2011 Yarrabank Sommelier of the Year
We challenged our most inspiring and talented sommeliers across the country to present the best matched dish to one of our Yarrabank sparkling wines.
The response were some incredible dishes namely from our four finalists: Matthew Brooke from Circa, the Prince in Melbourne, James Dossan from The Atlantic in Melbourne, Matthew Dunne from Aria in Sydney & Emma Plumridge from Rockpool in Sydney.
Our chief winemaker Willy Lunn commented on the calibre of recipes to match Yarrabank, “were absolutely extraordinary, I was really impressed by many of the sommelier’s progressive matches and their ability to think outside the square”.
Congratulations to our winner Matt Brooke & our runner up Matt Dunne. To view these & all other entrants scroll down & follow the links.
2011 Yarrabank Sommelier of the Year
Circa, the Prince, Melbourne
Sommelier: Matthew Brooke
Chef: Jake Nicholson
Recipe: Yellow Fin tuna tartare, crispy oyster and radish
We found this match to be the most exemplary pairing. Jake Nicholson’s dish in unison is stunning on every level – texture, flavour and complexity. Of our four finalist’s dishes, this dish was unique in its ability to raise, highlight and showcase Yarrabank’s signature acid profile and aromatics. Not only did it highlight length in the wine but the Oyster mayonnaise component provided incredible balance with the mid palate fruit structure. In short it made the wine sing!
We congratulate Matt and the team at Circa, The Prince on this inspiring pairing.
Reason behind the match
“Here you have our chef, Jake Nicholson’s signature dish of Yellow Fin tuna tartare. The tuna has a gentle sweet & fleshy texture, it is asking for fresh racy acidity & a medium body of fresh fruit both of which Yarrabank provides. Not overpowering any part of the dish, a citrusy freshness helps create balance to the oyster mayonnaise. The wine’s gently toasty notes are highlighted by the quinoa vinaigrette which provides a slightly nutty toasty element & delivers along with the radish some crunch components to the dish. This harmonious & simple match was a ‘no-brainer’ for me it’s been our signature start to every degustation & a great way to start a meal at Circa.”
Matthew is head sommelier at Circa, the Prince, a member of the Sommelier Australia Committee & a past education scholarship holder for Sommelier Australia. He is one half of ‘Athletes of Wine’ a venture with Liam O’Brien (Cutler & Co) that sees them producing a Pinot Noir from the Macedon Ranges. Matthew has previously been sommelier at Ortiga, Brisbane (formerly Isis Brasserie) and prior to that assistant sommelier at Circa, the Prince.
Sommelier: Matthew Dunne
Chef: Matt Moran & Ben Turner
Recipe: Roasted breast of pasture fed chicken with chicken oysters ‘mac & cheese’, mushrooms, leeks & turnips
Matt Dunne is without a doubt one of Australia’s most inspiring, progressive and celebrated sommeliers. For the purposes of this competition, Matt chose to match the 2001 Yarrabank Late Disgorged and explored serving the wine with the dish in two different ways, thus putting a new spin on the classic sparkling wine pairing. The wine was served in two different glasses at two different temperatures. It is another extraordinary match and showcases Matt’s immense talents.
Reason behind the match
I have chosen the 2001 Yarrabank ‘Late Disgorged’ Cuvee as it puts a new spin on the classic marriage of sparkling wine & cheese. When tasting this dish you get two small tastes of the 2001 Yarrabank, in two different glasses, at two different temperatures. The decanted Yarrabank is more specifically for the two meat components of the dish, the chicken & the chicken oyster bignets. The bubbles are diffused in the decanter, resulting in a more ‘creamy’ texture, therefore showcasing more the of the secondary characters such as brioche & also some earthy & herbal characters, which ties in really well with the dish.
The second taste is from a traditional flute, this is more suited to the ‘mac & cheese’ & mushroom duxelle in this dish at its cuts not only cuts through these, it also leave the palate feeling fresh, enticing you to have another mouthful.
Matthew has been head sommelier at ARIA Sydney for the past three years with previous stints at the Observatory Hotel’s Galileo, Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago & The River Cafe in London. He has also worked a vintage in the Languedoc region in France. Matthew has a certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers & awarded 2011 Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Louis Roederer Sommelier of the Year in the Good Food Guide.
The Atlantic, Melbourne
Sommelier: James Dossan
Chef: Donovan Cooke
Recipe: Iron bark smoked, steamed wild barramundi fillet, sauteed snow peas & celeriac, champagne, oscietra caviar
One of Australia’s hottest young talents, James has elected to match Yarrabank Cuvee with one of Donovan Cooke’s signature dishes, the incredible Iron bark smoked barramundi. A beautifully aromatic dish that preserves and highlights the wonderful produce. It is a seamless match which Yarrabank Cuvee and demonstrates how well the complexity of this wine works with richer dishes. Whilst much discussion with Yarrabank is around it’s precise acid structure, this match is all about mid palate fruit complexity and it is absolutely outstanding.
Reason behind the match
“I have chosen the 2006 yarrabank for its richness and complex secondary characters. The creaminess of this wine complements the texture of the steamed barramundi while the toasty characters in Yarrabank enhances and adds an extra dimension of flavour to the gentle smoking of the fish. The crisp acidity in the wine not only highlights the crunchiness in the snow peas and celeraic, it helps freshen the palate after a mouthful of this rich dish.”
Jame’s wine career started in 2001 while working for Neil Perry at his restaurant, XO in Surry Hills. He has also worked as a sommelier at Aria, Flying Fish & Becasse. His previous role was as head Sommelier for Sean Connolly's restaurants - Astral & Sean's Kitchen. Working at these great establishments has given him the experience to take on his most challenging role at the Atlantic Restaurant where he oversees a wine list with over 500 selections while accommodating over 300 patrons.
Sommelier: Emma Plumridge
Chef: Neil Perry & Phil Wood
Recipe: John dory, scampi, macadamia, paprika & basil pistou
From Neil Perry’s Iconic Sydney Rockpool, another of Australia’s Young Guns, Emma Plumridge has also elected to demonstrate the match between mid palate fruit weight and a more complex dish. Yarrabank’s overarching philosophy has always been about developing flavour profile through time on lees, a minimum of 4 years, rather than dosage. This paring is a stunning example. Yarrabank’s trademark acidity pierces this dish with precision resulting in a truly inspiring combination.
Reason behind the match
‘Food and wine matching at Rockpool is challenging. There are no classic matches to rely on and the flavours are complex to say the least. I am always looking for something different. The scampi and john dory dish is fresh and vibrant, offering different flavours and textures with each mouthful. The nuttiness of the macadamias, the herbal notes of pistou and subtle spices marry with the intricacies of the Yarrabank, while the bubbles offer texture and the minerality gives freshness’.
Hospitality has been Emma’s career of choice for more years than she would care to say. She was working in a fine dining restaurant in Dublin when she discovered the wonders of wine. The French sommelier was a very intriguing gentleman and opened her eyes to the world of wine. Returning to Sydney she studied at Ryde TAFE with Clive Hartley and worked her way around Sydney’s restaurants. After working at Marque as assistant sommelier for 18months, she took a year off to travel in Europe, visiting many of the world’s finest vineyards. When Emma returned she sat both the Introductory and Certified Court of Master Sommelier exams. After a brief time working at the quirky Time to Vino wine bar, Emma took up the role of head Sommelier at Rockpool. With over 900 wines on the list, the work is challenging, but always inspiring.
New South Wales
Roasted breast of pasture fed chicken with chicken oysters 'mac & cheese', mushrooms, leeks & turnips
Matched by Matthew Dunne
Brandade of house salted ling with toasted brioche & black truffle
Matched by Philippe Lebrun
Sashimi kingfish with ginger, eschallots, persian fetta & wild rocket
Matched by Kim Bickley
GPO Cheese & Wine room
Ossau-Iraty (ewe), Pyrenees, France
Matched by Sue Guest
Linda's on King Street
Ceviche of ocean trout with tapioca & salmon pearls & coconut sorbet
Matched by Linda Robertson
Paspaley pearl meat with white asparagus
Matched by Bernadette Templeman
Sugar-cured ocean trout & king prawn, lychee pearls, avacado, quail egg, almond clouds
John dory, scampi, macadamia, paprika & basil pistou
Matched by Emma Plumridge
Buckwheat & spanner crab risotto, grained mustard butter, shellfish essence
Matched by Rodney Setter
Beetroot & goat curd salad with pinenut vinaigrette
Matched by Lindsay Carr
Customs House Brisbane
Seared scallops, asian pear, avocado salad, cashew & coriander remoulade
Matched by Lyn Black
Shanghai style spanner crab with tofu
Matched by David Lawler
Suki-yaki red snapper broth with hervey bay scallops, vermicelli rice noodles silken tofu white radish & watercress
Matched by Matteo Pignatelli
Sails on the bay
Nori wrapped blue eye & crab mousseline, champagne, oyster & watercress sauce
Matched by Derek Fuller
Pan roasted scallops & cauliflower, sage, caper berries & squid ink
Matched by Marty McCaig
Windows on the bay
King crevette (tiger prawns) wrapped in light filo pastry with apple, currant salasa & lime tahini dressing
Matched by Terri Hosking
Rice crusted soft shelled sand crab, coconut, chilli, lime, thai basil
Matched by Tony Giannakis
Honey roasted pear salad, san daniele prosciutto, walnut & goats curd
Matched by Ben Knight
Circa, the Prince
Yellow fin tuna tartare, crispy oysters, radish
Matched by Matthew Brooke
Lau's Family Kitchen
Mo po bean curd with lau's home-made spicy ma po sauce
Matched by Michael Lau
Iron bark smoked, steamed wild barramundi fillet, sauteed snow peas and celeriac, champagne, oscietra caviar
Matched by James Dossan
Yarra valley salmon tartare with whipped persian fetta & yarra valley salmon roe
Matched by Andy Waters
Caramelized scallops with savoy cabbage puree, chive & ginger gremolata
Matched by Jill Agnew
Rich creamy oysters baked on a bed of spinach with a crust of cheese & waft of aniseed from pernot
Matched by Aaron Commins
Dear Friends Fine Dining
Hand made cheese of jersey cows milk, red capsicum, black olive, preserved lemon & confit garlic
Matched by Kelli Mainwaring
Wino's Margaret River
Royal blue potato gnocchi iwth fresh shaved manjimup truffles, oyster mushrooms & goats curd
Matched by Mike Gadd
Seared scallops, califlower, 'chawanmushi', pork crackle
Matched by Jeremy Prus