Tuesday, August 28, 2007

WINE: MORRIS Liqueur Tokay NV

Type: Fortified, Tokay
Origin: Rutherglend, Victoria
Approx Cost: $20

I have so many tasting notes scattered on my desk it’s starting to get annoying. They’re on envelopes, receipts and on the back of shopping lists. Hell, I even have some typed into my phone when I can’t find a pen and paper.

But on with the show. And what a show! This is a bloody brilliant drop which gave me no end of pleasure. Morris are absolute legends at making fortifieds in Australia, but this still surprised me.

A fine but rich amber with gold and green edges. Incredible flavours of caramel, raisin, smokey malt and toffee. Delicious finish with the perfect amount of acidity that sits perfectly on the palate.

This is great. A textbook example of what an entry level tokay should taste like. Fortifieds might not be very popular anymore, but if the product was all like this then I’m sure it would change.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

WINE: COOKOOTHAMA Botrytis Semillon 2005

Type: Sweet White, Dessert
Origin: Riverina, NSW (?)
Approx Cost: $25

Yum. Time to drink another dessert wine. It really is the sweetest time of the week.

Golden amber colour. Fruity nose. Palate is great. Caramelised lemons, oranges and pears; citrus peel. A little different to the normal dessert wines in that it has a real sour tang to it. But what makes it unique also holds it back a bit. It’s curious and inviting, but just a bit too much.

Still, while there are other wines similar to this that I probably prefer, this was extremely tasty and I could see myself going back for more.


Sunday, August 19, 2007


Type: Champagne
Origin: France
Approx Cost: $60

My first encounter with Pommery if I’m not mistaken.

Gold with a hint of green in colour. Average mousse, bead is medium-fine and persists well. So-so palate of lime, lemon and a lot of creamy, yeasty, toasty notes. Decent depth and length on the finish.

It’s okay, but really nothing special. Perhaps it’s because it’s an almost even mix of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinor meuniere grapes that always seems to fall short. Can't see myself going back to try more Pommery for a while.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

WINE: SEIFRIED Riesling Ice Wine 2006

Type: Ice wine, dessert, sweet white
Origin: New Zealand
Approx Cost: $30 (375ml)

For those that don’t know, ice wines are something like the freak of the wine community. The grapes are left to freeze on the vine so the sugars intensify, then it gets picked. The picking needs to be timed perfectly, and because it has to be done in near freezing temperatures you don’t see too many ice wines on the market.

I’ve wanted to try one for ages, and this one was my first. Splendid. I couldn’t wait to crack it. So I didn’t wait.

Pale gold in colour. Not as intense as a normal dessert wine and much less viscous. Great palate. Great great great. Citrus, tart green apples, rich honey and nice a floral edge. Not as cloying as a fortified or botrytis. Very smooth finish.

This is towards the lower end of the ice wine market, but I enjoyed it so much that I think I might go for one of the more expensive options.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

RESTAURANT: Narita Teppanyaki

Type: Japanese/Teppanyaki
Location: 78-86 Harbour St, Sydney
Booking Required: Usually

Fuck, I went to this place so long ago. I can’t believe it has taken me so long to get around to typing up the review. I’ll be surprised if I remember it accurately. Actually, I won’t be that surprised because I HAVE THE MEMORY OF A CHAMP.

You enter this place that sits opposite the Entertainment Centre, walk up a flight of stairs and find a new world. A world of barbeques, of wood, of brick, of flying food. It was my first teppanyaki experience and I was transfixed.

A lot of the appeal of teppanyaki seems to lie in the spectacle. The only thing that separates you from the chef—YOUR chef—is a fiery hotplate. Our chef stood there that night and cook a variety of tasty treats on his hotplate, periodically throwing things at us, while we sat their, drank Japanese beer and watched.

The food isn’t outstanding. It really is just food cooked on a BBQ with basic seasoning. It’s not the place to come to find innovative cooking techniques, amazing flavour combinations or hidden sauces. It’s all there in front of you, cooking on the hotplate.

Service was patchy, but we still had fun. It’s strange to see people I’m dining with get behind the hotplate and cook things or throw eggs at me. Strange but fun. With a big crowd this place would go off.

Prices weren’t as high as I was expecting and portions not as small. For about $40 a head we were very well fed. Still, while the spectacle of it all was good, the food wasn’t great. I’d go back with a dozen or so mates for a fun night, but not with one or two people.

RATING: Okay, may go back

Sunday, August 05, 2007

WINE: RUINART Blanc de Blancs NV

Type: Champagne
Origin: France
Approx Cost: $115

My first taste of something from the world’s first champagne house. Where better to start but with a lovely blanc de blanc, my favourite type of sparkling.

Attractive packaging with a clear, UV-resistant bottle. Not a lot of colour in the packaging. An albino bottle perhaps.

Light gold in colour. Medium mousse, persistent bead that isn’t as fine as I would expect. But all that matters is what’s inside, and it has some excellent flavours. Apricot, honey and a slight nuttiness. Good, clean finish that rounds everything off and shows a lot of depth.

It’s a very nice champagne, but not quite exceptional.