Having just returned from reservist training and being outfield for a few days made me appreciate the simplest things again like a breeze (the lack of it in insane humidity is almoost unbearable!) or taking a shower.
Another of life's simple pleasures is wine. It is amazing how a bottle of wine can add mooch to a dining experience.
This cow was invited to a preview of the launch of the William Hardy Chardonnay and Shiraz in Singapore. Hardys, an Australian winery established in 1853, is quite a popular label here and is widely available on supermarket shelves. The William Hardy range is in recognition of William (aka Bill) Hardy's 40 years as winemaker and brand ambassador. He is the great great grandson of Thomas Hardy, the winery's founder.
At the launch event held at La Cicala, William shared more about the brand's heritage and the two new wines. A 5-course menu paired with Hardys wines soon ensued.
Jamon Bellota with Country Toast and Fresh Tomato Dip kicked off the evening. Paired with the citrusy and slightly yeasty Sir James Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2008, a bottled fermented sparkling, the salty fattiness of the Jamon was balanced nicely with fine acidity. Just wished the limp toast was toasty/crusty.
Also served with the sparkling were these Breaded Chorizo and Fontina Cheese Croquet with Chipotle Sauce. Sparklings are versatile and can be paired with many dishes. The Sir James was a good example when enjoyed with these croquets.
My favourite course and pairing of the evening was the Cerviche of Swordfish with Seagrape & Beet Emulsion which was presented alongside the William Hardy Chardonnay 2012. This Chardonnay's linear acid structure with a nutty, lemony aroma and a palate of stone and citrus fruits married well with the fresh, sweet, "sea" flavours of the dish. The wine is made from a blend of grapes sourced from different regions in Australia, with the majority from Padthaway.
Think of Aussie Shiraz and beef often comes to mind. The William Hardy Shiraz 2012 was paired with the Grilled Dry Aged Striploin with Roasted Potato & Sherry Jus. I was excited to sink my teeth into this delicious sounding dish but was disappointed with the Sherry jus. Its sweetness over powered the beef. What a shame. :(
The William Hardy Shiraz, like its Chardonnay sibling, was made from grapes grown in different areas. Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale account for most of the fruit. This deep, dark Shiraz was full bodied with dark fruits and I detected a bit of spice and mint/eucalyptus after a while in the glass. Tannins were evident but smooth. To be honest, I was expecting a fruit bomb, jammy wine but this was quite an approachable wine with a certain elegance.
Upon chatting with the University of Bordeaux-trained William, I learnt that his choice to make these wines from grapes sourced from different regions instead of one vineyard was to "get the best of both warm and cool climates influences for a consistent style". That elegance I felt in the Shiraz was attributed to the subtle, more restrained characteristics of cool climate fruit.
Then dessert appeared in the form of Mascarpone Custard with Masala Gelee & Espresso Foam. The sweet, raisiny Hardys Whiskers Blake Classic Tawny 8 Year Old was called upon to match this.
To demonstrate how fun alcoholic events can be, I found this shot in my camera even though I didn't even remember taking it. Moohaha.
Ok, I had better clarify. I drink in mooderation hor. Some happy people at my table used my camera to take a few group shots while I was saying hello to other friends at another table.
My memoory was not like this. LOL.
And yes, a bit dark but we did take a shot with The Flying Dutchman.
There you have it. The newly launched Hardys wines! The William Hardy Chardonnay and Shiraz are now available in Cold Storage and Jasons at $37 each.
Thanks to the ladies from Brand Cellar and Hardys for having me at the media launch event.
Chew On This: Over two million glasses of Hardys wines are enjoyed daily in over 70 countries!