“Appreciation of fine wine is like an appreciation for the beauty of women.
If I proclaim a woman to be beautiful, who are you to tell me she is not?”
~ Chopinand, co-author, ChopinandMysaucepan
“Would you like to become a member of our wine group” the President of TWIGS asks.
Comprising a distinguished group of specialist medical professionals, The Wine International Group Sydney or TWIGS as they prefer to be casually called, these medicos would take turns to meet at each other’s homes to indulge in their passion for fine wine. And in doing so, good food has become an integral part of the gatherings to complement the wine.
I feel a little trepidation committing myself to become part of such a revered group of wine lovers. Since my first formal introduction to this group some four years ago during its annual dinner, discussions during their wine tastings are passionate and robust, yet knowledgeable and enlightening. After all, I am not a doctor with an appreciation for wine. I am an accountant that loves blended whisky with the occasional urge for a good red.
“What would I need to do to become a member?” I ask Dr. Ophthalmologist.
“You’ll be fine” he reassures. “When it’s your turn, all you need to do is to host a wine tasting session and dinner at your home.”
On that note, Mysaucepan and I find ourselves, once again, at Dr. O‘s exquisite home in the lower north shore with breath-taking views of Sydney harbour.
The Wine International Group Sydney
Meeting #43 ~ French wine and food theme
“I would like to propose a new format to make our meetings more meaningful” Dr. O being the President tells me.
He explains this new format involves the host nominating a country of origin for the wine tasting. Consequently, the food to be served for the ensuing dinner will take on the same origin as the wine.
I thought this to be a brilliant suggestion. During my previous attendance as an observer in TWIGS meetings, I noticed the food only played a secondary role.
“And our nomination to kick off this new format is French” the President says. “The host will normally provide the welcoming champagne and the main meal and members can supplement the main with entrees and dessert.”
Meeting #43: French / old-world inspired wine and food
The meeting this evening will involve a blind tasting of two whites and four reds.
(For the benefit of our readers: TWIGS wine tastings are blind where each bottle is concealed during tasting. The challenge is for members to identify, in broad terms, the vintage, varietal and origin of the wine. Over time, it is the objective of TWIGS members to further develop their already intricate knowledge and appreciation of wine.)
Wine #2: 2009 Bourgogne aligote (Burgundy)
- Colour: Very pale straw
- Nose: Aromatic and floral similar to a chab
- Palate: Sweet first taste, good structure and style with hints of oak finish
- TWIG Member: Dr Groovy O & G
This is the second most popular white varietal after chardonnay in the Burgundy region.
Wine #1: 2006 Mount Mary chardonnay from Mr. Mount Mary
- Colour: Light golden
- Nose: Nutty with hints of apricot
- Palate: Buttery and creamy with good acidity and elegant oak undertones
- TWIG Member: Mr. ex-Mountain Blues
- Colour: Light red
- Nose: Berries and spices
- Palate: Slight tannins, dry and peppery
- TWIG Member: Dr. Fez
- Colour: Dark burgundy / deep cloudy red
- Nose: Cherry with hints of spices
- Palate: Rich and structured, strong tannins with a big and lingering finish
- TWIG Member: Dr. Ophthalmologist
- Colour: Dark plum
- Nose: Coffee and dark chocolate
- Palate: Dark berries and ripened tannins with a long finish
- TWIG Member: Dr. Lady ENT
- Colour: Dark and deep red
- Nose: Earthy forest floor and ripened berries
- Palate: Rounded tannins and well structured
- TWIG Member: Chopinand
Dinner – French theme
Dr. Lady Fez dished up an scrumptious entree of sauteed prawns laced with dill, crunchy asparagus and pomegranate.
For our mains, Mrs Dr. Ophthamologist serves a hearty slow-braised lamb shank with creamy pomme puree by Mrs. ex-Mountain Blues accompanied by a peach compote from Mrs. Lena P.
Falling off the bone, this shank has soaked in beautiful flavours of red wine, diced vegetables and herbs.
We are treated to a delightful after-dinner plate of cheese, dates and crackers from Dr. Groovy O & G.
Mysaucepan‘s contribution is a lemon meringue tart with short crust pastry.
Dr. Lady Groovy O & G reveals a box of Ladurée macarons she brought all the way from Hong Kong during her recent trip there.
Figs and soft cheese is like a marriage made in heaven – courtesy of Dr. Groovy O & G.
Finally, a thanks to all TWIGS members, especially the host and hostess for yet another memorable evening of good food, good wine and exquisite company.
Till the next tasting!
Surely this was a missed opportunity to call themselves Sydney Wine International Group or SWIGS?!
How apt and creative … I would let the President know!