Food and wine pairing is something that has been going on for centuries, but it is only in recent times that wineries have been working more closely with restaurants to come up with dishes that complement both the wine and food. When two award winners, The Playford Restaurant and Hahndorf Hill Winery, get together, you know you’re in for a real treat. Adelaide Food Central was invited to an exclusive tasting menu dinner with matching wines. All food and drink were provided free of charge.
We started off with the Duck Consume Ravioli. A generous amount of shredded duck meat was encased in a firm ravioli casing. The subtle saltiness from the cured meat was balanced by the tartness of the jam that was smothered on the surface of the spoon. The dish was paired with the Hahndorf Hill GRU Gruner Veltliner, a white with aromas of citrus, spice and stone fruit. Usually matched with Asian food, seafood, white meats and vegetarian dishes, we were pleasantly surprised the wine went well with the duck.
The Tuna with chorizo oil, watermelon and ponzu are a combination of ingredients that you wouldn’t normally expect to go together. The tuna had a silky smooth texture and worked well with the light and refreshing watermelon. The smokiness of the chorizo was balanced by the tartness of the ponzu. The dish was matched with the Hahndorf Hill Rose, a drop that has a beautiful watermelon juice colour. It was light and dry with notes of strawberries, quince and cherries – perfect for this refreshing dish.
The palate cleanser was a Celery Sorbet with saltbush and finger lime jelly. The sorbet was light and refreshing, and the saltiness from the leaves of the saltbush were balanced by the tartness of the lime jelly.
The Black Tea Chicken Breast was served with macadamia cream, shiitake and a pepper leaf jus. The chicken was juicy and succulent with plenty of depth added from the jus. The cream was nutty and earthy, and was well complemented by the slices of shiitake mushrooms. The dish was matched with the Hahndorf Hill Blaufrankish, a red with distinct aromas of blueberry and black cherries. On the palate, there are notes of berries, spice and caramel, all of which match well with poultry.
The Onkaparinga Venison Denver leg was served with beetroot, quandong, native currant jus and juniper salt. The venison was seared on the outside and pink in the centre. The meat was tender and succulent, and each bite was heavenly. The sourness of the quandong was balanced by the natural sweetness of the beetroot puree, and the jus did well in combining all the elements together. Our favourite part was the deep fried kale – it was crispy and added a contrast in texture to the dish. The dish was matched with the Hahndorf Hill Shiraz, a red that has notes of plum, blackcurrant and spice on the palate. The wine is acidic and goes perfectly well with a red meat, in this case, the venison.
Hahndorf Hill Winery is not only known for their award winning wines produced from Austrian grape varieties, but they’re also famous for their ChocoVino pairing. Included in CNN’s “Top 10 global adventures for chocaholics” and also the “Top 10 food and wine touring options” of South Australia, the experience is about matching boutique wines with the world’s most acclaimed chocolates. When tasting wine, we use three senses – sight, smell and taste – but when chocolate is involved we use touch and hearing as well. Tonight, we were given three wines with three pieces of chocolate. Each wine was sipped and then corresponding piece of chocolate was tasted to see how the flavour developed in the mouth. While everyone has a different experience, we found that the white wine brings out the sweetness of the chocolate, while the dark chocolate highlights the dryness of the red wine.
The final course for the night was the house-made Salted Caramel. Presented in the form of miniature wrapped lollies, the beautiful copper colour was clearly visible. The caramel was soft, gooey and sticky with a slight hint of bitterness. This treat would have been perfect with a scoop of plain vanilla ice cream, but just as good with a cup of coffee at the end of the meal.
The night was clearly a success with perfectly executed dishes matched with amazing wines. Adelaide Food Central would like to thank everyone at the Playford Restaurant and Hahndorf Hill Winery for such an enjoyable evening. Make sure you check out both these businesses as you won’t be disappointed. You can thank us later!
WHERE: 120 North Tce, Adelaide