As you know if you have been a follower of my posts I love my food and from time to time enjoy a drop or two of wine to go with my dinner and last night we headed to the Osborne Park Hotel for a wine and food pairing event that was hosted by Taylors Wines after our good friend John suggested it might be something that we would enjoy – and enjoy it we did.
Of course these evenings are a way for the winemaker to highlight their ranges and hopefully get some sales from them and this was no different at all but it was accompanied by some good friends and the food pairing was also well conceived and presented to make for a really enjoyable evening for all of us. I have to admit up front that I had never even thought of heading to the Osborne Park Hotel for dinner before but after the type of food that was on offer I would consider returning there to try out their menu.
The dinner was a 5 course tasting meal with matched wines and I think that they got it right with every course we tried. There were a couple of aspects of two of the courses that I do have comment on but overall it was a well presented meal and the wines were all perfectly matched for each course. So we began with the starter which was a combination of 3 dishes – chilli garlic prawn skewer, salt & pepper squid with lemon aioli and a small salmon Quiche and this was matched with the Taylors Estate Brut Cuvee. This was a nice light dish to begin the dinner with and both the prawn skewer and the squid were delicious, my one critique was that the salmon Quiche was quite dry and the pastry did not have the lightness that I would expect from this sort of dish. The Taylors Brut Cuvee was as especially nice way to start the meal and introduce us to the wines for the night.
A nice start but the salmon Quiche was a little dry!
Next came the Taylors Estate Sauvignon Blanc and this was served with a salmon gravlax with capers & citrus salsa and dressed with roquette. This was presented well and had all the complex tastes that go with good salmon gravlax and the Sauvignon Blanc had a strong passionfruit nose and the taste was just fruity enough to perfectly compliment the salmon. The citrus salsa needs a mention all of its own as it was a highlight and added another element to the dish – the blend of the sweetness of orange and tomato with the tart grapefruit all added together to create an accompaniment to this dish.
A delightful dish served with a divine salsa!
The next dish is more associated with winter menus for me but it was never the less lovely and I think to find an appropriate dish to serve with the Taylors Estate Cabernet Sauvignon then the beef cheek served with mushroom ragout and parsnip purée fitted together perfectly. The cabernet had strong berry top notes and a full-bodied flavour that sat perfectly with the flavours presented with the beef cheek. The parsnip purée was a little bland and I think needed more parsnip and perhaps some seasoning to take full advantage of the subtlety on offer but that is just a small criticism as it was a lovely dish.
Beef Cheek lovely, tender and delightful!
There were 2 elements in the next course that was designed to be paired with the Taylors 2012 Jaraman Shiraz and whilst both were really tasty and offered some complexity one of the dishes was cooked and served hot and the other was not hot enough. This course consisted of a duck spring roll, sautéed red cabbage and served with sultana with plum sauce and the second dish was a mini shepherd’s pie of twice cooked lamb in a rosemary pepper jus and served with broccolini. The duck spring roll was my favourite part of the meal and the sauce that came with it was an absolute perfect match. It was hot, perfectly cooked and tasted amazing. The lamb on the other hand had great flavours but would have been better if it had been served piping hot from the oven and not just warm. By not serving it really hot the chefs did not do the dish justice but we all still got the lovely flavours but I can only imagine how much better it would have been if it was served hotter. The Shiraz was again another good match and really complimented the flavours being offered in both dishes.
The duck spring roll was the highlight of the meal for me!
And so we head to the last dish of the night, an oven baked caramelised stone fruit that was served chilled and had a berry compote and an almond praline. This was served with the Taylors Promised Land Moscato and the moscato was light enough and had just the right frizzante in it to really compliment the stone fruit. This would be the perfect light wine to sip really chilled in summer when sitting outside with friends in the late afternoon. The nectarine was perfectly cooked and the berry compote added another level to the fruit. The praline was also a really nice touch here.
The perfect end to the night!
This was a lovely meal and the chefs, working with Taylors succeeded in putting together a menu that with just a little more refinement would have been perfect but really it was a lovely way to spend a Thursday evening!