Posts Tagged ‘Wine’

Fine Food and Fine Wine in Surry Hills

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Looking for a fantastic night out? Fancy filling that night with great people who love and appreciate food, wine and service? Well I think you should join Sydney Morning Herald’s restaurant critic, Terry Durack and columnist, Jill Dupleix on Monday 30 September and be one of the first to experience Nomad, a cellar door in the city where patrons will be able to sample the best of what is new and exciting in Australian wine.

Date: Monday 30 September
Time: 6.30pm
Location: Nomad – 16 Foster St, Surry Hills
Cost: $115 for 6 course dinner with matching wines.
BOOK NOW: 02 9282 3331

I will hopefully see you there for laughs, food, wine and fun!


Noble Wine Of The Week – Xabregas Wines 2009 Mount Barker Shiraz

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Reviewed by Stewart Noble from for

Keen to show that Mount Barker is capable of producing very high quality cool climate shiraz that would rival the likes of the highly prized and scored examples coming out of areas like Canberra Districts, I was contacted by the Xabregas (pronounced ZAR-BREE-GAS) Vigneron, Paul Hogan, to check  out their new release. This is the second vintage of the Xabregas Mount Barker Shiraz I have tried, yet this time around Xabregas have a new winemaker, Martin Cooper, who said he had a new found appreciation of wine bloggers after comments I made on the winery’s 2007 vintage back in 2010.

The 2009 release is a very deep, rich purple colour that is almost the ‘classic’ colour for young, cool climate shiraz. The aroma was one I had trouble pinning down. The label suggests half the kitchen sink will be in there somewhere but, with a bit of time and more persistence on the nose than I suggest many will bother with, I can report that I picked up on the sweet plum fruit and at times could smell faint white pepper.

It is a lovely, balanced wine to drink with elements of fruit, spice, pepper and oak on the palate with no single element over powering the others. It is a totally different wine in all the ways I’d hoped over the 2007 and goes to show that you can never judge a winery on just one wine.

Xabregas Wines 2009 Mount Barker Shiraz
Price $23 from
RegionMount Barker, WA
Final SipA great wine and from what I hear, just the beginning, as I believe the Xabregas line up will soon include 4 Shiraz wines at different price points. I certainly look forward to trying them all but i’m more than happy with this drop for its price!

Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria Grand Opening Launch Party – QVB

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Demelza Reverly and Rebecca Jobson

Stefano and George Michael

Stefano and George Michael (Owner)

A brilliant crowd of 200 turned up to celebrate the grand opening of Bacco QVB on Tuesday night and enjoyed themselves eating all house made Italian delights from the Bacco kitchen, there was a Charcutterie and fresh pasta tables and Bacco’s house made pastries and cakes where plentiful. It would have been impossible to count the trays of delightful food coming out to the guests – there was just so much food and drink, it was like it never stopped!

Adrian Erdedi and Bianca Venuti

Adrian Erdedi and Bianca Venuti

Guests drank cocktails sponsored by Campari and St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, wine and beer by Peroni.

The night was a celebration of all things Italian with the Songsmiths performing live, Italian Vespas on show in green/red and white plus all the very gorgeous authentic Italian barstaff all dressed by Voi Fashion (Roberto Cavalli). Everyone invited was asked to wear a splash of red, which naturally I did. But who was voted best dressed? Yes – yours truly! My stunning partner Bianca Venuti was subtly capped off with a pretty red rose.

With all the food, drinks, entertainment and great company, it was hard to make everyone leave and the party kicked on till 10pm to celebrate the opening of Bacco’s sister venue, 2nd floor of the QVB building where they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week, also serving Italian styled high tea as something a little extra to Bacco’s Chifley Tower venue.

Check out the review on Bacco HERE

Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria, QVB

BACCO WINE BAR Pasticceria – Now Open In The Beautiful QVB!

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria, known for their delectable home made cakes, pastas, canapé’s and Italian Apertivi cocktails just opened its doors to its second CBD venue located on the second floor of the spectacular Queen Victoria Building. Open 7 days, there’s nothing better then stepping into authentic Italian glamour, enjoying breakfast, lunch or a dinner of house made Italian fare. Maybe you just feel like a glass of wine at the beautiful bar or simply relax and enjoy an Italian Style high tea.

Owner, George Michael, was inspired to create Bacco throughout a trip to Italy. Simplistic yet stylish; Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria, QVB is on the second floor of the glorious QVB building. Like its sister venue in the Chifley Plaza, Bacco QVB features marble floors and benchtops, polished timber features and the iconic imported Italian grape lights and surrounding triple windows.

Everything is house made, including the pastas, risottos, sauces, cakes and chocolate, not to mention the ingredients used in the upmarket cocktails. The bar menu includes spicy home-made Italian meatballs, cured kingfish with orange spring herbs and pan toasted brioche and a mint sautéed king prawns with crispy vegetables and vanilla scented olive oil.

For dessert, Bacco’s extraordinary pastry Chef, Brendan Dewar produces every cake and pastry on site plus Bacco’s own hot chocolate recipe, made from pure Belgium Calvatore Chocolate. Bacco’s high tea features Italian sandwiches, sweet and savoury petite gateaux served with a fine selection of tea’s or choice or Campari high tea with a Campari cocktail.

Bacco’s creative Italian menu is complimented by a carefully chosen wine list featuring old and new world classic wines well matched to the simple Italian fare at Bacco.

The cocktail list, conceptualized by Bacco’s Italian bar team ranges from a traditional Bellini to the house speciality, Giorgio Il Bello, a true aperitif from Venice, made with Aperol, elderflower and pinot grigio spritzed with homemade lemonade, served in a glass rimmed with handcrafted orange rhubarb dust. Exclusive cocktail making courses are also on offer to learn the secret to making premium Italian cocktails.

Whether it is a Panini at lunch with a colleague, high tea with your mother-in-law or an evening glass of wine at the bar with a shared plate of Italian delicacies, Bacco is an authentic yet modernistic Italian culinary experience, one experience I will remember.

Level 2, QVB Building, 455 George Street, Sydney – Phone: (02) 9223 9552 –

Hours: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, 7 days a week from 8am.

Pros: Perfectly Italian. The food is so fresh, the word fresh can’t even describe it’s freshness. Deliciously authentic. Enthusiastic staff. Well priced. The Ricotta Ravioli is to die for.

Cons: My obesity – I’d eat there every day if I could and finish off every meal with a massive and amazing dessert!

Pricing: Breakfast for $4.50 to $16, Lunch & Dinner $14 – $32, Desserts- $15, Cocktails $15, high tea from $33 – $47.

Final say: I love this place. I’d quite easily become a regular of Bacco!

Check out all the fabulousness that went on at the launch party right HERE!

Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria, QVB

Vasse Felix Chardonnay Suprises Me!

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

My friends Scotty and Pam came over for dinner earlier in the week and brought me a bottle of wine as you do when you go to a dinner party. They brought a bottle of Vasse Felix Margaret River Chardonnay 2008. I’m not a fan of Chardonnays, but I still opened this one and poured the three of us a glass to be polite.

I took a sip, and suprisingly enjoyed it. It is like Italian biscotti, stewed apple with cinnamon and a few tropical fruits thrown into a blender. The tropical notes give it the typical Chardonnay taste, but I think it’s the apple & cinnamon that give it a distinct edge, creating a wine that is both refined and a little playful.

A great drop which I didn’t force myself to enjoy for friendships sake.

Priced around the $22 mark at all good wine stores.

STEEL Bar + Grill – Clinically Chic & Sleek

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

As Kate and I pulled up out the front of Steel Bar + Grill and walked towards the large solid steel and glass doors, it became evident why the venue is called Steel.

We pushed the door open and all we saw was an abundance of metal throughout the venue, giving it a very clinical and industrial look, but it was very warm and welcoming in an uncanny way.

The very pleasant maître d’ took us to our table and poured chilled water immediately. We sat for a few minutes and decided we didn’t want to sit at a dining table, we preferred the high table and stools out on the terrace, so we could people watch. Once we sat there, we were content. The staff moved us with no fuss.

We started with wine, for Kate it was the 2008 Redwood Pass Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand and for myself, the 2009 See Saw Semillon Sauvignon Hunter Valley & Marlbourogh, New Zealand. Served in nice large tall stemmed glasses – one of the small things I love most.

After being a little indecisive, we agreed on sharing a Mezze with sheep’s milk haloumi, hommous, tzatziki, grilled peppers, rocket salad marinated olives and pitta bread. This was delightful and quite substantial for the price. We were both rather impressed. The olives were particularly good.

After grazing on that for a while, we decided to go for mains. We weren’t in a hurry to go anywhere, so we ordered more food, and of course we ordered more wine! Again I will make a special mention of the lovely Manager Matthew who was looking after our table and adapted to our characters quite well.

One thing I love to do is check out the bathrooms, great restaurants usually have great bathrooms, so I had to see if the ‘steel’ theme carried through. As you walk to the bathroom, you pass two live oyster tanks which look amazing! Then around the corner you go down past the giant glass wall which is actually the most amazingly merchandised fridge I’ve seen. The bathrooms are covered completely in mosaic steel tiles and basins are made of… you guessed it – STEEL.

We ordered mains, the grilled salmon, sautéed king prawns, mash and green asparagus for myself, and Kate had the eye fillet, field mushroom, spinach gnocchi and truffle dressing. Both meals came to us in good time and presented beautifully. My salmon melted in my mouth, and the prawns were so good! It’s a meal with basic ingredients, but styled perfectly. I enjoyed every fork full of food. Kate also enjoyed her meal, making a special mention on the mushrooms and spinach gnocchi.

Dessert time came around, but after a Mezze plate and a main each, how could we possibly fit it in? We did, and we had my favourite, pavlova with strawberries and cream and the baked chocolate custard, blood plum and chocolate sorbet cone. I wasn’t going to dream of sharing my Pavlova, so I scoffed that down, my spoon literally fell through the centre and the cream was rich and delicious. The desserts were very decadent!

After another glass of wine, it was time to pay the bill. Bill was payed and it was time to leave. As I walked out, a little tipsy might I add, I just had to turn around and have another look at the place, it really is a very good looking bar + grill, there is so much to look at and take in. Pleasing on the eye.

Will I go back? Yes I would. It’s great for after work drinks and dinner, watching people rushing around after work down below and relaxing with friends in a contemporary venue.

Pros: Layout, design, service and pavlova.

Cons: The noisiness of the city, particularly the buses if you are sitting outside. If you don’t like it – go inside.

Pricing: Share plates from $9.70 to $34, Mains from $26 to $110, Desserts from $10 to $16, Wines from $10 to $32 by the glass, Cocktails from $17.

Final Say: Great interior and design, friendly staff and enjoyable food. Great place to chill and catch up with friends.

Ground Floor, 2/60 Carrington Street, Sydney – (02) 9299 9997

Steel Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon