Boy did Gulp start the month of July off right! On the 1st we gathered at our usual Tiki and sampled the grapes of Australia while enjoying the foodie pleasures of BBQ and exotic meats.
Before we get to the recap we need to do a welcome back Shout Out to one of our favorite Gulpers, Bridget! “Hey Bridget! You were very missed!”
We also need to do a round of Gulping applause to guest chefs Jim Brogan and Kelly Schultz for their delicious chili!
Onto the pairings!
First Course: For this hot and steamy day Coreen started us of just right with a cold New Zealand Brown Rice Salad. Cool and refreshing it was loaded with "down under" flavors like kiwi and granny smith apples. Crisp celery and sweet onions balanced the tart fruit while the brown rice was nutty and lent a lovely savory note to this dish. It was paired with a favorite Sauvignon Blanc of mine from Kim Crawford. This wine from the Marlborough region is crisp and tropical with passion fruit and citrus notes. It is a medium body wine that is totally sip-able and pairs well with seafood, salad and of course, chicken. It really played nicely with this salad. Steve Hussey said “For a guy who usually likes to eat only dead animals this salad is really good and the wine brings a really nice balance to the dish.” I agree Steve.
Second Course: This course was very special because regular Gulpers Jim and Kelly made it and it was “larupin’ good.” They made a buffalo chili. Yes it was made with buffalo meat and it was delicious! The flavors were smoky, spicy, and meaty. They cubed the buffalo instead of grinding it for a more hearty texture and to make sure we could taste the meat. It was the star of this dish but the supporting flavors of san marzano tomatoes, chilis, black beans and onions really kicked it up. This tasted smoky and slow cooked. Coreen added a side of corn bread for a perfect sweet, savory flavor component. I wanted to be sitting around a campfire or a cozy dining room in winter with friends enjoying this dish. It was paired with a Wolf Blass Yellow Label 2008 Riesling. This is a medium body wine from Australian. The grapes are harvested from the Eden Valley area. The dryness of this straw colored wine was a bit different from the usual Rieslings I drink. Most people I spoke with thought the citrusy sweetness of the wine upped the spicy, smoky flavors of the chilis and made the tomatoes sweeter. I was the only dissenter of the group. While I loved the chili and the corn bread, I didn’t like the Riesling at all. It smelled like gasoline to me. I know I may be a bit off.
Now for our crash course on Australian Wines. Take it away Lebeau:
Third Course: Bring on the Kanga Bangas and Brats!! Yes, my friends we had kangaroo and pork sausage brats. They were served with an evilly delicious ear of roasted corn drenched in cilantro lime butter. Crikey! That is some good Sh#$@!t! The kangaroo meat was different. It didn’t taste like chicken, at all. It was earthy, gamey and leaner than pork sausage. It was spicy and smoky. I think it tasted a little like gator. Then I bit into the pork sausage and it was sweet, mild and juicy. I had them together and it was a lovely matched made in mouth heaven. The spice of the kanga banga amped up the pork and the juiciness of the pork brought out some sweetness in the kangaroo. These bratty treats were paired with Angoves Nine Vines Rose’. This wine hails from the vineyards of Adelaide in Southern Australia. It is a grenache, shiraz blend. It is birthday pink in color. Just looking at it made me happy and smile. Then I took a sniff and was rewarded with honey and strawberries. The flavor matched the aroma. It was very fruity without being sweet. This would be perfect on a hot steamy afternoon in a lounge chair watching the sun set, kind of like today. While this was probably my favorite wine of the day it wasn’t my favorite pairing. As John Hazard said, “The subtle notes of the wine were overpowered by the kanga bangas. It almost made the meat drier. The pork sausage paired much better.” Barry thought the corn paired the best with the wine.
Fourth Course: This was the main course, not just because it was an entree’, not just because it was BBQ. This was the main course because it was freaking off the hook delicious! BBQ spareribs slathered in a deep smoky, sweet sauce served with the best cole slaw I have ever eaten. It was paired with Penfolds Bin 138 Barossa Valley red wine. First the food. The ribs were juicy succulent and the bbq sauce was sucked off every finger in the place, (not by me). I don’t eat cole slaw. I don’t like the vinegary, wilted, wet salad but I LOVED this one. Lebeau was the creator of this side. The cabbage was still crunchy and it was dressed with a light hand. I could taste the fennel, a touch of vinegar and the cabbage. I had seconds. The pairing was probably the best of the day. Penfolds Bin 138 is a blend of grenache, shiraz, and morvedre grapes. This dark ruby colored wine is chocked full of juice. It smells like cinnamon, dark cherries, and a hint of smoke. The flavor is right on the money, deep, dark and delicious. Along with the cherries and smoke I could taste cloves and touch of chocolate. Dang this stuff was good. Add the ribs and this was the BEST pairing of the day. In fact it was so good it was the first time of the day the group was nearly silent except for the occasional groan of pleasure. Awkward.
To fill in the silence Coreen shared big news and fun upcoming events and John Hazard explain why he is the BOMB:
Fifth Course: After all the big flavors of the previous courses Coreen offered up a light and delectable treat to finish the day. Honeyed cream cheese stuffed strawberries. This was creamy, sweet, tart, strawberry nirvana. After such a quiet fourth course this one was filled with exclamations: “Oh wow! OMG, this is good! Can I have another?! Coreen this rocks!” It was the perfect bite and palate cleanser. While it wasn’t paired with anything I did have it with the Penfolds. I know what you are thinking, the wine overpowered the strawberry, right? Wrong! It was lovely! The fruits paired up beautifully and the spice of the wine amped the sweetness of the honeyed cheese filling. It was truly delicious.
Well my friends that will do it for this pairing. Thank you Coreen and Lebeau for all the wonderful courses created and the paired wines we enjoyed! Look at all the happy faces!
Keep Your Eyes open for these upcoming Events
Check out what is happening October 27th! It's a field trip!
More Info to Come, just starting to gather info now. Plan is to rent a van and have it tote us around, stopping at Tequesta Brewing Company, Bx Beer Depot, World of Beers, Due South and do tastings at each location. Like I say, I am just starting to do the legwork now, so just save the date now.wine-making state.
Let me know as soon as you know you are interested so I can plan accordingly
PAYPAL AT GOTTSCHALK.COREEN@GMAIL.COM.
the cost of this event will be in the range of $30-$35. Purchasing beer at the stops will not be included so that you can budget your flights or single pints for yourself. Your price will include a delicious "lining your bellies" lunch at the Serenity Garden Tea House and your transportation for the day. Timeline and More to come