Live for food and travel on tap! Taipei, Sydney & Buenos Aires are my cities.
Published February 25th 2015
"Raid Your Cellar" - eat, drink and be merry
There are no stamps in sight at this Post Office but plenty of free-flowing wine and belly-inflating food!
We have dined at One Penny Red since its baby days for casual brunches and dinners. It may not even be one year old but the team that brings us this ingenious affair have 40 years combined experience so we are in extremely capable hands. Fun will be had and fun we had at their monthly "Raid Your Cellar" dinner.
Diners are encouraged to bring that bottle (or bottles) of wine that have been sitting in the cellar, waiting to be guzzled but the stars just haven't aligned. Once they know the wine, they will match the food to it (them). We love rubbing the bear up the wrong way and were we in for a night!
Everyone in our party of 5 scrambled at last minute to comb through the private stash. KH came up with two bottles of 2005 shiraz, one from Mudgee and the other from Coonawarra. Unsure how they were going to turn out as the method of cellaring had been sketchy, RN offered to bring a 2006 red. Unbeknownst to KH, RN changed his mind and turned up with a 1998 cab sauv from Margaret River! Show pony… The worst (or best) part of it was yet to come as CL & ET waltzed in with another Mudgee red, but from 1997! The one-upmanship kicked off an entertaining evening…
We began with the Coonawarra 2005 shiraz – fortunately it's drinkable if only a bit more airing was afforded, but we were too eager to wash down the prosciutto and pecorino cheese. The first bottle disappeared very quickly as we moved on to duck liver pate with Pedro Ximenez jelly.
Next came the Margaret River 1998 cabernet sauvignon which had survived the years and paired well with potato and porcini tortellini, followed by Wagyu tagliata. We were now happy, loud and bordering on hysterical, with conversations that best never be repeated for fear of self-incrimination.
The Mudgee 1997 shiraz cabernet sauvignon surprised us all as it had become syrupy and too easy to swig. When we felt just right about the amount of ingested food, the slow-cooked lamb shoulder arrived, in two portions, plus their resident so-naughty-but-so-moreish crispy potatoes.
Food intake was visibly slowing down and the wine-sipping had taken a turn also, with two designated drivers among us. But the nectar-like wine proved to be the perfect match for a sweet finale: signature banana beignets and a hazelnut torte. We magically opened the separate stomachs for dessert and inhaled every crumb.
Hazelnut torte (in the background: banana beignets)
Our "show" lasted 3.5 hours and it seemed much longer. Waddling out into the dark night, we're no longer certain if the limited body movements were because of the food or the litres of fermented grape juice consumed. Smiles all-round, that's for sure!
Entertainment value: 10/10 (bring the right friends)