This heading sounds like bloody paleo doesn’t it. I am vocally opposed to paleo in its true form. I have some serious issues with looking back to move forward and I think the Paleo movement is archaic however in saying that I am also very fond of healthy eating and that includes a whole heap of paleo suggested foods. Anyhow more of that later because in life you always land up having to challenge your mindset at some point. It happened on the show with my guests Craig Macindoe who owns MuMu Grill in Crows Nest, the team from Ferment it James Bron Mackney and Belinda Smith who were representing Markets in May, Nutritionist Lola Berry and Alex Retief from Retief Wines.
From left to right: Alex Retief, Craig Macindoe, Belinda Smith, Natascha Moy, James Bron Mackney and Corinne Tighe
So back to my Paleo issue, Meat and Fermented product are some of the stalwarts of the paleo movement and yes I had them on the show at the same time. Thank goodness for the wine. MuMu Grill has been serving some of Sydney’s finest Grass Fed beef for many years. It is a true steakhouse with an emphasis on incredible cuts of meat and a very sustainable outlook on both its produce and its own restaurant processes. Craig brought one of his signature dishes on the show, the Riverina T Bone Taghata, Seared and Sliced and finished with Rosemary and Garlic. The meat was so tender and tasty that it almost melted in your mouth. As with a true meat restaurant he has done his homework so you will not be surprised to find an array of incredible meat dishes on his menu. He can tell you where they are sourced from, how they were raised. the ethical practices of the farmers he deals with and a whole heap of other stuff.
As if the idea of plain protein (albeit very, very good) was not enough for me to cope with I then had to face up to the Ferment it team who shared their journey into this new or should I say very old form of preserving good healthy food. I have to add that I actually love fermented food because it has a high acid content and as a food lover this is often what gives you the balance in a dish. Not only is the flavour great but the health benefits are vast. James and Belinda have launched an interesting range of products that include Beetroot, Kimchi, Sauerkraut and more. We loved eating them with robust cheese and I naturally added some to my steak.
When you consume plant based raw fermented foods you consume vital enzymes that help your body stay healthy. These live bacterially fermented foods are packed with pre and pro-biotics that build intestinal flora in the gut, to aid digestion and strengthen our immune system. This assists with eliminating bad bacteria. Fermented food is a superfood and is delicious if you worry about including them in your diet start slowly with sauerkraut yes that is a fermented natural food.
Markets in May is organised by my lovely friend Edwina Volz who founded the Local Market Guide, it is a celebration of market fare and the market experience and is a great initiative at the beginning of the cooler months when market shopping takes over from beach hopping. (click HERE for more info on the Markets in May) Lola Berry is a nutritionist and she is a healthy food advocate, she came on the show to share her ideas of fun market inspired recipes and the reason we should all be looking after our bodies and cooking great healthy local produce. Lola also shared her favourite smoothy recipe
One Frozen Banana or frozen berries baby spinach and chia seeds this gives you a whole truckload of nutrients to start your day plus it is delicious. She suggested you blend twice to remove the stalks from the greery and freeze the banana as it is creamier and richer in flavour.
Alex Retief has been a guest on my show many years ago, since then he has married had two kids and is still producing great wines. He is also representing Markets in May and is a wine maker for both his own label and his parents biodynamic wines. Born in Wagga and making wines since 2008 Alex has carved a niche for hand crafted cool climate New South Wales wines. Alex is also a 2013 Len Evens Scholar, wine judge and member of the NSW wine Committe. We were treated to three of his wines. Click HEREfor more on Alex.
We tasted three of his wines on the show and all the info on them is below.
Mataro: “Mokhinui” vineyard Hilltops, NSW 100%
The fruit was all sourced from Mokhinui vineyard in the Hilltops, where the 2013 vintage was one of the best in recent memory. The Hilltops area does not draw water from any river system and so is most reliant on natural rainfall events over the winter period to fill storage dams. In that regard, it was a perfect season.
After fermentation in a large open fermenter, the wine was pressed off into older French barriques and matured for 20 months before bottling.
Light in colour, but medium to full in body, the wine displays a nose that is deep and brambly, full of red-currants and fruits, while the palate dances with a vibrant rhubarb, bright fruits and hint of smokey bacon– savoury backbone and a rich, full mouth-feel, continuing on with a long, lingering finish. There is a great balance to the wine with a gamey, rhubarb length and breadth.
Petit Verdot: “Mokhinui” vineyard Hilltops, NSW (100%)
The fruit was all sourced from Mokhinui vineyard in the Hilltops and the 2013 harvest was simply one of the best I have seen in NSW for a long time. The growing season was long and cool allowing the flavours to develop beautifully. During fermentation the cap is turned using air to gently ‘bubble’ the cap. This is a great way to softly extract colour and flavor from the fruit without getting any stalky / greenness. The wine is then matured in two year old French barriques for 16 months.
Thought to have originated in the Bordeaux region of France and most often found in a typical Bordeaux style Cabernet blend, Petit Verdot is a variety that every five vintages or so produces a wine that just has to be kept by itself.
The 2013 Petit Verdot is definitely one of those special vintages. The nose is a heady mix of violets, rhubarb and spice, while the palate has a fruit intensity of red berries, chocolate and tobacco followed by a deep rich structure. 16 months in French barriques has cultivated a genuine balance between fruit and oak tannin.
Shiraz: “Winbirra” Gundagai, NSW 100%
The fruit for the Shiraz is sourced from “Winbirra”, the Retief family vineyard, located 25 km south east of Wagga Wagga in the Gundagai wine region of southern NSW.
The farm has been certified organic since 2003 and the vineyard bio-dynamic since 2005. Despite some initial scepticism about the difference bio-dynamic principles would make, the change in the health of the soil and vines has been eye-opening.
On what used to be quite compact hard ground, you can now dig up handfuls of rich brown soil that is teeming with life. The vines are now in balance with the soil and are producing fruit both rich in flavour and character and the resulting wines consistently have a seam of deep plum and chocolate.
The 2012 vintage is a perfect example of bio-dynamics keeping the vine in balance.It was shaping up to be a beautiful vintage after a great early growing season through late Spring early summer. Not long before harvest the weather turned and a lot of rain fell.
Even though the Baume was still very low (only about 10.5) the fruit was in balance and with more rains coming along, I made the call to harvest and I am very happy I did. Even at a relatively low 11.5% Alc / Vol, there is a rich colour and deep palate.
The aromas are of white pepper and spice lots of cherry and some savoury eucalypt. The palate as well is dominated by rich cherry, with a generous mid palate of spice ani- seed and nice hint of tobacco. The finish is long and lingering, well balanced and subtle oak and fruit tannin.
93 Points, James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion, 2015
Posted on May 9th, 2015 by Natascha Moy
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