The reason we do that is because we want to make the night even more special by having spectacular wine and being able to match the wine to the occasion and the people involved. When we do this, The Cut Bar & Grill charge $25 per bottle for corkage which is very reasonable as they decant the wine, pour it for you and have to clear and wash the glasses and decanters. It saves us a great deal of money also and allows us to spend more on their great food!
That is why The Cut Bar & Grill is one of our favorite places and is the venue for three of the Top 5 wine meals ever! Make sure to frequent them and check them out.
For my fifth best wine meal ever, the situation and wines consumed were as follows:
#5 evening - My 59th birthday - November 26, 2011, at The Cut Bar & Grill
- 2005 Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon
- 2000 Waverley Estate Chardonnay
- 2000 Houghton Museum Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2000 McWilliams Mt Pleasant Maurice O’Shea Shiraz
- 1975 Lindemans Porphry
When at The Cut Bar & Grill, we usually start with oysters, a plate of cured meats and a plate of salami. Plus they have the most amazing Sourdough bread served with oil and butter. We will serve up the white wines with this course and relaxed conversation.
This is typically followed by our selection of some fine red meat, either the slow roast (prime rib for you Americans in the audience!), or a Waygu New York Strip or Scotch Fillet, or one of the other great steaks they serve . This gives us ample time to enjoy the reds.
And finally, we move onto dessert from their great dessert menu and have an assorted cheese plate to go with the Sticky!
Each of the wines that evening was superb in it's own right and made a good line-up for the evening. The 2005 Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon is among the best ever made - just look at all those gold medals! This wine is crisp, yet polished and beautifully balanced. It went great with the oysters. While the famous 1999 Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon is the iconic vintage, the 2005 vintage in the Hunter Valley was truly outstanding and in another ten years, this may pass the 1999 in reputation. (Hope I can make my remaining few bottles last that long!)
Waverley Estate is known for their aged white wines, both Semillon and Chardonnay. Their 2000 Chardonnay is spectacular. This wine drinks like a Montrachet, but at about a quarter of the price! It is rich, smooth and buttery. This wine relaxes you after the crisper, more vibrant 2005 Tyrrell's Vat 1.
We then opened the wine of the evening, the 2000 Houghton Museum Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. I have never had a better Cabernet Sauvignon (except the 1991 Caymus Special Reserve from Napa Valley now that I think about it). This wine is perfectly balanced, large fruit taste with the slightest taste of smoke and leather. I had a few bottles of this previously and it is ethereal. This is one of those wines my wife would say is like "sex in the mouth" when drinking it.
I always like to start with the slightly lighter, more elegant red before moving onto the heartier Shiraz, which this evening was the 2000 McWilliams Mount Pleasant Maurice O'Shea. This wine was a real treat. I only had two bottles and this was the first one I drank. The other was polished off last week at the #4 Best Wine Meal with my BPAY teammates. This is an excellent wine, with good tannins, and lots of refined fruit and spice. It is perfectly integrated and the amount of age on the wine was perfect.
Another highlight from this evening was the full bottle of 1975 Lindemans Porphry. Wow, what a treat that was! Any time you are drinking a 35 year old wine that still tastes as fresh as this one, you are in for a treat. I am delighted to know I have another three bottles of this! It has a rich honey taste which almost sticks to the inside of your cheeks. Needless to say, it went well with dessert.
When drinking a line-up like this, it is important to get the wines in the right order, generally going from white to red to Sticky, and the lighter, crisper grape to sturdier, heavier grape (for example, the Cabernet Sauvignon before the Shiraz), and younger to older vintages. Then the anticipation and satisfaction continues to build throughout the evening.
While this was a great evening, it does not compare to the four others I have mentioned. Stay tuned as those will be described in future posts over the next several weeks.