Monday, October 10, 2005
A mid week weekend.
Took off up to the Stanthorpe area last wednesday for 4 days, some great 4 wheel driving (at Girraween and Sundown ) and some great wines. No pics up loaded yet but soon maybe. The high light however the friday night dinner.

$80 a head included pick up and return from the local area (about 50k's in any direction)

It was a game masters dinner at Ballandean Estate winery in Ballendean (which is the town where all the Stanthorpe wineries are located)

The food first, it was a 5 course dinner + pre and post, and to warn you it was all game foods. I think most of whats below is right, things got more and more hazy as the night went on, I do have a menu somewhere... when I find it I will correct things.

Pre dinner nibblies was rabbit tourine (from memory) and I believe some form of testee ... i didn't know they were balls until after i ate them and went hmm they are nice then I found out, oh well c'est la vie then again I don't know maybe they were pulling my leg (I don't care it tasted nice)
Entree was quail sesame salad beautiful salad by itself, but the quail was awesome
1st main was roast duck, served with fresh roated asparagrass with white wine sauce
2nd main was venison lasagne with a great italian salad.
3rd main was walaby shanks (like lamb shanks but with walaby)
Desert was caramelised pear with homemade toffee
post dinner was coffee and hand made chocolates
All cooked by the vineyard owners wife and daughter, both Italians and both great cooks. Aparently they had other chefs apply to do the dinner from Sydney and Brisbane but the vineyard owner (Angelo) said in the past they haven't worked out. All I know is there was alot of food and it was all great.
It would be hard to pick a best dish of the night, very hard but I will go with the roast duck.

So yes, I ate bugs, tweetie, daffy, skippy and bambi ... but it was all delicious.

Now for the drinks... (also included in the $80)

Pre-dinner they had a bunch of museum wines out, and it wasn't a tasting they were bottles on a table and you poured as much as you did or didn't want and I didn't see a single spitoon out anywhere. These wines were for the most part fantastic, and some of them I would have thought would last that long, a 93 Rhine Reisling and a 97 Chardonay for example very old for whites and the reisling in particular was very nice. While some were amazing like the 93 Shiraz, 94 Cabinet/Mernoc/Merlot and the 88 Cab Sav.

Anyways they called us in for dinner and told us to take any bottles in with us we wanted to drink. Each course was then served with a wine and vintage the wine maker had selected particularly for that meal. And all of them were great choices.

If you ever come to Australia or live here already keep an eye out for that event.

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