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Published July 13th 2018
A foodie library jam-packed with wines around the world
Every now and again we come across an eatery or bar that really captivates us from the start and this quaint, yet sophisticated establishment, which is tucked away at the top of Oxford St, Woollahra, is one gem that truly captivates you.
With an extensive Wine Menu showcasing wines from almost every corner of the globe, including splendid Australian wines, the Wine Library was exactly that… a library of wines, oh and indulgent food too!
I am certainly no connoisseur of wines, however, my knowledge was broadened after this 'drink of life' was appreciated and enjoyed at the Wine Library. The bar staff were a great help with deciding and matching wines, making it comforting for an amateur of wines.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed by the friendly and professional waitstaff and from here, we passed the main "bar" sitting area and were lead down a narrow short hallway leading to a small dining room that showcased romance, cosiness and elegance.
The Bar is impressive with the array of wines on display.
We began our decadent meal with a choice of white and red wine followed with meat and cheese plates, small dishes and two substantial meals. Unfortunately, due to our gluttonous affair with the wines and food, our bellies were unable to fit in dessert to the very disapproval of our taste buds!
The exquisite menu at Wine Library will leave you craving for more.
The wines we chose for the evening to accompany our dishes were Premium White Wine 2016 Didier grappe savagnin 'ouille' jura, France ($22 by glass or $66 carafe) and Red Wine 2015 foradori teroldego dolomites, Italy ($17 by glass or $51 carafe).
The Premium White Wine 2016 Didier grappe savagnin 'ouille' jura, France & foradori teroldego dolomites, Italy wines
We ordered a selection of five cheeses ($35 for five cheeses or $25 for three cheeses) which included soumaintrain washrind-France, delice des cremiers, triple cream-France, ossau iraty basque aop, semi-hard- France, queso de oveja-Spain and reypenaer vsop hard- Netherlands.
The meat selection of three meats served with pickles included coppa, bosquito and jamon ($25)
The Cheese & Cured Meat boards served with lavoush and freshly sliced bread.
The Didier grappe savagnin 'ouille' jura white wine is an unusual non-oxidative style of Savagnin from the Jura region. The wine was crisp and dry with features of intense acidity followed with citrus fruit aromas. It really complemented the Hiromasa Kingfish and Duck dish quite well.
Foradori teroldego dolomites red wine is the intense expression of its land, of its people, of the Dolomites. The wine is made from vines across 10 hectares of vineyards and is grown on stony alluvial soils with pebbles and gravels. The wine offers a fresh crunchiness on the palate and offers a distinctive taste.
The cheeses were accompanied with fresh sliced bread and lavosh.
The soumaintrain washrind cheese is a farmhouse cow's milk cheese. It had a powerful rich flavour of tasty cheese with a pungent smell; the pate (interior body - non-rind portion) featured a mouthwatering taste of sweet, salty and creamy milk flavours. It was certainly a fascinating cheese and it was a fitting cheese for the cold weather.
A selection of five cheeses-soumaintrain washrind cheese, Delice des cremiers, Ossau iraty basque aop, Queso de oveja & reypenaer vsop
Delice des cremiers translates to 'delight of the cheese-maker' and it certainly does live up to its name! This indulgent cheese is made from triple cream cow's milk with a soft, sweet and buttery flavour. It is rich and creamy with a cakey, whipped texture.
The Ossau iraty basque aop is a sheep milk cheese and has a delicious, nutty and robust taste. This cheese is produced during the period of June to September when the herds move up to the high mountain meadows. The pate is white, supple and creamy and becomes firm as the maturing period is longer.
The Spanish Queso de oveja cheese is made from ewe's milk with a characteristic of aromatics and persisting presence of olive oil and rosemary notes. Its texture characteristic is similar to manchego, delicate with a soft crumbly feel.
The Italian and Spanish meats accompanied the cheeses superbly. The bosquito salami (Spain) is made from the wild forest mushrooms collected in the hills. They are dried and then rehydrated with Fino Sherry, forcing the maturation to slowdown creating a long aromatic bouquet and full-flavoured tastes. The coppa is a dry-cured meat from Italy and was soft and tasteful and the jamon (Spain) delivered delicate yet tasteful aromas.
The Hummus with fried chickpeas was perfect from the smooth consistency of the texture to the clever addition of fried chickpeas on top; which created a wonderful crispy texture. The dish achieved the authentic Middle Eastern flavours.
The Hummus was such a delight and really presented the Middle Eastern flavours.
The Hiromasa kingfish with miso, finger lime and black garlic was, without doubt, a highlight to the evening of splendid foods and wines. It featured a tangy zest, yet was refreshing and flavoursome. It was the perfect marriage of flavours and textures and they did not overpower the delicate fish.
The scrumptious Hiromasa kingfish with miso, finger lime and black garlic
Our gormandising did not end there! We ordered the Duck breast with pumpkin and charred leek, which looked stunning on the plate. It was presented with perfection and the taste of the dish was tantalising.
Duck breast with pumpkin and charred leek made you crave more.
The meat was cooked perfectly and with every forkful, the meat fell apart effortlessly and just melted in the mouth. Combined with the creamy smooth puree and mushrooms for texture, it was a "taste blowing" dish!
Our overall experience at Wine Library was marvellous. It was such a wonderful and pleasant establishment with lovely staff, exquisite wine and tantalising food to match. The decor is warm, yet sophisticated and the atmosphere is very pleasant.
The beef cheeks melted in the mouth and fell apart beautifully.