Last weekend I spent an afternoon in the autumn sunshine, exploring with friends. We hit the road, taking care to avoid a massive group of cyclists and headed to some wineries in the Murrumbateman region.
At the Poacher’s Pantry we tried Wily Trout shiraz and Fingerlings merlot, bought some fig & balsamic paste, smoked kangaroo prosciutto and cherry nougat.
After a quick stop to take in the magnificent late afternoon views, we headed down the road to Gallagher’s winery. Once the bus full of kids from the Department of Innovation had left (that’s not to say we weren’t enjoying eavesdropping on some blatant spading from one young fellow, trying his luck with the ladies! And these are meant to be our nation’s innovators…!), we had the place to ourselves and in between tasting the Riesling, shiraz, merlot and chardonnay, we had quite a chat to winemaker and owner Greg. The man not only had a fabulously bushy moustache, but a portfolio of classic one liners…
“How do you know if a wine is good? Taste it. It could be chocolate to one person and Brussels spouts to another. It’s entirely personal.”
I kept this in mind while I tasted the chardonnay, a variety I usually steer clear of. But on Greg’s recommendation, I sipped some chardy after munching on some homemade made labneh & crackers cracker and it was definitely less Brussels sprout and more chocolate. This brought out the next pearler…
“Oak in chardonnay is like salt in cooking. Too much of it is overpowering, but if you don’t have enough, it’s tasteless. It’s about finding the perfect balance.”
I mean hello? How good is Greg? Every time he spoke he spoke in wise proverbs. Except when he was yelling and trying to control five month old chocolate lab pup Buddy. There were less proverbs, more profanities…
But the best thing about Greg, was that he told us about the Murrumbateman Moving Feast – a weekend of premium local wines matched with scrumptious food. I’ve diarised.
And he pointed out the glorious sunset.
So with our purchases clinking over the bumpy road, we headed home to the open fire, a hearty beef stew and some gooey chocolate pots.
I love weekends.
PS – here are a few more pics from our lovely weekend.