Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Burnbrae Wines lunch for Pyrmont Festival

Even though there's now a chill in the air, Sydney is ablaze with outdoor festivals: among two of them, Vivid Sydney which starts on Friday and Pyrmont Festival of Wine, Food and Art, which kicked off last weekend beneath glorious blue skies.

Celebrating wine, food and art from Pyrmont and the Mudgee region, the festival runs through to this weekend too with wine and food matched meals, and art and photography exhibitions.

The view from Ripples Sydney Wharf, Pirrama Road, Pyrmont
Last Saturday I was treated to a sunny waterside lunch at Ripples Sydney Wharf with Mudgee’s Burnbrae Wines matched to a three-course lunch featuring John Susman’s Kinkawooka mussels and Pepe Saya’s cultured butter.

With Burnbrae offering wine tastings ahead of the meal, I could taste two whites, a rose and three reds before electing what to have with my lunch. I rather liked being tasked with matching my own wine and food, though with the delicious drops on offer, it would have been hard to go wrong.

Burnbrae Wines tasting at Ripples Sydney Wharf
Burnbrae's 2012 Pinot Gris was a people-pleaser - much richer in colour than your normal pinot gris with subtle pear characteristics. Meanwhile, their lightly French-oaked 2011 Chardonnay was one that would turn anyone into a 'cardonnay' drinker - perfectly balanced with minimal acidity or oakiness.

The 2012 Rose was aromatic with notes of strawberry and boiled lollies, and almost tasted the part too. Burnbrae's 2011 Shiraz Viognier was just how I like a shiraz, big and fruity while the 4% Viognier content is meant to give the wine intense colour and length of flavour.

Burnbrae’s famed 2008 Clive Gale is a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot - the latter grape of which I'm not too familiar with although it was a distinctly chalky cabernet merlot on the palate.

Bread rolls and Pepe Saya cultured butter
After wine tastings with Trine Gay, general manager of Burnbrae Wines, we happily tore into warm bread rolls and foil-wrapped pats of Pepe Saya cultured butter.

I remember the first fantastical time I tried this wondrous churned butter and it was every bit as good this time, best served as an even butter to bread ratio.

Crispy tempura prawns with lemon & parsley mayonnaise
There was a seafood bias in the selection of three entreés, which was more than fair given the waterside setting.

The tail-on tempura prawns were indeed crisply battered as advertised, with five fresh, springy specimens to mop up the creamy and sprightly lemon and parsley mayonnaise. We successfully matched the Burnbrae 2011 Chardonnay to this summery option.

Custom Kinkawooka mussels pot and Pepe Saya cultured butter
There was no way I was going past the Kinkawooka mussels entreé, served in a custom branded pot and lid designed for shell discards with Pepe Saya butter and toast on the side.

In what's been a very successful partnership between John Susman (for South Australia's Kinkawooka) and Pierre Issa (Tempe's own Pepe Saya), the two brands together are becoming a signature for mussel dishes in Australia.

Kinkawooka mussels in white wine & cream finished with Pepe Saya butter & crusty bread
The kitchen at Ripples Sydney Wharf had the plump molluscs just cooked with cream, white wine and parsley - the mussels themselves tender perfection in the light, very-drinkable sauce while heavily buttered toast was an ideal mop for all the juices alongside a glass of the Burnbrae 2012 Pinot Gris.

The kitchen pass

Pan seared snapper with steamed Kinkawooka mussels, leek & herb
spaghettini and Pepe Saya butter
Kinkawooka and Pepa Saya also featured in a main offering of pan seared snapper - a generous, pink skin-on portion of the firm fish balanced on a tangle of leek and herb spaghettini which was al dente and pleasingly green in flavour.

The steamed mussels added needed flavour to the subtle sauce of white wine and butter while the Burnbrae 2012 Rose was an interesting wine match.

Char-grilled scotch fillet with potato & horseradish dauphinoise,
roasted truss cherry tomato & red wine jus
It was steak and the Burnbrae 2011 Shiraz Viognier for my main meal, with the wine's big fruitiness pairing well with the tender, full-flavoured medium-rare scotch fillet, doused with rich red wine jus and less interesting vegetable sides.

Warm bread & Pepe Saya butter pudding with vanilla ice cream
Remnants of the sweet Burnbrae Rose matched nicely with desserts: an artfully neat bread and Pepe Saya butter pudding that had great flavours but a little on the dry side, helped along with vanilla ice cream sitting on a gingery biscuit crumble trail.

Apple crumble cheesecake with apple jelly
I hoed into my individual portion jelly-like apple crumble cheesecake, topped with an ingenious apple jelly and biscuit crumble on both the top and bottom.

Basking in the autumn sun after lunch, Burnbrae (with my 'raffle girl' assistance) also drew a prize for a stay at the winery’s colonial-style cottage; five minutes out of Mudgee township and  five kilometres along Hill End Road.

Unfortunately, I didn't draw my own name out of there but it seems I've drawn the autumn/winter festival spirit out of me.

This Saturday 25 May's Mudgee wine lunch at Ripples Sydney Wharf, as part of Pyrmont Festival, features produce from Pastabilities and wines from Robert Stein. More details here.

Food, booze and shoes attended the Burnbrae Wines lunch as a guest, with thanks to RF Media.

Ripples Sydney Wharf on Urbanspoon


Trine Gay said...

Your article makes me want to go back and have those mussels over and over again. Thank you for coming down, it was lovely to meet you and really looking forward to your visit to Mudgee.

Sherrie Huang said...

The desserts sound much too tasty :D

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I've become a bit obsessed with mussel dishes. I got some lovely black live mussels-I'm not sure where they were from but they were so deliciously tender!

Tina said...

Hi Trine - Lovely to meet you and taste your wines too :)

Hi Sherrie - Hm, they definitely weren't the highlight of lunch though...

Hi Lorraine - These Kinkawooka ones are outstanding :)

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