Mount Riley 2013 Pinot Noir, $22
I wouldn’t normally reach for a Pinot to enjoy with steak but, guided by the fact that it was about 35 degrees outside, we did on this occasion … and it worked. I’m super-impressed by this classy little number from New Zealand, not least because of its price tag, which is cheap for such a well-crafted, estate-grown wine. (The Buchanan family, owners of Mount Riley, have been in Marlborough for six generations.) With a beautiful ruby colour, soft tannins and hints of spice and earthiness, it has a pleasingly long finish that sits nicely with a range of dishes, including the aforementioned steak. What a beauty.
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I’ve always thought that the best oysters in Australia come from the South Coast of New South Wales. The beautifully clear river estuaries along the coast grow excellent variations of the Sydney Rock Oyster. It was a joy then to discover Rod and Janet Terry selling their Clyde River bistro oysters at the Old Bus Depot Markets in Canberra at the weekend. They were shucking them on the spot and offered a taste. It didn’t take much to convince me. I was soon taking home a dozen of the creamiest and tastiest oysters I’ve had in a while. I should have bought another dozen. We opened a bottle of Seppelt The Victorians 2012 Chardonnay to drink with them; it was a perfect match.
I’m always a little ambivalent about Australia Day. While I’m proudly Australian (most of the time), I’m becoming more and more convinced that we need to find a more appropriate date on which to celebrate Australia Day. So I had a hard time coming up with a postcard for today. Then I thought of this sunflower photo that I originally posted on Instagram, where it attracted a huge number of ‘likes’. It’s flourishing in a garden in our beautiful National Capital, where we are currently staying, and it sends a cheerful message in green and gold as we celebrate how blessedly lucky we are to live in this Great Southern Land.
Photo & text © Christine Salins
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