Disclosure: Alastair and I attended in exchange for the photos from MPH’s last wine dinner.
Also, this is a scheduled post. Replies to comments/emails will be even slower than usual.
In mid-August, Middle Park Hotel held another wine dinner, pairing up with Curly Flat. Curly Flat winery is located in the Macedon Ranges, producing mostly Pinot Noir, some Chardonnay and a little Pinot Gris.
Just like the previous wine dinner, Alastair and I took seats at the bar. I’d had a very busy day at work and my mind was completely and utterly fried – so wine was VERY welcome. To start we were poured a glass of 2011 Curly Flat White Pinot. This was an interesting wine: I found it dry but with a bit of sweetness and fruitness.
The food inspiration for the evening was retro and comfort. And our first bite of the night was a jazzed up Scotch egg with sauce gribiche. Not just a regular Scotch egg – encasing a quail egg was mince made of smoked salmon. It was slightly on the salty side but it was really nice.
The next two wines were a 2010 Curly Flat Chardonnay and a 2008 Curly Flat Chardonnay. In my notes, I wrote that the 2010 seemed lighter, while the 2008 was more chardy like (at first I thought I had written that the 2008 was more candy like, which didn’t make much sense, even to me!)
One of the two dishes that came with these was a plate of hand selected Moonlight Flat artisan oysters with native lime mignonette.
I normally like my oysters plain but I really liked the lime mignonette – all crunchy and onion spicy and tangy. I also really liked the oysters matched with the wines – it brought out the sweetness in the chardonnays.
The second dish was Hervey Bay scallops with celeriac puree and sauce maltaise. A maltaise sauce is a basically a Hollandaise sauce with the addition of blood orange juice and it’s delicious – creamy and sweet, and the slight citrus flavour worked really well with the scallops.
The main course was rare bred Wessex Saddleback rack of pork baked in hay with spiced cherries, chestnuts and parsnip polenta. This was an epic piece of pork – it might not look that large in the photo but it was a really big piece! The meat was great – really juicy – though the hay flavour didn’t really come through.
The pork was served on top of some cheesy polenta and with a sticky and thick cherry sauce.
And! Did you see that? Two pieces of crackling – one on the meat and a piece on top. JOY.
The wines for this course were a 2008 Curly Flat Pinot Noir and a 2005 Curly Flat Pinot Noir. Honestly, only half way through dinner and my notes are illegible. I’d blame the state of my mind on the night, but I seem to take illegible notes, oh ALL THE TIME. I wrote something about ?? to go with pinot, winter tobacco flavours. Who knows why I bother!
And finally, the last course was a Yarra Valley Dairy goat’s cheese and truffle souffle with a warm wild mushroom sauce. Lightly browned crumbs on top, a soft goaty cheesy interior, pungent mushroom sauce… ahhhhh I have no more words.
This was matched with a 2006 Curly Flat Chardonnay, which had a sweet start with a chardonnay finish. I thought that the cheese in the souffle rounded it out nicely.
Suitably fed and wined up, we headed home. There were so many enjoyable parts to this dinner, it’s almost like it was made especially for me: scotch eggs, oysters, pork, double crackling, souffle… aahhhh. We had an excellent time.
Read about a previous wine dinner (Jasper Hill) at Middle Park Hotel here.
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Middle Park Hotel
102 Canterbury Road
Phone: 03 9690 1958