Rolf Binder Wines @ Rubyos

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.

Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo's
Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo’s
Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo's
Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo’s
Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo's
Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo’s
enjoying the Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo's
enjoying the Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo’s
Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo's
Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo’s
enjoying the Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo's
enjoying the Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo’s

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.

salad at the Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo's
salad at the Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo’s
peking duck at the Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo's
peking duck at the Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo’s
dessert at the Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo's
dessert at the Rolf Binder Wine dinner @ Rubyo’s

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

Vicki P Written by:

2 Comments

  1. Robert Main
    August 14, 2016
    Reply

    Dear VIcki, It is a shame that the kitchen- or servers- bungled our dinner party. I have eaten at Rubyos twice and had excellent meals both times, though unfortunately, I did not think to take photos of the dishes to share with your readers. I agree about the wines. We did all gush over the quirky Montepulciano, and had such a craving for it the next day, we ordered an Italian version at A Tavola the next evening in Bondi. I am sure your readers will read about that next.

    • Vicki P
      August 14, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Rob, yes I’ve had lovely meals at Rubyos before too, shame they were having an off-night, but didn’t change my great enjoyment of the wine!

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