Dinner at the lovely Monople Wine Bar in Potts Point is always such a treat as the food is creative and the wine list is very extensive. This provides for a wonderful opportunity to match a wide array of diverse wines with some very interesting dishes. Here are my matches and selections for the evening.
Rangers Valley Beef Tartare + Egg Yolk + Mushroom + Crisp Potato Skin
The soft jelly like beef tartare is displays its full natural flavours. It is well paired with the translucent rich egg yolk paste which has a thick sensous texture which I cannot quite describe. The crunch of the potato skin adds a lovely contrast to the two main ingredients and the earthiness of the mushroom balances some of the richer flavours of the dish. A very interesting take on the steak tartare indeed.
Chateau Penin Merlot / Cabernet (2012) Bordeaux France
The wine is lovely with very strong and dominant aromas of cherry, red currants with a mixture of floral and herb notes. On the palate beautiful cherry and red currant flavours flow effortlessly with some charcoal hints in the finish for a smoky signature end to the tasting experience. The wine has good strength and body to match the strong flavours of the dish.
Grilled Moreton Bay Bug + Dill and Chilli Oil
The succulent smoky Moreton Bay Bug is full of its natural saline flavours with the aioli providing extra richness and the herbed notes of the dill adding a wonderful additional dimension of flavours. The chilli oil which was purported to be on the bug left minimal impact and was not discernible. Given the natural flavours of the dish, I don’t actually think the chilli was needed in any event. It was a wonderful fresh dish with a little sparkle to brighten up the day.
Andre Jacquart, 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs, Les Mesnil-Sur-Oger, Champagne
So I chose this champagne fresh from my Salon Experience on Japan Airlines (if anyone wants to read about “the experience” you can check it out here. Salon actually sources its grapes from a similar location as the Andre Jacquart). The champagne has wonderful apple notes with touches of buttery brioche on the nose to provide a trademark introduction to the tasting. On the palate there is a rich creamy texture with a beautiful crisp citrus touch on the palate. This wine has this intense minerality with a hint of salinity as it draws into a stylish finish.
Spanish Mackerel and Savoy Cabbage and Red Grapes
This dish is about simplicity of produce. The rich oily mackerel stands on its own, with its thick chunky flesh which is full of distinct, oily and natural flavours mixed with its crispy salty well seasoned skin. The crunch of cabbage and sweetness of the grapes provide a nice accompaniment, but the star of the dish is the mackerel.
Domaine Picq Chablis Chardonnay (2014) Burgundy France
The wine is just a classic Chablis…with good apple with citrus aromas on the pour. There is saline hint with a rich buttery notes on the palate. The flavours of beautiful sour apples dominate with the acidity provided by some orange and lime flavors (reflective of its somewhat youthful glow) while the trademark Chablis minerality provides a nice flourish to the drinking experience.
Burnt Peach + Pistachio Ice Cream + Lime
I start with the peach and the beautiful plush juicy peach taste is just perfect with a hint of smoke for touch. The lime sludge is a mix of candy and sharp, tart flavours to offset the peach’s intensity. The sweet crunch of the pistachio meringue, the gravelly textured pistachios and creamy cool ice cream is a haven of textures and flavours beautifully woven together for a wonderful taste experience. An interesting dessert indeed.
Poderi Del Paradiso Chianti Colli Sensi (2013) Sangiovese, Tuscany Italy
On the nose this wine has good mix of fruit flavours, with some wonderful aromatic spice and earthy notes. On the palate the flavours of cherry, raspberry and plums dominate with hints of tobacco, herbs and sweet spices. The wine has good acidity and noticeable tannins for a cleansing drinking experience and is the perfect way to end the evening.