Food, Wine & Spirits: Delight Your Taste Buds

Discover the unique flavour of Australian native finger limes

Australian native finger limes have been held in high regard by Indigenous peoples for medicinal purposes for centuries, and now, this unique fruit bursting with flavour and character, is making itself known on the menus of many restaurants on the Capricorn Coast in Central Queensland.

Bearing the nickname ‘caviar limes’, the Australian native finger lime has found a 133-acre home at The Salty Lime Co on Emu Park Road, sitting high in the hills overlooking the stunning Southern Great Barrier Reef, and immersing their fruity goodness among romance and love at the popular wedding venue.

Prized for their attractive internal colour and flavoursome juicy capsules boasting vitamin-c rich qualities, this season’s awaited harvest of the slow-growing stubby fingers has been extremely successful, with thousands of finger limes currently being picked daily by the team at The Salty Lime Co.

The family-owned farm, established in 2013, is the love child of locals Roxanne and Luke Hinton, who knew that the perfect sub-tropical climate of Central Queensland would work in their favour when grafting the distinctive citrus.

“When we moved to the 300-acre block of land, we saw the potential of harvesting something on the nutrient-rich land, and thought – why not finger limes?” Luke said.

The fruit is elongated and has a caviar-like appearance, hence its name.

Caviar limes are prized for their unique flavour, which has been described as a combination of lime, lemon, and grapefruit.

Luke said there was so much potential with this little antioxidant.

“They literally burst in your mouth, guaranteeing a taste explosion that is refreshing and memorable.

“They make for great seafood or cocktail garnish, so in turn, we have been able to supply many Capricorn Coast restaurants with fresh local produce, providing their guests with a true farm-to-fork experience.

“We have also been experimenting with many desserts and marmalades, and because the fruit is so jam-packed with flavour and boldness, not a lot is required to create a great tasting dish.”

If you’re looking for something new and exciting to add to your culinary repertoire, caviar limes are definitely worth trying.

***Disclosure: As a Booking.com affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.***

Australian native finger lime - inside

Australian Native Finger Lime. Photo: Capricorn Enterprise

 

From growers to makers, eateries and retailers

As part of the Taste Capricorn Coast food trail, which was a Livingstone Shire Council and Capricorn Enterprise initiative funded by the Australian Government Bushfire Recovery fund, The Salty Lime Co joins 45 growers, makers, eateries, and retailers, in helping the local community to discover the finest produce the Capricorn Coast has to offer.

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll is pleased to see more and more local food making its mark on local menus.

“Research has shown that 93% of travellers now seek unique and memorable food and drink experiences, and The Salty Lime Co, as part of Taste Capricorn Coast, is satisfying this need and highlighting the fresh produce that comes directly out of this region,” Mary said.

“Local food is now a mainstream trend, with more people seeking fresh, local options and more restaurants sourcing locally grown ingredients.

“Byron Sunrise pink finger limes from The Salty Lime Co. can be purchased directly from the farm on Emu Park Road, Doblo’s in Rockhampton or from our friends at The Alley in Yeppoon for as little as $20 per bag.”

Serving up Australian native finger limes in Queensland

With more people looking for fresh, local options, it’s no wonder that restaurants are starting to source ingredients from local growers.

If you’re looking for a unique culinary experience, be sure to check out some of the restaurants on the Capricorn Coast in Central Queensland – they’re serving up Australian native finger limes as you’ve never tasted before.

For more information about this amazing fruit, visit https://thesaltylimeco.com.au/or follow the farm’s updates on Facebook.

You can also find out when the sweet season for citrus is in Australia at https://citrusindustry.net/2020/05/26/sweet-season-for-australian-citrus/

 

Australian native finger lime - farm aerial view

The Salty Lime Co on Emu Park Road, Central Queensland. Photo: Capricorn Enterprise

 

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Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

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Mead is on-trend for wine lovers. Discover why here!

Mead is having a moment in Australia. The ancient drink, made from fermented honey, has been popping up on menus at trendy bars and restaurants across the country.

It even popped up at the Relish Food and Wine Festival in Maryborough, Queensland, with the state’s first meadery from Pomona on the Sunshine Coast having a site.

With 3000+ people attending, the day was a boon for organisers and Andy Coates from Amrita Park Meadery was so busy serving I thought we’d try catching up with him the next time we’re down his way.

In the meantime, I’ve put together this article on what I’ve learned about mead since being introduced to the beverage in the Margaret River wine region of Western Australia in 2007.

Yes, mead has been around for some time, thousands of years, in fact.

Now, after many years of being in the shadows, it’s enjoying a renaissance!

And for good reason – mead is tasty, complex and versatile.

Whether you’re looking for something to enjoy at a party or something to pair with a meal, mead is worth exploring.

mead - bottle and wine glass

My purchase from Relish: Ginger & Lime Melomel from Amrita Park Meadery. I’ve mixed it with lime soda water.

 

***Disclosure: As a Booking.com affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.***

What is mead, and where does it come from?

Mead is a wine made from honey rather than grapes and can be traced back at least 5000 years to Nordic legends.

During this time, the bee was revered as a bringer of life, courage and wisdom.

One legend claims that mead was the reason behind the word “honeymoon”.
The Northern European tradition says a bride and groom were to drink mead every day for one month after their wedding, which was intended to increase virility and fertility.

In more recent times, the ancient drink has seen a resurgence in popularity, with many artisanal meaderies popping up around the world.

mead - bee pollinating a flower

Apis mellifera Western honey bee. Photo: Andreas Trepte, Creative Commons.

But what about mead in Australia?

Mead’s history in Australia is a bit of a mystery.

There are records of it being imported from England as early as the 1800s, but it’s unclear if this was for commercial sale or personal consumption.

It’s possible it was being made locally in small batches during this time, but there is no definitive evidence of this.

What we know is the drink became more widely available in Australia in the 1970s, when several commercial meaderies began operating.

Today, there are meaderies all over the country, producing several varieties for locals and visitors to enjoy.

If you’re interested in trying mead, it’s best to keep in mind that it’s traditionally quite strong – about 18% ABV!

The average full-strength beer in Australia is 4.5%; wines range between 5.5% and 16%. Liquor is usually higher at about 37%.

So next time you’re travelling through Australia, be sure to seek out some meaderies and try this delicious honey wine.

Just remember to go easy on your first glass!

How is mead made and what ingredients are used?

Mead is an alcoholic drink that is made from honey, water and yeast or sometimes bacterial culture.

Sometimes other fruit juices, spices, or grains are added to give the mead different flavours.

The ratio of honey to water can vary depending on the desired sweetness of the mead.

For example, a dry mead will have more water than honey, while a sweet variety will have more honey than water.

Once the honey and water are combined, yeast is added to begin the fermentation process.

Depending on the type of mead being made, other ingredients may be added such as fruits or spices.

The mix is then left to ferment for several weeks or months.

Once fermentation is complete, the mead is typically bottled and allowed to age for a while before being enjoyed.

mead - bees inside a hive

Honey bees inside a hive. Photo: Public Domain.

The different meads available

There are many different meads available, each with its own unique flavour profile.

In Australia, mead is often made using native bush honey.

This gives the mead a rich flavour with hints of eucalyptus and tea tree.

Other common ingredients include citrus fruits, spices and herbs.

Australian makers are also experimenting with new flavour combinations, such as chocolate and coffee.

There are three main types of mead: traditional, fruit and spiced.

Traditional is the simplest type of mead, made just from honey, water and yeast or bacterial culture.

Fruit meads are made by fermenting honey with fruit juices or purees, while spiced meads are made by adding spices to the fermenting mixture.

Australian meaderies are experimenting with many different recipes, using a variety of honey types, fruits and spices.

So whether you’re a mead enthusiast or just curious to try this ancient drink, there’s sure to be a mead out there that’s perfect for you.

Mead pairing ideas

Mead is a delicious and versatile beverage that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with food.

When pairing mead with food, there are a few things to keep in mind.

It can be classified as dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.

It can be still or carbonated, and also vary in alcohol content.

Knowing these characteristics will help you choose the right mead to pair with your meal.

For example, a dry mead would pair well with a steak, while a semi-sweet variety would be better suited for a dessert.

For a truly unique experience, try pairing mead with cheese.

A sweet mead will complement the richness of the cheese, and the variety of flavours will ensure that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, mead can also be paired with fruits and nuts.

The mead will contrast nicely with the tartness of the fruit, and the crunch of the nuts will add an interesting texture.

Ultimately, the best mead pairing is the one that you enjoy the most.

So experiment and find what works for you.

mead - pouring mead into glasses

Midus is a type of Lithuanian mead, an alcoholic beverage made of grain, honey and water. Balts were making mead for thousands of years. Photo: Shutterstock.

The health benefits of mead

Mead was once known as the “drink of the gods” and was thought to have medicinal properties.

Today, the ancient drink is making a comeback and people are once again advocating for its health benefits, despite the lack of scientific evidence.

There are many purported health benefits associated with drinking mead, but the most prominent claim is centred on honey and its probiotic content.

While we wait until more research becomes available, here are some claims:

  • The antioxidants in mead can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease or cancer.
  • Mead is an excellent source of vitamins B6 and 12 which help maintain energy levels as well as produce red blood cells.
  • Mead contains several minerals that are important for good health, including iron, potassium, and magnesium.
  • With its natural gluten-free status, mead is a great choice for those with celiac disease or sensitivity to it.
  • The fermentation process also creates probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health.

How to store and serve mead

Mead is a delicious honey wine that can be enjoyed on its own or used as a mixer in a variety of cocktails.

With storage, the drink should be treated like any other wine.

It should be kept in a cool, dark place and allowed to age for at least six months.

Mead can be served either chilled or at room temperature, depending on your preference.

Whether you are enjoying a glass of mead by yourself or serving it to guests, the important thing is to relax and enjoy the unique flavour of this versatile beverage.

Mead is a perfect choice

So, if you’re looking for a delicious and refreshing drink, Mead is a perfect choice.

And what better way to enjoy it than by sampling at some of Australia’s best meaderies?

We’ve put together a list of our favourites from each Australian state, with links to nearby accommodation, and online so you can get started on your Mead adventure. Cheers!

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Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you indulge your taste buds and curiosity while discovering the history and cultures of Australia.

So if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of our latest travel posts here.

There’s something about High Tea with Mary

Maryborough’s beloved Mary Poppins Festival is back on track in 2022 after a two-year hiatus because of Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns across the world.

To welcome the festival’s return, organisers paid tribute to its historical significance by hosting a High Tea for its founding group, Maryborough’s Proud Mary’s Society.

The Proud Mary’s Society was formed in 1999 to recognise Maryborough, Queensland, as the birthplace of Mary Poppins author, Pamela Lyndon (P.L.)Travers.

To celebrate her 100th birthday on 9 August that year, the local group hosted a Birthday Afternoon Tea on the Maryborough Town Hall Green.

This celebration grew and evolved into the Mary Poppins Festival that people know and love today.

Here we explore the secrets of hosting a successful High Tea.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Australia Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.

high tea - table setting

High Tea usually includes sandwiches, scones, pastries and cakes. Photo: Shutterstock.

Why hold a High Tea?

High Tea is often associated with Mary Poppins, the iconic character from Walt Disney’s 1964 film.

In one magical scene, Mary Poppins drinks tea on a bed with the children, Bert, and Uncle Albert, and soon everyone is laughing and floating around the room.

There are several other reasons High Tea is associated with Mary Poppins:

  1. High Tea and Mary Poppins are British institutions.
  2. They both involve enjoying good food and conversing with loved ones and friends.
  3. Mary Poppins is known for her impeccable manners–something that is also associated with High Tea.

So next time you sit down for a pot of tea and some sandwiches, remember that you’re taking part in a tradition that has been linked to Mary Poppins for over 50 years.

What is High Tea?

High Tea is a quintessentially British tradition, but contrary to popular belief, it isn’t actually a type of tea.

It’s a term used to describe an afternoon meal that usually includes sandwiches, scones, pastries and cakes.

High Tea became popularized in England during the Victorian era when Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, began hosting Afternoon Teas for her friends.

Because upper-class people wouldn’t eat their evening meal until 8 pm or later, the ‘mini meal’ called Afternoon Tea bridged the gap between their main meals during the long afternoons.

However, while the upper class had Afternoon Teas with servants attending to their needs, the working class couldn’t afford such luxury.

Instead, their evening meal became known as High Tea and usually comprised a mug of tea with a beef stew or pies and vegetables.

Over time, Britain’s upper class also adopted the name High Tea for their more elaborate Afternoon Tea, which may have been because the meal was originally eaten at a table, whereas Afternoon Tea was eaten while seated in low chairs or sofas.

High Tea eventually became a staple of English culture and remains popular today, and many other cultures around the world, including Australia, have adopted the tradition.

Today, High Tea is often served in luxury hotels and restaurants, often to celebrate milestones, but it can also be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home at any time of the year.

What occasions could be celebrated with High Tea?

There are several occasions that are perfect for celebrating with this elegant meal.

High Tea can mark a special anniversary or birthday, celebrate a promotion or milestone at work, or simply enjoy a leisurely afternoon with friends.

No matter what the occasion, the tradition will create lasting memories.

High Tea typically includes a selection of delicate sandwiches, pastries and scones with cream and jam.

Of course, no High Tea is complete without a pot of freshly brewed tea.

Whether you prefer black, green or herbal teas, this ancient beverage is the perfect complement to the food served.

high tea - pouring tea

High Tea is a quintessentially British tradition. Photo: Shutterstock.

How do I host a High Tea in my home?

If you would like to host a High Tea party in your home, there are a few things you will need to do in order to prepare.

First, you will need to create a menu.

Typically, light sandwiches are included, along with scones with cream and an assortment of pastries.

It is important to have a variety of items so everyone can find something they enjoy.

Next, you will need to set the table.

High Tea is traditionally served on a tiered serving stand, with the sandwiches on the bottom tier, followed by the scones, and then the pastries on the top tier.

You will also need to provide teacups and saucers for each guest, as well as a pot of hot tea.

Finally, you will need to plan for entertainment. These parties are usually quite relaxed, so plan for some light conversation starters or games that everyone can enjoy.

The art of invitations

Calligraphy is making a comeback as beautifully designed stationery and invitations.

Your guests will love receiving this personalised touch with their name scribed onto it by you, as they open up their invitations delivered to their letterboxes.

But when you’re short on time, it’s hard to come up with the perfect invitation.

Luckily there are pre-made e-stationery items and templates available from online stores or local craft shops that allow for customisation by using calligraphy ink or other creative designs.

Etiquette

High Tea is a type of afternoon tea that is typically a more formal affair and is usually served with a mix of savoury and sweet foods.

Etiquette dictates that one should wait to be seated by the host before sitting down.

Once seated, one should not begin eating until the host gives the signal to do so.

The meal should be eaten with your pinky finger extended and you should take small bites in a gentile fashion.

When eating a scone, it is proper to spread thickened cream on the scone first, and then add jam on top.

Ideally, leave your mobile phone at home!

Finally, it is important to remember to thank your hostess for the meal before leaving.

By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that you have a pleasant experience.

How do I decorate my home?

There are many ways to decorate your home to create a High Tea atmosphere.

One way is to use pretty tablecloths and napkins, and set the table with your best china.

You can also add some special touches, such as fresh flowers or scented candles.

If you want to create a more formal setting, you can use white tablecloths and linens, and set the table with silverware and crystal glassware.

And of course, don’t forget the tea! Put out a selection of tea bags or loose leaf tea, along with milk and sugar.

What games and music can we play?

There are many games and music that can be played at a High Tea party.

One popular game is Croquet, which is played with either small balls or larger ones, mallets and hoops.

Another game that is popular is Charades. This game can be great fun for all ages, and it’s a good way to get everyone interacting with each other.

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, then card games such as Euchre or Whist are always popular choices.

For more experienced card players, Bridge or Gin Rummy are also good options.

There is also Word Ladder. This involves making a list of words that all relate to a certain topic, and then seeing who can come up with the most creative word ladder linking all the words together.

High Tea parties are also often accompanied by live music or other forms of entertainment.

Whether you hire a harpist or simply play some soft background music, be sure to set the mood for a sophisticated afternoon gathering.

Mary Poppins Festival

The Mary Poppins Festival features events such as the Chimney Sweep Challenge, Great Nanny Race and Grand Parade, and the ‘Poppins Pop Up Picnic.’

The event encourages attendees to showcase their creative and imaginative side; joining in on the Costume Competition, taking part in activities, marching along in the Grand Parade, attending shows and displays and much more.

“People come here to Maryborough to get that connection to Mary Poppins and P.L. Travers,” Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said.

“The festival allows attendees to dress up however they want; there are chimney sweeps, there are Mary Poppins and Admiral Boom characters. The festival allows attendees to embrace the experience.

Fraser Coast Tourism and Events General Manager Martin Simons said the festival was about families coming out and enjoying the day with a program that’s been going on for 22 years, showcasing the art of storytelling and encouraging children to take part in the activities.

For more information on the Mary Poppins Festival – Day in the Park, follow @frasercoastevents on Facebook and Instagram and visit the website www.marypoppinsfestival.com.au.

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Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you indulge your taste buds, creativity, and curiosity.

So if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of our latest history and culture travel posts here.

When two worlds combine: a revolution of wine and art

Could there be a more fruitful pairing than wine and art?

With ‘paint and sip’ studios popping up all over the country, Australian wine and art enthusiasts can’t get enough of this captivating combo.

From the Mornington Peninsula to Margaret River, many of the premium wineries that make up the Ultimate Winery Experiences collective take guests beyond the cellar door for in-depth journeys of the wine and art kind.

Read on for four of the best.

Contemplating Wine and Art at Montalto

Mornington Peninsula, VIC

wine and art_sculpture

Montalto Sculpture Trail

Montalto, together with the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, has launched a series of lunchtime wine and art events called Contemplating Art.

Share a moment out of the ordinary as you take a journey with extraordinary artists and their works, in a relaxed environment overlooking the renowned Montalto Sculpture Trail.

Each event showcases an accomplished artist in conversation, exploring the artist’s background, inspiration, techniques and works over a long lunch in The Restaurant at Montalto.

For the first event in the series, Montalto welcomes artist Patricia Piccinini with Danny Lacy, Gallery Director of MPRG, on Thursday 12 May 2022.

Danny was the Guest Judge of the Montalto Sculpture Prize 2021, and along with Creative Director Neil Williams will take guests on a guided walk of the Montalto Sculpture Trail before lunch.

Patricia Piccinini is a Melbourne based artist, who is best known for her mutant life-like creatures rendered in silicone and hair.

From the start of her career, her work has combined the cute and the grotesque, pitting our impulse to nurture against revulsion, encouraging us to see the beauty of all created forms, however monstrous, deformed or artificial.

Click here to find out more.

Wine & Surrealism

d’Arenberg, McLaren Vale, SA

Sip on impeccable McLaren Vale vino and explore a surrealist exhibition featuring 25 authentic Salvador Dali bronze sculptures and graphic artworks, at the famous d’Arenberg Cube.

Also on display are paintings by Australia’s own surrealist Charles Billich, whose artworks hang in the Vatican, The White House and the United Nations.

A lifelong passion for Surrealism, Charles Billich’s artworks provide the perfect juxtaposition for the magnificent Salvador Dali sculptures.

A contemporary art gallery called the Alternate Realities Museum can be found on the ground floor of the d’Arenberg Cube, where you can embark on a self-guided wine and art tour through tactile displays, such as a wine aroma room, a virtual fermenter, and a 360° video room.

Wine and art buffs dining in d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant receive free admission to the Dali Exhibition, while pre-booked wine masterclass guests gain access to the Dali exhibition for $10.

Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)

Moorilla at MONA, Tasmania

Moorilla winery shares its site with the innovative Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), home to Australia’s largest private art collection.

Kick-off your Moorilla Experience by sailing from Hobart to Mona on their super-flash, high-speed ferry.

Take your time on a self-guided exploration of the subterranean galleries and then head to your one-course lunch of seasonal local produce, matched with a glass of wine from Moorilla’s Muse or Praxis Series.

Fed and watered, you’ll then delve into Moorilla’s backstory with your expert host and get acquainted with the finer points of old and new artisanal winemaking techniques.

You’ll be treated to a tasting of ten different Moorilla/Domaine A wines—elegant, fragrant and often experimental.

Wine and Art at Leeuwin

Margaret River, Western Australia

Family-owned Leeuwin Estate in beautiful Margaret River celebrates fine wine, food and its long association with wine and art.

wine and art - art gallery

Leeuwin Art Gallery

Take a guided stroll through the Leeuwin Art Gallery to view the unique collection of more than 100 contemporary Australian Artworks that have featured on the winery’s iconic ‘Art Series’ labels, while also learning about the famous Leeuwin Concert Series, featuring alfresco performances from the world’s leading musicians and entertainers.

Many notable names from the art fraternity can be found in the Leeuwin Art Gallery.

Sir Sidney Nolan, when approached at the beginning of the series, advised he was not a graphic artist and did not paint for wine labels.

He was also a red wine buff and was sent two unlabelled bottles of the 1982 Cabernet Sauvignon – one of Leeuwin’s best vintages.

He responded that for this wine he would happily provide a painting. This resulted in his Dolphin Rock appearing on the label.

Leeuwin Immersion Experience provides insight into the history of the Margaret River region, the winemaking philosophy and the commitment to the arts of this family-owned Estate.

 

Discover more at www.ultimatewineryexperiences.com.au

 

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you follow your dreams and indulge your tastebuds, creativity and curiosity.

So if you are looking for your next adventure, whether it’s wine and art or something else that appeals to your interest in history and culture, check out some of my latest blogs here.

 

 

New multi-cultural cuisine, cycling tours and more

We’re always on the lookout for good cuisine and new experiences when travelling.

Whether it’s a hole-in-the-wall spot or a Michelin-starred restaurant, we love tasting local cuisine as we explore Australia.

In April 2022 we were excited to hear that across NSW there’s a new sense of connection as city chefs step inside country kitchens and multi-cultural cuisine flourishes on the Central Coast.

And, from restored pubs to cycling tours and high tea on the coast, there are a lot of new things happening in the state.

We spoke to Destination NSW and this is what they had to say!

Cuisine

Savour flavour on the Central Coast

A swag of feel-good new eateries has launched on the Central Coast.

On The Entrance waterfront, Tango tempts locals and travellers alike with vibrant South American cuisine.

At Ettalong, Chica Chica serves Latin American cuisine and innovative cocktails, while Innerglow Kiosk specialises in restorative small-batch cold-pressed juices.

City chef ventures to Byron Bay

The Eltham Hotel in the lush Byron Bay hinterland welcomes sought-after Melbourne chef Tim Goegan into the kitchen, supporting culinary star Andrew McConnell.

The team works closely with local farmers to enrich their cuisine with beach-to-plate produce such as saltbush and seaweed butter.

Villas in the vineyard

New luxury villas grace the beautiful Leogate Estate at the foot of the Brokenback Ranges in the Hunter Valley.

The inviting villas have decks with dramatic views of the Brokenback Vineyard and elegant interiors with a luxurious king-size bed, separate lounge and kitchenette.

Urban hot spot

In Newcastle’s trendy suburb of Wickham, popular coffee house, Dark Horse Wickham is collaborating with local fashion label House of Lita.

Inside the bold black-and-white space, there are dreamy clothing designs, classic cuisine and of course, Dark Horse Blend coffee.

Fine dine at the brewery

Murray’s Craft Brewing Co. in Port Stephens is launching a fine-dining experience, Restaurant William, with executive chef Kumar KC, formerly of Sydney’s Spice Temple.

The menu will evolve weekly with a fusion of international flavours such as Chinese and Korean, with a modern Australian bent.

High tea in Port Stephens

Also, at Murray’s Craft Brewing Co., visitors can book a sophisticated high tea.

Seated inside the whimsical Agnes High Tea Pavillion, guests devour delicate morsels by a talented Singaporean pastry chef, with accompanying drinks packages including sparkling wine, Champagne or cocktails.

Matt Moran’s new country pub

Celebrity chef Matt Moran has bought the historic Rockley Pub, south of Bathurst — the small village of Rockley is close to Moran’s heart as he has deep family connections to the region.

Moran has recently opened the front bar, with hearty counter meals and craft beer, and harbours big plans for the rest of the venue.

New digs in Narooma

Merivale has been acquiring South Coast venues in the coastal hamlet of Narooma.

One of the town’s oldest buildings, Lynch’s Hotel, is the latest to be purchased by the hospitality group, adding to their collection, which includes Quarterdeck, The Whale Inn, and The Inlet.

Experiences

Roll into the Central Coast

A new roller-skating venue has opened in Erina.

Housed in an airy space with mirrored walls, disco balls, and a retail outlet selling skating accessories, Rollerfit Erina offers a fantastic kids’ skating class with coaching and games, plus adult roller-dance classes.

Cycle through Country NSW

An inspiring cycling route now weaves through the beautiful Central West.

The Orange Villages Bike Trail is a 360km six-day trail around Mount Canobolas with eateries, vineyards, museums and accommodation dotted along the way. F

or a guided experience, book an e-bike tour with Central West Tours to learn local secrets about history, food, art and wine.

Toast of the town

One of Sydney’s favourite bakeries is set to start kneading dough on the NSW Central Coast, with Sonoma Bakery opening a new location in Terrigal later this month.

Sonoma’s co-founder Andrew Connole is originally from the Central Coast, so it’s a homecoming for him.

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

My blog acts as a source of inspiration to help you follow your dreams and indulge your creativity.

So if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of my latest travel and leisure blogs here.

 

 

The McGuigan Hunter Valley Wines label is one that has been around for over 100 years, and the family has consistently put out some great wines. McGuigan has been crowned International Winemaker of the Year at four consecutive competitions. Their dedication to crafting Australian wines is reflected in this feat making them one of the best Aussie vinos.

Three taste testers agree McGuigan is a winner

While travelling through the Hunter Valley to celebrate my 50th birthday with my now late husband, we visited McGuigan’s Cellar Door and I still recall feeling welcome, comfortable and well-informed.

So when I recently had the opportunity to review five wines from their full collection, I was keen to relive that enjoyable experience, albeit remotely.

To add to the experience, I invited fellow wine lovers – Brian Pickering and Kaye Browne from FoodWinePetsTravel.com – to join me in a home wine tasting session.

We’re not professional wine tasters but we know what our eyes, noses and palates like, and collectively we represent a wide range of wine lovers from across Australia.

Each of the five wines was unique and delicious in its own way, but there were a few standouts. Here are our thoughts.

1. 2020 McGuigan Cellar Select Pinot Grigio

McGuigans Wine - bottle of wineThis Pinot Grigio is refreshing and light with both floral and fruity aromas. Its tropical fruit flavours come with a hint of apple from the cooler regions.

The dry wine has a big taste but it is still refreshing because isn’t too heavy on the tongue.

The perfect pairing for this elegant wine is seafood dishes such as Australian wild-caught prawns, along with fresh crusty bread, some chilli and tomato salsa.

Brian prefers red wines; however, he did enjoy this white regardless since its nuances were different than most other whites he has tried before.

McGUIGAN DESCRIPTION: A medium to full-bodied wine, this Pinot Grigio brings a lychee and honeydew aroma with pear and green apple flavours characters that compliment the subtle tannin and a dry, refreshing finish.

2. 2019 McGuigan The Shortlist Hunter Valley Semillon

McGuigan Wine - bottle of wineWhile Brian thought this Semillon was ‘soft’, Kaye said it had a ‘perky’ citrus flavour, especially compared to the Pinot Grigio.

We all agreed that after two or three sips there was an almost honey-like taste in our mouths, which made it incredibly delicious.

It is perfect for seafood or chicken dishes alike. Vegetarians would also love how well this wine pairs with their non-meat meals such as tofu.

McGUIGAN DESCRIPTION:  A complex and intense citrus and vanilla characteristics bring a well-balanced acid persistence, perfectly complementing the elegant floral aroma with a hint of herbaceous undertones.

3. 2016 McGuigan Personal Reserve Chardonnay

McGuigan Wine - bottle of wineKaye, a devoted chardonnay fan, thoroughly enjoyed the taste of this “gorgeous, exquisite and luscious” wine, even going so far to say it was “liquid gold”.

The fruit was sourced from the Hunter Ridge Vineyard in the Hunter Valley to produce this opulent wine.

It was fermented in new French Oak barrels, resulting in a full-bodied wine, balanced and complex.

It has peach and citrus bouquet flavour, making it a perfect match for seafood and chicken dishes, as well as nice tofu, toasted or oven-fried with roasted vegetables.

The label on this Chardonnay was signed by Brian McGuigan himself, the iconic Australian winemaker at the helm of McGuigan Wines.

McGUIGAN DESCRIPTION:  A lifted peach and citrus bouquet and refined palate make this wine a perfect match to full flavoured seafood and chicken dishes.

4. 2021 McGuigan Cellar Select Rosé

McGuigan Wine - bottle of wineI was in my element with the McGuigan Cellar Select Rosé. I like most white and red wines, but Rosé is my favourite.

Rosé has come of age in recent years.  Back in the day, it was little of it around and therefore hard to source.

Traditionally Rosé was a sweet dessert wine, but now winemakers are producing much more of this versatile wine in many dry varieties as well.

This McGuigan’s Rosé has a soft salmon hue with intense berry flavours and attractive floral notes with a balanced, dry finish.

It would be equally at home at a casual lunch or to share around a sizzling summer barbecue.

If you don’t really know what wine to take to a barbecue and seafood, chicken, beef, lamb, or even vegetarian dishes could on the menu, this Rosé will have you covered.

It also pairs well with all kinds of cultural foods and desserts.

McGUIGAN DESCRIPTION: Chosen for its intense berry flavours and soft salmon hues. The Shiraz and Tempranillo grapes were carefully selected to deliver this versatile wine with attractive floral notes, ripe raspberry freshness and a balanced dry finish.

5. 2019 McGuigan Cellar Select Hunter Valley Shiraz

McGuigan Wine - bottle of wineNow it was Brian’s turn to be excited. A connoisseur of red wines, he loved the burst of intense ripe berry flavours and earthy influence of this McGuigan’s Shiraz.

The long, warm finish and fine tannins make this wine ideal with red meat dishes such as roast lamb or beef and hearty casseroles.

Even adding little of this wine to a casserole would greatly enhance its taste.

Although red wines traditionally are served at room temperature, Brian generally likes his chilled, but he wasn’t going to argue anyway.

This Shiraz is brilliant room temperature or chilled, he said.

McGUIGAN DESCRIPTION: Chosen for its distinct Shiraz characters and rich flavours. Our Shiraz displays lifted floral notes with chocolate and vanilla, which flows through the palate delivering a smooth and balanced wine.

Which wines would you like?

So, which one of these McGuigan Hunter Valley wines will be your favourite?

I’m not sure, but I am sure that you’ll have a great time finding out.

No matter what your preference is, you’re sure to love at least one of them.

So grab a bottle (or two) and get started!

 

WATCH BRIAN AND KAYE’S VIDEO HERE:

McGuigan Wines - three wine tasters

Thank you

Brian Pickering and Kaye Browne – FoodWinePetsTravel.com

McGuigan Wines – https://www.mcguiganwines.com.au/

Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) – https://www.australianvintage.com.au/

Santy Lawrensia, Digital Marketing Specialist, Jaywing Australia

***

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Try Whiskey to Soothe Your Mind

Do you know what the greatest invention is since fire? We think it’s whiskey. Here’s why: it soothes the mind, relaxes us, and lightens the heaviest of moods.

whiskey - bottle label

The Jameson Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey is one of the best-selling Irish whiskeys in the world.

Its main ingredients include unmalted and malted barley, maize, and Irish water brought to the distillery from the Dungourney River local.

This whiskey is a blend of fine-grain whiskeys and traditional Irish pot still. It is then stored in bourbon and sherry barrels to age for at least four to seven years.

A bottle of the Jameson Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey is triple distilled, giving it a smooth texture.

A sweet vanilla flavour is also added, and the robust 40% alcohol content is quite enough to get your mind and body swaying after a few pegs.

 

Disclosure: As an Amazon Australia Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.

Benefits of Being Triple Distilled

Before we delve into the benefits of this whiskey being triple distilled, you should probably be clear on what it means when whiskey is said to be triple distilled.

Whiskey is produced either in a column or a pot still (in the case of the Jameson Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey, it is the latter).

In the method that uses pot still, the distillation must be carried out in batches, and with every batch, the alcohol is separated as it becomes more concentrated.

Most whiskey companies stop at the second distillation, but at Jameson, this is done one more time, and you have the best triple distilled Irish whiskey.

In fact, this technique is strongly associated with Irish whiskey, although now it can be found in parts of the US, England, Sweden, and Australia.

One word to describe triple distilled Irish whiskey? Smooth. The refined nature of alcohol is truly incredible.

In the course of the three distillations, many things happen that then result in the beautiful whiskey.

Aromatic and flavorful compounds are used to concentrate the whiskey, which gives it a silky-smooth taste.

Reviews by customers who have drunk it at some point are testimony to the supreme quality of the whiskey.

One customer said- “It’s the best value for money easy-drinking whiskey. It’s a whiskey you can have with mixers or straight and be equally enjoyable. The supplier targeted me while drunk; somehow knew the whiskey I was drinking at the time! Haha but seriously, the supplier was good, quick, prompt, and packaged well.”

How to best enjoy the Jameson Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey?

There are a few ways to enjoy the great taste and sensation of this whiskey.

If you like your drinks clean and without any level of saturation, go for a straight on the rocks peg.

The smooth texture of the Irish whiskey will hit your taste buds and throat to create a soothing sensation.

The buzz you will feel after a few minutes will only help you relax and forget about all your worries.

Another way to enjoy the Jameson Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey is by drinking it with ginger ale.

Pour one part whiskey and two parts ginger ale for a refreshing drink to calm your mind.

Lastly, cocktails are always a fun way to quirk up any drink and make alcohol refreshing.

You can make a host of cocktails using this whiskey like:

There’s so much more!

Summing up

Things can never go wrong with a bottle of Jameson Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey by your side.

This drink is there to cheer you up and remind you of all the good things in this world.

So grab your glasses and enjoy the best Irish whiskey in the world!

 

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Caution is advised when drinking alcohol. Its over-consumption, or alcoholism, will do more harm than good. Ensure that consuming alcohol doesn’t become a habit and see your healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Rum, a spirit to calm the heart and soul

Rum is a timeless spirit with a rich history and pleasant smooth flavour. It is among the first branded spirits ever made. As well as its excellent taste, there are several health benefits associated with this spirit.

Decades ago, rum was used extensively in wartime for medicinal purposes. The spirit was considered a sure way to help soldiers stay calm under fire. They were given a tot, or tablespoon, each just before going into battle.

It was also believed rum would keep soldiers warm while they stood in muddy trenches, often in freezing temperatures. The British Navy routinely gave its sailors rations of rum with citrus juices such as lemon or lime to prevent scurvy.

Times have changed and alcohol is no longer permitted for soldiers at the front line, but history shows rum was long considered to be an alcoholic beverage with many benefits. As long as you consume it responsibly, you too can reap rewards.

Its many health benefits include:

Stress buster

The relaxing effect of rum, when consumed in limited amounts, can help when you feel too anxious or worried. Rum also has a relaxing effect that helps promote a better quality of sleep. The next time you find it hard to sleep, try drinking a little good-quality rum before going to bed. Overall, stress is more detrimental to your health than the odd shot of rum, but if you become intoxicated with the drink, it can have the opposite effect.

Reduces heart disease

The British Medical Journal has published studies suggesting non-drinkers were more likely than moderate drinkers to experience heart issues such as angina and heart failure.

Other studies have suggested that rum, like vodka, acts as a blood thinner and helps to prevent peripheral artery diseases.

Rum can also increase the amount of HDL or good cholesterol in your body. This helps prevent blockages in arteries and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Defends against dementia

Rum is believed to lower the incidence of dementia. A study out of the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, showed participants who regularly drank alcohol had a 29 per cent lower incidence of dementia and a 42 per cent reduction in the occurrence of Alzheimer’s Disease compared to teetotallers.

 

Drinking rum in moderation produces some health benefits, but caution is advised—its over-consumption, or alcoholism, will do more harm than good. Ensure that consuming alcohol doesn’t become a habit and see your healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

 

History Rum-down

The origins of rum can be traced back to the 17th century when the sugarcane plantation slaves first discovered molasses. Molasses is a by-product of sugarcane which, when fermented, turns into sugarcane alcohol.

Rum is made in many places in the world, including Australia, India, Indonesia and South Africa. However, it has its roots in the Caribbean. However, it has its roots in the Caribbean.

When you think of sugarcane, you naturally think of sugar, but not rum. Sugarcane was not a native plant in the Caribbean.

It is believed the Indians brought sugarcane to the island while they traded spices in this region. It came from Indonesia and went through China, India and then to the Middle East. In fact, during the late 15th century, in most of the Ottoman Empire, sugar was called Indian salt.

Sugarcane grows in a warm climate with an annual rainfall of at least 1000 to 1200 millimetres from the moment the shoot grows.

The harvest time takes seven months and in the West Indies, sugarcane is normally harvested from January until May. In Queensland, it’s between June and December.

An increasing part of the harvest is mechanised today, but some are still done manually with the help of animal carts and farmers. At the time of the harvest, the stem or the sugarcane is filled with a sweet raisin-like substance.

The weather and time of the harvest are important as the sugar can easily be affected and can be proven to ferment too early, which is why the sugar harvest is tested on arrival at the distillery.

After being tested for sugar, the cane proceeds to the crushing and pressing stages where the juice is extracted and will eventually undergo fermentation and distillation.

Rum’s earliest recorded appearance

The earliest recorded appearance of rum dates back 1000 years, with its origin in India and China. It was in Barbados that the drink was first referred to by the name Rumbullion, which means real disorder. This is still used to describe rum.

People specifically started making the new-world rum that we know and love today during the 18th century. The earliest recorded distillation was performed for the first time during the 17th century on the island of Barbados.

Sugarcane plantation slaves noticed the molasses would take up a lot of space at the back of the sugarcane factory and the sugarcane waste would seep out. It was a serious industrial waste problem, as this liquid did not serve any purpose. This liquid was called molasses.

The slaves and livestock ate the molasses, but it was still considered waste. Two pounds of sugar produced a pound of molasses, so the situation of a sugar plantation was like living in a swamp. They discarded it into the oceans sometimes.

One day, however, someone realised that by mixing the molasses with sugarcane juice while boiling and later fermenting this by-product, new alcohol was formed. This alcohol was called Rum. After that, molasses wasn’t considered just waste. Later, distillation took a role that removed impurities and produced the first modern rums.

Rum came to the new world in the long journey from the Mediterranean through southern Spain and the Atlantic Islands. It moved further along Colonial North America. England later became the distillery centre because of technical, abundant lumber production and metalworking. England even accepted gold as an acceptable currency during the Rhode Island rum period.

Caribbean Pirates were the first to popularise rum between 1560 and 1720—the pirates captured gold, silver, food and other valuable items as well as rum. However, they did not resell rum. They simply captured this specific item to consume.

At the beginning of the 18th century, when war was taking place at large, “Grog” was invented by the British Navy when Admiral Edward Vernon ordered a daily rationed mixture of rum and water instead of whiskey and gin. In fact, Grog was given this name because Vernon used to roam around the ship wearing an old grogram coat.

Rum made popular in the Caribbean

The Caribbean made rum popular, which lead to the widespread consumption of the spirit in Colonial America. A rum distillery was also set up to support the popular drink on State Island in 1664. The rum manufacturer became New England’s largest, most prosperous and most popular industry. It was voted the world’s best during the 18th century.

It is said that during the American Revolutionary War, people drank an average of 13.5 litres of rum each year. During that time, the trade between Africa and the Caribbean formed. Molasses and rum were profitable and the obstruction of the Sugar act in 1764 could have led to the American Revolution. However, the popularity of rum kept steady even after the American Revolution.

One of the biggest pioneers in popularising rum was a Welsh man named Henry Morgan. He was one of the notorious privateers, who were much like pirates but were individuals commissioned by the government, slaveholders and landowners. He died in Jamaica as a Lieutenant Governor of the Island of Jamaica.

The world-renowned Captain Morgan spiced rum company is named after this real person who wasn’t really as nice a guy as they portray in the cartoon Captain Morgan.

The British fleet captured the island of Jamaica where rum was produced. Seeing the availability of rum, the British changed their daily ration of drink to the privateers, pirates and sailors from French brandy to rum.

Rum also became an important trade in South Wales, and the people earned the reputation of “drunkenness.” This was even though they consumed far less rum than the British.

In 1735, as Jorge Juan and Antonio Ulloa wrote: “There was a practice in the Columbian coast at the Cartagena for officials to drink rum around 11’o clock before noon. The regular and sober person also drank a small glass every forenoon saying that it was good for appetite and it strengthens the stomach. The lower classes of people practised the same. They drank local product extracted from the juice of sugarcane called agua ardiente de cane or cane brandy at 11’o clock am every day.”

You can see that rum has a long and elaborate history in the world. It has been consumed for centuries and is still one of the most highly consumed spirits in the world.

Resources

https://jonbarron.org/article/drink-day-may-keep-dementia-away

https://www.wideopeneats.com/health-benefits-rum/

https://www.cwspirits.com/blog/some-health-benefits-of-drinking-rum.html

https://www.delish.com/food-news/g19868289/things-you-should-know-before-drinking-rum/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rum

https://www.streetdirectory.com/food_editorials/beverages/alcoholic_drinks/origins_of_rum.html

http://mentalfloss.com/article/50991/brief-history-rum-and-11-kinds-you-should-be-drinking

https://www.britannica.com/topic/rum-liquor

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/drinks/g9077403/best-sipping-rums/

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/drinks/g2737/rum-cocktails/

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/rum-cocktails

What’s strange in the Granite Belt Wine Region?

Something strange is happening in the Granite Belt Wine Region of South East Queensland, and it’s not just the birds.

Soon after driving into Stanthorpe last November, I heard about the Strange Bird Wine Trail, which advertises its wineries as offering personalised, unhurried wine experiences.

To qualify as a Strange Bird wine, the alternative wines of the Granite Belt Wine Region must represent no more than one per cent of Australian wines varieties.

Excellent! I’d experience something different here.

Grapes

Well, that statement was certainly true. As I nosed around the area I found not only Strange Birds but also a number of other strange things that raised my eyebrows.

The South African ex-pat owners of Rumbulara Estate Wines were showing Buffalos, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards and Lions.

Ridgemill Estate had Moggies, Three-legged foxes, Sly dogs, Howling dogs and even Hungry horses.

At Wyberba, what used to be a Balancing Rock was now a Balancing Heart. And, near Glen Aplin, there was a Jester on the Hill.

The strangest of the strange was at Harrington Glen Estate where the jovial host took great delight in showing off not only the train he was converting into cabins but also his man cave!

My New Guinea-born host invited me to look behind his bar to the mezzanine floor where his man cave was located, complete with a large television, computer games and books.

He also gave me a great commentary on the upcoming US presidential election and his reviews of the movie streaming services.

Oh, and I did get to taste his Verdelho, as well as some dessert and fortified wines, eventually.

As I left, my host said that next time, I might like to invite some friends along, bring some cheese and crackers from ALDI, relax beside his bar, and enjoy his wine and vineyard view.

Clearly, the winery owners in and around Stanthorpe, a three-hour drive southwest of Brisbane, have a sense of humour.

They’ve needed it. The year 2020 has gone down in history as one of their worst yet.

After five years of drought and devastating bushfires in the summer of 2019-20 that burned more than 12.6 million hectares of land across Australia, many wineries were left with no crop to harvest and others with just 10 to 25 per cent.

Hot on the heels of these disasters was the Covid-19 pandemic and global shutdowns.

Faced with such adversities, the Granite Belt Wine Region people had to get creative if they were to survive.

Most had water trucked in to keep their vines alive; many bought grapes from other regions and others started blending varieties, something they wouldn’t do normally, from what little was left of their harvest.

My host at Ballandean Estate Wines said that when the Covid-19 shutdowns started in March 2020, they were seriously concerned about their future.

“By August, no one was coming in, no one was buying. But, soon people started buying online and once we re-opened we were smashed,” she said.

“My daughter said we should tell Scott Morrison to get organised now to close Australia down every five years so people will spend their money in this country.”

And spend I did, visiting eight wineries over my two-day whirlwind tour of the Granite Belt Wine Region. At each, I bought one or two, and sometimes three or more, of their finest wines.

Granite Belt Wine Region Tour

Granite Ridge Wines

Granite Belt Wine Region - Clear wine glasses

The range at Granite Ridge Wines included Chardonello and Caberaz. The Chardonello was a combination of Chardonnay and Verdelho, crisp but not too dry.

Its brother, the Caberaz, was a blend of Cabernet and Shiraz, making it a light easy-drinking red with coconut, leather and spice aromas.

Website: Granite Ridge Wines

Balancing Heart Vineyards

New owner Greg Kentish has made significant changes at what used to be Balancing Rock Wines.

Granite Belt Wine Region - Balancing Rock Winery

Not only had he changed the winery’s name but he also introduced new wines and a range of modern, colourful labels.

Their Energy & Grace Chardonnay had a typical Chardonnay character but was lighter and more delicate with wild fig and rockmelon aromas.

The Evolve & Inspire Viognier had lots of stone fruit character such as dried apricot and creamy peach.

Blossom, a Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, had lots of strawberry character with a well-developed ruby colour.

Website: Balancing Heart Vineyards

Golden Grove Estate Wines

Granite Belt Wine Region - Lady serving wine

The 2020 Vermentino, made with fruit sourced from Mildura, was a 60/40 blend of Chardonnay and Sémillon, with floral, stone fruit and sea spray aromas.

Their 2019 Durif had a red berry flavour and hints of cedar. It’s ideal for drinking now for freshness or tuck away for up to eight years to soften and mellow.

The 2018 Joven Tempranillo was a medium-bodied style of Tempranillo made for early consumption with fresh cherry and red berry fruit to set the tone for things to come.

Website: Golden Grove Estate 

Rumbulara Estate Wines

Granite Belt Wine Region - man serving wine

The five animal-themed wines – Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Lion – were designed to be consumed much colder than traditional wines and are preservative-free.

Buffalo, a lunchtime Chardonnay, was deliberately made not to taste like a Chardonnay.

Elephant, more suited to mid-afternoon, was designed to be consumed without food. It has residual sweetness with more fruit and body.

Rhino was made to drink with strong cheeses such as blue or vintage. Customers wanted a wine that tastes like fresh grapes, so Rhino was made from Waltham Cross, an eating grape, not a wine grape. Our host said Rhino was the only wine in the world made from Waltham Cross grapes.

Leopard and Lion are simply grape juice and alcohol. Our host said they’re the only wines made in Australia deliberately to go to zero degrees Celsius. Made the same initially, they both sit in the tanks as Lion. When they want to bottle some Leopard, they add unfermented Shiraz, which sweetens it from Lion to Leopard.

Website: Rumbulara Estate Wines

Jester Hill Wines

Granite Belt Wine Region - External view of cellar door

Our host at Jester Hill Wines said it’s the only winery in Queensland to commercially make wine with Roussanne, a white wine grape grown originally in the Rhône wine region in France.

Eleven other Australian wineries that use it are located in the other states.

Jester Hill’s 2017 Touchstone Roussanne is dry crisp wooded white.

Their Chardonnay is a lighter style. Rather than being full buttery, it has a creamy feel to it with some of the pineapple flavour coming through. It’s not as heavy as some Chardonnays.

Joker’s Blush Rosé is made on Merlot and is a sweater style with a hint of dryness.

Their Sangiovese Rosé is a dry, crisp style with a lot of guava.

The 2 Fools Trinculo Red is a Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon blend and light, like a Pinot, with an aroma of cherries and soft plums.

The Muckle John Fortified Shiraz is smooth with a hint of dryness and tastes much like a Christmas cake.

Website: Jester Hill Wines

Ridgemill Estate

Granite Belt Wine Region - Lady showing wine bottle

At Ridgemill Estate, their Semillon Viognier Riesling, named Hungry Horse, is nice and light.

They also have an off-dry Riesling that’s fruitier than Hungry Horse, if you want something dryer than a Chardonnay.

They had a new 2020 Rosé that’s a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Grenache, and Chardonnay that’s very floral on the nose.

Their straight Verdelho is a sweet fruity white called Moggies.

Howling Dog is their liqueur Black Muscat, aged at just over five years, and not for drinking on a full moon!

As our host said, their Sly Dog, a fortified Verdelho with a touch of liqueur Muscat, sneaks up on you so it comes in a smaller bottle for your own protection. It has nougat, raisins and nut flavours with a hint of rosewater.

The Three-Legged Fox is a bitza – bits of Cabernet and bits of Merlot and even bits of other varieties from time to time.

Website: Ridgemill Estate

 

Granite Belt Wine Region - View of winery

Harrington Glen Estate in Queensland’s Granite Belt Wine Region.

Is it the Queensland, Macadamia or Bauple nut?

When I was a boy, we’d occasionally get a treat which we knew as a Queensland nut. I was amazed to learn a few years later they came from Hawaii.

That’s only part of the story though and, as with many stories, it involves bias and inaccuracies.

The nut was indeed a native product of Queensland but could also be found in parts of northern NSW.

I wonder if the “Queensland nut” label was just a case of state rivalry and one-upmanship.

Other names used for the nut include Macadamia Nut, Maroochi and Gympie.

More recently, I learned the nut was known, perhaps, as the Bopple (or Baupal or Bauple) to the indigenous people of the Wide Bay hinterland where it was first recorded by Europeans; to wit, Allan Cunningham.

I say perhaps, because, as with any translation or appropriation from the native tongue to another language, there are many pitfalls.

Indeed, at the turn of the 20th Century, in the closest European settlement to the locale of Cunningham’s “discovery”, all three spellings were used in the town; the Post Office was called Baupal PO, the school and the mountain were Bopple and the sugar mill was Bauple.

This wasn’t settled until 1913, though the decision to go with Bauple, seems rather arbitrary.

There was, for a time, a coastal trading vessel, the SS Bopple, registered in Maryborough, that plied the waters between Wide Bay and Grafton in NSW.

Four native species of “our” Macadamia Nut

I have also discovered, latterly, that there are four native species of the nut.

Interestingly, one species, M. jansenii is quite poisonous, releasing a cyanide compound that can kill.

The Hawaiian connection arose from the fact that the trees were first imported to Hawaii to act as windbreaks for sugar cane and were later successfully commercially grown there.

Currently, South Africa holds the distinction for the largest commercial production of “our” nut.

Macadamia Nut

Bopple Maryborough, from the State Library of Qld and John Oxley Library.

macadamia nut - SS Bopple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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