Degustation at BRAE Restaurant, Victoria


Brae is situated on 30 acres at 4825 Cape Otway Road, Birregurra. Each day chef Dan Hunter and his team carefully source a selection of the highest quality ingredients from Brae’s own organic kitchen garden, local farms and ethical, sustainable producers from Victoria and beyond. With the greatest respect, these ingredients are transformed into the day’s menu. Dan has a great Degustation and matching wines menu for meat lovers and vegetarians.

Degustation and Matching Wines

For the 10 course menu there was an interesting array of local and overseas wines, plus a pink sake and a Danish beer. Really interesting combinations! A few examples:


2009 Blake’s Estate Pinot. Light pink colour. Strawberry sappy nose. Nice creamy mouthfeel. Sweet strawberry, cherry, lemon, sappy savouriness and bracing acid. Soft tannins. Finished dry. Excellent with the range of entrees that included prawn nasturtium & finger lime, flaxseed & rocket, red roach & almond with cured egg & broccoli, beef tendon & mountain pepper, and burnt pretzel treacle & pork.



2012 Garagiste Chardonnay. Pale straw. Fresh citrus grapefruit vanillin oak and minerals. Lemon grapefruit taut minerality. Went well with southern rock lobster cooked with carrot, white onion and sea butter.


2012 old hog Pinot. Vibrant red purple. Savoury mushroom sappy strawberry. Sour cherry earth sappy nice dusty tannins. Good marriage with the dry aged jumbuck, beans, and barbecued lettuce.


Pink sake. From Kyoto. Made with Red rice. Floral, sweet. Lighter style. Nice mouthfeel. Interesting match for charred radicchio and duck offal, quandong cooked with rhubarb

2012 Paradise IV Batesford Shiraz. Bright crimson with purple hue. Lovely spice cherry on nose. Spice pepper cherry red fruit medium body noce mouthfeel. Lovely juicy fruit driven and spicy style current drinking. Winemaker … Studied under Rock Kitzenbrunner of Giaconda fame. Excellent with grass fed wagyu, salted radish, rock samphire, Otway shiitake.

2011 Fritz Haag Spatlese Riesling. 8% alcohol. Lime Lemon spice nose. Green apple sweet honey candied fruit lychee palate.

2004 Botrytis Chenin Blanc from the Loire valley. High acid. Botrytis and late harvest. Pale straw. Honied apples nose. Spice cinnamon peach apricot molasses rich mouthfiling. Finishes clean. Great with the parsnip and apple dessert. DELICIOUS!!





Food & Wine Weekend at Tarnwarndcoort Homestead, country Victoria

The word “Tarndwarncoort” is based on the ancient Gulidjan tribal language, used by indigenous people to describe the undulating hilly landscape the property sits upon. First settled in 1840s, the building is one of Victoria’s heritage buildings and a great getaway off the Princess Highway not far from Colac in country Victoria.


Day 1. Six of us settled into an evening of tasting excellent wine and cooking great food. Started with two aged Rieslings. A 2006 Pizzini Riesling that was drinking beautifully with lovely developed characters, touch of sweetness, and rich mouthfeel. Also had a 2004 Leasingham Bin 7 that was more developed and had less fruit, but still a good wine.

Four Great Wines to match our Cape Grimm dry aged Prime Rib


1999 Bests FHT Shiraz, Great Western, Victoria, Australia
Brick red colour. Glorious nose of violets, milk chocolate, confectionary and dark plums. Superb rich and concentrated mouthfeel with great length. Spice, ripe brambly fruit, vanilla soft tannins and anise all combine to flood the senses. Great wine. Tasted blind, several friends thought this was a Barossa wine and found it difficult to believe such a rich wine could come from Western Victoria. Drinking beautifully now, it can keep for a few more years yet. 96/100.
The quality of this wine is surprising given the difficult vintage conditions with a spring frost wiping out almost 80% of the premium fruit.


The 2004 Langmeil Freedom Shiraz and the 2004 Peter Lehman Stonewell Shiraz made an interesting comparison. Both fabulous wines showing the best qualities of premium Barossa old vine fruit with great intensity, lovely dark berry fruit, spice and creamy oak. The Stonewell showed a little more elegance with nuances of red berries, dark chocolate and dusty tannins. The Freedom was a little bigger and richer with lovely dark chocolate and earthy characters. Both great wines! 95/100

The 2007 Cullen’s Diana Madeline Cabernet Merlot Petit Verdot was another beauty. I suspect we opened it 10 years too early, but the wine opened with a few hours breathing. Lovely flavours of blackcurrent, cedar, and vanillan oak. Very elegant and seamless. A delight to drink. 95/100. Keep. Drink 2017-2020.

All 4 bottles disappeared far too quickly! Hence the Berocca came in handy the next morning……..

Tomorrow we dine at Brae restaurant run by our favourite chef Dan Hunter.