Having missed most of the bigger Spring Racing Carnival race days at Royal Randwick this year, I was delighted to be able to make the De Bortoli Wine Appreciation Luncheon earlier last month, which was as much a showcase for the rebuilt grandstand and ballrooms, as it was a wide range of De Bortoli Wines.
|BellaRiva Pinot Grigio Vermentino 2012 by De Bortoli Wines|
For example, the BellaRiva label range with a Pinot Grigio Vermentino blend hailing from Victoria's King Valley is a great sub-$20 option with the latter grape adding intriguing complexity, differentiating itself from the masses of pinot grigio on shelves.
|De Bortoli Wine Appreciation Luncheon at Level 2 Ballroom, 9 November 2013, Royal Randwick Racecourse, Randwick|
|Tea smoked chicken, fennel radish slaw, sesame seeds, dill|
|Gnocchi con Ragu di Maiale - potato gnocchi with pork shoulder ragu|
While it could well have been a cool weather dish, the match with De Bortoli's Yarra Valley Estate Grown Chardonnay 2011 was a spring day's delight.
|Betting facilities in the Level 2 Ballroom, Royal Randwick|
|Seared citrus Atlantic salmon fillet, artichoke white bean mash, roasted cherry tomato chutney|
Being an oilier, heavier fish, the light, cherry notes of the wine matched surprisingly with the salmon, which was served on a bed of artichoke and white bean mash with asparagus and a grilled lemon half.
|Oven roasted lamb rump, crushed rosemary potatoes, roast truss cherry tomatoes, green herbs|
|De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate Grown Syrah 2010|
|Lemon curd tart, vanilla mascarpone cream|
I'm not one to say no to stickies and fortified wines, especially the Noble One being one of the best stickies out there. It went with dandily with the generously-sized lemon curd tart with a facinator-like tuille, passionfruit sauce and the most delightful, torched mini meringues.
|Layered dark chocolate tile, white chocolate ice cream, chocolate crumb|
|Miniature Royal Randwick signature scones with preserves and whipped cream|
While I always appreciate a good day at Royal Randwick and any opportunity to wear a fascinator, the De Bortoli Wine Appreciation Luncheon was another step up from that. Giddy up and keep your eyes peeled for the next one.
|Level 2 Ballroom at Royal Randwick|
(Image courtesy of ATC)