Wine Bank on View
45 View St
Wednesday night in Bendigo is ‘wine tasting night’ at Wine Bank on View. They provide a weekly selection of hand-picked wines (generally locally but also many from afar) for free tasting. Intelligible explanations and appraisals from the friendly staff really make this a gem of an idea! Too bad it will never be a free event in urban Melbourne.
As you can see, they’ve got quite the collection of reviews from the good food guide and even made it into cheap eats.
On today’s list are three wines from Wild duck estate: Springflat Shiraz, The Blend 2005 (cabernet sauvignon & merlot) and Yellow Hammer Hill Shiraz Malbec 2008. The Springflat was definitely a winner of a Shiraz, though probably not so much so that I would willingly fork out $50+ (aka still a poor student for another 2 months). The Blend had a mellow, oaky and floral softness that was quite smooth on the palate. Though I’m not a huge fan of merlot blends, I thought my parents would love it – so I bought a bottle ($30)… so much for a being a cheap student huhz?
Later: After flicking through a few reviews on Wild duck estate, I was slightly disappointed that I hadn’t the fortune to try this famous but very RARE vintage – Duck Muck. It received a never-before-heard-of 99 points from Robert Parker, and sells in excess of $1200 for the ’00 vintage, and even more for the ’97 vintage (if you can get a hold of it that is). P.S. I doubt I’d actually be able to pick that it was THAT nice… maybe 20 years of drinking later maybe.
After a pleasant ‘alcoholic’ start to the night, I sat down and ordered an Open Porterhouse Steak Sandwich with Roasted Vegetables on Crusty Ciabatta, with a fresh Gremolata dressing ($21). Within a mere 5 minutes, I was already restless and started snapping away at everything around me. (see: Al’s photography #4) The wine certainly has left me with no sense of shame… I had to quickly (but subtly of course) dash back to my table when I spotted my plate of FOOD heading towards my table.
The palette of creamy white, crimson red, golden crust and leafy green was damn appetising, even under the moonlight! (Too bad none of the low-lit photos worked)
The pink flesh had a moist meaty flavour and slightly chewy texture. It was nicely criss-cross charred and marinated with a slightly acidic mustard which gave the occasional hint of wasabi kick. Then there was the juicy stack of capsicum, eggplant and onion. The capsicum was grilled to the point of almost soft puree giving it a mellow sweetness, without that raw spicy kick you normally get. The eggplant was soft and creamy with hints of the soaked up olive oil coming through. Two thick slices of crusty ciabatta had an unmistakable full bodied extra-virgin olive flavour soaked up in the fluffy bread interior. Then add on top of that the thin crispy prosciutto, parmesan and gremolata… ah heaven! Olive oil & fresh ciabatta is always a winner – I probably mopped the whole plate dry of any gremolata and olive oil =).
Rating: Yummy+1 Each element provided a good balance of texture and aroma, making it a wonderful open steak sandwich. Only problem was knife was a little blunt for my liking.
Gremolata – chopped herb condiment usually made up of lemon zest, garlic and parsley.
Ciabatta – Italian white bread made from wheat. Typically has crisp crust and soft-porous (airy) texture.