Perfect match???

BROWN Brothers have made an art of matching food and wine through their epicurean center in Milawa, Victoria. While they would be the first to admit that matching food with a specific wine is a matter of individual taste, Brown Brothers strive to match what they believe will be the best combination.

To achieve this they take into consideration the flavours, texture and balance of the dish when it is matched to wine to enhance your enjoyment of the whole experience. If you are ever traveling through Victoria, then it is a recommended stop.

Food and wine combinations are never set in stone, however anyone with any taste buds will agree that some combinations just don’t work. In fact, some combinations will never work. Who needs reminding that only under very limited circumstances will red wine match with fish and white wine complement the delicate flesh of tenderly cooked Scotch fillet?

While it is good to experiment and exceptions to the rule often apply, in any match you must closely follow the ingredients you are cooking with and match your wine so as to gain a balance.

Four years ago Brown Brothers introduced Perth to a secret they have been sharing with visitors to their winery for 15 years.

The Wine and Food weekend was such a success that it has now become a highlight for food and wine lovers in Perth, attracting sellout crowds each year. MGM wine distributors said that, while 900 tickets have already been sold, there was still time to buy a ticket. Be advised, however, that no ticket sales will be available on the day.

The ticket price is $55, which includes three dishes and the selected wine match for that dish. Come and treat yourself to an afternoon of indulgence, with each of the chefs presenting their creations to sample and match with wine.

This year the chefs who created the dishes for the day are team leader Bert Lozey, who is owner of Bertini’s restaurant in Fremantle; Jody Gentle, chef at Bertini’s; Adrian Tobin, who is the executive chef at the WA Turf Club; James Archer, who was the former executive chef at the Hyatt Regency in Perth; and the masterful Sheng Shen, who is the pastry chef and owner of Cakes Unlimited in Northbridge.

The team has spent a great deal of time creating the delicious 10-dish menu. Here are a few of my favourites.

The Soft Roast Roma Tomato with Eggplant and Goats Cheese Ricotta Tart with a Mediterranean salad was a very good match to the Brown Brothers Pinot Grigio. The tart has some degree of spice running through it with the aroma adding some zest and sweetness. The Pinot Grigio with some touches of lemon acidity and savoury character lends itself to balance out the flavours of the tart.

Vietnamese Fish Cakes served with Sushi Rice Salad dressed in Ponzu Dressing has been matched with the Brown Brothers Everton. This tasty number has been well thought out. The fish cakes are not overpowering yet have a refreshing spice and the lively flavours of the Ponzu dressing (mix of soy, lemon, mirin, sake and a drop of fish sauce) bring the dish together. Again, there is no really dominating flavour and the freshness and crisp nature of the Everton complements the dish. I would add that I thought the Brown Brothers Riesling would also be a welcome match.

Without doubt my favourite meat would be the delights of duck. The duck is a Honey Confit with noodles and a mint peanut salad, which is matched with the ever-popular Brown Brothers Tarrango. It is a traditional Asian-style dish braised with spices including star anise. I won’t say much more as I’d prefer to let you discover the joys of this dish on the day. The wine works well and, if bathed in sunshine, you will probably head back for a few more glasses of this.

Those with a sweet tooth and even those without will marvel at the Apricot Frangipani Tart with Ginger and Cardamon Anglaise, matched with the Browns Brother Moscato. It contains rich flavours in a pastry that has been masterfully prepared, yet while rich in flavour you will finish this feeling refreshed and ready for the temptations of cheese.

The Wine and Food weekend will be held on March 17 –only a few weeks away – you will be disappointed if you don’t get a group together and make up a table. Gates open at 11am and you can relax into the afternoon when gates close at 4pm.

I will see you there.

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