You had me at vino: Introducing Braddon Merchant’s Wine Dinner series | HerCanberra

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You had me at vino: Introducing Braddon Merchant’s Wine Dinner series

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Meet Canberra’s newest wine club, which kicks off on Thursday 27 February at Braddon Merchant.

All the cool kids are doing it—wine clubs, that is. That’s right. There really is a place you can go to select, sniff, taste, swirl and generally celebrate the most delicious drops, the tastiest tannins and the silkiest sips. It’s not Heaven either—it’s Braddon Merchant.

Braddon Merchant’s Wine Dinner series is where you need to be if you’re into wine—and they’re kicking off the first instalment in partnership with beloved McLaren Vale winery, Lino Ramble.

A series of intimate dinners held in Braddon Merchant’s luxe monochromatic dining room, the first event will be on Thursday 27 February, where vino-enthusiasts can get up close and personal with Angela Townsend and Andy Coppard of Lino Ramble over a six-course menu created by Executive Chef Andrew Morrow.

Braddon Merchant. Image: Ryan Linnegar.

Lino Ramble has become one of McLaren Vale’s hottest young wineries over the past decade, specialising in organic, single-vineyard wines and rare Italian varietals.

“We are the only producer in McLaren Vale working with Bastardo, Grillo and as of 2020, Arinto,” explains Andy. “Even our Shiraz is different, I’m not aware of another producer in Australia, much less McLaren Vale, who is blending a small portion of Nero d’Avola with it.”

Angela and Andy of Lino Ramble.

Andy and Angela aim to create intriguing yet drinkable drops, often combining unusual varieties to create a more sustainable winemaking process.

“Our preference is to use varieties that we believe are more climate-appropriate, so we select varieties like Grillo and Nero d’Avola that originate in Sicily, where the climate at sea level is identical to McLaren Vale.

“This means they are naturally drought tolerant and require very low volumes of water to successfully farm them compared to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.”

Image: Ryan Linnegar.

The Lino Ramble team has worked closely with Braddon Merchant Executive Chef Andrew Morrow to develop an innovative menu, featuring ocean trout and yellowfin tuna from the New South Wales South Coast, Australian grass-fed beef and local vegetables.

Andrew has extensive experience pairing wines and food, working at a winery for four years before coming to Braddon Merchant.

“I have a rather unique process,” he says. “Before you start to pair, you need to know the wine. Find its faults and its positives and decide what you want to highlight and hide.”

First, Andrew does what he calls a cause and effect tasting, which showcases the effects of different foods on the wines.

“You have a plate with cheese, cream, chilli, chocolate, anchovy, salami and a range of other products representing fat, salt, sugar and spice. You taste each item with the wine and see what effect the food has on the wine, positive or negative.”

Next, Andrew gathers the ingredients that he would consider using, judging by the cause and effect tasting, to try the individual and combined flavours with the wine. Building on these ingredients, he develops dishes that bring out the best in each grape.

Braddon Merchant. Credit: Ryan Linnegar.

Finally, he adds the finishing touches to each dish. “This has in the past created some lively parings that seem odd on paper as a combination of flavour,” he says. “But the aim is to showcase the wine, the food is a conduit to bring the wine to life.”

If these last few paragraphs excited you and your tastebuds—run, don’t walk to grab your tickets now. At just $99 per person, this is an unmissable occasion for wine-lovers or the special oenophile in your life (those are vino-enthusiasts, by the way).

Even if you can’t make the dinner (gasp!), you can pick up a bottle of Andy’s favourite love child of the Lino Ramble clan at Braddon Merchant: Bastardo.

“It’s very similar to Pinot Noir in that we can do some whole bunch work with during fermentation, but unlike Pinot Noir it doesn’t fall to pieces once summer kicks in,” says Andy. “The extended skin contact allows us to really extract all the beautiful aroma and flavour.”

Where do we sign up?

the essentials

What: Lino Ramble x Braddon Merchant
Where: 1 Elouera St, Braddon
When: Thursday 27 February 2020 from 6.30 pm
How much: $99 per person
Web: braddonmerchant.com.au/events

But wait, this is a Wine Club! If you are already pining for the next meeting (we know we are!), get your diaries ready and block out 19 March 2020 for South Coast X Braddon Merchant.

You guessed it, the event, that is part of Good Food Month, is all about supporting and championing the beautiful fresh produce from our neighbours on the South Coast.

For more information, head to the Braddon Merchant website.

This editorial was created in partnership with Braddon Merchant. For more information on sponsored partnerships, click here

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