Tasting Rolf Binder wines of Barossa
I’m excited that it’s time for one of my favourite annual wine tastings again, the Rolf Binder wines of the Barossa. Which means lots of beautiful Barossa reds. Tonight we are at Rubyos in Newtown who are providing food platters to go with the wine. What I wasn’t expecting was that this would turn into a question of “what’s more important, the food or the wine”?
The answer we quickly come up with is “the wine, it’s all about the wine”. The wines are fantastic – although we would say that wouldn’t we, given we are all here for the wine first!
We happily work our way through the following wines:
the vibrant 2016 Eden Valley Riesling
the light bodied 2014 Montepulciano
the beautiful blend of 2013 Heinrich Shiraz Mataro Grenache
the big beautiful Shiraz Malbec
the classic Bull’s Blood Shiraz Mataro Pressings
the rich expressive fruits and harmonious tannins of the vintage 2006 Heysen Shiraz
the big bold 2009 Hanisch Shiraz, the last few from the cellar
and finishing with the delightfully aged Old Shed Tokay.
I’m particularly taken by the Montepulciano, which I haven’t had before, and the aged Hanisch and Heysen are a special treat.
When the food and service just don’t match up
Unfortunately the food side did not go as well. Our group of 8 preordered 8 of the Rubyos platters, mostly the seasonal platter, which was supposed to give each of us servings of peking duck, balsamic baked beetroot salad, sesame seed battered oysters, cauliflower arancini, panfried haloumi, baked atlantic salmon, harissa basted chicken breast strips, seared kangaroo fillet and crushed chats.
Sounds like a great casual match with mainly red wines, right? However they aren’t platters, they are share plates, and for most of the dishes we are served a plate with at best 3 or 4 portions, not 8. And we also get a big side of attitude from the surly waiters, to go with the missing portions.
But when you’re enjoying a wine list like this, it isn’t too hard too decide to concentrate on the wines, not worry about the food, and pat ourselves on the back for not over-eating. And strangely enough, the more we drink, the more we forget about the food and service issues – funny how that happens.
So we ended up having a ball, and loving our chance to sample all these wines – a good time was had by all (and we have the evidence). Which is partly why there are so few photos, too busy talking and drinking to remember to take photos – now that’s the definition of a good night!
Best bits: The wines, Rolf and Cynthia
Worst bits: the food and service
Where am I: Rubyos, 18-20 King Street, Newtown, NSW 2042, Australia