Since moving to Melbourne, The Brooding Architect and I have been fortunate enough to meet a group of friends who share our love for a drop of red. One night after far too many drinks, the Red Wine Club was born.
The concept of the Red Wine Club is simple – bring a bottle (or two, or three) of a drop you are keen to try as well a plate of food to add to the pot-luck style lunch. Given that none of us actually know a lot about the specifics of red wine – apart from the fact that we like to drink a lot of it – the Red Wine Clubs is really just an excuse to get together for a long, boozy lunch with friends.
After a few prompting emails from The Organiser, the time and place for the inaugural meeting of the Red Wine Club was set.
The Brooding Architect and I had a few (okay 36) bottles of wine floating around from our recent trip to the Yarra Valley, so ended up choosing the following bottles to take along:
- Train Trak Sojourn Cabernet-Shiraz 2008 – Under $20 - Label Reads: A medium bodied wine produced from 55% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% of Shiraz from our Yarra Glen vineyard. Lifted cherry notes and spicy flavours are supported by well round tannins. Produced at low cropping levels and matured in French and American barriques for twenty months.
- Train Trak Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 – $20 to $25 – Label Reads: Bright crimson with purple hues, the wine shows aromas of berry fruit leading to a full bodied palate. Blackcurrant notes upfront end with great length and fine grain tannins. Produced at low cropping levels, matured in French barriques (30% new) for eight months, then in older barriques for further six months before final blending. Rich and earthy.
- Punt Road Pinot Noir 2005 - $20 to $25 – Label Reads: Light to medium bodied with lively red cherry, plum and spice flavours. The palate has a lingering finish and a fine, soft tannin structure.
While technically outside of the red wine category, we also brought along some Punt Road pear and apple ciders. The Punt Road ciders are crisp and refreshing – a far cry from the sickly sweet Strongbows I remember drinking as a 17 year old. A key point of difference with the Punt Road ciders is that they are fermented using table quality (that is eating quality) apples and pears. These Cheddar Biscuits, from a recipe in David Herbert’s ‘The Really Useful Cookbook’ were a great nibbly to accompany the cider and kick off the festivities:
To mop up the red wine, we brought along some Rustic Ricotta Meatballs in a Tomato and Red Wine Sauce. This recipe tends to change each time I make it, but it basically consists of pork and beef minced, combined with fresh ricotta.
Of the wines we took along, the unanimous favorite was the very moderately priced Train Trak Cab Sav. The Train Trak website sells this wine for $23, but you can pick it up at the Cellar Door for about $19 if you buy it by the case. Also, if wine medals mean anything to you (they don’t to me), the Train Trak Cab Sav picked up the Bronze Medal at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show 2008, the Bronze Medal at the Yarra Valley Wine Show 2007 and has a 4 glass rating from THE Australian Wine Guru, James Halliday.
The Red Wine Club is heading to the Mornington Peninsula weekend, to get a much needed crash course in wine tasting and to stock up on a few new bottles to replace the 7 or 8 consumed last weekend. Stay tuned for Meeting No. 2…