The Queensland government hosted its “Queensland Grown” producer-restaurant exchange yesterday on the last day of autumn.
The focus was on winter produce and passionate people who supply the providors with excellent stuff. Some were new exhibitors as the gourmet food chain lengthens.
This clutch of people had farmhouse cheese, estate wine, hot house tomatoes, gourmet passionfruit, Coral Sea king prawns, game birds, rarer tropical fruits and organic olives.
Tomi of Eumundi is a hot house round and truss cherry tomato business run by Russell Parbury. Parbury is a man with a tomato industry background tenderly growing vine ripened tomatoes using established Spanish seed.
The round gourmet is Tradero and the truss cherry Conchita. There is a dearth of tomato breeding going on here but Russell stays with more stable varieties. Tomi is a tomato to find and established last year.
Kingaroy Cheese have had their second cheesemaker Erin Jones for 18 months, since their establishment in 2002. On display were Barkers Creek Camembert, Stuart River Triple Cream Brie (Gold last year’s RNA Brisbane) and Bunya Black (another triple cream doused in vine ash).
Jones has taken this small cheese producer a little higher in profile with these established soft cheeses; focusing again on washed rinds now that milk supply has come back after the big drought.
Tinaberries grow strawberries in Bundaberg and passionfruit in Childers. Bruce and Tina McPherson established Tinaberries in 2006 with the strawberries and passionfruit in 2008.
Large fruit often lack flavour yet the ex-Panama passionfruit variety Pandora was excellent; high sugar low acid alongside its traditional acidic variety Misty Gem. Tina was encouraging tasters to have a lash of Cointreau inside the topped fruit.
Clovely’s CEO and chief winemaker Luke Fitzpatrick was serving White Label Verdelho 2009 88 (USD 8) and had assistance from his Red Hill Cellar Door chef Jason Winter.
The 2009 verdelho tasted just great; unwooded, fruity not sweet, dry not oily and just a pleasant drink to have with a freshly-cooked Coral Sea ocean king prawn during the afternoon.
Therese Stark poured Boireann’s Shiraz 2009 90 (USD 26), a spicy drop with great texture and dryness – fine cool climate stuff without any whiff of high ripeness.
However the wine which was spinning the restaurateurs was Boireann La Cima Barbera 2009 90 (USD 26), with heady aromas of black spices and tangy, savoury acidity which just soaks up Mediterranean flavours and dishes.
The finale was a wonderful Queensland Government brochure demonstrating the Australian native flavour wheel – the sensory vocabulary which describes the aroma and flavour of plant food products native to Oz. Try www.anfil.com.au for the native ingredients such as davidson plum, desert lime, finger lime, kakadu plum, lemon aspen, muntries, quandong, riberry, anise myrtle, lemon myrtle, cut leaf mint, bush tomato, Tasmanian pepper berry, Tasmanian pepper leaf and wattle seed.
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