Advent Double Dozen Recipe Match

An Advent Calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas. Since the date of the first Sunday of Advent varies, falling between November 27 and December 3, it is most often celebrated from the 1st – 24th December, with a gift for each day.

So 24 days, handy then that it’s the exact  amount of bottles in 2 dozen wines, and if the wine isn’t gift enough, we’ve also given you a food match for each and every day!

Click here to purchase the Advent Double Dozen at a very special price 

Day 1 SSBRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view it.

Day 2 CuveeRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view

Day 3 SangioveseRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view

Day 4 VerdelhoRecipe from Eat Love click here to view

Day 5 Private BinRecipe from taste.com.au click here to view

Day 6 Pinot GrisRecipe from Tulloch Wines blog click here to view

Day 7 RoseRecipe from Tulloch Wines blog click here to view

Day 8 BarberaRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click her to view

Day 9 VerscatoRecipe from Yottam Ottolenghi click here to view

vegetables set

Recipe from the Tulloch Wines blog click here to view

Day 11 VS ChardonnayRecipe From the Tulloch Wines blog click here to view

Day 12 JYT SelectionRecipe from the Tulloch Wines blog click here to view

Day 13 Late PickedRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view

 

Day 14 Tempranillo.jpgRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view

Day 15 JY TAwnyRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view

Day 16 VS VerdelhoRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view

Day 17 88 RedRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view

Day 18 HUnter River WhiteRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view

Day 19 HectorRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click her to view

Day 20 ViognierRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view

Day 21 CDVRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view

Day 22 EM ChardRecipe from the Tulloch Wines blog click here to view

Day 23 JY VintageRecipe from Gourmet Traveller click here to view

Slow roasted lambRecipe from the Tulloch Wines blog click here to view

In you, our Verdelho lovers I trust…. Viva Verdelho!

You would have to be living under some fine specimen of terra rossa soil not to know that one of the wines we are most well recognised for at Tulloch is our Verdelho.

Our customers love it and we sell loads of it, in a number of different guises.  But, and this is a big old pain in my butt, for some reason the varietal lacks credibility and recognition by our peers.  The question is why?

Unlike Chardonnay which met its demise care of Kath & Kim Read my Post on this topic here and anything containing Sav Blanc (whose popularity continues unabated despite its most recognised descriptor being Cat Piss, really?), Verdelho doesn’t seem to have offended anyone in particular, least of all wine drinkers, so why does it cop such a hard time?

People like it, it tastes good, it has an interesting history and its roots are firmly planted in peer accepted expressions like Madeira. Tulloch’s own beginnings with this varietal even have a great Aussie theme of failure and triumph, but still our peers mock.

So in you, our Verdelho lovers I trust, raise a glass and declare #VivaVerdelho!

Drink it with pride, spread the word and share the love of this truly drinkable white wine. Take back the power by choosing substance over farce, stand out amongst the crowd and proudly proclaim you will follow the cat piss trend no longer.  Dare to be assertive and refuse to have your drinking preferences prescribed from those on high. Wine is to be enjoyed, and Verdelho in particular, has no greater purpose than to satisfy the drinker.

So next time you’re looking for a crowd pleasing smashable white wine, pick up a Verdelho and proclaim proudly VivaVerdelho!

For those interested here is the background of Verdelho.  May I suggest imbibing said wine while digesting said history (according to my Dad).  A proudly pragmatic man, who is not scared to give drinkers what they want instead of what he thinks they should have.  Hear, hear JYT!

The Verdelho grape has been grown in Australia since 1825 when it was imported by the Australian Agricultural Company. First grown at Camden by William Macarthur and described in James Busby’s book Manual for Vineyards and Making Wine 1830, “….a plentiful bearer and appears to be free from every sort of disease,” (not quite right).

The Verdelho grape variety comes from the Portuguese island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco.  There are four varieties used to make Madeira ranging from very dry to very sweet.  The driest is Sercial, the Verdelho is softer and slightly darker in colour with the lighter version known as Rainwater.  The finer Bual is medium with a strong hint of molasses, and finally Malmsey which is full bodied, often caramelly and brown.   In the nineteenth century pipes (casks) of Madeira were loaded on ships for long ocean voyages and it was considered the wine needed to cross the tropics twice before it had acquired the desired flavour.

In the early 1900’s the Tulloch family made a fortified wine predominately from the Verdelho grape in the Madeira style described above and called it Crème de Vin.  Tulloch have been producing this Madeira style wine on and off now for 100 plus years, with the current release made in a traditional style from a small solera commenced in 1973.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s as table wine became popular, Verdelho was blended with Semillon (at that time known as Hunter River Riesling) to boost the flavour of the Semillon in light years.  Verdelho is very suited to the Hunter Valley as it has the ability to quickly regain its sugar level after rain and is resistant to bunch rot.  It does however suffer from powdery mildew; but this is not the problem it used to be due to modern spray equipment. Another plus is its suitability to mechanical harvesting.

Tulloch made Verdelho as a table wine in 1973 and 1974. Both were credible wines, however the ’73 developed rather too much and became overbearing with age. The lesson we learnt from this was not to allow the grapes to reach excessive maturity before harvest.   In 1982 we made a wine that would not ferment out to the stage that all the sugar was consumed to produce a dry wine.  We ended up with a slightly fruity (sweet) wine; the question was then, what to do with it?

The answer, was to sell it in the cellar door and it was an instant success, so release to the trade followed and here we are today proudly still selling this great varietal 30 years later.

As we have progressed, innovation has come to the fore and we now produce a number of styles of Verdelho.  From the Crème de Vin (Madeira style) to the low alcohol style of the Verscato and various styles in between. This range of products shows the versatility of Verdelho as the most reliable variety viticulturally to be grown in the Hunter Valley.

And a few other interesting articles espousing the virtues of the verdelho variety:

http://fabervineyard.com.au/our-stories/in-defence-of-verdelho/

Dan Traucki’s Article on Verdelho

Cottage Pie (using everything from the bottom of your crisper)

Let me set the scene for you.  It’s 6pm on a Friday night in the middle of Winter. You’ve just arrived home after being away for work for 2 days.  The inevitable is waiting for you as you walk in the door, luggage in hand.  It’s cold, it’s dark, the house is a mess, you’re tired and need a glass of wine, stat….. but still the question is posed.

“What’s for dinner?”

Of course no one has done any shopping while you’ve been away, so while it would be awesome to come home to this…..

Instead you open the fridge with trepidation and discover a range of limp,  half dead vegetables languishing at the bottom of your crisper and some mince, which has a use by date of yesterday, but hey it hasn’t been opened yet, so it should (fingers crossed) be fine.

Rummaging:

Really any old vegetables will do, but I tend to find the following at the bottom of my crisper: celery, carrot, zucchini, leek or onion and garlic.  Dice them all up, no need to spend too much time on this, just so they are all roughly the same size.

I also throw in some frozen peas and of course you will need potatoes, milk, cream and butter for the mash.  Stock, mince, tin of tomatoes (optional), white wine and herbs, dried or fresh, whatever you’ve got, but I quite like a bit of dried oregano and parsley. EVOO and S&P.

Cooking (like you can be bothered….):

Peel your potatoes, cover them with cold water, add lots of salt and bring to the boil and simmer until tender and ready for mashing.

Preheat the oven to 180.  In a large fry pan, add a glug of EVOO and sauté your veggies till they are soft and translucent.  Add the mince (I tend to always use a blend of pork and veal instead of beef, but any red meat mince would be fin), dried or fresh herbs, season well and brown.

Add the white wine and reduce.  Add the tinned toms, stock (I use beef, but chicken would also be fine) and simmer for 15 minutes or so till there is just enough liquid left to keep the pie moist in the oven without it being too sloppy.

Drain and mash your potatoes adding as much milk / cream / butter as your diet allows and plenty of salt.

Pour the pie mixture into a big dish, cover it with a thick layer of mash and dot the top with dobs of butter.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes till topping is crisp and brown.

Serving:

Stand in the kitchen and yell, “Dinner is READY!” and pour yourself a large glass of Tulloch Cab Sav to match.

Chicken, Mushroom & Bacon Pot Pies

Who doesn’t love a pie in the depths of winter?  This is an absolute winner in our household and if you cheat like I do and use frozen puff pastry, it is also very simple.

You’ll Need: (all approximate amounts, trust your taste-buds and instincts.)

Chicken thigh fillets (1 pack) cut into bite size pieces, 1 leek, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (plain old button mushrooms work well), 3 sprigs of thyme, speck or bacon (equivalent to 3 slices of bacon), 1/2 cup of thickened cream, a large glass of white wine, 1/2  – 1 cup of chicken stock, 1/1 – 1 tablespoon of flour, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, EVOO, S&P and the yolk of one egg.

Cooking:

Take your frozen puff pastry out of the freezer to defrost and pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius.

In a large non-stick fry pan heat some EVOO and fry off your chicken pieces till they are just cooked and then set aside.

Add the bacon to the pan and brown, then add a knob of butter and toss in the leeks, garlic, mushrooms and thyme and cook till soft and fragrant. Add the chicken back to the pan and bring back to the simmer.

Add the white wine and reduce, then add the stock (enough to create a sauce), and a bit of flour to thicken and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes till thick and rich.  Add the cream, dijon mustard and season well, stir to combine.

Don’t worry if the sauce is too runny as it will be going into the oven which will reduce it further.  Even if it doesn’t reduce all the way, it should be rich and yummy and perfect for soaking up stray bits of pastry. If in doubt, pour a bit of the liquid off.

Use your pie dishes to cut out pastry lids (I like my pastry lid to sit within the dish, but my husband likes it folded over so there is plenty of it!).  Spoon the filling into pie dishes or ramekins, about 3/4 full (you don’t want it to bubble over in the oven) and pop on the pastry lids.

If you are folding the pastry over the edge of the dish, make sure you tuck it around neatly and score the edge with a fork so it is pretty.  With a sharp knife poke a few holes in the top of each pie so the steam can escape.  If you are feeling creative, cut out shapes from the left over pastry so you can personalise each pie.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the pastry with beaten egg yolk.

Put in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the pastry is cooked and has turned a golden brown colour.

Warning:

Let the pies cool before you dig in.  There is nothing worse than burning your mouth on the first bite and not being able to taste the rest of the deliciousness.  Take it from my experience!

Spring lamb cutlet salad with tangy yoghurt dressing


There is nothing quite so simple and as pleasurable as lamb cutlets on the bbq. Combine them with this tangy yoghurt dressing and some spring greens and it’s perfection.

The beauty of this dish is in the plating.  Just by serving it in a pastel coloured shallow bowl with a thrown together look,  turns lamb and three veg into an unexpectedly decadent mid week meal.

If it takes longer than half an hour, it won’t be getting a showing on my dinner table on a school night!  I like to serve this alfresco in spring so the kids can burn off the last of their energy outside while the cutlets are bbqing.

As with everything I cook, use what you have available at the time or the season.

Shopping:

Lamb cutlets (I allow 3 per person), lemon thyme, broad beans (fresh if possible, but frozen will do) , frozen peas, asparagus, green beans, natural greek yoghurt, feta, honey, lemon juice, garlic, mint, EVOO and S&P.

Preparing:

Make sure your lamb is room temp before bbqing and drizzle with EVOO and season well with S&P and lemon thyme.  BBQ till medium rare  (or to your liking) and rest for 5 minutes.

Combine yoghurt, garlic (crushed), lemon juice, feta, honey and mint in a hand blender and blitz till combined and smooth.  Add a dash of EVOO and season (taste before seasoning, feta can be very salty).

Combine frozen peas, beans & asparagus (cut into bite size pieces) and broad beans in a microwave safe plastic container.  Cover with water and a lid (not all the way on) and microwave** for 3 – 5 minutes or until just tender.  Drain and refresh in cold water so they retain their beautiful bright green colour.

Plating:

In a shallow bowl or platter, drizzle over some of the yoghurt dressing and half your greens.  Arrange the lamb cutlets on top and then scatter over the rest of the greens with the remaining yoghurt dressing, a squeeze of lemon and lemon wedges and mint leaves to serve.

** I generally don’t love microwaves, and yes you could blanch or steam the greens instead, but this is just so quick and easy and saves washing up….

Looks fancy but very easy Autumn salad


There is nothing better than a change of seasons and new season vegetables and fruits you haven’t seen in 6 months making a return to the market shelves.  I especially love the first flush of autumnal goodies, small, delicate, very pretty and such a change from all the sweet brash summer offerings.

This dish can be adapted to whatever you have around, but I love this combo.  Layer all the ingredients up on a shallow platter and serve as a side at dinner or on it own for ladies who lunch.

Baby golden beets roasted till tender and cooled

Baby fennel mandolined or very thinly sliced

Cauliflower gently broken into small florets

Walnuts lightly toasted

Radish mandolined or very thinly sliced

Radicchio shredded roughly

Feta for crumbling

Dressed with EVOO, S&P, Red Wine Vinegar & garnished with fennel fronds

Slow roasted lamb shoulder on crispy potatoes

When there are men to feed, every meal must have potatoes … or is that just in my household?

I can’t remember where I first got this recipe from, but I have adapted it over time and it is a family favourite.  Plan it for a wintry weekend when you are hanging around the house and can enjoy the smells.  Serve it to the table in the roasting tin for maximum effect as it looks great when it is cooked, but not so fancy once it is served, after all it’s meat and potatoes.

Shopping:

Boned out shoulder of lamb, garlic cloves (thinly sliced), rosemary, bay leaves, equal amounts of white wine & chicken stock, EVOO, S&P, potatoes (peeled and sliced thinly)  and red onion (thinly sliced).

Cooking:

Add some EVOO to the bottom of the roasting tin and then layer the potatoes, onion , garlic, rosemary, bay and S&P until they are all used.  Season generously as you go.

Add the stock and wine (should be just enough to mostly cover, but not quite, the layered potatoes) and lay the shoulder of lamb on top.  EVOO & S&P lamb generously and put in a pre-heated high oven to brown the lamb for about 20 minutes.

Turn oven down and leave to roast for 1 – 2 hours, till the meat is falling apart. Remove the lamb and rest it (keep it warm) and pop the potatoes back in the oven (only do this  if needed to finish crisping and reduce the liquid), otherwise turn the oven off and pop the potatoes back in to keep warm while the meat rests.

Plating:

Serve to the table in the roasting dish.

This dish is rich, so keep your sides green and fuss free.  I quite like a crisp Italian coleslaw (thinly sliced or mandolined savoy cabbage and fennel, red wine vinegar, finely grated pecorino cheese, EVOO, generous amount of S&P, mint & fennel fronds to garnish) or similar to cut through the richness.

Easy lemony seafood, potato & herbs

Easy, yummy, cheap, adaptable and best served with a really good baguette with lashings of Lurpak butter.  I love to pair this dish with our G Series 2014 G4 Chardonnay** and plonk it on the table in my favourite roasting pan for everyone to rummage through (we have picky eaters in our household).

The G Series is our new top of the line range and the Chardonnay is complex and very traditionally Burgundian in its style, so it needs something that packs a punch of flavour to stand up to the layers of rich fruit characters and French oak nuances.

Which is why I don’t like to over complicate the food match…. when the wine is this good I want to enjoy it, not become a slave to it.

Ingredients:

Chat or baby potatoes, Mussels, calamari or squid, green prawns, scallops (out of shell), white wine for cooking (don;t use the G4 Chardonnay!!!), extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), garlic, red onion, lemons and lots of fresh herbs.

You can really use whatever seafood you want or can easily get, just make sure they are roughly cut to the same size so they cook evenly (quickly).

For the herbs, I use whatever is around, but generally go with lots of flatleaf parsley, oregano (fresh), thyme, rosemary, basil, chives and even a bit of mint.

Method:

Have a sip of your cooking wine to check it is all right, tie on your apron and pre-heat the oven to 200 (Celsius).

Add a good lug of EVOO to a heavy based roasting pan suitable for the oven & stove top.  Add your potatoes, whole cloves of garlic, red onions (quartered), rosemary, thyme (lemon thyme if you have it), lemon zest and lemon juice (don’t be shy!), a small amount of the white wine and season well with salt and pepper and put it in the pre-heated oven till the potatoes are cooked through and golden brown (30-40 minutes). Remove form the oven and turn oven to a high heat.

Turn the cook top onto high to keep the pan really warm while it is out of the oven and scatter the seafood in a single layer on top of the potatoes.  Add more white wine to the pan to make your sauce, and a bit more more lemon juice and zest and seasoning over the seafood.

Place back in the oven and cook seafood quickly (you don’t want it to stew, so if your in doubt about any of it, pre-cook it in a pan first), until it is just tender and showing colour.

Remove from the oven, season again for good luck, and splash over some more lemon juice and zest and add all your beautiful fresh green herbs.

Serve it in the roasting tray to the table and let everyone serve themselves.

One large roasting tray usually feeds 4 – 6 with bread depending on appetites and boy / girl ratios.

**The inaugural  release of our G4 Chardonnay will happen in or around October 2015.

My steak with chimichurri

Another mid week winner.  Particularly great for mid week entertaining or to have some leftovers of in the fridge. Chimichurri seems to have many guises, but this is one of my favourites.  It is also a very economical dish and looks great served on a wooden board in the middle of the table with a few salads or char grilled veg to dress it up.  And, the best part … no washing up!

Ingredients:

Steak: I tend to use rump or rib eye on the bone or a similar cut.

Chimichurri: equal amounts of flat leaf parsley &coriander, half the amount of oregano, garlic (crushed) to taste, paprika (I use smoked) & ground cumin equal amounts (round half a teaspoon of each)  and lemon juice to taste, but don’t be shy and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).

Method:

Bring steak to room temperature, drizzle with EVOO and season well with S&P.

For chimichurri, add all ingredients to a little hand blitzer and blitz till coarse.

Cook steak on the BBQ till it’s how you like it and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Plate:

Cut steak up into strips against the grain, drizzle with chimichurri and serve the rest on the side.

Roast chicken with all the good stuff

I love chicken!  There I’ve said it.  It’s my favourite meat, the most versatile and the best to match with Chardonnay.  I cook this at least once a week and the best part is the smell that emanates through the house.  There are many fancier versions of roast chook, but for a weekday meal, it’s set and forget, puts the kids to bed and then finish it all off in the last ten minutes.  And, no, before you ask, don’t even think the pre-flavoured & stuffed marinated birds you can get from the supermarket will do the job…. they never do!

Ingredients:

A chook, a lemon cut in half, thyme (I have an enduring love affair with lemon thyme), sage, rosemary (or a variety of fresh woody herbs that you have at your disposal), extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), a head of garlic, salt and pepper (S&P), brown onion quartered or eshallots.

Sides: dutch (baby)

carrots, washed and trimmed, chat potatoes, woody herbs, butternut pumpkin, feta, sage, walnuts, EVOO, S&P and garlic.

Gravy: plain flour & chicken stock.

Method:

Put the chat potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water, season generously with  salt and bring to the boil and cook until until tender (20-30 mins).

Drain any excess liquid out of the chicken carcass and pat the top of the chicken dry. Stuff it with half the lemon, a bunch of your woody herbs, half a head of garlic (cut through the middle so the inside of each clove is exposed).  Put a bit of EVOO in a roasting dish (also suitable for use on the stove when making the gravy), place the chicken breast side up in the dish, drizzle generously with EVOO and season (don’t be shy with the salt it will help the skin go crispy).  Place the quartered brown onion or eshallots (these help give the gravy a rich brown colour) and the other half a head of garlic in the pan and put in a pre-heated oven at 180-200 degrees for an hour.

While the chats are cooking, put a glug of olive oil in another small roasting dish and add carrots, thyme and S&P and put in the oven  for about 40 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Cut the pumpkin into wedges and place in another baking dish (a big one so there is room for the potatoes too) with a lug of EVOO and S&P, and cook in the oven with the carrots and chicken for about 40 minutes or till caramelised and soft.

When the potatoes are soft, drain and place in the baking dish with the pumpkin.  Smash them with a masher (I use a pestle), so they break up a bit, drizzle them generously with EVOO, season well, scatter over some of the woody herbs, a few garlic cloves and the juice from the other half of the lemon and roast them along with the pumpkin until they are golden, brown and crispy.

When you think the chicken is cooked, pierce the area between the thigh and the breast and if the juices run clear it is cooked.  Place the chicken breast side down on a plate and cover with foil to rest.

Put the kids to bed at this point and pour yourself a glass of E.M. Limited Release Chardonnay, a food and wine match made in heaven!

Put a handful of walnuts in the oven to toast (watch them carefully they turn quickly).

Skim or remove the excess fat from the roasting tin the chicken was in and add a tablespoon or two of flour and mix to form a paste.  Put the pan on the heat (stove top) and add chicken stock to make the gravy (I usually start with 500ml and add gradually as  necessary).  Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the roasting tray, squish the onion up and squeeze out the garlic cloves and bring to the simmer until it is the desired thickness.  If you are having trouble getting a nice rich colour in the gravy, add Vegemite or soy sauce to help.

Boil the jug and fill a gravy boat or whatever you plan to serve the gravy in with boiling water to get it warm.

Meanwhile in a small fry pan, brown some butter and add the sage when the butter is nut brown.

Plating:

Once everything is cooked, turn off the oven and put in all your plates and serving platters to get warm.

Add any liquid from the resting chicken to the gravy and pop back in the oven to keep warm.

Plate up the pumpkin, pour over the sage and brown butter and toasted walnuts and put back in the oven to keep warm. Put the potatoes and the carrots in serving dishes and back in the oven to keep warm.

Strain the gravy through a sieve into the warmed gravy boat and put in the oven to keep warm.

Take out the chicken, carve it and serve it to the table with all the sides and the gravy. Add the feta to the pumpkin at the last minute.  A family feast!

Then act really tired and make yourself scarce – there will be a pile of washing up.