Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Gossips about Hardys - cheap white wine

There is no doubt when you pay around $6 to $11 for a bottle of white you are going to get what you paid for. Cheap plonk. This is true at the other end of the scale though "the point of diminishing returns" may come into play. Warburn Estate: Gossips Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and Hardy's: Nottage Hill equivalent, both 2010 fall into the cheap wine category. But are they really that bad?

I usually drink reds. These days Yulumba Merlots are an inexpensive and pleasant drink for both my wife and me. But on occasions I yearn for a white. Not too acidic, not too sweet. Sav. blancs suit me here. Gossips white has flavours of soft melon, light lemon grass with notes of aniseed and chocolate. The Hardys is a dryer white and doesn't appear to have the complexity of Gossips. Hardys leans toward the lemon grass. For me, after work where I just want an easy drinking, inexpensive white, Gossips fits the bill in a number of ways. And for just $6.00!

If you only drink occasionally go for wines in a high price bracket. If you're only going to drink occasionally, spoil yourself. For a some of us a glass or two a night, or a whole bottle when really kicking back, is more the norm. $20 or $30 bottles of wine are just a little rich for me so bring on the The cheap delights.

I am yet to find a cask wine which approaches even the cheapest of bottled wines. If you only have a glass or two a night, sealed and in the fridge, opened wine will last three or so days. It will also tastes a lot better. Try some cheaper wines you may get a surprise. Gossips is a blend of New Zealand (10%) and Australian wine and is a real bargain.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pier 10, Shoreham - Mornington Peninisula

Some very good chiefs just hide away. They know they're good and they don't need others to tell them so. They prepare exquisite meals, perfectly cooked and plated, like art on a canvas, not for us to enjoy but just because... they can. We sup, we drink and we enjoyed. Pier 10 .

More than a peninsula restaurant, a winery or cellar door, it is a family business. Food and wine do matter and the owners are making it their business which, if you visit, you'll know it. From sparkling Chardonnay, still whites and reds these guys have all the bases covered. Easy to get to and not far from many other nice restaurants and cafes. Pier 10, because of it's main kitchen hand and chief cook (the Chief), could well be the best diner, down south, by far.

For me it was "Daffy" (duck) which appeared sparse on the plate but did fill. Prior to this, my wife (Cathy) and I enjoyed the flat bread, prawn and coriander starter. This you must have. I went for the sugar cured slamon, black pudding, raw egg yoke and green pea puree. Very good. I stayed with sparkling and still whites my wife the red. Though I felt the whites very good the light red did not suit my wife's palette. Try the red before ordering a whole glass or bottle.

Cathy went for the risotto which she felt was under-par for this extablishment. She rated the meal at "pub" standard. The pub would have charged us a lot less. Unless you have to have risotto select something else.

On a Sunday, over lunch, Pier 10 may have live entertainment. The noise of talking (eating and drinking) people is enough in this big, high ceilinged building. To have a amplified live entertainer competing with the paying guests may be too much. We took cake and coffee outside though it was a cool and windy day. Go for the food alone.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Waves - by the sea at Frankston

Just off Nepean Highway Waves Restaurant is situated above the Franskton Life Saving Club. It sits high above the sand right on the foreshore. The view from the restaurant, on all but the worst weather days, is spectacular. Winter or summer a visit to this modern style restaurant/cafe is recommended.

Drop in for a three course lunch, dinner or even breakfast. If you are touring down the peninsular a coffee and cake or local wines and cheese make a pleasant stop off. Waves is also suitable for parties and groups and the staff welcome birthday and celebratory gatherings. I have attended a few myself. Pricing for both food and drink is reasonable. You will not pay for the million dollar view. On a recent visit to Waves I noticed they have now carpeted the floor and completely changed the decor. It has a fresh and even more modern feel about it. Most conducive to food and drink.

There is seating on the broad decking and from here an uninterrupted view of Port Phillip Bay can be enjoyed. Again I have eaten on the deck with friends and found it an excellent experience. On past visits both the food and service can waver a little. On most occasions Waves will leave you content and relaxed with a desire to re-visit. Try the deck on a sunny day for a great dine, wine and meet experience.