"I am not a glutton - I am an explorer of food!" - Erma Bombeck
Wine was breathing, cheese bubbling on the stove and you could faintly see your breath in the air when you spoke... yes, Winter was here and so was the Fondue Feast! As the last candle was lit, the first guests started to filter in up the stairs...
The night was introduced, the rules of Fondue explained and the first molten course was served...
Benison Blue (VIC) & Pear Cider Fondue.. served alongside Printhie's Apres dessert wine and the Mt Canobolas Collection (MCC) 2012 Riesling. A liquid cheeseboard is the best way to describe this course.. all the key elements were there Blue cheese, sweet wine and fruit - in the form of Pear Cider - all served in your not so traditional vessel.. a Cob Loaf! Got to love an edible bowl... this course was a hit and there was nothing left but empty glasses!
Next up we had a more traditional cheese blend of Heidi Farm Tilsit (VIC) & Gruyere (TAS). Keeping with this traditional approach, this course was served in a pot with a variety of all things "dippable" to lap up the oozy cheese! Drew, of Printhie Wines, paired this course to the MCC 2012 Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. These whites followed the same traditional direction as a pairing for the course.. with the crisp, fruit driven styles with acid notes to cut through the rich, fatty cheese.
For the final cheese course from The Stinking Bishops, we took a novel approach - serving the Farmhouse Brie (VIC) Fondue in BABY PUMPKINS.. ha ha.. my personal favourite -
This molten pumpkin was paired to the MCC 2012 Shiraz and 2013 Pinot Noir. My favourite pairings to cheese are often reds and with the wintery weather it was a cosier finish to the cheese feast.. Easing toward the dessert course this Shiraz is medium bodied with a hint of chocolate and cedar. The Pinot Noir is dominant in berry flavours such as cherry and raspberry with a earthiness to it. These two wines stood up to the brie fondue and added a complexity to the final course.
It wouldn't be a decadent, indulgent feast without a chocolatey finish, now would it?!
Finishing on a high note with a blended chocolate fondue from Chocolate 5018 served with a shot of cherry brandy and spiced rum! Now that's decadent - no one works on a Wednesday right?! ha ha.. This course was washed down with my favourite wine from Printhie - the Swift Family Heritage 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz and a MYSTERY WINE. This rich, elegant wine paired beautifully with the chocolate with a nice fruity smoothness from the Merlot.. nom nom nom...
The Mystery Wine was an absolute treat for our guests at the Fondue Feast. A 1995 Cabernet Port from Orange, NSW... not available for commercial purchase and was syphoned straight from the barrel... AH-MAZING! A wine that could only be identified by our winner for the evening.. Congratulations, Mike!
Due the good behaviour of our guests, no one was an obvious winner of the Rule of Fondue, so we reverted to a competition of identifying what is "Printhie".. with an assortment of hysterical interpretations - or wild guesses - we had a winner... A table of local foodies who will be back to enjoy their voucher to The Hive Bar, I'm sure!
Most of us would assume it is a bird, like the Printhie wines logo... in fact...
"the name Printhie is taken from a now extinct goanna-like lizard that was quite common in the local area." (Printhie Wines Website. 2015)
With full stomaches, rosy cheeked-grins on their faces and a Taste.E glass in their hand our guests made their way home.. to enjoy a nice hot chocolate with their Chocolate 5018 Hot Chocolate Stirrers !
Until next time, happy eating!