Wine and Food report

Wine and Food December 2019 Report

Function No 347 - Wednesday December 11, 2019

Another great pre-Christmas function!

Function 347 was held in the Members Dining Room and was attended by 493 members, waiting list members, and their guests.  This was some 90 fewer than in 2019 – maybe a reflection on the excesses of the 2018 function?  Passing the bar on entering the Members Dining Room, the range of available wines was apparent.  

On a cool summer’s night there were 30 reds with some 65% of the available wine being consumed.  95% of the available 8 sparkling’s (3 red) were consumed.   This year there was a considerable increase in the range of whites (21) and 75% were consumed. Being served at the main bar rather than at the far side of the Dining Room may have assisted in the increased consumption compared to last year!
The wines included: 7 shiraz, 12 cabs, 1 pinot, and 9 other red varietals, 3 sparkling red wines including the popular Summerfield Back Block Sparkling Shiraz, and 20 white wines.  One had to be in early, and in the right place to get to sample some of the premium wines on offer such as, for the red lovers, wines such as Wynns Michael and John Riddoch, Taylors St Andrews, and Huber Alte Reben Pinot Noir of 2013.  There was little interest in some of the less traditional red varieties including some of the South American and Italian wines.

With the ease of access, the better whites went quickly.  They included Penfolds Reserve Bin 16A Chardonnay (2015), Tyrells Vat 47 Chardonnay (2015) and the Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay (2015).  Only 18 bottles of Riesling were on offer.  The Coriole Fiano was the only popular lesser known varietal.  
Your committee has been pressing to have better conditions for our more senior members there was an increased number of high tables, and also chairs.  Even with 90 fewer attendees, there was plenty of competition to use the high tables. 

The highlight of the food offerings was, as always, the three oyster choices – Sydney, Tassie, and Coffin Bay (S.A.).  Again, this year the oysters were mainly ‘pre-shucked’ to avoid the long queues of earlier years – well done again Epicure!  On a random sample, the Coffin Bay ones appeared to be the winner – but this will always be disputed!

Other than the oysters, Epicure provided a great selection of options – there were 7 canapes, 2 grazing dishes, and a ‘sweet’.  West Coast prawn tails, free-range chicken roulade, Queensland prawn spring rolls, Wimmera duck spring rolls, grilled Hervey Bay scallops, lamb pies, sweet and sour plum glazed pork belly, marinated Persian feta tartlet, battered whiting tails and squid, with a Zuzu and ginger chocolate tart to finish. My feedback was all food got many compliments.  

Chair Beth Benson gave a very brief address welcoming all present, congratulating all involved throughout the year, with special thanks to Robert Rouch, and to Epicure staff for their outstanding efforts throughout the year.  During the year we tasted some great wines, and had a number of memorable meals.  We look forward to 2020 with anticipation to more smaller wineries being represented at our functions.  This was the last function for 2019, ending a year of fantastic wine and food for the society’s members and guests.  We hope this event was followed up with a joyous Festive Season.

Andrew O’Brien