Sunday, March 8, 2009

Flaxman's Valley Under the Stars

All this talk about a global financial crisis makes me feel like a glass or two of wine. I am sure that I am not alone, and to make us even more fragile, it has now been recommended that women only drink one alcoholic drink per day and men two. Whilst it may be good for us (I think it may be slight overkill but anyway..) at that rate I will need to live to about 250 years of age to get through my own favourites in our cellar and that is not including if I buy any new bottles in the meantime! So it was just as well that last night, on a global scale in its own way, I did my part in emptying the world of its excess wine whilst only going slightly, well maybe a little more than slightly, over my recommended daily intake of a single glass.

As I sat at the end of the large rustic table in our stable, my belly full of the most amazing pork that I had ever tasted (thanks Terence and Theodore!) and divine wines to match, I realised what a wonderful multi-cultural country Australia is. Around the table from my left were in actual order, Theodore, Chris, James, Dennis, Tibo, Fleur and Terence. If you were to put our guests in a list of country of origin, it would have been Singapore, New Zealand, Germany (well, six generations ago!), United States, France, France and Singapore. The very special thing is that all of our guests, although born and bred in other countries, had for one reason or another, ended up in Oz. To top it off we were drinking various exquisite Australian wines, another from Argentina and one from Italy.

I have mentioned our favourite Melbournian friend Terence ( on at least a few occasions in my wine blogs. We always have a great time when he comes to visit. This year he brought his brother Theodore, friend Dennis (New York, New York! ah, that's a bit of a private joke) and two other friends, Tibo and Fleur who are ex-Parisians. We had met Dennis before (read my blog entry of 15th September 2008 Melbournians and Mooncakes) and Theodore even earlier (13th April 2008 Toast and Honey on an Autumn afternoon) but it was the first time that Tibo and Fleur had visited the Barossa so we wanted to make sure that they enjoyed the evening, and from the photo of Tibo smiling on the drums at the end of the night/early morning, you can see that they did. What a lovely couple they are.

Then of course there is our great neighbour Chris Ringland. Chris pops down the hill to visit us sometimes for a few wines and a bbq and as we knew that Terence would like to meet Chris, we thought it would be a terrific surprise to introduce them. And so we did. I must mention that besides having exceptionally impressive wine skills (and being the very generous man that he is, he often brings us a taste of his fine wares), Chris is also a whiz on the food front and last night he amazed us all with an impromptu simple yet delicious dessert. I don't think any of us would have needed breakfast this morning after such a terrific dinner.

In fact, thinking about that, what exactly is it about some people in the wine world who have not only amazing skills with wine but also with food?? Philip White is another who springs to my mind - he too is simply a sensational cook! I guess that as I am the main cook in the house, it is always much appreciated to watch and taste someone else's creations, and not meaning to be sexist, I am always most impressed by the male genders efforts.

Next weekend may well be the famous "Barossa Under the Stars" but last night a great time was had by all under the stars of Flaxmans Valley. And we do have a spectacular view of the night sky in this pristine non-polluted area. Perfect place, perfect wines and food, and perfect company. Global financial crisis - what was that about again..?


tibo said...

We really enjoyed this wonderfull evening. Thanks for everything. We will definitively come back to the Barossa Valley.



Hi Tibo you were all very welcome! Great to see that you "blog" too - please send me a link one day:)
Anytime you are in the area, just give us a call as you are always welcome to visit and perhaps you can stay with us next time to save a late-night drive. Hope the directions made it easy for Fleur!