What does a wine from 1952 really taste like?

There really is no better person to ask this question than Huon Hooke, one of Australia’s most renowned wine critics.

Also as a veteran and pioneer of professional wine critiquing, he is probably one of few people in the world who has seen many of these wines before at various stages of development.  More so, he has seen Tulloch Wines from our finest years in the 50’s,  from our demise into corporate ownership in the 70’s and to now as we continue our rise from the ashes, delivering a perspective to make these reviews truly compelling.

So it seems only fitting to share with you his take on the long awaited last bracket of the day from our 120th Tasting (for more on the tasting click here), A Retrospective of Private Bin Pokolbin Dry Red Shiraz 1952 – 2014.

PDF of Huon’s Ratings of Private Bin Pokolbin Dry Red

Click here to read Huon Hooke’s full article on the Retrospective Tasting from the Sydney Morning Herald.

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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.

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.