29 December 2011

Christmas time, no mistletoe but lots of wine at No.35 at The Hempel

I never review wines on my blog, but that doesn’t mean I’m not drinking it.  It’s just like that my knowledge of wine and food, at a base level comprises to the simple maxim of pairing white wine with fish and chicken, and a bottle of red with steak or trusting what’s written of the back of the label.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited to a dinner hosted at No. 35 restaurant at the Hempel Hotel by Adrian Atkinson, Head of Wine Development at Pernod Ricaud for the launch of the Jacob’s Creek Regional Reserves.

My first encounter with Jacob’s Creek was at the off licence near my University dwelling in Reading. It was the default choice for wine novices – an acceptable wine to drink and bring along to party without looking cheap.   Wow, how things have changed...the luxe and high spec setting of Hempel Hotel is a world away from the grotty setting of my local of licence.

Regionality is a key selling point for the new range of wines, and to quote the press release “certain grape varieties are better suited to particular wine regions – iconic grapes from well-know wine-making regions produce a higher quality of wine.”

There are six wines in the new range, from three key South Australian wine regions: Barossa, Coonawarra and Adelaide Hills.  

No. 35’s head chef Michael Carter who is known for championing of regional farmers and producers, to develop a delicious six course menu to match each of the new Jacob’s Creek Regional Reserve wines.

Courses with matching wines enjoyed are detailed below:

Roasted Diver Isle of Mull Scallops, 
Smoked black pudding, red onion jam micro salad

Wine match: Jacob’s Creek Reserve Riesling 2010 

Heritage Beetroot Salad
Staffordshire Innes got cheese, hazelnut, mustard leaf

Wine match: Jacob’s Creek Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2010  

Line Caught Wild Seabass
Scottish chanterelles, Jerusalem artichoke, vanilla oil

Wine match: Jacob’s Creek Reserve Charonnay 2010 

Mushroom Consomme
Soft boiled quail egg, glazed chicken oysters

Wine match: Jacob’s Creek Reserve Pinot Noir 2009

Organic Rhug Estate Flat Iron Steak
Roasted onions, braised leeks, garlic mash potato

Wine match: Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz 2008

British and Continental Artisan Cheeses from La Fromagerie

Wine match: Jacob’s Creek Reserve Cabernet 2009

From the first mouthful of beautiful sweet Isle of Mull Scallops and rich black pudding perfectly harmonised with the citric and refreshing Riesling from Barossa, to the full flavoured Adelaide Hills Chardonnay paired with the course I enjoyed every sip and mouthful.  I also learnt a few things too that have already served me well during the festive season.

Verdict:  Each of the wines were a delight to enjoy on their own, but collectively with each of the dishes a force to be reckon with.  Michael Carter is no doubt a star in the kitchen, and I really admire his commitment to using regional and sustainable ingredients.  As for the wines, well I was lucky enough to be gift a bottle of my favourite Reserves the Adelaide Hills Chardonnay to taking away and it definitely won’t be the last I’ll be purchasing from the Jacob’s Creek Regional Reserve range.

Eat Drink Sleep Shop was a guest of Jacob's Creek, but the same tasting menu can currently be enjoyed at No.35 for £75 including a wine for each course.

Number 35 on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

white wines said...

Such panache! Where was this event held and why did I not get an invite? Seriously, I would love to share with you guys the wine tasting treats over here at La Mesa as well. We should make this to an inter-state of wine lovers! Cheers!

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