“Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living”
~ Robert Mondavi (1913 – 2008), Napa valley winemaker, California, USA
Mysaucepan and I were recently invited by The Wine International Group Sydney (TWIGS) to yet another one of their wine tastings.
TWIGS is made up of a group of medical specialists who are very passionate about their wines. They take turns hosting wine tasting at each other’s home and this tasting brings us to Joe and Margaret’s beautiful home in the Blue Mountains, about a ninety-minute drive west of Sydney.
The Blue Mountains is a quiet and peaceful place where its higher ridges are thick with eucalyptus forest, a distinctive and beautiful Australian native landscape.
Each time I visit these mountains, beautiful music starts to flow into my mind as I gaze at the beautiful surrounds.
As we approach the long driveway into Joe and Margaret’s home, the serenity of the gardens, the tall and majestic trees are making the music even louder in my head. And what I hear is truly beautiful.
I hope you will join me in reliving an afternoon sojourn at the Blue Mountains that is filled with good wine, good food, great company and some of the most beautiful music ever written that was playing in my head the whole time I was there.
So before you read further, I suggest you grab a pair of good headphones and listen to Grieg’s piano concerto in A minor Op. 16, second movement for it is this glorious music that I hear as I sample the wines, taste the food and take an afternoon walk around the beautiful gardens of our hosts.
I believe that even though you may not have been here with us, you will appreciate the beauty of our afternoon sojourn with one of the greatest works of this legendary Norwegian composer.
Click on the image below and come with me on an afternoon sojourn … at the Blue Mountains.
(Listening tip: use a pair of good headphones)
The soloist is 10 year old Jonathan Yang, a recipient of a scholarship from the
Lang Lang International Music Foundation
Joe and Margaret are hopeful of hosting a lunch for their guests on the lawns of their sprawling gardens that occupy acres of native forest.
However, the weather today is a little less kind but nevertheless we have the comfort of good wine, good food and great company.
The wines this afternoon is a blind tasting of a selection of beautiful whites.
Each member brings a bottle that is covered with foil to conceal its identity although sometimes the shape of the bottle might give a hint as to what we might be drinking.
Before the wine tasting, Joe takes me on a tour of his private wine cellar that consists of thousands of wines from all over the world.
“No, this cannot be a riesling as it does not have that kerosene undertones” says a TWIG member.
He holds the glass so close to take a whiff, he could almost be drinking the wine through his nose.
It is serious fun because I can see these TWIG members are not just bonded by their love for wine but also from friendship that was born from being in university together more than fifty years ago.
For the record, the wines for the afternoon were a distinguished list:
- 2009 Grosset Polish Hill riesling – straw colour, kerosene on the nose, sweetish with a medium finish.
- 2011 Grosset Polish Hill riesling – straw colour, floral bouquet with a touch of kerosene, good palate and a healthy finish.
- 2012 Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc – light greenish colour with fruity bouquet of persimmon and gooseberry, sweetish with a hint of pineapple on the palate and a medium finish.
- 2007 Te Koko sauvignon blanc – straw colour with fruity and butterscotch bouquet, malolactic fermentation.
- 2010 Felton Road Block 2 chardonnay – light straw colour, stone fruits bouquet, buttery on the palate with a healthy finish.
- 1995 Chateauneuf du Pape – golden yellow colour with hints of pineapple and butterscotch, slightly past its prime.
Thank you to the committee members of TWIGS, especially to Joe and Margaret for inviting us to your beautiful home and for hosting such an elaborate lunch.
So dear readers, do you have a favourite place to go for spending some down time?
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