Even James Bond, a man partial to fine wine and rich food recognised the debilitating effect of over indulgence. In the fictional town of Royale les Eaux, the backdrop for Casino Royale, Bond surveying the scene is fed up with the “lip-smacking rituals of winemanship and foodmanship”. Given our own society’s obsession with food and wine, I know how he feels.

Much of the talk that surrounds wine, inevitably affixes itself to the food that might be matched with it. When we are talking fine wines, there is an assumption that the venue is expensive, the dish of great invention and technical skill, and the accompanying bill is enormous. And all that’s fine, but not all of us are willing or able to spend inordinate amounts of time or money on something that is essentially a luxury. Indeed, in my primitive, conservative soul lurks a certain distaste for over-indulgence and gross consumption. Sure, we like dining in restaurants, who doesn’t (?) but with three young children, a couple of businesses, a job and the cumulative strain of life, we don’t go out much. The prices too are out of control. With the mark up on wine in fine dining establishments nothing short of criminal.

Combine all this with the recent dining out restrictions and Bistro in the Burbs was born! Delicious home cooked meals with fabulous matching wines – what could be better? Sometimes modest, other times grand and not always perfect. But perfect fun.

Kicking off….

Lamb cutlets and apple, fetta and walnut salad – matched with Mulline’s stunning Pinot Noir!

Ingredients and method

Marinate lamb cutlets in half a cup of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of honey, 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 large garlic clove, chopped, for 2 hours. Pre-heat BBQ to hot. BBQ cutlets for 3 minutes each side. Remove from heat and allow to rest. For the salad, place cos lettuce, sliced apple, walnuts and parmesan in salad bowl. Toss with salad dressing – 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar and 5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.

Serve with roast veggies, and Mulline Sutherlands Creek Pinot Noir 2019

And the match? Lamb cutlets and Pinot Noir is a classic match. The flavour of the meat is mild and softly textured. Perfect with a wine that’s not too full bodied or richly flavoured. Texture is important too and the slippery tannins of the Mulline work brilliantly with the slightly fatty cutlets. The marinade is quite strong in flavour, but not so strong as to overpower the wine. Its salty, sweet, earthy, smoky and savoury flavours are balanced by the wine’s sweet, but tangy fruit, and vibrant acidity and gentle tannin grip.



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