It’s the Caledonian Hotel for a Rare & Fine night out in Adelaide

10.34am, Thursday 15th May 2015, Krispy Kreme Adelaide Central Market (couldn’t help myself!), South Australia

Morning folks, I just couldn’t walk past Krispy Kreme this morning without investing in one of their ‘Kruffins’ – basically a muffin with the centre drilled out and replaced with a Krispy Kreme cream filling! Here’s the coffee flavoured number I chose….so much more interesting than the old Apple bran or berry baked goods! 

So here we go. With my annual travel schedule being so busy, it’s a rare treat to be doing events in my own back yard here in Adelaide, and last night was a biggie at the Caledonian Hotel private dining room.Being  a South Australian crowd you know you’re going to have a pretty wine savvy audience, so it’s all about having that mix of behind the scene detail and Barossa wine story time. The kitchen at the Caledonian is outstanding with head chef Mark assisted by Ben and Will at the stoves, so with that part of the evening well under control, I’m pleased to report that our wines jumped out of the bottle and performed well.

We started with Jansz NV (the Methode Tasmanoise sparkling from Pipers River owned by the Hill Smith Family – Yalumba proprietors and Vignerons for 166 years continuously this year) and canapés……..but not just any old smoked oysters on crackers here! For starters – seared tuna with wasabi cream – thanks Rhiannon….

And then the house favourite….’Jins chicken’ – this is a secret marinade situation, then the chicken is rolled in potato starch and flash fried, which is why it’s a light crusty shell and not a thick greasy batter – fab! The staff call it ‘jintucky fried chicken’ and I’ll be going back to the Caledonian on my own time for another basket full! It was just the right thing for the sparkling, and had a herb aoli for dipping…

Then we were into the dinner proper, and the boys got serious at the stoves……thanks to head chef Mark….

And chef Ben…. Who definitely loves his work


scallops are an excellent choice for our ‘exotic aromatic’ Yalumba double of 2013 Roussanne and Eden Valley Viognier, and Mark’s ‘Pan Seared Scallops, cauliflower purée, peas and baby endive’ was just the ticket for the lime lights of the Roussanne and the slippery palate and stone fruit nose on the viognier. The cauliflower is that little bit extra that works. these were the comments from folks around me, as I unfortunately can’t eat scallops.

***so here’s what Mark made specially for me – barramundi with the same extras as were on the scallops!

Into the in between entree and main course – yes folks – the dining fan favourite ‘Pork Belly, book Choy, baby carrot & shiraz jelly’ – with our Yalumba Cabernet Shiraz blend 2012 vintage double header …..The (little brother) Scribbler and (big brother) The Signature. You cannot beat pork belly done well with that just crispy enough pressed crust and fall apart fibres, and the shiraz jelly and purée really showed out the lush dark plum fruit in both of the Reds……particularly the lush opening of the 2012 The Signature. Yes…..our main problem with that one is going to be convincing folks to leave the cork in for a little while! But then, that’s a good problem to have – theres a stack of beautifully integrated tannin there that’s going to hold it together well into its late teens and early twenties……but anytime you want to pull that cork…..the 2012 The Signature – named for our current spiritual leader and proprietor Robert Hill Smith – it will not let you down! Promise!

Then for the special interest Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignin fans, out came the ‘Slow cooked beef rib with pumpkin purée, leeks and red wine jus’. We opened the 2012 The Cigar (named for the ‘terra Rossa cigar’ which is the cigar shaped limestone ridge on which Coonawarra sits) and 2012 The Menzies to soak up this meaty goodness, and ……make a note……2012 is a stellar vintage and this applies to reds from the regions Barossa, Coonawarra, Clare and McLaren Vale in my opinion. Just look at the colours in the glass, that tells its own story.

And to finish? Quite rightly the variety that has become synonymous with the word’Barossa’…….shiraz. We put up the 2009 The Octavius Old Vine Barossa Shiraz, which has been a condensed brick of flavour and aroma up until quite recently as its started to blossom – and it’s ‘little brother’ The Patchwork Shiraz 2012. Lovely full stop to a top Yalumba Rare & Fine release roadshow night out in Adelaide…..with cheese

So thanks to  Fiona from The Caledonian and Kate from our distributor Samuel Smith & Son….. 


Because these folks had a thoroughly good time! 


With any luck we’ll see you same time, same place, with another top wine set…… next year!

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