A few month shy of its first birthday, D'Vine Wine Bar & Grill hosted its first Wine and Degustation showcase for 2012 this week and it was an intimate affair.
After being warmly greeted at the door we were quickly seated at our table, a printed menu lay neatly on the plate listing the four courses and the matching wines. Windowrie Wines from Cowra NSW was the wine maker being showcased on the night.
Ilker Bicer, co-owner of D'Vine, certainly knows his wine and is such a pleasure to talk to. When I told him that I'm still learning to appreciate wine and tend to have trouble picking a wine when eating out, he shared one of his tips with me - rather than base your choice on the label, look at the wine regions on offer, then all you have to do is go for the grape variety a particular region is famous for. For example, if you are after a Semillion, then Hunter Valley would be a top pick as Semillion is considered the iconic wine of the region. I guess from now on wine lists won't be so daunting again.
While glancing over the menu, two of the dishes caught my eyes:
Grilled stuffed baby squid, tomato oil and caper berries; matched with Windowrie "The Mill" Verdelho 2011.
Lamb back-strap, salad of artichokes, black olives, lamb port jus; matched with Pig In The House Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2010.
Okay, I may be somewhat biased on picking the second dish as one to look forward to, I love lamb and artichokes, but it also meant I'd be harder to please when the dish is served since I often order lamb in restaurants and I've had some amazing lamb dishes.
|Grilled Stuffed Baby Squid|
I think my friend's comment "I'd like to have the squid with every single dish served from now on please" speaks for just how unbelievably delicious the dish was. The grilled baby squid was stuffed with lime and herb risotto, it was tender and full of flavour, and when matched with the Verdelho, dry with hints of passionfruit, my taste buds went straight to heaven.
Just when we thought it couldn't get any better than the baby squid, the duck and rosemary terrine served with orange segments & mint salad that followed blew us away.
The question then was, how can the next course possibly top all these? Well, Paul Vichr, head chef and the other half of D'Vine, may be a man of few words on the night but the food that came out of his kitchen was simply amazing. And the lamb dish was no exception. Tender and pink, the lamb back-strap was cooked to perfection. I was impressed. The matching organic wine was quite different to the wines I've had, it may demand an acquired taste.
|Sticky Fig Pudding|
Oh and the Sticky Fig Pudding, words cannot do it justice!
Located minutes from the famous Bondi Beach, this little wine bar and grill is a great place to hang out with friends or taking that special someone for a romantic candle lit dinner. The dark red walls, wood furnishing, cushioned banquette and soft lighting gave the whole place a relaxed and intimate feel. The black fishnets casually thrown across the white window frames is a little nice reminder that the sea is near by; every time I looked at it I could almost hear the waves hitting the rocks.
Whether you are there to enjoy the tapas styled dishes with a glass of wine, or if you happen to be lucky enough to attend one of their special events, like the Wine Makers Dinner I just attended, you'll be leaving there wanting more. Especially that sticky fig pudding!