On Friday night we went to a Spanish wine tasting dinner at Armadale Cellars (their motto 'Life is too short to drink bad wine' - pretty nice I think).
The food was catered by Movida, currently (depending on who you ask) either the best Spanish restaurant in Australia, or the best Spanish restaurant in Melbourne. Pointing out there is not much competition on that front is not meant to belittle the amazing food. And it is amazing.
Here is Movida food (from their website):
Here is 'Movida Next Door' more of a down to earth tapas bar, which they had to open to deal with all the people queuing to get into the restaurant proper. Here is a link to a Sydney food blog which describes in detail his visit to Movida in May 2009.
And this is what we ate (and drank)
Ortiz Anchovy on a crouton with smoked tomato sorbet
'Basa' Verdejo 2007 (this is a lovely fresh crisp white wine we drink in the summer especially at home)
A selection of cured Spanish meats and olives
(the olives were marinated in garlic, olive oil and lemon and orange rind. The meats were serrano and iberico ham and a mild chorizo sausage - note to meat eaters - the pigs which comprise the sausage run around in fields of oak trees and gorge themselves on acorns then eat grass to cleanse their palate).
'LZ" Tempranillo 2007
'Lanzaga' Tempranillo 2006
'Altos de Lanzaga' Tempranillo 2005
Braised beef cheek in Pedro Ximinez served on cauliflower puree (they cook this by leaving it in the oven the night before when service closes - it cooks for 8 hours)
'Dehesa Gago' Tempranillo 2008
'Gago' Tempranillo 2007
'Pago la Jara' Tempranillo 2005
Hand selected Spanish Cheese (these were a hard goats cheese and a soft blue wrapped in vine leaves and their names escape me)
'Molino Real' Moscatel 2005
'MR' Moscatel 2007
I am not a huge red wine drinker and the 6 different tasting glass (plus 3 white) lined up in front of me were somewhat intimidating. The dinner was held in Armadale Cellars' underground brick lined cellar. The wines really were amazing.... I am not going to bang on about the tasting note type stuff (a hint of quince, blackberries and aging very well to a nicely balanced sootiness). I enjoyed the wine regardless.
However, apart from the food and wine I derived the most enjoyment from the progression of the night. At the beginning there were 14 complete strangers sitting around a table politely talking with their partners, a little too scared to say anything to the wine distributor host or ask any remotely controversial questions. But by the end of the night we were all jostling, shouting for attention, loudly critiquing the temperature, taste and cost of the wine.
Could it have been all that lovely warming wine?