Published on February 24th, 2013 | by Ann Rickard


Dining; Event – NZ in a Glass

Dining; Event – NZ in a Glass

The Kiwis are coming. I A small contingent of I NewZealand I winemakers will be in Noosa on March 1 and 2 with cases of their premium wines to match two multi-course wine dinners at berardo’s restaurant & bar.

The group – from Villa Maria Estate, Saint Clair Family Estate and Giesen Estate – will visit Noosa after touring east coast capital cities for the annual New Zealand,in a Glass event.

Noosa is the only regional town to receive representation from the Kiwi winemakers and for the fourth year now, berardo’s will host two grand dinners in celebration.

“I sit down with our sommelier Tony Cox and talk about the characteristics of each wine and then we go over the ingredients we think would complement the wines and then I start planning the menu with our head chef Geoffrey Marcq”

Berardo’s executive chef Shane Bailey has been working on the menu since he received the list of wines. “I sit down with our sommelier Tony Cox and talk about the characteristics of each wine and then we go over the ingredients we think would complement the wines and then I start planning the menu with our head chef Geoffrey Marcq,” he said.

And what a menu it is. It begins with a watermelon and tomato gazpacho matched with a Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc, and unfolds intriguingly from there. “We start off light and then build up,” Shane said. “The next course is local prawns with compressed peach and fresh herbs matched with Gruner Veltliner wine.”

Gruner Veltliner is a signature white grape of Austria, said to make into the world’s most food-friendly wine. Although little known in Australia (yet) , Gruner Veltliner has become the wine of choice in some of the trendiest restaurants and bars in London and  New York.

The following course features chicken ballotine: free-range chicken stuffed ; with a macadamia puree. It will be matched with a Giesen Estate Sauvignon Blanc. “The wine calls for smoky flavours so we’ll serve that dish with a smoky yoghurt. It will be a perfect match.” Then comes the highlight of the six-course dinner: duck breast with blood plums, beetroot puree and quinoa. “We will be cooking the duck in a water bath at 60.5 degrees and then curing it Head chef Geoffrey Macq at work on one of the dishes in a spice and salt mix.

After that’s done we take the skin off aud crisp it up slowly in the oven for a couple of hdurs so the skin is almost like a crispy biscuit. That dish will go with a Pinot Noir from the Villa Maria cellar selection.”  The extravagance of the dinner is something foodies and wine buffs appreciate and the visiting winemakers love. “Last year, one of the winemakers said the salmon dish we presented was the best dish he’d ever had matched to his wine. That was a real compliment,” Shane said.

As the evening progresses, the food becomes more robust and the wines become heavier, with a lamb osso bucco coming in as the fifth course. “It will be a very slow-cooked braise infused with cumin and served with borlotti beans. You can’t have a New Zealand wine dinner without serving lamb. It will be a summer-style braised lamb, not too heavy. We’ll serve that with a Villa Maria Private Bin Syrah, a big wine.

” To flnish, Shane and his kitchen team will present a passionfruit parfait with a late-harvest Sauvignon Blanc. “We’ll put some raspberry flavours in there as well, so you’ll have sweet with the acidic. It’s a nice way to finish a meal, not too heavy, lots of fruit.”

Voluptuous wine dinners such as these bring out the creativity in all chefs and the berardo’s team is looking forward to the celebration. “It gives us a good chance to try different flavours,” Shane said. “It is always a challenge for us to get the perfect match. “Our chef Geoffrey Marcq has the new title of head chef and he’s stepped up to these wine dinners.”



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About the Author

is a Noosa (Australia) local and author of six successful books, all humorous travel narratives. In 2005 Ann won the prestigious ASTW’s Australian Travel Writer of the Year and in 2007 she won the ASTW Travel Book of the Year. Ann takes a culinary tour to the South of France in June every year . Ann writes travel, dining and columns for the Sunshine Coast Daily and is the Life editor of the Noosa News. Ann also maintains a well read and popular blog site. Ann’s travels have seen her explore cuisines all over the world.

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