Sunday, May 28, 2017

Wine and Dine locally in Harvesting the Feast time

When are secrets best told?

Is when you can’t stand it anymore or is it when you want to prove a point or SHOUT it from the mountains? According to Google its “something that is not properly understood; a mystery.”
Well there is a mystery that the Tf’s have known for a while….

Let us set the scene…..

It’s a like a recipe, what happens when you get a passionate chef from Fawcett, stir in award winning wines from Murrindindi, nestled in the Yea Valley and put the region’s best produce in to the same simmering hot pot? 

Add a dash of Australian Wine Month magic? and wham!

You get a Harvest Picnic – Murrindindi’s Local Fare and Artisan Treats at Sedona Estate.

The Tfs have been watching with interest the rise in popularity of local Caterer Lyn Hickey from Fawcett.

We have enjoyed many event at Sedona Estate as Sonja’s and Paul’s passion shines through like the Halliday awarded points on their recognised fine wine labels.

But we want to reveille the mystery behind another supporter of local produce…

Lyn’s strong philosophy of gate to plate and homemade has been brought on by growing up in New Zealand.  As her website states; “where my family and friends grow their own vegetables and fruits we also visited and holidayed on friend’s farms and the occasional trip to the lake to catch a trout or two.”

Lyn professes to have always loved cooking, her pleasure in the kitchen stems from the “joy of making people happy with amazing tasting food.”

Her career is a mixture of styles, creative cooking positions and over three states of Australia and New Zealand. Now with her mobile catering business firmly entrenched and residing on small life style farm where Lyn sources her ingredients as well as from local Murrindindi, Yarra Valley and Australian producers, Lyn is pleased to be involved working with like minded passionate producers such as Sedona Estate Wines.

Lyn enjoys and loves knowing where the food ingredients she sources comes from. “people have a right to know hence why my menus nominate with pride where the raw ingredients come from.”

For many years now Lyn has been quietly getting on with business, catering for 1-150 people at birthdays, weddings, school events, group meetings, wakes, balls and community events.
Her main source of creativity works out of Fawcett Hall where she hosts a few local events and the popular Wood fire pizza nights each month.

But back to the harvest…

The Tf’s were very excited to be part of the Harvest Picnic at Sedona Estate, we noticed how the estate has grown since our last visit; more trees in the driveway beautiful artworks by local Darren Gilbert adorn the gardens and more vines!

Paul and Sonja are very excited to dare to expand onto the hills. The biggest challenge will be to keep the native animals away from the young vines of Sangiovese and French Carmenere, the lost variety of Bordeaux’s Noble Six.

Once in the warmth of the shed of magic, we were seated at three long tables beautifully decorated by Allie from Flowers of Yarra Glen …..surrounded by walls of French oak barrels we were then in picnic mode…. perfect for this time of year…glass of wine and we were set.

First up…

Yabby bisque - Cooked in Sedona’s very popular Sauvignon Blanc, the Yabbies grown and caught by Eildon Trout Farm, served in pint sized serving cups left us warmed by the subtle taste.
We had memories of the cook and the chef on tv mentioning and showcasing local yabbies at a time when yabbies were simply boiled…to step out is to be bold and daring…. And this dish again reminded us to step up and enjoyed them immersed in buttered homegrown garlic, leek, home grown tomatoes and no brandy for this dish straight to the wonderful Sedona Estate Sauvignon Blanc.

Subtle and Divine and simply nothing better on a cool day in May...

Sedona’s Sonja stated ’’Aussie Wine Month is a fabulous excuse to embrace what’s on your door step. Lyn’s scrumptious Harvest Picnic menu is a celebration of local offerings and artisan treats.”

Next up was Buxton Trout & Salmon Farm Trout Lyn had gone all Paleo and presented a Trout gravlax with fresh herb salsa, the colours and trout was sensational with the salsa!
Indeed, there was a great diversity of flavours of the salty trout with the salsas picantes just a subtle reminder of its Mexican past.

The rain was gently falling out side but with wine by the glass or bottle, the picnic feast kept coming and we were in a working winery surrounded by oak barrels, for a moment we were transported to a faraway land steep in winemaking history.

And in one way we were part of Sedona Estate’s history….

Out on individual plates came a wonderfully smelling Herb crusted Yering Camembert style white moulded cheese from Yarra Valley Dairy and to our delight and excitement it was fried to golden crunchy perfection and didn’t last..
Many people commented how the cheese poured out of its crust and that oozy goodness.

What a treat!

Two Pickled didn’t disappointment either they had a presence with their Moroccan style olives, smoked pumpkin chutney & chilli jam lovely to spread over the selection of home style breads or if you were feeling cheeky as we did with the Yarra Valley fried Camembert style cheese. The soft creaminess of the cheese, the fried crunch and the chilli Jam were best friends very quickly on our table.

Before the main fare of lunch the rain eased off a bit, the sun shone and Sonja suggested a climb up the hill. On the hill amongst the grass was a stencilled logo of Aussie Wine Month 2017.
After much laughter, we assembled around the stencil, Paul handing out bottles of wine for us to hold above our heads and say cheers for the official photos of the day! Many of us took travellers in the form of a glass of wine with us…. and what a treat in the sun, amongst the vines celebrating what we already take for granted fine Aussies wines.

Main fare was served on our return, listening to the band BEETET with vocalist & song writer Belinda Parsons we enjoyed Sliced Smoked chicken breast by Thornton Butcher’s and Deli, flame grilled beef - Grass fed Murrindindi Angus/Charolais from the local butchers of Yea and Alexandra, with big bowls of hot oven roasted Dobson’s potatoes with extra virgin Bilyara Springs Olive Oil and home grown rosemary.

Oh my!

Our sides were Lyn’s veggie boost; Roasted pumpkin from Lyn’s veggie patch and baby spinach with caramelised onions and Persian Fetta from the Yarra Valley Dairy ..

Great big bowls of colour and texture and hidden crunch…

Just when we couldn’t enjoy any more,…. Great Divide Coffee was served with Cuvée Chocolates…

These are fashioned for wine; Deniz Karaca; Australia’s #1 Chocolatier didn’t disappoint with his expertly crafted and beautifully presented Grand Cru 75% cocoa which you match with medium to full body reds – Sedona’s of course and Amphora 65% cocoa which you could match with again Sedona’s medium body reds…

The great divide coffee was percolated and hot, great for ensuring we could face the cooler weather once outside.

What a way to finish off…

On speaking to others who attended from Geelong, Mansfield, the northern suburbs and the Yarra Valley all said the same, excellent venue, food, wine and music what more could you wish for?

More of these events we say…

Many people on leaving were taking away a case of memories…like we did, all part of the month long celebration of Aussie Wine…..


Harvesting the 0402125370 Sedona Estate182 Shannons Road, Murrindindi Victoria 3717M 0432 435 180E  W 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Warning Ducks crossing….

Where else would you see a slow for duck’s sign? 
Marysville that’s where.
The Tf’s were back in Marysville and it felt great!

Needed a lunch and to see what Christine and Ashraf were up too.
The sad news was they closed the Pattisserie but we rejoice…
The Duck Inn - Marysville Pub is the latest place to be seen.



Seating up to 70 inside and out the light and airy beautifully Virgo appointed (in house joke) surroundings lend itself to lunch, dinner or even afternoon tea.
Local art adorns the walls by and there is that wonderful calming blue and timber styling throughout, even an open chef’s kitchen servery and a woodfire heater for those cold nights.

A variety of tables greeted us, sit by lovely windows to gaze out to the grassed areas, or a bar style high table near the bar area or small to large group sessions are happily catered for. 

The large table from the Pattisserie is there in all its glory…
Bringing back beautiful memories of seasons past BF (before fires).

A spot in the front rounded area is ready for the new pool table…next to the juke box (don’t let Ashraf pick the songs)

Ashraf says “over winter will bring mulled wine, extra seating inside and out.”

That we are sure will please the loyal band of followers that have come from the Pattisserie days and still frequent the new Inn now…

In fact, whilst we are sitting and looking over the menu, a group of ladies next to us introduce themselves and explain they come from Canberra each year to Marysville and always lunch with Christine and Ashraf.

We ask them why they come to the Duck Inn; “wonderful food, great venue and the service, they always make us feel special.”

We order a local cider and continue to immerse ourselves in to the culture of the Duck Inn. 

People wandering in and out, the Inn is slowly filling up with the lunch trade, regulars, locals and not so regulars drop in.. a car group pull up for a beer…

All patrons are greeted equally, with a warm welcome like you are part of the family, once a patron always recognised as one..

We notice Christine’s famous cakes up on the today's café board…..of course on a duck chalk board…get the theme?


Below the sign, two chefs, overseas trained, are happily enjoying the galley style kitchen and the interaction of Ashraf and Christine with steady orders and regular banter from visitors as they walk past to be seated.

The ladies group beside us remind us of the wonderful quiches and the cake counter from the Pattisserie, we all nod in silent agreement.

Ashraf sides up and asks for our order….we laugh about the famous Ashraf pies, a firm favourite for the last 16 years… we mentally reserve that pie menu option for a future visit over winter… along with the Roasted Pork Belly With Cauliflower Puree, Toasted Walnuts, Herb Oil, Seasonal Vegetables and Apple Relish if it’s on the menu then….

We order the Lemongrass Chicken Burger with Charcoal Brioche Bun, Coriander Salsa, Fried Egg, Sweet chili Mayo and Iceberg Lettuce and the Grilled Minute Steak Sandwich with Caramelized Onions, served with Lettuce, and Seasoned Chips.

Can’t wait…


We enquire about the crowd favourite at night the Duck grazing platter and how Ashraf and Christine work on the menus. The menus are Lunch, dinner, dessert and a wine/ bar list of course.

They change every few weeks to enable no one to get bored, “it keeps us invigorated and excited”  and using only the best fresh ingredients.

Meals are under $35 per person and the desserts under $16 but it’s not ordinary pub grub… its boutique Inn style.

Ashraf and Christine Doos style.


 After Ashraf moves away to ask the chefs to prepare our order the ladies comment that “with their (Ashraf’s and Christine’s) experienced touch the meals are wonderful for reasonable prices – made with love and care”

We peruse the menus… The Duck Inn Grazing Board offers up its promise…. “A Selection of Chicken Liver Parfait, Homemade Duck and Pork Spring Rolls, Harissa Flower Squid, Smoked Duck, Poached Egg, Grilled Sour Dough and Pickled Cucumbers”


Oh god miss molly we will be back for that for sure…

Sipping on our local cider cool and crisp we ponder the outside, green and very pretty…the huge windows allow you to see the village and its beauty…

Back to the duck cake board…..

Lemon Cheesecake with Berry Compote, Belgium Chocolate Truffle torte….
mmmm this will make it difficult…

It seems within minutes or ordering our meals have arrived, hot with fresh top up of our water and a final check that all is order Christine leaves us to devour lunch….

We laugh at the size of the chips, they are enormous, hot and crispy…

While we enjoy the flavours of lunch, the car club members are enjoying a chat over the bar with Ashraf – who it seems loves being behind the bar…

The ladies beside us get their meals and there are lots of ohhs and ahhs…obviously worth the drive form Canberra.
One is enjoying the Slow Roasted Lamb on a Salad with Mixed Greens, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Persian Feta, Dukka and Tatziki, she gently teases her group member that they will be jealous…

After a few moments of savouring their lunch…They enquire happily if we are staying in Marysville, we say sorry no but we are locals, they all murmur in mock shock that we (us)  live so close and yet it’s taken some months to get here after opening.

Tsk Tsk says the loudest of the group…

Our meals were beautiful presented and tasted wonderful, needing a nap now but was playfully told off by the Canberra ladies…We, the Tf’s feel ashamed and hope by once again looking at the cakes by Christine we will redeem ourselves...

Tables quickly cleared and we can again focus on the duck board.


The lemon cheesecake and Belgium chocolate torte finally makes us weaken….

They arrive smartly to our table and we enquire about the Marysville Fudge brand that they worked on in the Pattisserie. Ashraf explains that is now in the care of Chocolate in Marysville. 
We nod, making sure on our way out we will drop in, if we can get past the beautiful retailers on the way.

We ponder the local content on the evening menu and find two dishes “Buxton Smoked Trout Linguini with Creamy Napoli Sauce, Spinach and Lemon Zest” and a cheeky Yarra Glen Porterhouse Steak with Seasonal Vegetables, Garlic Pomme Puree and Roasted Shallots with a choice (good luck choosing we murmur to each other…) Truffle Mushroom Sauce, Peppercorn Sauce or Spiced Garlic Butter…


So, slowdown in Marysville for the Duck crossing, park and wander in…

You won’t be disappointed.

Ashraf and Christine Doos
Phone 5963 3437
Facebook. @theduckinnmarysvillepub

Instagram. Theduckinn_marysvillepub

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

By the Little River with Marian

On a lovely Autumn day in Murrindindi amongst the hills, vines and sculpture, beside a river and with the gorgeous melodies from musicians Bev and Leigh Fraser wafting among the trees, a luncheon party of 30 gathers.

We are about to be wined and dined at the boutique winery known as Little River Wines, seated amongst the coolness of a wondrous mud brick home with subtle dappled light falling over large round tables and circles of glassed gold.

The home belongs to local identities and vignerons Phil and Christine Challen who, via their label Little River Wines, produce organic premium sparkling and table wines.

Both are passionate about local Upper Goulburn wines and produce grown in the region.

Marian Rennie, a local artist famed for her bright and bold artworks that are in collections here and worldwide, will be cooking up a storm. Instead of oils and acrylic and pots of pencils, Marian will be painting with local and regional produce; her canvases crisp white ceramic plates…

Canapes arrive outside in the gardens, waiting staff appear out of nowhere and offer guests platters of Blinis topped with Mascarpone and local smoked trout and dill pate, Long Lane capers and pickled red onion.

We enjoy the vinegary burst of salt within the caper which is a great compliment to the trout and dill pate while Phil and Christine, armed with bottles of bubbles, the Taggerty Sparkling Brut 2015 and the Wrong Side Brewery’s (Jamieson) Saison Farmhouse Ale, ensure all have a drink in hand soon after arrival.

After a leisurely walk around the garden….
we are ushered inside and seated with a warm welcome.

The tables are adorned with plates of pickled cucumber with pomegranate seeds and garden chives, hand rolled lavender and rosemary Dolmades with minted yogurt, grilled aubergine with chilli, lime and black pepper, local cured king trout and a variety of homemade and locally sourced pickles and relishes with thanks to Acheron Acres of Buxton, complimented with fresh crusty Yea bread and a selection of wines.

The Tf’s quickly pick up the wine notes underneath our plates for the start of the afternoon. Wines have been carefully selected and feature Evans and Tate Frankland River Riesling 2012, Howard Park Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Little River’s Verdhelo 2014 and Whicher Ridge Viognier 2013. Hence the scene of circles of gold, white straw and yellow to gold colour in the four tasting glasses in front of each guest. 

It’s an impressive sight.

We ponder the menu that is to be rolled out today,….and nod, knowing it will be a wondrous swirl of flavours and visual delights  reflective of the regional surroundings and with added dashes of spontaneous tastes and textures and powerful and confident large strokes of vibrant colour.
Just like Marians Art @Renniesat Acheron

We notice at this stage the walls are adorned with such paintings and drawings from Marian’s collection and the inclusion of her recently produced book, Sketches … 
Stories from her sketchbooks. 

We digress….we are up again…and out….

A nice break into the Autumn sun away from the tables of culinary and wine bliss….on to a friendly game of Pétanque.

Back inside the Mains are appearing…..

On the table… two salads - one, green salad with shaved fennel, radish, pomegranate seeds, clove and pickled red onion and the second, garden tomatoes, basil and Boconcini topped with honey and balsamic dressing.

Now seated again….

Coming out in quick succession is venison carpaccio, slow baked rabbit in Little River Verdhelo and seeded mustard and slow cooked marinated local beef and lamb…..
The lamb slowly roasted with local quinces brings back memories of swinging in those scented trees as children.

Much happy banter as people again load their plates with herbed potatoes, roasted carrots, green beans and chillies….yes some like it hot!!


The TF’s with gusto, as are others, sampling the reds….Clairault Petit Verdot 2012, Little River’s 2013 Forgotten Hero (a local favourite), Redgate Cabernet Franc 2014 and Vasse Felix Filias Cabernet Merlot 2015.

Much laughter about the lapin with the French waitress, in between the many comments about the mouth-watering explosions of taste and flavours.

Oh then there were the mushrooms….As the Greeks say εκπληκτικός

Just add a splash of Ouzo and sprinkle tarragon… 

The Tfs managed to chat to Phil and Christine throughout the afternoon and marvelled how they could match another region’s wine with local produce. “ It was easy once we thought about out the similarities of the two regions…both cool climate, both fairly new kids on the block, and both famous for their beautiful and fertile surrounds, picturesque vineyards and full flavoured wines, beef, venison, fish and lamb. 
Margaret River has a maritime influence and became a wine region in the late 60’s, Upper Goulburn with its generally higher altitudes and abundant trout streams became a wine region in the mid 80’s.

But then there’s more… back to Greece

Not that the mushrooms could be competed against…or could they???


Here it is… all its sweet crunchy outside and gooey centre glory….aubergine pulp, goats cheese, pinenut and parsley nests in Kataifi pastry….
Kataifi is a traditional Greek dessert normally filled with nuts and covered in a honey syrup… but as usual Marian has shaken it up.

Just up before dessert and leaving us rolling around in delightful bliss…

the sweet crunch outside and then the oven melted goats cheese with the pinenuts….there were excitable gasps on our table as our knives broke through the crunchy bird nest like balls…


Off to Italy this time…
They were next… from this….

Sitting pretty and orderly in large baking dishes prior to the luncheon…

Next, they are slow baked garden figs with creamy soft melt-in-your-mouth blue cheese, home grown garden fresh basil and Pancetta. The thin sliced Italian bacon (pork belly meat) has the lovely salt cured flavour to compliment the plump, soft (baked warm and squishy) sweet taste.

Comfort food that induces childhood memories (good or bad – depending on whether you liked Figs as a kid) that are abundant in benefiting phytonutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins.

An interlude.......

Allowing us to wander around the garden once more and relive the afternoon food and wine offerings so far…lots of lively banter and selfies…discussions on family happenings, connections, funny stories and memories of first meeting the Challens or Marian.

Another short conversation with the vignerons… this time around the dreaded sulphur in wine production as one patron enquired about their wines … as Christine pointed out its main functions are to stop bacteria and to protect wine from oxidation.” But due to the boutique production of Little River Wines and our ability to control small batches, we use miniscule quantities in our wines…”

There is a quiet excitement as dessert arrives…people are wandering back to their tables to find mini pavlovas with lemon curd and passionfruit, cardamom Pannacotta topped with rosewater syrup, star anise creme patisserie and pistachio praline and then Marian appears to make sure we are all happy….and to offer us a piece of chocolate mousse cake. Accompanying these treats is a Redgate Anastasia Chenin Mistel NV dessert wine and the Little River Sparkling Shiraz NV.

So, we finish in Africa…


Many comments after the thank you speeches and the invite to the Marysville Blues Weekend festival in October by Bev and Leigh….are speculations on when the next luncheon will be? 
Even though Christine, Phil and Marian are tired, happy and very pleased about the day there are encouraging nods and murmurs in reply.  

Not long….perhaps a hearty winter feast.

I think they will get 30 reminders from time to time…

From the Tf’s…. thank you for a great afternoon …..Marian, Phil and Christine have demonstrated again what great food and wine ambassadors/champions for our region they are….showcasing local in their food, wine and song… and in doing so gave us great insight into the similarities and contrasts of what the wine and food region of Margaret River is doing….without us leaving our beautiful, and cherished, misty mountains…

So up in Murrindindi? Check out by appointment only Little River Wines and look for any up and coming events catered for by Marian Rennie…

Little River Wines
P: 03 5774 7644
M: 0403 065 036

Marian Rennie Gallery
Acheron 3714
M; 0412 109 129

Photosby @samhickscomau

Monday, December 26, 2016

Have you been BEAND?

if you have you would remember...nestled in San Remo, is a wonderful offering of all things coffee.
With street appeal, alfresco or enjoy the ambiance inside with obvious loyalty from locals and many visitors ...

the wonderful offering of personally chosen and roasted to perfection coffee beans... 
this is the place to get your morning liquid magic.

The name BEANd - food and coffee lovers place says it all really...

A stylish menu waits for those who venture in indeed of breaky, morning or arvo tea, brunch or lunch.

The Tfs ordered the Joker.....and the BEANd Paleo offering...for breakfast...

And for coffee? ( so much to choose from really )
Well the winner was...
A flat white plentiful in a large pottery mug and a soy chai latte, none of the high sugary based powder here...
Slightly deconstructed and served hot.
Chai syrup was also offered and tried with frothy, creamy and hot soy.


While waiting what seems minutes for our breakfast, we took in the delightful sounds of people coming and going.
Many coming in to get takeaway coffee, or to get the tables near the busy action of the kitchen.
All greeted by the happy tones of the owner..and staff ( who would have known they had their Christmas party the night before )

Then we noticed the coffee display of beans, ground coffee, chai syrup, jams and other delightful treats.
Interesting were also the many accessories and coffee machines, quaint grinders, grinders for every application, including filtered coffee drippers, portable espresso makers and a beaut little brew as you go flasks.

The Tfs were curious about the latter.

The offering from Fressko is a 300 ml teas and fruit water brewing system called RISE.
Simply stylish and indeed the label says "for the style conscious morning commuter"
They also mention healthy recycling options for the packaging....utensil holder, seedling planter and dog biscuit holder.

Tadah breakfast....

The Joker
Kransky sausage, bacon,free range friend egg, tomatoes mustard and onion compote with aged cheddar on a french roll.

Wagyu beef pattie, roast mushrooms, goats cheese and avocado tomato and almond salad.

whilst enjoying our breaky we spoke about the other items in the cafe..
Did we mention the fab fudge...a great take home delight...
Caffeine lip balm is taste like vanilla Latte!
Handmade by BEANd

So from their website...."BEANd CAFE is a handcrafted micro coffee roaster & eatery with BEANd produce store.....
BEANd use freshest local produce to awesome food.
BEANd roast small batches of coffee daily, sourced from around the globed, so we can deliver the freshest coffee to our Gippsland customers."

So heading to the beach this summer...need a coffee and stylish feed?
Try BEANd you won't be disappointed..

BEANd Coffee Roastery & Eatery
Shop 4 157 marine parade
San Remo VIC 3925

Wed: Closed

#basscoast  #capewoolamai  #phillipisland  #visitvictoria  #coffee  #cowes  #handmade  #wonthaggi #inverloch  #cafe  #beand #chai #greatcoffee #paelo

Monday, December 12, 2016

Regional Produce in Mansfield FoodWorks Store

Possibly not something new you say… but its increasing…
Local foodies and lovers of the local grape….take note…

Recently at the Mansfield FoodWorks Store one of the TFs discovered Thornton’s Butcher and Deli products in the deli and the small goods section.


 pic(c) SH 2016

 The Tf’s are used to seeing Yea Brand Cheese and Green River Tea on the shelves, likewise in the Alexandra and Yea stores but to see another Murrindindi known brand was a wonderful surprise.

Store Manager of Mansfield FoodWorks, Jared Bridgart shares owners Michael and Tina’s philosophic vision of showcasing and supporting local produce where possible. 

“We have many local lines amongst the 22,000 lines here on the shelves and always welcome local producers visiting us with a new range.”

Jared has had the experience of understanding and enjoying local produce at Alexandra and Yea stores in spending part of his career on site and living in the area over the last few years.

The Tf’s are staggered at the names reading like a who who’s of well known local producers showcased in the Mansfield FoodWorks store from both Murrindindi and Mansfield shires.

And the wines…

Well lovers of fermented grapes…...yes your turn now..

Via the Upper Goulburn, (including the Yea Valley) and King Valley Wine regions you’d be hard pressed not to find a real local wine on site.

A few days ago, the Tf’s did a rough count; there would be well over 40 lines of local wine, beers and ciders in the Mansfield FoodWorks wine shop.
Look for local favourites Roz Ritchie, Barwite, Sedona and Delatite.

Just ask one of the team and they will happily show what lines they have or a new variety to try.

Pic (c) JB 2016

Indeed, we did just that and went home with beers from Social Bandit Brewery.
And to be honest a few still apple ciders from Tin Shed Cider (there is a sparkling too!)

As one does…

So back in a closer look, we located local Seirs Lane Olive Oil and locally grown garlic.

Doesn’t get much better than that.

But wait there is more..

Berries from Jamieson are always popular (fresh, frozen and in jams ) likewise the High Country Pork when available is snapped up quickly.

The ever so tasty Murphy Fresh, truss tomatoes are also available at the Mansfield, Yea and Alexandra stores…
High Country Herbs go well with tomatoes! Anything really…

Friday’s Cherry Orchard provides fresh local cherries in November and December each year, these little lush beauties come from Barwite.

Where you ask?? Just down the road.

Pic (c) JG 2016

So many local producers…so little time really… fact no excuses…
You don’t have to travel to enjoy the local produce…just shop in store…

For the gluten, nut and preservative free lovers try Alice Langton’s sauces. Their range of chocolate, fruit and savoury sauces are divine.

Feeling like a little sushi?
Using fresh seafood and hand rolled in the traditional Japanese Homestyle Sushifield delight daily.

Bread from the local Bertallis Bakery is very prevalent in the bread isle..

Skipi Flowers, again local, for those moments when you need to say thank you, love you or you will be missed……..or opps sorry!

Also, discovered, and just nicely before the big red jolly man visits… award winning Stephen’s Fine Food Traditional Christmas puddings (gluten free ones as well ) and……….
Vitis Botanica Grape Drink.

From their website, it states….” It’s a lightly sparkling grape drink, a somewhat chic non-alcoholic … please chill…to enjoy it …assisted by local wine maker Roz it’s a drop where Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes combine to create a sophisticated character filled with hints of strawberry and plum.”

Oh, good golly miss molly…
one could have the Christmas table just featuring local produce, drinks and wine…

But we digress…
Back to local and more local..

Why would you not look for local produce in your local supermarket and share with friends and family especially over the seasons…

“Often our customers ask for local produce and are more excited to buy local “ says Jared….

We agree whole heartily…the Tfs have seen this first hand..

Jared went on to sayWe are more than happy to extend our range of locally produced goods and welcome any discussions about opportunities that may exist to support more local producers.”

Love that #buylocal#supportlocal attitude!!

Celebrating ones regionality via food and wine whether it be on your plate, via the maker direct or being able to access it from 8am – 8pm, 7 days per week via your local FoodWorks supermarket ensures the sustainability of our regions producers.

To that end, we tip our hats to Reddrop’s and their local Mansfield FoodWorks Store staff for supporting our local producers..

More importantly, thanks to their loyal customers that shop in Mansfield FoodWorks ( and the other stores ) and seek out local.


Check out Foodworks in store or buy online
119 High Street Mansfield
5775 2255

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Where beef meats wine…

Sedona Estate have done it again for the 5th installment of their Longest Tasting lunch!

The Tf’s along with 60 plus attendees enjoyed local grown beef matched with their finest Yea Valley wines.
It didn’t seem so long ago but the TF’s remembered, chocolatier Deniz Karaca introduced all of us to the art of pairing wine and fine chocolate two years ago.  
(see blog post “wine and chocolate how divine”)

A promised highlight of the Sedona Lunch Wine Program was the release of their latest Reserve Shiraz.
Which we couldn’t wait for!!!

But back to the program…

Sonja and Paul set the challenge of “sourcing local food to discover the cardinal rules of wine & beef pairing….and there will be so much more on show with five new wines to taste!”

Who would not want to miss out really...

So, on warm and windy day (the rain held off thankfully) we set out for Murrindindi and from 1.30pm we enjoyed the beautiful tones of Soul and Jazz, back by popular demand, performed by Belinda Parsons and Mathew Fagan.

Whilst enjoying the wonderful Sauvignon Blanc, appetizers soon started appearing created by local chef and caterer Lyn from Harvesting the Feast.

Prawn Caesars, Buxton Trout Pate served on cucumber disks finished with flakes of smoked trout, and mushroom and thyme tartlets were eagerly snapped up by attendees, their cuteness didn’t out way the taste…

Divine little pockets of melt in your mouth goodness.

Once ushered in to the massive shed,
now that’s a shed….,

With its impressive wall of oak wine barrels and huge vats on the other side, tables  beautifully appointed with crisp white linen table cloths, tall red wine glasses on the wine menus, wooden tasting forks, white ceramic tasting plates and in the centre fresh native flower arrangements..

Once we were all seated the wine program commenced.

The presenters Paul Evans, Sedona Estate Winemaker and guest producer and local Tom Lawson from Paringa Livestock started the program.

Over the next four courses we enjoyed:
2015 Riesling matched with Charolais porterhouse steak, traditional milk and grass fed and aged for 21 days,
2015 Sangiovese matched with Charolais scotch fillet, traditional milk and grass fed and aged for 21 days,
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon matched with Angus Porterhouse, grass fed and dry aged for 40 days
And finally
2014 Shiraz matched with Angus scotch fillet, 300-day grain fed and aged for 21 days.

Tom guided us through what we should be tasting and why each cut of meat tasted differently per the fat content, the age of the beast, its diet and the ageing process.
To the amusement of us all, he spoke about the fact that steers of up to 30-month taste better than heifers who have had a few hormonal cycles.

Paul took us through a blind tasting with questions to determine the winner and Neville from Melbourne won the hamper which contained Cuvee Chocolate by Deniz Karaca, Two Pickled dukkha, Moroccan style olives, a bottle of local Extra Olive Oil and a bottle of the 2013 Shiraz Reserve

There was a barrel tasting which has become a bit of a tradition, the wine sampled was from a French oak barrel.

The 2014 Shiraz Reserve, was a delight, it’s been awarded 95 points from James;
the one and only James Halliday
who stated “it is easy to see why this is a reserve; its power and focus is awesome.”

On talking to both Tom and Paul, both agreed beef and wine education is important so people understand where and how their food and wine comes from.

The 2015 Sangiovese in post event sales was very popular, the Tf’s had to take some of that home as a memory of the day!

The Tf’s offer congratulations to Sonja and Paul for again showcasing local produce matched with their beautiful wines.

What will be next?

For more information or to visit..

182 Shannons Road Murrindindi Victoria 3717
P: 9730 2883 

CELLAR DOOR OPEN: Wed – Sun & Public Holidays  (Produce platters available on weekends & public holidays)