It’s rare for this wine fiend to be in the company of a bloke and feel an upsurge of emotion akin to deep love. My last Friday arvo in the company of Ben Tolstoshev from The Lane Vineyard provided one such instance. Tasting a particularly delicious Shiraz matched with equally delicious raw meat, I very nearly shrugged off the cosseting coverings of polite society. Insight into the glorious freedom of nudism displayed itself plainly. The well adorned patrons at the table adjoining gave me pause for thought however. Not because they were well heeled, I just didn’t want to put them off their carpaccio. P’raps tho, they were privy to the wanderings of my mind’s eye.
Mid-meal Ben and I wandered off for a look at ripening Chardonnay (suspect 2012 will make some ripper whites). Our friends left, but not before reporting that the reprobates on the next table had ‘done a runner’! And we’d just been having a very pleasant conversation with them. A little later Ben recounted our adventure to his mum and part owner, Helen. Hysterics all round.
Undeterred or should that be underturd, we continued to enjoy samples from the Lane restaurant menu with accompanying wines. Next on the fork was confit ocean trout, pickled white anchovy, egg, capers, salsa verde paired with their Prominent Hill Chardy, which was magnificent. It is one of the family’s favourite dishes and one of the few that isn’t ever modified or experimented with. Apparently John Edwards, co owner and serious foodie is often heard in the kitchen offering the sage advice ‘don’t #$%^’ with it! I agree. I actually groaned after my brain caught up with teeth and started excitedly machine gunning flash cards at my retina …’Holy crap, this is good’ … ‘Hey, that egg makes it even better’, and ‘How good does it go with that Chardy’.
What an arvo, the excellent company of Ben, 2 food and wine matches to die for, belly laughs and a bellyful.
Food/Wine match 1:
Beef Tartare with Pomme gaufrettes – The Lane Block 14 Shiraz 2010
‘Succulent texture and general bovine magnificence – with one of the Best Shiraz I have tried this year’
Food/Wine Match 2:
Confit ocean trout poached in olive oil at 65 degrees , pickled white anchovy, egg, capers, salsa verde – The Lane Prominent Hill Chardonnay 2008
‘Amazing combination of textures and flavours – with a supremely elegant but full flavoured Chardonnay’