On a wet, icy Saturday night we’re playing ‘spot the winemaker’ in old Parliament House. It goes something like this: no tie, expensive but rumpled suit that looks as though the wearer has arrived straight from the office - senior public servant, scratch and sniff tweed sports jacket matched inappropriately with jeans – our man in Canberra, corduroy trousers, sensible shoes and possibly scotch guarded coat – winemaker.
The excuse for this stereotyping* is the Canberra district wine & regional food dinner, and while making outrageous assumptions about complete strangers is always fun, we’re really here for the
Anne Caine, energetic Prez of the Canberra District Wine Association, noticing 14 Canberra wines had cracked Halliday’s Top 100 Wines of NSW, cooked up a dinner with Janet Jeffs and Ginger Catering to showcase the result.
It was, as a certain sartorially challenged, tweed aficionado said, a top idea, as well as a convenient way to get a handle on where some of the best Canberra juice is heading. And the results were excellent.
Top drops of the night included old mates like the Brindabella Hills sauv blanc and the Collector shiraz, and other local heroes such as the Wallaroo riesling and Capital Wines shiraz. While the dinner mainly featured wines from the 07/08 vintages, the 2005 Four Winds shiraz and the 06 Yarrah Wines Cabernet showed how a little bottle age can make all the difference for the right wines.
The only bum note was a couple of the food courses – a goat cheese ravioli that had but a passing acquaintance with boiling water and a deconstructed lamb pie that our man said looked and tasted like it had been assembled by a semiotician rather than a chef (but I expect he’s just been reading Roland Barthes again).
Next year - and this has all the makings of an annual event - if the quality of the food matches the wine, I’ll be a completely happy Dame (well, as long as OMIC wears some reasonable strides).
* and we won’t even mention what I had to say about the chicks (yes I’m a bit of biatch, move along).