Sunday, 1 March 2015

Hardy's Wine Dinner


My besties and I love catching up over good food. When we get the chance to attend something a little 'fancy' we jump at it! Like this Hardy's Wine Dinner, held on 19th of February at the Canberra Southern Cross Club's Tuggeranong venue, in their Peppercress Restaurant. Tickets were only $85 each, which is great value as it included a five (5) course dinner, paired with five (5) matching Hardy's wines.

The menu promised morsels of delights and wines to savour. We each perused the menu days before, so we had it memorised! We later found out the menu had been planned months in advance. The first course was the only one I didn't get a snap of.  We were served in the lounge space just outside the restaurant. It was canap√© sized, and came out in chinese spoons. The paired Pinot noir had just the right amount of bubbles and was nice and dry. The tasty mouthful delivered a meaty piece of tasty poached shrimp, a little mayo and a touch of the salad. A lot to fit into a single serving but it worked! A great fresh way to start the night. Next, we were shown to our tables for the night to continue...

Second course was such a cute offering!! It was titled "Canned Fish" and we didn't know what we were in for. The wait staff glided out of the kitchen, each laden with trays containing actual cans, the kind you find sardines in! Except these were not sealed, but had the tops balanced on top to allow you to peek into the buttery coral salmon within. The salmon was sooo tender you could have eaten it with a spoon. The caviar popped excitedly in my mouth, and the seaweed added a unique texture. If I could have kept the tin, I would have, but alas it was whipped away when we were done. The wine for this course was an Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc which was bold and fruity, but did not overwhelm the delicate fish.
Roll on to course number three... 

Three Little Pigs... which consisted of a deep fried croquette, a slice of smoky serrano ham, and a baton of citrus crackle. Like robots, everyone seemed to dive for the crackle and all you could hear was crunch crunch mmmm across the restaurant. There was a delicious sauce? chutney? served with the dish, and it tasted almost orange marmaladey to me. I wanted more!!! The wine paired with this little porky package was an Adelaide Hills Chardy. Intense, bold, and full of fruity punch. Nice one Hardy's.

Peppercress was soley booked for this wine night. The crowd was having a ball and we were only half way through!

Course number four... time for the reds to make an appearance. 'Six Pack' listed an Angus split rib of beef, and I was expecting something with a bone. Nope, no bone. Just tender, flaky, moist beef which had been sous vide for 24 hours no less! Now this was a hearty dish, served with a CabSav. I didn't used to be a red wine liker, but my tastes are changing and this wine certainly went well with the beef.

Course number five.. (phew, hang in there) was a cheese 'n crackers affair. The cheddar was quite strong but very tasty. The paired wine was a shiraz, which I thought was a little overpowering for a dessert course. The pic here is showing my glass of Tawny which was served with course number six, the bitter chocolate pie. 

The last course... the bitter chocolate pie, which really needed a rich cherry sauce to make it more enjoyable. It was a tad dry for most of us. A little disappointing to end on a less than stellar note.

All up, a really enjoyable night. We didn't do well at all with the 'mystery round' wine, where they served you a wine and you had to guess the variety, the region, the winery AND the bin number.  Three lucky people did just that and hats off to them!

Can't wait for the next 'fancy' night! stay tuned... I will be attending one on 4 March at the Hellenic Club. Blog post to follow :)


  1. wow! I'd not heard of this dinner - but it sounds amazing!

    1. It was! a great vibe, decadent food, a really good night. Keep an eye out on upcoming Canberra Southern Cross Club happenings. Cheers, Kirsty xx

  2. I find those wine guessing games more a matter of luck and strategy than anything else. They're fun though! :D

    1. I totally agree Lorraine. We take a pot luck approach too. Our last wine dinner last week (post to follow) was a blend of 4 wines no less! Now that's tricky.

  3. What a fun place! I would definitely go there...and a nice price to boot, especially for Australia. I couldn't get over how expensive dining out there was.
    Love the croquette and canned fish courses.

    1. The value for money was exceptional, compared to just a regular night out at a restaurant.