Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 at 9:39 am
A heart warming evening of fiery rich, robust whiskies; Bruichladdich of Islay, Starward of Victoria, Buffalo Trace and Thomas Hardy of Kentucky. What a night and thanks to whiskey afficianado, Tom Barlow. Ancient distilleries, age old artisan methods, long cask ageing, complex aromas and flavours. Sherry and port casks, notes of toffee, burnt maple, roast pears, peat, moss……….
Scotland’s single malt Bruichladdich were my favourite; hints of peat, elderflower and long lingering warmth. Ramp it up with Octomore at 65% abv, its pungent peat and sea salt are a connoiseurs expression of Islay. The 10 year old is at Masani’s bar for autumn, great for sipping or with our anchovy frittole.
Slainte. Bottoms Up!
Sunday, October 21st, 2012 at 7:33 am
Tasting, sourcing, researching, reading, and purchasing a plethora of wines from near and afar once again for Masani’s cellar resulted in 2 exciting and prestigious awards this year! Come and see what all the fuss is about…..
AUSTRALIA’S WINE LIST OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2012
(Gourmet Traveller Wine, Sydney) &
WINE SPECTATOR RESTAURANT WINE LIST AWARDS 2012
(Wine Spectator, New York)
Monday, September 10th, 2012 at 7:03 am
What an indulgent afternoon with Signora Teresa, Frank, Massimo, Pam & family- making sausages! Sausages and cured meats are a very regional feature in the cucina Italiana, and I was privileged to join in the making ceremony. The sausages were Calabrian style, using pork shoulder & leg from Balan (near Ballarat), with red wine, dried chilli, salt, pink & green peppercorns and ground fennel. The boys did all the mixing then piped the meat into the skins and tied them. They then hang in a cool open area for 3 weeks. The bones were boiled and reduced with wine and herbs, till the meat fell off the bone. This gelatinous pork pâté is then preserved in lard with bay leaves and kept for your next ploughman’s lunch. Thanks to Teresa, Pam and Frank for having me, and for my winter supply of salsicce! Grazie
Friday, July 20th, 2012 at 6:36 am
To celebrate local Victorian produce and our big open fires, the Roast Collection festival kicked off with a special weekend menu. Hearty beef consommé with piemontese dumplings, artisan flavoured sourdough, slow roasted veal, heirloom vegetables and my favourite….. mulled wine poached pear with whipped gorgonzola. What to drink..heartwarming Aussie Shiraz and sweet Bordeaux from the right bank: Sainte-Croix-du-Mont. Mmm…Buon Appetito
Tuesday, April 10th, 2012 at 5:13 am
With much excitement I announce goodies from the artisan oven are now served daily!!! Autumn harvest nuts, fruits, & herbs are kneaded, roasted and baked into crafted delights: focaccia with sea salt, olive oil and rosemary, Gruyère & Parmigiano thyme loaf, Sicilian green olive & chilli bread, prosciutto snail rolls. As for the dolci: torta Caprese is a flourless Belgian chocolate and course almond torta from Campania, aniseed and white wine biscotti, roast walnut and spiced fig pasta frolla torta are divine over an espresso or affogato. Baked warm every afternoon, it’s a real treat.
Sunday, April 8th, 2012 at 4:42 am
A jet set trip to Sydney for a “working” lunch at Beppi’s. Someone had to do it! Over antipasti, oxtail pasta and Friulian veal shank we savoured top drops from Mark and Signor Beppi’s cellar. Mark does a brilliant job of sourcing premium wines from Italy and bringing them to our shores and dining tables. The knockouts: Puiatti Pinot Grigio from Collio in Friuli (ripe mineral and citrus freshness), Pighin Pinot Grigio from Grave in Friuli (time on skins gives added texture), Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti (easy, luscious roses and cherries), the very moorish and rich San Fabiano Chianti Classico and a gripping Col D’Orcia Brunello. To conclude over fruit, nuts and gianduia chocolate the Moscato d’Asti by Piedmont’s Michele Chiarlo and Buglioni Recioto della Valpolicella were a contrast of fresh grapey and cleansing against jammy plums, dates and sweet spices. Our hosts were as captivating as the cave like cellar which spans their 50 + year old collection.
Salute and grazie to Mark, Signor Beppi and the charming Owen, for a day of wonderful food, wine and ospitalità!
These wines feature on our list and I have matched them with Autumn dishes. X Kara
Friday, January 20th, 2012 at 3:35 am
BBQ Australiana. Another festive season exhausted, and summer finally arrived. Richard’s chef-ing was extended to the coastal bush over the new year. Smoky scallops, crisp scampi and juicy prawns from far north QLD and the WA coast were a divine match with vintage champagne. Moët & Chandon 2002 to be precise, “…great, graceful year for superb Pinot Noir and sumptuous Chardonnay”- Hugh Johnson. Toasty brioche, creamy lush Chardonnay shines and the balancing touch of apple zing. Drink up and buy up, especially while the AUS$ is tip top! Get organised too, with Valentine’s Day around the corner. Masani will be doing a dinner menu with shared dessert…..oooh. Stay tuned. XXX
Friday, January 20th, 2012 at 3:32 am
A very exciting trip to the UK’s Court of Master Sommeliers advanced examination. New Year greetings to fellow colleagues: Fabien, Miguel, Sören, Tobias, Nikolas, Raúl, Clio, Stefan, Mark, and co. It was an exciting and challenging week but a lot of fun. It was lovely to have tasted some fantastic wines with you all. And,…a privilege to have been in the company of such skilled & talented sommeliers. Wishing you all the very best for 2012, bottoms up. Love, Kara
Monday, October 24th, 2011 at 3:43 am
Spring has sprung and it is time for bubbles! The effervescent Jack Steel hosted a sensational masterclass over oysters and canapés. The house of Billecart-Salmon dates back to 1818 at Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, still owned by its original family. The NV Brut Reserve is balanced with brioche creaminess and firm apple zing. The NV Blanc de Blancs, pure chardonnay from 5 grand cru vineyards of the Côte des Blancs, is delicate with an emphasis on citrus pith and celery hearts. The moorish NV Brut Rosé highlights garden roses, wild strawberries and autumn leaves, perfect with stone fruit trifle over Christmas lunch. Party perfect NV Demi-Sec was melon sweet and seductive. Vintage VIP’s followed…. 1998 Cuvée Nicolas François, a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir from grand cru vineyards, 2000 Cuvée Elizabeth Salmon Rosé (hints of sweet spice and poached figs), 1998 Grand Cuvée, the finest grand cru fruit aged for 10 years (time on lees gives chestnut toast and golden delicious warmth). Finally the star of the show, 1998 Le Clos Saint-Hilaire, a Blanc de Noirs from their pampered one hectare vineyard, has minimal dosage and a lush, long and elegant finish.Thanks to Jack and DWS for a fascinating and luxurious afternoon. www.champagne-billecart.fr
PS.This Summer, Chef Richard will be presenting the CARNIVAL OF SEAFOOD on Sunday afternoons. Indulge over ocean fresh seafood dishes. I will be matching a range of sparkling wines and white varietals too!Book online or simply call.
Friday, September 30th, 2011 at 6:35 am
Elegant and expressive wines from Veneto’s Tommasi vintners was an experience over dinner at the Merchant. The savvy Elena from Tommasi HQ took us through a flight of their flagship and new wines. Vermentino sourced from Tuscany’s Maremma was first up, citrus tang, pear and minerals. The 2009 “Arele” Appassimento with sublime duck ragu : a valpolicella blend in a ripasso style, was fruit forward and rustic. Fell in love again with the velvety 2009 “Ripasso” Valpolicella Classico, the wine is refermented on the Amarone grape skins and then aged for 18 months in Slavonian oak. A new love: the 2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, its rich and layered with lots of dark cherries, cassis, dried sage and mulled spiced plums. Luscious with the milk fed veal and pepperonata.
Vintage 2007 proved top conditions for the natural drying of the grapes, 4 months over winter and hence the perfect fruit and flavour concentration. Lastly the 2001 “Fiorato” Recioto, a knockout dessert wine, from the Valpolicella classico grape blend, dried and fermented longer for a rich sweet red. Think prunes, muscatels, dark and sour cherries. A perfect match with cheese or lick your plate clean Venetian crema pasticcera. Thanks to Elena, Leigh, Adam, and the charming Mark Protheroe- service at its best!! PS. Masani’s offers Tommasi’s Ripasso and Recioto by the glass over spring. The Vermentino will be arriving in summer.
Till next, bottoms up! Kara www.tommasiwine.it
Greetings fellow foodies, wine lovers, sommeliers and amici. My wine journal will track wines, dishes, places, faces and events that i encounter in my role as Masanis sommelier.