Emmilou’s ‘Taste of Autumn’ wine dinner with Stockman’s Ridge Wines

Last week Emmilou  hosted another wine dinner (http://www.emmilou.com.au/), matched to Stockman’s Ridge Wines from Orange (http://www.stockmansridge.com.au/). As people turned up we started trying the wines immediately and got some quiet time with the winemaker, Jonathan, before the place filled up. He makes wine without formal winemaking education and lab testings, and instead just uses his primal wine instincts. Stockman’s Ridge are a reasonably young/lesser known winery yet the diners really got into talking about them all night (perhaps the bountiful amount of booze flowing around also helped 🙂 Food was delicious as usual, and usually I’m not a huge fan of small dishes coming out periodically that make me feel anorexic, but this dinner left me feeling well fed! Menu with Stockman’s Ridge wines matched on the night:

Seared scallops, marinated prawns, Champagne sauce and Crispy leek – accompanied with the Pinot Gris: Very fresh pinot gris with plenty of citrus and crisp pear, good texture and mouthfeel to the wine, with the finish not harsh like some around this price point. Rrp about $20/bottle.

Jamon Serrano with Fresh Figs, Walnuts and Truffle Honey – accompanied with the Rider Zinfandel 2009:  Very approachable red wine – Great for anyone actually getting into red wine. Zinfandel is a very popular variety in America but there is not much grown in Australia at present. Attractive perfumed nose with floral notes, berries and sweet rhubarb. Palate light and fruity with red berries, soft tannins and a hint of herbs and spice which adds some dimension. Rrp around $20 per bottle. Can stick it in the cellar for some more years, but it’s very drinkable now. Emmilou already serves their Zinfandel by the glass.

16-Hour Pork Belly with Apple Coleslaw – accompanied with the Rider Merlot Cabernet Franc 2009: Has no sharpness that can come from elegant, austere wines. Nose is lifted with violet, raspberry, black fruit and plums. Palate has plums enveloped in subtle, silky and chalky tannins that give a slight grip to the wine, with subtle spices such as black pepper and cinnamon, oak is well integrated and adds to smoothness of the wine through to a decent finish. Great for those who find cabernet wines a little too astringent – this is a cabernet that’s very approachable. Rrp around $20/bottle.

Seared Blue Eye Trevalla, Braised Beef Short Rib, Asparagus and ‘Bacalao’ – accompanied with the Rider Shiraz 2008: This wine’s won 5 Gold, 5 Silver and 8 Bronze medals. Aromas of warm spices, dark berries, plums and cherries with some toasty character. Palate savoury and warm, with silky tannins well integrated into the wine, and concentrated red and black fruits. Rrp $25/bottle.

Trago River Blue Cheese with Guava Paste, Quince and Date Brioche – accompanied with the Outlaw Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: Full Cabernet style. Herbaceous and blackberry characters on the nose. Palate juicy with plenty of acidity and dark fruits, slightly grippy tannins and overall savoury character lasting through the length.

Instead of having the winemakers/reps stand and talk (and doing so while some tipsy patrons keep talking), the winemaker was going conversing around with each table separately so we could all ask questions and share entertaining stories… Both Emmilou restaurant and Stockman’s Ridge wines presented a fun and entertaining night. If you’re looking for a good value emerging winery from Orange it may fancy you to check out Stockman’s Ridge. And in the meantime I’ll tuck into Emmilou for some more soul-nourishing grub! Look forward to next time…


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