With a refreshing white wine as aperitif, Terlan Winkl Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (Terlano, Italy) commended by wine spokesman Jake Meerman, diners devoured the cold cuts and anchovies with relish (food spokesman Jim Morrison was very impressed) before assembling at the long table for the first course of a Terrine of Pork, Duck & Foie Gras.
This was a hearty start to the meal and I was grateful that the terrine had not been encased in Melton Mowbray style hot water crust pastry.
Accompanying this we found Terlan Gewürztraminer 2018 (Terlano, Italy), an excellent full bodied dry wine from Alto Adige which did not attract as many compliments as I thought it deserved. Jake, a red-blooded non-PC Aussie, went so far as to say with tongue in cheek it was a girl’s wine.
The next dish demonstrated Chef Duandern’s skills in abundance. This was beautifully cooked Brittany Cod, tomato and cardamom; the fish was a huge chunk of tasty cod with bok choy and a delicate sauce.
Next up we found tender and flavoursome Australian rib-eye served medium-rare in family style with accompanying green veggies and roasted onions. This was as good as it gets, I thought, and Jim agreed noting the extra servings of the accoutrements which were readily made available.
It came with the wine of the lunch, Corte Rugolin Amarone Crosara de le Strie 2012 (Veneto, Italy) in magnums, “fit for Resurrection Day!” as said by one Vivino scribe. It was garnet-red in colour, with a full, dry, velvety taste, and intense aromas of cherries macerated in alcohol (reputedly 16.0%), wild berries and spices.
Indeed it was so good it made its way alongside the cheese platter where Dave’s selection of cheeses from mostly Europe made a mouth-watering feast, served with freshly baked bread. And if that was not enough, John MacTaggart treated us to glasses of port to celebrate his birthday and to complete a much enjoyed meal.
However, that extravagance also provided John the opportunity to thank on behalf of us all K. Duandern and Dave Hallam, and the team of servers that we over the years have come to respect and admire.