We are very thankful to Sweet Poppy to have chosen our wines to pair the 5 course menu created by their guest celebrity Australian Chef Charlie Carrington of Atlas Dining in Melbourne on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st September 2019. And, of course, for the invitation.
As we expected, the wine pairings were correct and the wines smoothly complemented every single dish, that surprised us for the high quality of the ingredients and the richness of the flavors.
The first course was basically a spicy hummus were the softness of the crab was pandered by the brown butter and the pita and was washed down by a Little Yerring Chardonnay 2017 (not our wine) with very elegant nose but less powerful palate that, with its only 9 months in oak, didn’t disturb the food at all. Very good choice, John, we have to admit it!
Second wine was served, a mineral and clear Schild Estate Riesling 2017, and we felt already that the matching with Prawn in chili and lime sauce would have been successful: the citrus components married wonderfully and the meaty yet soft flesh of the prawn didn’t overpowered the elegance and the acidity of this excellent Riesling from Barossa.
With the third course we played safe: chicken and Chardonnay. If you find this pairing too obvious, you should have taste how the wood grilled chicken melted in the mouth, how smoothly the mild gorgonzola and anchovies played in the background and how the full-bodied Maverick Breechens Chardonnay 2015 hugged the whole dish in our palate: zesty, gently toasty (only 20% of the wine was aged in oak barrels), rich yet delicate and balanced. And very long.
Main course? Beef and a pig in a bottle! For a very tender and soft smoked Angus beef short ribs (you could almost eat it with a spoon!) we opted for one of our favorite Shiraz from Australia: The Hedonist Shiraz 2017. This biodynamic Shiraz from McLaren Vale has a more spiced and floral profile that the usual big and jammy Barossa Shiraz and it was really the perfect choice to go with the mustard and the smoked flavor of the beef. Everybody loved it!
Finally, the dessert. The sorbet was meant to extinguish the smokiness of the charred pineapple, exalted by a nice touch of cardamom, while the Schild Estate Reserve Late Harvest Semillion 2012 was chosen to bring sweetness and a more floral component to the dish. A very versatile sweet wine, complex without being too difficult. Lovely finish.
You are still on time to reserve a seat for tonight, before Charlie will flight back to Melbourne, where now we are already sure which is the best restaurant in town.