Are my cooked prawns local or do they come from the Mekong? Is my supermarket asparagus grown in Australia or imported via a chilled aeroplane from Peru? What's the 'carbon cost' of drinking beers from local microbreweries versus imported Japanese brands produced in Canada?
|Chiswick, Ocean Street, Woollahra|
Family-owned De Bortoli Wines recently relaunched its Windy Peak range with a greater emphasis on various regions of Victoria, aiming to highlight particular varieties that thrive in particular regions. De Bortoli Wines sources fruit from vineyards in the Yarra Valley, King Valley and Heathcote in Victoria.
|Council land - Chiswick Gradens|
Not only was it lunch at one of the most in-demand restaurants in Sydney at the moment, the invitation was attached to four bottles from the Windy Peak range.
|Guests and glasses for the De Bortoli Wines Windy Peak relaunch|
Two long, glass-laden tables were set up in the enclosed private room of Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan's new restaurant in Woollahra. The space surely had to be a sunroom in another life as the gorgeous glassed doors looked out onto the pristine green Chiswick Gardens.
As we surveyed our luxe surrounds, we started with the Windy Peak Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2011 from the King Vally and Yarra Valley which Leanne says have similarities that work together. "Tropical fruit, gooseberry and grassy flavours" appear in the tasting notes.
|Chiswick's kitchen garden|
Chiswick's seasonal menu aims to put the best produce from the kitchen garden on the menu every month, which must be both an exciting and challenging prospect for the kitchen and regular customers.
|Olives, roma beans, tomato, mustard seeds|
|Rosemary flat bread|
|Pickled garden vegetables|
|Leanne De Bortoli of De Bortoli Wines|
The 2010 and 2011 vintages are those post the Victorian bushfires that ravaged the state, and Yarra Valley, in February 2009. Leanne noted that 2010 was a particularly good year for their pinot noir, which we later confirmed.
|Sliced kingfish, breakfast radish, chive aioli, parsley|
The presentation of the kingfish was seriously pushing the prettiness-scale and it was the sheer freshness of the fish slices that forced us to ruin the pretty picture.
The pink kingfish slices were topped with a delicate dice of radish, chives, possibly apple and/or cucumber, alongside well-balanced spots of chive aioli. The presentation with herb tendrils and baby shiso leaves was the on-tune finishing touch for a great sharing dish to start.
|Pulled veal ravioli, broad beans, cornichons, shiso|
While the pasta would make any nonna happy, it was the incredibly intense flavour and melt-in-the-mouth texture of the pulled veal that shone. I would definitely consider order this stunning ravioli as a meal of its own.
|Marinated cucumber, rosa radish, mint, goat's curd and Yarra Valley Persian Feta salad|
It was a very light and subtle dish that contrasted almost a little too harshly with the big-hitting flavours of the prior ravioli, while I thought the deep-fried bread bits were a little out of place.
|At the kitchen pass|
Matt Moran was spotted pottering about during lunch but not in the kitchen, which was bright and bustling as an impressive line-up of pies hit the pass with bright red pie birds perched on golden pastry tops.
|Fish and prawn pie|
The pastry was a little difficult to break up with the serving spoon and the white sauce was a touch floury but these were minor quibbles for what seems to be Sydney's new favourite fish pie.
|Chicken, wood roasted in spiced hay with lemon, stuffing|
Moist although a bit pale, this was not so much about a marinade, sauce or skin even but rather remembering how real chicken should really be and all very 'Sunday roast' really.
|Wood roasted Moran family lamb, chickpeas, mint|
Served on a bed of chickpea puree with a bright green mint sauce, this huge hunk of meat needed little more than gravity and a few nudges for the succulent meat to fall off the bone. For lamb lovers, this is as close to perfection as I can imagine.
|De Bortoli Wines Windy Peak Yarra Valley Pinot Noir|
Time was flying as we had much fun serving and passing food around, which is the idea behind shared mains - with lots of wine, of course.
|Baked meringue, yuzy, Granny Smith apples|
The scarily perfect baked meringue of snowman-like stature was the lighter of the two desserts, featuring a tart, citrusy yuzu curd within the meringue and smeared on the plate and a very appropriate partner of Granny Smith apple sorbet.
|Caramelia éclair, almonds, sugar plums|
|Chiswick amid the gardens|
But with goodie bags of regional treats to boot (featuring Crumbs Gourmet Biscuits passionfruit yoyos, Chapman Hill extra virgin olive oil, King Valley Fine Foods rocket and pistachio pesto, and more wine), we managed to leave Chiswick with a little, delicious piece of the Yarra Valley and King Valley.
The Windy Peak range of wines retails for about $15 a bottle, which makes it a great choice at the affordable end of the spectrum. See more photos from the Windy Peak launch at my Facebook page.
Food, booze and shoes attended the De Bortoli Wines Windy Peak launch as a media guest, with thanks to De Bortoli Wines and The Cru Media.