Lunch with the Hardys: Fine dine with fine wine

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Hardys Australian Wine
Hardy's Australian Wine

Call us very casual drinkers for we Happyfoodies really eat more than drink.  However, an invitation to sample some of the best Australian wines one fine weekday came as a proposition too good to pass up.  The wines we’re tasting are made by Hardys, the most popular brand from Down Under.  With Oakwood Ortigas as host, we knew the pairings with Oakwood lunch fare would be worth the trip.

The occasion, a rather intimate small group lunch, introduces the Hardys’ new Heritage Reserve Bin – Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon — continuing the company’s tradition of blending grapes from different regions to come up with complex wines.  Distinguishing itself from vintners that make wines from single plots or regions, Hardys has carved a name for taking grapes from different places and maturing them to come up with complex blends.

Riesling Gewurztraminer (P300-330)
Riesling Gewurztraminer (P300-330)

Lagal[og] said: I’ve handled wine accounts from way back and have a passing familiarity with wines. Having said that, I won’t profess to be an expert for it takes a lifetime of wine appreciation to even come close to being a connoisseur.  But I’m happy to say that it just takes an open mind to appreciate fine wine.  We were first served a welcome drink of Riesling Gewurztraminer and I immediately liked its fruitiness, not too sweet with a light sparkle that prepared our palates for the course ahead. It’s a friendly introduction to wines even for the uninitiated.

Nottage Hill Chardonay (P400-500)
Nottage Hill Chardonay (P400-500)

Ironwulf said: The Nottage Hill Chardonay was a step up from the fruity and generally likable Reisling Gewurztraminer. The Chardonay was a little drier yet still light enough in taste. While I prefer the Reisling to go along with the truffle dressing laden Duck Breast and Duck Terrine with mesclun leaves and French beans, I thought the Chardonay is a fine in-betweener with its balanced taste.

Nottage Hill Shiraz (P600+)
Nottage Hill Shiraz (P600+)

Lagal[og] said: We graduated from Chardonnay to the Nottage Hill Shiraz for our main course of Grilled Beef Tenderloin.  I must say that the pairing is perfect as the rich and spicy notes of the Shiraz really go well with the rich, smoky flavor of the tender beef and sautéed potatoes.  I’m a bit light-headed at this point for I’m a teetotaler for sometime now and I know that wine is supposed to be sipped bit by bit over the course of the meal and not imbibed shot for shot in a very short time. But what the hey, this is a wine-tasting event.

HRB|D638 (Price TBA)
HRB|D638 (Price TBA)

Ironwulf said: We got a nice treat to end the meal with a Chocolate and Grand Marnier Brulee. I loved the creaminess of the brulee and its not too sweet flavor. Also to end our wine tasting, we got to sample some premium Heritage Reserve Bin (HRB) wines. We got to try the HRB|D638 which combines 3 flavors from Margaret River, Adelaide Hills and Pemberton. It was really dry and full-bodied. I could taste the round light fruity flavor roll though my throat. I could see why it’s a premium wine. Each sip just gets better.

Hardy’s Wines are available at wine stores and served at finer dining establishments

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