Indulgence

Saturday night was the work “Christmas in June” function, so the chaps, Mr Bean 1 and Mr Bean 2, went to stay with my parents (their grandparents) for the night.

Today, SWMBO and I had a lazy morning, and then drove to the Barossa for a bit of wine tasting and lunch. Today we found some great places, and had only one small disappointment.

First stop was Jenke Wines. We’ve never stopped there before, and what a shame that is. Everything they had was very good indeed. Best of all they had a special bargain – buy 2 dozen, get another dozen free. And the free stuff was their Shiraz that normally goes for $20 / bottle!

Naturally, 3 dozen assorted reds and whites found their way into the boot. Some of these will need to sleep for 3-5 years to be at their best.

One of of the stand-outs was a straight Merlot. Merlot is most frequently used as a blending grape, and for that it seems to be well suited. A straight Merlot is a more difficult beast. Many of them are disappointing. The Jenke Merlot was big and full of flavour. Whilst drinking well now, it should age pretty well also. We got 6 of those – a couple will go as gifts.

By this stage it was lunch time, so on to the 1918 bistro in Tanunda. We’ve been there before – a long, long time ago. It was very quiet today, there were plenty of tables free, so the lack of booking was no problem.

The food was out-of-this world. We starting with home made bread served with a parmesan infused olive oil. Mmmmmmmm.

Then, to share, soup of the day: pumpkin with orange and ginger. Sounds a little odd, but gee this was good. The ginger was the real stuff, finely chopped so you got a little in each spoonful. You could make a meal of the bread, infused olive oil, and this soup!

Next up – angel hair pasta with prawns for SWMBO, and I had a char-grilled kangaroo fillet with local Barossa cured bacon, poached quince, and a tomato jam. All served with a green salad.

The kangaroo was cooked perfectly and just fell apart. It had a fabulous smoky flavour and went really well with the quince and bacon. Again, sounds like an odd combination, but it really works!

And the green salad – very simple: just salad greens but the dressing was crisp and tart and delicious. These folks know how to make a salad.

Lunch could not include desert – we were too stuffed. A long walk through Tanunda was called for. Naturally, this required a stop at the Tanunda ice-creamery… so we did get desert after all. These folks make their own ice-cream, so we tried to keep it light and go non-diary. We settled on a peach, and a Shiraz. The peaches are grown nearby, and the Shiraz grape juice came from a vineyard between Tanunda and Lyndoch. up to the usual standard – mighty good stuff.

By this stage it was time to head for home – with a small stop at another winery in Lyndoch. No names here – this was the disappointment of the day. Their wines were middling to OK… but the only one worth what they were charging was a Shiraz. I bought a few of these (bottles, not dozens). Their reserve Shiraz at $45 per bottle was good, but over-priced. They also had a super-duper Shiraz from 150 year old vines, at a mere $85 / bottle. This was available for tasting, and they pressed it onto me. It was very, very, very good. Divine. But I’m not paying $85 for a bottle of it!!

Onward through the scenic route, through the Adelaide hills – collect the Mr Beans, home, big sigh, cup of tea.

What a day! I’ll be remembering that lunch for a long time to come!

Two places in the Barossa I can thoroughly recommend: Jenke Wines, and the 1918 Restaurant and Bistro. We are SO fortunate in South Australia to have such wonderful food and wine – and all within an hours drive of anywhere in Adelaide.

2 Comments

Kym Jenke, owner and winemaker truly is “one of nature’s gentlemen” to put it mildly. I have had the pleasure of his company (and wines) and his offer of 1 for 2 (dozens)of quality is indicative of his generosity, and love of all things Barossa

Comment by Trevi | June 26th, 2006 4:04 pm | Permalink

If you are there again, the Tanunda bakery is _the_ place for genuine bienenstich (beesting); bread-pastry, honey-flavoured cream, a sticky layer and almond slivers. Yummo. The stuff in Hahndorf doesn’t come close.

Comment by Gail | June 27th, 2006 3:47 pm | Permalink

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