AU ABROAD

Drinking with the AU: Hunter Valley Wine Show Dinner - Fix St James, CBD (Sydney)

We here in NSW have a world-class region on our doorsteps; the renowned Hunter Valley is such a region that inspires regular wine trips from even the most casual of sippers nation-wide, always with the effect of edging wine closer and closer to our hearts each time we return from the serene location.

The annual Hunter Valley Wine Show (HVWS) is an innovative and progressive showcase for some of the nation’s best produce, and this year has been no exception. Wine makers from all over Australia have been singing the praises of 2013 and how exciting a time it is for wine; so it stands to reason that any chance to sample some of the show’s winners is one which only a fool would overlook.

The HVWS put on a special dinner and wine tasting at the fantastic Fix St James in Sydney, giving guests an opportunity to try wine of only the highest calibre; each bracket carefully paired with some very fresh meals.

The first bracket was my personal favourite; consisting of a 2013 Thomas Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillion which was a divine as light-bodied white wines come. A subtle, smooth flavour was also present in the other two: a 2007 Tyrell’s HVD Hunter Semillon, and a 2006 Audrey Wilkinson Museum Reserve Semillon; the latter being one of the highest regarded wines at this year’s show. Pairing with a to-die-for Hot smoked salmon en croute was an excellent idea, the acids blending well to make me one very satisfied diner.

Our second bracket was just as impressive with three medium-bodied wines; the 2013 Mt Eyre Three Ponds Fiano standing out as the finest with a beautiful vanilla taste. The Blue swimmer crab risotto was a very small serving, but creamy and rich in taste enough to more than make up for the size.

Our more significant serving of Greenstone creek sirloin with spiced butter and hand cut chips was a delight, with the spiced butter providing enough of a kick to pair excellently with the four wines on offer in our third bracket. Red wine was the star here, and the 2005 Tinklers U&I Shiraz was the best of the four; the mild spice complimenting the steak very well.

Dessert was a serving of high quality cheeses and two grand dessert wines in the 2013 Margan Botrytis Semillon and Draytons Family Wines Heritage Vines Liqueur Verdhelho. The Verdhelho won me over with a warm, chocolate flavour.

These were undoubtedly wines in a league of their own, demonstrating the finesse with which the wine makers of the Hunter Valley region are churning out some of their best produce yet. With 2013 remaining an exciting year for wine nation-wide, the Hunter Valley Wine Show dinner was always going to go down extremely well. Add a fine restaurant to the mix, and you have one of the better pairings of the year.

You can give Fix St James a visit here

Learn more about the Hunter Valley Wine Show here

Fix St James

Address: 111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: 02 9232 2767