Great Choice with Winter Pie

By David Ellis from vintnews.  


If you’re fond of a good Shiraz, grab a bottle of the 2013 Logan from Orange in the NSW Central Ranges – 2013 was a great year for Shiraz out there, and this one from Peter Logan is a particular stand-out. 


Medium-bodied and full of cool climate red berry flavours and spice, it’s a great example of what can come out of high altitude regions such as Orange, and particularly so in the hands of makers like Peter who is a more than dab hand with the variety. 


“It’s exactly what I want from our Shiraz,” Peter says, adding that at the same time the variety all but makes itself in the vineyard. “It requires minimal intervention in the winery, and is fairly consistent year in and year out,” he says. “The optimal result is a wine like this one that’s a straight-up delivery of the succulent red fruits and spice of cold climate, high country Shiraz.” 


And interestingly while it bursts with that juicy, cool climate red fruits and spice, it has a lovely soft mouth-filling texture, and at $28 makes for a great companion at this time of year with a hearty beef pie. 


One to note: a 2014 Chardonnay from Fifth Leg in Western Australia’s Margaret River is one of those whites that many consider is best enjoyed when served nicely chilled during Summer time’s heat, but in reality is one to savour all year round. 


With a lovely crisp palate of crunchy apples that lead to tasty stone-fruit flavours, it has a marvellous lime juice finish and really does reward with being served well chilled. And while a great drop to simply enjoy on its own anytime, it makes an excellent companion with fried whitebait.


The quirky-named Fifth Leg, by the way, got its name from the discovery of a fossilised skeleton of a Tasmanian Devil in a cave in Margaret River a near-half century ago – and with a fifth leg laying nearby. 


Terindah Estate wins James Halliday Dark Horse Winery of the Year

Revered wine critic James Halliday has had over 45 years in the wine industry and the Halliday Wine Companion Awards are like the announcement of the world’s best restaurants – nerve wrecking, exciting and one that sometimes causes dissension.

Tonight, six major awards were announced along with ten of the coveted varietal awards and this year’s Dark Horse Winery of the Year is none other than Terindah Estate, which has steadily been achieving awards in numerous varietal categories since 2003, but has just received their first five-star rating – making them the perfect candidate to win the Dark Horse. 

The view of Terindah Estate from The Shed @ Terindah. 

James Halliday commended Terindah Estate on their exceptional wines as well as their beautiful winery, which boasts 15 acres of vines, a private beach, rotating wheat as well as fig and citrus trees along with a small organic herb and vegetable garden which contributes to their cellar door and restaurant The Shed @ Terindah.

“Of the eight wines tasted, three were awarded 95 points, another two 94 points and four given the value symbol. Terindah Estate was by far the best performed contender for the Dark Horse award,” said Halliday.

Terindah Estate was bought in 2000 by Peter Slattery, who has retired from running his own company Slattery Australia (where he is still the director). Peter and his wife, Cate, had a vision to create the most spectacular food and wine destination on the Bellarine Peninsula and the Dark Horse award only contributes to their vision and path of success.

“I could not resist the beauty [of Terindah Estate]; the views across the bay are spectacular. I soon realised that the terroir was perfect for grape growing, so we planted our first vines in 2001,” said Slattery.

“My original vision for the property was to have a location close to Melbourne that offered a good lifestyle and one that Cate and I could bring our 6 children to. It wasn’t until I had a boating accident that saw me pause and reflect on my life, [which lead to the realisation that] I could create a premier food and wine destination for visitors to The Bellarine.” 

Peter and Cate Slattery at Terindah Estate.  

Terindah Estate now employs more than 40 people and received the Shiraz Trophy in 2013 for the country’s best Shiraz. Peter says that there is still work to be done as the Bellarine Region is not as well recognised in the wine community as he would like.

“A lot of people still don’t recognise Geelong or the Bellarine Peninsula as a renowned wine region, so we have to continuously promote our brand as a wine destination. Being named this year’s Dark Horse will certainly help us deal with this challenge,” said Slattery.

“Recognition as a five star winery not only boosts our reputation, but enhances the area as a whole and helps to attract more visitors to our region.”

For more information on tonight’s awards see here. 

To find out more about Terindah Estate click through here 

Images courtesy of and Drew Ryan Photography. 

Supercharged Soups

This winter has proven frostier than most and a crackling fire in a single room of the house doesn’t always cut it. Turn on the electric blankets, check the gas bottle to keep the hot water flowing and stock up on aloe vera tissues before the flu makes another round through the office! It’s time to start chopping those vegetables and making a few months worth of soups to keep you warm and healthy through icy cold times. 

Soups are great for winter as they not only warm you on the inside, but can provide a wide range of nutrients in one bowl that is easily absorbed into your system. Cue superfoods. In case you’ve missed the rise of superfoods, they are raw foods - usually plant-based - said to have exceptional nutritional value that contribute more than just your average dose of daily vitamins towards great health and well-being. You may know a few already such as kale, blueberries and quinoa and with just a few more; you can create delicious, warming foods to help supercharge you through to warmer temperatures. 

Check out some of these supercharged soups and start chopping! 

1) If green is good, this supercharged Broccoli Soup is great! Broccoli is full of Vitamin C, plenty of calcium to keep your cold bones strong and selenium to fight off viruses. With a couple of garlic cloves thrown in too, you’ll be warding off more than just unwanted illnesses. 

2) Yet another of Mother Nature’s powerhouse crops, kale is an excellent source of fibre, folate, carotenoids, Vitamins A, B and C and as with most leafy greens they are often better to be eaten cooked in order to reduce the concentration of oxalic acid.  Throw in some chicken and you have yourself a nutrient dense, hot salad, otherwise known as Chicken and Kale Soup.

3) Sweet potato provides us with plenty of beta-carotene to protect us from free radicals and convert into Vitamin A to support our immune system. This Sweet Potato, Chicken and Quinoa Soup also fills the hunger hole pretty well, along with the gluten free pseudocereal quinoa. 

4) The strange looking enoki mushrooms are full of nutrients, particularly Vitamin B and the Jerusalem artichoke can claim a delicate flavour, plenty of antioxidants and a generous range of electrolytes. For something a bit different, try this Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with caramelized shallots and roasted enoki mushrooms.

5) Let the spices in this Indian Spiced Cauliflower Soup do their thing through the colder months, keeping your body heated up and the bacteria away. The cauliflower will help fill you up, the coriander will detoxify and the apple cider vinegar will help your body maintain a normal pH balance essential to good health.

6) Curing anything from mouth ulcers to digestive problems and even depression, the peppery, citrusy cardamom spice is great for getting rid of any lingering coughs or in curing bronchitis. It is also an anti-inflammatory, so if your throat is particularly sore with this year’s flu, go ahead and give Carrot, Pomegranate and Cardamom Soup a go.  Not only that, pomegranate is an extremely powerful antioxidant with fantastic immune supporting effects.  

Compiled by Julie Johnson. 

Seven Soups from around the World

Grab a world map, find your culinary compass, pick a destination and get cooking!

1) Senegal  – Peanut and Squash Soup

A wonderful peanut and vibrant squash dish from this sub-Saharan country, loaded with protein from the peanuts and lycopene from the tomatoes, this soup is not only healthy, but easy to create. Coriander stems and roots are often used for flavour in Hispanic and Afro-Caribbean cooking and give this dish a little kick if you want to sprinkle them over the top - perfect for a great dinner main with a simple crunchy green salad on the side.

2) Japan – Miso Soup

The intense umami flavour instantly revives the soul and gently warms your body and miso has a great source of antioxidants, dietary fibre and protein to give you a boost.The fermentation of soybeans gives miso its distinct flavour with longer fermentation time producing a darker, stronger flavour and shorter fermentation time a sweet and light miso.

3) Italy – Minestrone

A thick, traditional Italian soup, minestrone is made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock and tomatoes. This is a great way to feed a crowd on a winter's day as the vegetables end up with a robust flavour and you can use almost any vegetable in your fridge.

4) Vietnam – Pho

Pho (pronounced "fuhr") is a light, fragrant soup eaten at any time of day and one of the Vietnamese’s favourite dishes. Make sure you aim for high quality stock as this will be the basis to creating a fantastic pho, along with the aromatic spices and premium quality meat.

5) Peru – Chicken and Coriander Soup

In Peru, chicken and coriander soup is part of the culinary history and tradition, eaten in the home as a main dish and in some places makes for a staple breakfast. With a delicious, hearty and spicy flavour the soup is served all over the country and in more rural places, it includes potatoes and more peas. The distinctive colouring and tangy flavour can be attributed to the fresh coriander leaves.

6) Morocco – Spicy Chickpea Soup

Morocco is a country bursting with colour, noise and movement, it is vibrant, bold and beautiful and this is reflected in the simple and rustic spicy chickpea soup, traditionally eaten with deep wooden spoons. Known as Moroccan comfort food, it is often served with herbed olives and crusty bread or served over fluffy rice. 

7) French – Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse was originally a stew made by Marseille fishermen using the bony rockfish which they were unable to sell to restaurants or markets. There are at least three kinds of fish in a traditional bouillabaisse, but what makes it different from other fish soups is the selection of Provençal herbs and spices in the broth; the use of bony local Mediterranean fish; the way the fish are added one at a time, and brought to a boil; and the method of serving. In Marseille, the broth is served first in a soup plate with slices of bread and rouille, then the fish is served separately on a large platter.

Compiled by Julie Johnson. 

Delicious detour in Country Victoria: Dunkeld, VIC

By Michelle Tchea from My Little SoHo Kitchen. 

 Take a slight detour to Dunkeld, rural Victoria and see what the fuss is all about at one of Australia’s best Restaurants.

 Snails in natural habitat – Royal Mail Hotel (Restaurant). 

Royal Mail Hotel, Rural VIC

We all know what goes on behind the scenes in a professional kitchen - morning preparations, gathering fresh produce and of course developing the menu to feed hungry guests. But with the latest farm-to-table movement hitting restaurants, I decided to see exactly what happens from the very beginning – in the garden. 

If you haven’t heard: big time chefs are opting out of the hustle and bustle of city dwelling and moving … to the ‘sticks!’ If you’re on your way to Adelaide and visiting the Barossa Valley, going skiing at Horsham, or simply trying your luck at pining for gold in Ballarat – definitely make a slight detour and head to Royal Mail Restaurant and Hotel in Dunkeld. 

Right in the middle of country Victoria is an unassuming, but highly visited location for gastronomes and other self-professed food critics. With new chef, Robin Wickens, the food fits well into the art-sy walls from surrounding towns like Hamilton where most well-known artists reside for inspiration.

In between planting seedlings, Robin taught me a thing or two about working in the new Farm-to-Table era of cooking. 

How did you get started as a Chef?

After a time in London kitchens, I moved to Melbourne in 2000 and worked as Andrew McConnell’s Sous Chef before opening my own Melbourne restaurant Interlude in 2004. 

I won The Age Young Chef of the Year award in 2005 before moving to Apollo Bay with my wife to open Wickens Provedore and Deli in the bayside town’s main street. 

What are your plans for the Royal Mail Restaurant? 

I’m enjoying developing the Royal Mail Hotel farm to table philosophy. We are introducing more and more initiatives – the kitchen garden extension, our own lamb – to become more self sustainable than ever before. In Summer, up to 80% of our menu is made from our own produce. You won’t see anything on the Royal Mail Hotel dining room that we can’t grow, and anything we don’t have we source from local producers. 

Following in the footsteps of being [one of the] best restaurant in Aus – how will you keep up with your fans’ expectations?

Because our daily menu is dependent on kitchen garden produce, it is constantly evolving, which makes it unique.

We have no choice but to follow the seasons, even more than just the seasons it depends on the weather and how the garden is growing. For example if it turns spring we can’t just put asparagus or broad beans on the menu we have to wait until they are actually ready to harvest. Because of this, our regular diners get to enjoy a range of different and exciting dishes throughout the year.

How would you describe your cooking / philosophy in the kitchen?

While it can be difficult, I enjoy the daily challenge of adapting a menu around the kitchen garden and available produce. 

How do you cope in rural VIC, while running such a innovative kitchen? 

Again, it’s thanks to our team here that play such a massive role in maintaining the kitchen garden to allow the kitchen team to produce the renowned food that we do. 

What are the benefits of cooking with a fresh garden?

The reality of having a kitchen garden that does entirely dictate the menus, is that it requires amazing resources and time, it would be much easier for us to rely on vegetable suppliers rather than try and produce it ourselves. However, what it does give us is complete control over the produce we use and menus that reflect what is in the garden at that time.

What are you growing?

Wild mushroom season is about to start so we will be out foraging for mushrooms for the next few months.

And your garden?

The garden is completely organic, we don’t do too much to the produce to prepare for eating. 

What can we expect from you and your team? 

We are looking forward to growing even more of our own produce to include beef and lamb and other proteins. We are always hiring new members for the kitchen team, so the influences that arise from others skills, backgrounds and techniques means we are constantly evolving.

---words by Michelle, edited by AGFG. Opinions are of the author. 

Could you pay $100 and wait 40 years?

By David Ellis from vintnews.  



It’s $100 a bottle now, best recommended drinking time is 40 years away in 2055 – yet already it has garnered enough local and international awards to fill all of this column, leaving us no space to talk about the wine itself.


We’re writing of the Katnook Prodigy Shiraz 2010 from a vintage lauded as one of the finest on record in Coonawarra, and with the wine made from small selections of vines renowned for consistently producing fruit of outstanding depth of flavour, exceptional colour and firm tannin structures.


Senior Viticulturist, Chris Brodie used hand-pruning, bunch-thinning and shoot-removal techniques to get the very best fruit off these already low-yielding vines, with Winemaker, Wayne Stehbens then employing small-batch vinification in open fermenters, basket-pressing, and maturation in French and American oak barriques for just over two years.


All this resulted in a wine of intense raspberry and plum aromas, marvellous pure-fruit flavours, with underlying liquorice spice and finely-grained tannins. There’s no way we could hold off for 40 years, and reckon any time will be right to enjoy this one simply on its own with close family or good friends – in front of a winter’s fire now, or maybe in the sun on the balcony come Spring.


One to note: We’ve long sung the praises of Neil McGuigan as the Master of Semillon in the Hunter Valley, a region itself renowned as among the world’s finest for production of this easy-drinking varietal.


While he’s done it again with his 2014 McGuigan Bin Series 9000 Semillon, it wasn’t all plain-sailing: dry and cool conditions began the growing season, followed by an extreme heatwave as harvest started, and then regular rain. Despite it all, Neil came through with a great Semillon suitable for drinking now or for longer cellaring.  


If you can’t wait, pull the cork at just $13 and enjoy with a grilled seafood platter. 

Seven Bake-tastic Treats!

Do you need something to keep you busy on winter days and distract you from arctic temperatures? Stay inside and practice your baking skills with some of our favourite recipes below. Be careful though, your head might explode with a sugar rush just looking at these decadently delicious baked treats. Take a look at this line-up! 

This is a great D.I.Y recipe to try in the kitchen today! What could be better than a huge slab of Cherry Ripe Slice to keep you busy baking and munching?

Taking popcorn, ice-cream and cake to a whole new level is the Salted Caramel Popcorn Ice-Cream Cake! This cake calls for its own movie night with a bunch of friends, beanbags and blankets to see you through the icy weather.

Pop one or two of these Nutella Cake Balls on the saucer next to your cup of tea or hot chocolate for a quick treat in between warming sips.

Enjoy the greatest elements of all desserts in one delicious little Whoopie Pie – the squishy caramel, the two cookies and with our recipe, the vibrant red velvet colour sure to remind you of how fantastic it is to be warm and cosy.  

Combining a decadent fudge with long-time favourite treat, try your hand at creating this tempting Oreo Cookie Fudge for a sneaky treat. 

Make your own Vanilla Doughnuts, decorate with icing, cover with sprinkles and share the love.

Nothing warms better than fuzzy nostalgia so finish off your week with an Apple Pie for Sunday night family dessert. 

Eight Awesome Instagram Bakers!

Addicted to scrolling and need more content to liven your newsfeeds? If you haven’t already heard of these popular Instagrams, grab your phone and get following these beautiful baking accounts!


#prettyandpopular Followers: 1.2 mill 


From Norwegian baking Queen and Author, Manuela Kjeilen, Passion for Baking IG account comes to life in a series of pastel colours and counts a whopping 1.2 million followers to date.


#sprinklesgalore Followers: 293k 

An account dedicated purely to Sprinkles’ cupcakes. Aw yeah.


#styleonpoint Followers: 151k 

This trendy, London based teenager has caught the attention of ‘grammers everywhere. Check out her charming account with meringues, cakes and cookies and the occasional salad or two, but you can just skip over those, right?


#flawlessfondant Followers: 90k 

Did someone say wedding inspo? Beautifully decorated cakes, intricate patterns and seamlessly blended icing colours will leave you wondering how someone could possibly be so patient.


#deepfriedgoodness  Followers: 58k 

If you haven’t yet been to New York, this IG will likely leave you bitten by the travel bug and once there, you can, in turn, take a bite of one of these incredible doughnuts. (Or two. Or three. You get it.)


#onlygoodthings Followers: 52k 


You will find all sorts of deliciousness on this account and should inspiration strike, head over to Sally’s blog for nom-worthy recipes, cookbooks and more.


#suaveandsleek Followers: 50k 


The creations belonging to Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio in Victoria’s South Yarra are now on display for the rest of the world through their mouth-watering IG account – get down to Melbourne!


#youthfuladventures  Followers: 82k 

This chick is certainly a go-getter and all the more reason to love her! Follow her culinary journeying from the home farm and around the world.

Book Review: Whole Food Slow Cooked by Olivia Andrews

It is becoming an increasing trend for us to demand food that is healthy, convenient to create and also tasty enough that the whole family will devour a plate and maybe even ask for seconds. This seems like a lot to ask out of just one meal, let alone a whole cookbook, but don’t believe anyone who tells you that you can’t have it all - slow cooking is here!

Those who are short on time, perhaps a little apprehensive about roasting a large and expensive cut of meat or really just unsure of how to get that fall-off-the-bone tenderness every single time can have the solution in Olivia Andrews’ cookbook, Whole Food Slow Cooked. If you aren’t convinced investing in a slow cooker is necessary just yet, that’s not a problem - Olivia provides alternative methods for creating delicious dishes like healthy Lentils with Chard, Dill and Feta either on the stove top or in the oven. Once your confidence builds in the slow cooking method, Olivia provides advice on how to go about choosing a slow cooker too.

Summer food entails quick salads, fun barbecues and icy desserts, but when the weather turns cold, we crave thick soups, heavy stews, tangy laksa, spicy curries and maybe a few sneaky baked treats when no-one is looking. What we really want are meals that fight off the dreaded flu and ensure we receive optimal nutrition from every bite. 

Olivia provides 100 tried and tested recipes for exactly this and many more sumptuous meals that nearly cook themselves. With just a little preparation and guidance from Olivia, you can come home after a day out to your home smelling absolutely delicious with the aromas of a tantalising dish like Pork and Prawn Pozole ready to serve as soon as you walk through the door, every night of the week. 

Quinoa and Chia Porridge p. 188.  

Avoid the devilish after-work snack that goes hand-in-hand with rushing home to prepare a meal on the spot with these flexible alternatives that are so tasty, you may forget you ever cooked any other way. This method of preparing meals can also prove more economical – an important factor for larger families, or those simply on a strict budget. Slow cooking gives you a chance to make the most of cheaper cuts of meat as the time it takes to cook them ensues they are just as tender as premium purchases.

Start with Olivia’s instructional tips on how to keep you and your slow cooker safe before pouring over pages filled with family favourites, soups, stews and casseroles, braises, curries and even a chapter dedicated to meat-free meals. Find your favourite meal in a section suited to slow weekends including nutrient-dense breakfasts like Quinoa and Chia Porridge and treat yourself and your family to a dessert or two from a chapter of sweet things.

Whole Food Slow Cooked teaches how cooking whole, unprocessed foods is the perfect way to make healthy, home-cooked food with maximum flavour and minimum fuss - you really can have it all.

By Annabel Rainsford.

Italian Style, but True-Blue Aussie

By David Ellis from vintnews.  

Winemaker at Mr Mick Wines in the Clare Valley, Tim Adams and his wife Pam Goldsack (the company’s General Manager) were on the money when several visits to Sardinia had them thinking that a popular variety there, Vermentino, would do well in their warm Clare Valley climate.


They were right, as their first-production Vermentino was snapped-up over a year ago and encouraged them to “really get behind the variety and increase the production” in coming years… so that now they’ve just released a 2015 that really hits the spot.


Modelled in classic Italian style – Vermentino’s a mainstay in Liguria in the country’s north-west and Sardinia in its south, as well as in near-neighbouring (French) Corsica – the fruit for this true-blue Aussie Mr Mick Vermentino was sourced from a single vineyard in the south of the Clare Valley, and which has given the wine wonderful apple and nashi pear flavours.


Excellent as a pre-dinner tipple on its own, at $17 a bottle from fine wine retailers you’ll find it a beautiful match as well with oven-baked pork loin chops with a quince paste.


One to note: Eden Hall did the right thing with their 2013 Block 4 Eden Valley Shiraz that they released only late last year, giving the wine nearly two years in French oak and more than another year in bottle before the release.


That length in the cellar has made it a very rewarding drop with a subtle nose of spice, white pepper and chocolate, and out of the glass fills the mouth nicely with fleshy red and black fruit flavours, lovely balance and velvety tannins. 


One to enjoy now with grilled beef ribs, duck or game dishes, it is well worth the $40 asking price - and it would also make for a good investment at that price, too, to put one, two or even more away in the cellar for special-occasion enjoyment 20 years down the track. 

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