The Bad Apples Bar in Applecross hosts a regular cellar series, where they showcase a winery and have the winemaker in attendance to discuss and take the guests through each of the wines, all served with matching food. Previously, they have hosted the likes of Ryan O’Meara from Express Winemakers, Mike Garland from Castelli, Mark Warren from Marq and Matt Gant from First Drop wines. You get the idea, some very good wineries are being showcased. Tickets range from $77 to $95, depending on the winery and planned menu.
When the message came through asking if I’d like to attend one with Dave Bowley from Vinteloper Wines, how could I say no? Vinteloper is a winery I have been watching for a while and loved the new direction they were taking with their labelling. Have a look at the hand drawn labels. They look brilliant when you pick up each bottle and closely examine the detail on each of the drawings. Great way to get noticed on a shelf full of wines.
Once festivities kicked off, the first thing I noticed was everyone was having fun, sipping on their wines and were happy chatting about it. In between courses, winemaker Dave Bowley got up to share some information about the wines tried and threw in a few amusing anecdotes. Some wine dinners can be quite the formal affair. Not this. I think the relaxed atmosphere of Bad Apples and the generous pour sizes were conducive to everyone having a great time.
Onto the wines and food. I’ve included brief notes on each of the wines tasted and the food it was served with.
2013 Vinteloper Moscato Giallo. Served with Buffalo Mozzarella Ballon, dehydrated tomato chips, balsamic caviar.
Most interesting wine of the night. Challenging too and won’t be to everyone’s tastes. This wine spent 10 days fermenting on skins then in old French oak barrels for 8 months. Light racking & no fining before being bottled. Hazy cider like in appearance. Smells like it’s going to be slightly sweet, like most Moscatos. In the mouth, this is bone dry. Flavours of ginger, lemongrass, perfumed orange peel, Pomelo pith and apple skins. Solid acidity and slightly chewy palate with zingy acids. It’s 11% alcohol.
Food match was okay. Tasty dish that didn’t really add to the wine. There were some olives on the table for our arrival and I found they went better with the wine. The salt and brine of the olives worked well to soften the wine and reduce slight sour aspects.
2013 Vinteloper Watervale Riesling & 2013 Vinteloper Southern Fleurieu Pinot Gris. Served with Prawn tempura, Wasabi mayo, black roe mushroom veloute, milk foam, truffle oil.
2013 Watervale Riesling
Crunchy Green apples, lift of ginger and mineral. Becomes very aromatic once it warms up, with Asian spices and white pepper, along with Ruby pink grapefruits, but not too zesty. Finishes clean with beautiful acidity. Loved this well balanced Riesling.
Apparently Vinteloper make 3 different Rieslings with different levels of sweetness. Would love to try them all lined up next to each other.
2013 Pinot Gris.
Crunchy & textural with a slight pink hue appearance. Has what I called “Aspects of mulled wine”. Flavours of baked orange with cloves, nutmeg along with some orange zest and musk sticks. Found this to be a touch hot on the palate that settled down with food.
I thought the food / wine combination worked quite well.
2011 Pinot Noir & 2011 Odeon Pinot Noir. Served with Duck 2 ways. Duck Breast, carrot, fennel, Yuzu-Skin Jam, Orange Caramel Miso. Peking Duck Spring Roll, Plum sauce.
2011 Pinot Noir
From 20 year old vines. Aromatic. Bright cherries. chinese salted prunes. Balanced, but finishes a touch short.
2011 Odeon Pinot Noir
From 25 year old vines. Deeper, broody, brambles. Dark cherries. Clean wine. Bright, balanced and crisp. Intense minerals. Stoney. Interesting.
Okay, I really struggled to describe the Pinots. Made the mistake of eating some of the accompanying food first. It transpired that the plum sauce and yuzu jam were too sweet and threw the wines out a bit, making it hard to appreciate the wines.
Pause with a Yuzu Sorbet, chocolate Soil. An interesting idea, but the high acid and sugar from the yuzu combined with the cold of the sorbet made my palate quite dull for about half and hour.
2013 VUWP Red #1 & 2012 Adelo Red Blend. Served with Medium Beef tenderloin, vegetables, red wine jus.
2013 VUWP Red #1
VUWP stands for Vinteloper Urban Winery Project and was part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival. It’s an interesting project where Vinteloper brought their winery to the city of Adelaide and created this wine with the help of those visiting the urban winery. Patrons could jump in a vat of the wine and help stomp on the fermenting grapes. This wine is a blend of Aglianico, Shiraz, Barbera, Sangiovese, Graciano & Pinot Noir.
I really enjoyed the rustic nature of this wine. Red fruits, slightly funky in an interesting way. Savoury aspects. A good solid wine. I purchased a few more of this wine to enjoy at home, and have since reviewed it. You can read my slightly more detailed notes here.
Have a look at this video of the VUWP in full swing.
2012 Adelo Red Blend
Another interesting blend, with Touriga, Shiraz, Pinot Noir & Grenache all in the mix.
Robust, rich and powerful. Chewy, spicy, ripe, earthy, mushroom notes. Graphite minerals. Ripe plums, cloves. Needs food to tame this. Hints of umami like soy, savoury and delicious.
Dish was an excellent match.
2010 McLaren Vale Shiraz served with Chocolate Cherry & Espelette Chili, Chocolate hazelnut biscotti, vanilla ice cream.
Good, solid shiraz from McLaren Vale with dark fruits, sweet compote and hints of milk chocolate. All worked fairly well with dessert, with the exception of the ice cream. I don’t believe red wine ever goes with ice cream.
I think it’s quite clear from my comments above that the food matches didn’t quite work on the night. Food was pretty good in it’s own right. Wines were good on their own. Together they didn’t enhance each other. I chatted with Bad Apples’ wine director, Tom Stransky about this later and it turns out the chef was quite new to the job and does not drink. Tom did describe the flavour profiles of each wine in the menu planning stages, but it appears something was lost in translation. They are working to address this for future wine dinners.
I recommend keeping an eye out on Bad Apples’ facebook page for future wine events or head on over to their website and register for their newsletter. Overall, they offer pretty good value in relaxed surrounds with interesting wines being presented.
Note : I was invited along as a guest of Bad Apples Bar, Vinteloper and their local distributers here in Perth, In Cantina. My price of admission was paid for in exchange for writing up about my experience.