morning folks, our annual Yalumba Rare and Fine visit to Port Lincoln is done. The dinner last night featured local seafood, lamb and beef – with David Pedro the Port Lincoln Hotel chef being the mastermind at the stove. With the Jansz NV on arrival, my favorite of the evening were the local prawn – thanks very much to Puglisi family for those – skewers. A pair of spiced prawns in a pinwheel arrangement, char grilled with zinging spices. Have a look at these….


Into the entree we went, with the Eden Valley – Virgilius Viognier double opening the main event with ‘Marinated Kingfish Fillet Medallion with citrus and mint salsa and blood orange aoili’

On to the serious red wine set of Coonawarra Cabernets and Barossa Shiraz – with the 2010 Cigar and 2008 Menzies and 2010 Patchwork and 2006 Octavius respectively. Chef David Pedro custom built a local ‘mixed grill’ of ‘Herb Crusted Aged Beef Fillet and Slow Roasted Lamb Rack finished with a smokey bacon mashed potato and Octavius Shiraz glaze’ to go with our ‘Awesome red foursome’, and I have to say that it was a total winner on the night. Elegant and aromatic Cabernet with the tasty lamb on the chop bone, and smoky Barossa Shiraz with sweet cloves and cinnamon for the fall apart beef. Apologies to all vegetarians……this was a bit of a carnivores carnival moment in time!


Then the triple Cabernet Shiraz treat of the 2009 Scribbler, 2008 Signature, and 2004 The Reserve. I know you’re not supposed to play favourites, but the combination is king in my opinion! Theres a reason why Cabernet and Shiraz fit together like a hand in a glove, and have done since we first opened our Australian winemaking doors. In a great vintage year, we hold back some of the Cabernet and Shiraz barrels that are earmarked for Signature – in itself the best possible combination of the two varieties that we can put together in any given vintage – and let it sit for at least 6 months longer in oak, settling gracefully into a nice solid tannin bed. Then at least 6 years bottle age before we release the wine, and you have The Reserve – a barrel selection of the oldest Cabernet and Shiraz at our disposal. The current 2004 The Reserve is three quarters Cabernet, one quarter Shiraz, and is a very elegant piece of work, still completely in wall of fruit overdrive. We probably drank the allocation for a small European country last night – seeing as there’s only about 3000 bottles filled – and we opened 7 bottles on this occasion. There you have it….star wine of the night.

Out came a choc berry masterpiece to keep the Cabernet Shiraz company – ‘Chocolate Pannacotta, cinnamon vanilla cream and berry sorbet’ to be exact. In all honesty, it was like the fluffiest creamiest chocolate custard you ever slid a spoon through, topped with red berry soft ice. Too good to be true!

End result……lots of very happy folks here in Tuna Town at the Yalumba Dinner last night. Thanks a huge amount to Di Williams, David Pedro, Abby, Trish, and all the superb staff at The Port Lincoln Hotel for such a fabulous evening……..and for all the folks who came along……we know who you are and we love your support. Thanks a million and we’ll see you same time same place next year!

But for now……goodbye Tuna Town


Olympic Update

10.15am, Friday 3rd August, same place same time as the last post – Port Lincoln Marina

OK folks, just to bring you up to date with my boxing boys over there at London 2012, unfortunately Luke Jackson (lightweight) and Jai Opetaia (heavyweight) were knocked out of the competition on points in the first round, but our lad from Moree Cameron Hammond has made it through the first round of the welterweight competition, and he boxes at midnight tonight against the Canadian bloke Custio Clayton in the next level. It’s a long long way from Moree to London, so let’s hope Cameron gets to keep going!

In Bigfishville!

8.38am, Friday 3rd August, Boardwalk Bistro, The Marina, where the big boats are, Port Lincoln, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

Morning, folks, this is the big Rare & Fine Red Wine Night in Bigfishville for us! That’s when we bring an absolute bagful of our best top end wines across the Spencer Gulf to share with our best friends in Tuna Town – that would be marked as ‘Port Lincoln’ on all the maps!

So we’ve ducked across to the Marina, where all the big working tuna boats, prawn trawlers and cruise boats are tied up, and you’ll find The Boardwalk bistro doing breakfast at this time of the day. That’s why we’re here, having brekky … oh and because the owners Marty and Melissa have a stack of our wines on the list – plus their new chef Scott ( ex Lizard Island) is not only doing great stuff with the local seafood, but also putting a mean flaky pastry braised lamb pie together as well.

Look – toad in the hole – fried egg in bread……just as good as poached eggs with toast and butter soldiers!


And it’s peak hour with the marina traffic folks, the Swim with the Sealions tourist boat is just on its way out …


The Kingfish feeding boat is coming back in……


And it’s a good start to the day in Bigfishville




Tuna Town here we come

7.02am, Thursday 2nd August, Adelaide Airport, South Australia

Morning, folks, the ute is safely in the long term car park at Adelaide Airport – and deserves a couple of days off after hammering down the Stuart Highway from Alice Springs over the last couple of days. We’re swapping the red sand of the Northern Territory for the blue water of Port Lincoln as we head over the Spencer Gulf to Tuna Town for our second Yalumba Rare & Fine Wine Dinner. We’re back at Mark Riccuito’s Port Lincoln Hotel tomorrow night for our big red wine shindig, and we’ll be visiting with our mates at The Grand Tasman – right on the waterfront – today. So it’s probably going to be fresh prawns, fresh prawns, and more fresh prawns for us! Some days you just have to love this job!

So here’s what we left up North – that’s a wild camel folks – and I’ll put up some sea views this evening. Wish us luck in Bigfishville!