Nepenthe Wine Food Journey

Nepenthe Wines Food Journey Dinner

by April@MyFoodTrail on October 14, 2011

in Food Events

Have you heard of progressive dinners? That’s when you start at a particular location for the first course and then move on to various other locations for the other courses. I love the idea, so when I was invited to the Nepenthe Wines Food Journey dinner, I had to say yes! We would be visiting three different restaurants where the chef has hand-crafted a course to match a different Nepenthe wine. Only the location of the first meeting place was known – the other restaurants were a surprise!

Nepenthe is located in the cool heights of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. In 1996, Nepenthe received approval to build its winery, only the second in the Adelaide Hills at the time. Since then, Nepenthe has expanded to four different vineyards within the Adelaide Hills with varietals such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and Pinot Gris. We had winemaker Alex Trescowthick join us on the journey, talking to us about the wine along the way.

Nepenthe Wine Food Journey - Inside Solarino

Enjoying the Nepenthe white wines

Our meeting place was at Solarino Restaurant at Howey Place off Little Collins Street. It was a cosy little restaurant and we were lucky it was a mild night as we had an outdoor table. We started off with some bread while we waited for the entrée to arrive.

Nepenthe Wine Food Journey - Solarino bread

Foccacia bread

The entrée was prawn and crustacean bisque risotto with pancetta wrapped scallops. The risotto was flavoursome and creamy and suited the pancetta wrapped scallops. This course was matched with the Nepenthe Sauvignon Blanc 2011 and the Nepenthe Pinot Gris 2011. As you would have heard me mention in my previous post Pinot Gris is one of my favourite varietals, along with Sauvignon Blanc.

Nepenthe Wine Food Journey - Prawn & crustacean bisque risotto with pancetta wrapped scallops

Solarino: Prawn & crustacean bisque risotto with pancetta wrapped scallops – matched with Nepenthe Sauvignon Blanc 2011 & Nepenthe Pinot Gris 2011

The group then moved onto the next restaurant, Papa Goose, on Flinders Lane, for the main. We were brought small shot glasses of lemon, lime and bitters granita as a palate cleanser. I love frozen drinks, so I could have had a whole glass of it!

Nepenthe Wine Food Journey - Lemon & lime bitters granita

Papa Goose: Lemon, lime & bitters granita

We got a choice of either veal or duck for main course. Since I had a new found appreciation for duck from the Match Bar & Grill dinner, I chose the duck. It was two pieces of perfectly pink duck breast sitting on top of puy lentils, accompanied by a beetroot puree. The matched wines were the Nepenthe Pinot Noir 2010 and the Nepenthe Tempranillo 2010. I’m not much of a red wine drinker, but I found the Pinot Noir more to my liking that the Tempranillo.

Nepenthe Wine Food Journey - Seared Aylesbury duck breast

Papa Goose: Seared Aylesbury duck breast, beetroot, puy lentils & walnut soil – matched with Nepenthe Pinot Noir 2010 & Nepenthe Tempranillo 2010

Nepenthe Wine Food Journey - Wines at dinner

Enjoying the Nepenthe red wines

For the final dessert course, we moved to Collins Quarter on Collins Street. This place was very dark, so I have to apologise for photos! We had individual dessert plates with a vanilla pannacotta with mandarin jelly, white chocolate cheesecake parfait with confit cumquats and a white and dark chocolate truffle with honeycomb bavarois. Everything on the plate was so, so good, but the white and dark chocolate truffle ball was an explosion of amazing in the mouth!

Nepenthe Wine Food Journey - Dessert platter

Collins Quarter: Vanilla pannacotta with mandarin jelly, white chocolate cheesecake parfait with confit cumquats, white & dark chocolate truffle with honeycomb bavarois – matched with Nepenthe Late Harvest Riesling 2010

We also got a cheese platter with a goat’s cheese, a soft cheese and a hard cheese. Look at how the soft cheese is oozing! I’m not sure what the soft cheese was, but it wasn’t like a brie or camembert. While it was creamy, it had more of a mushroomy flavour. I kept eating it even though I was so full by that stage! The matched wine with dessert was a late harvest Riesling, which was only available at the cellar door. Late harvest dessert wines are usually sweet and thick, but the Nepenthe one wasn’t too sweet or thick so it went down easily.

Nepenthe Wine Food Journey - Cheese platter

Collins Quarter: Cheese platter – matched with Nepenthe Late Harvest Riesling 2010

Starting from 1 October and running until the end of November, Nepenthe Wines is running a promotion to take you on a culinary journey around Melbourne and reward you with some pretty great prizes. Once you register, you will be sent a food passport. You simply need to visit 3 of the participating restaurants and order a special $35 main meal, which comes with a complimentary glass of matched Nepenthe wine and you’ll receive a twin pack of Nepenthe wine, plus the Gourmet Traveller Annual Cookbook. You can find more details here.


Nepenthe Food Journey Passport

It was a great night of good food and beautiful wine!

Over & Out, April xx

April attended the Nepenthe Food Journey dinner as a guest of Nepenthe Wines and Australian Vintage.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah October 14, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Cheese platter for me this time, thanks! You keep those icky orange citrus fruits away from my dessert plate… 😛


April@MyFoodTrail November 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm

WHAT?! You don’t like citrus?!


Michelle chin October 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

I didn’t know about progressive dinners but this sounds really interesting. Hehe


April@MyFoodTrail November 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I’ve done it before where we started at someone’s house for entree, then moved onto another house for mains, then on to another for dessert and drinks. It’s something different for a change.


msihua October 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm

That sounds amazingly fun to attend! And look at that duck!! YumMM!


April@MyFoodTrail November 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm

It was a fun night, though what night with wine is not fun?! ;P


Agnes October 15, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Looks like a good dinner! But can I admit that I’m lazy and would rather have three courses brought to me rather than having to go to three different places? Haha. 🙂


April@MyFoodTrail November 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Haha, it was good walking off some of the food and building an appetite before going to the next place!


Sarah October 17, 2011 at 6:18 am

Looks like a fun and informative dinner! I especially like the look of that duck dish – yum yum.

I think the mystery cheese might be a washed rind??

xox Sarah


April@MyFoodTrail November 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Thanks Sarah. It looks like a brie, but didn’t taste like one.


Winston October 17, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Oh man someone just told me about Solarino a few days ago! Never heard about it before that for some reason, what a coincidence that you’re blogging about this now! The dinner looks fantastic. But I think I might go and try out their brunch menu for a more affordable option hehe. Dinners can be too expensive for students so I’m just happy to drool for now har har.


April@MyFoodTrail November 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm

My stomach can’t handle big lunches which is why dinner is my “meal out”. I wish I went out for lunch more though… you’re right, it’s cheaper plus the lighting for food shots is SO MUCH better!


Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) October 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Have heard about progressive dinners but never attended one. Did you find it odd to move between each place for the courses?


April@MyFoodTrail November 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm

No, it was something different for a change! Also allowed us to build up an appetite! 🙂


Vee @ Munching (in) Melbourne October 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Haha glad your appreciation for duck continues 😉 Sounds like you guys went on a real journey through the Paris end of Melbourne!


April@MyFoodTrail November 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I had never been to any of the places before so it was good discovering the top end of town!


penny aka jeroxie October 31, 2011 at 7:59 pm

oh lala! I love progressive dinners. A little hard when some places have to queue!


April@MyFoodTrail November 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Yeah, I think that would spoil the mood. You would definitely need to plan ahead and book!


Adrian (Food Rehab) November 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm

mmmm more duck! And wine! A deadly combination indeed.


April@MyFoodTrail November 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I think it’s the wine that’s more deadly than the duck! 🙂 At least for me!!

Reply November 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Oh im super jealous! I wish i was there 🙁 looks so much fun


April@MyFoodTrail November 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Yes, it was heaps of fun!


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