Saturday, September 27, 2008

Melbourne Cricket Club Wine and Food Society

Some 20 years ago this bastion of Melbourne society formed it's wine and food society. Since it takes around 25 years to become a member of the MCC and there is now a 15 year waiting list for the wine and food society the average age of attendees was considerable. Nevertheless they certainly enoyed the wine and the food.
The meal began in the Percy Beames bar with canapes- sticky pork belly on grated appleand watermelon, tomato and basil kebab with shots of whisky sour layered with white foam or La Vie Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV bubbly.
We then moved to the Long Room.
Generally closed to the public this great room with portraits of significant members of the MCC covering all available wall space, looks over one of the most magnificent sporting venues in the world - the Melbourne Cricket Ground or MCG, sometimes referred to simply as the G.
The round tables easily accommodated 10 and were covered in white linen cloths with appropriate crockery and glasses.
The first course was a small cup of warm Vichyssoise of oysters of which I could happily have had quite a lot more.
The next two courses, baked prawns on iceberg lettuce, lemon and spiked mayonnaiseand a sea food ceviche (that is raw sea food marinated in lemon or lime), flavoured with tomato and coriander were served with a dryish 2004 Palandri Reisling (The company, from the Margaret River area is now in receivership) and a 1998 Elderton Eden Valley Reisling which had passed its' use by date. Both these dishes were pleasant enough but quite undistinguished. Nor was the salad of crispy duck tossed with picked watercress, ginger and sesame dressing notable for anything but the very crisp duck confit which had been cooked for a long, long time.
A mystery wine, a NZ temparillo took only two questions to eliminate 16 of the 17 tables!
This and the aged beef filet on celeriac remoulade, served with roast potato and prune jam, which was brilliant with this dish,
were accompanied by a 2002 Cliff Edge Shiraz Mt. Langhi Ghiran and a 1999 Mount Chalambar Reserve Cab. Sav.
Jeni Port, Age journalist, then gave a short talk on the direction wine making had been taking in particular towards higher and higher alcohol content. The reason, because they can, has led to up to 18% alcohol in some reds but the public seem to be moving away from these wines.

Perhaps the most appealing thing on the menu was the combination of crumbled Stilton, walnuts, raisins and port syrup. this was a superb cheese dish with a Vasse Felix Margaret River 1995 Cab. Sav - outstanding.
After a Morrocan mint tea palate cleanser a dessert of passion fruit brulee accompanied by doused sponge and a passionfruit sorbet
was served with what we were told is the best Australian dessert wine - the 2000 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon. This was followed with tea/coffee and more sweet stuff - black current lollies and jellies.

A great deal of thought went into the menu for this meal. It was quite ambitious to serve 170 guests and while most of the dishes were quite safe it was not possible to get the best out of the fillet which was far more cooked than I would have liked. In all the meal whilst very good was not outstanding.
It represents fantastic value for the members and I love to go to another one!

Score: 14.75/20

1 comment:

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