Expect nothing less than a brilliant wine tour

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There’s nothing like a wine tour to raise the spirits during the cooler months — fabulous locations, open fires and divine tastings. But group tours can be so much more than a fun day out. 

“We take group tours out all the time,” says Grape Expectations Australia’s Michael Aveson, “and we love hearing about what’s brought a group together. Sometimes it’s a group of friends that just fancy a great day out, but often there’s something else. 

“Businesses will often approach us to create a memorable day out as part of their team building or corporate reward and recognition programs, and they report great results.”  

The team at Grape Expectations Australia has also created bespoke tours to celebrate birthdays, family get-togethers, graduations, engagements, goodbyes — and even a pregnancy! It’s a great opportunity to have a relaxed catch-up with others.

“We can create a perfect day, whatever the occasion and whatever your group dynamic is,” Michael says. “Choose from vineyards, distilleries, breweries, artisan producers . . .  just get a group together and we’ll do the rest.

“We cater for groups of up to 11 people and can pick you up and drop you back to your chosen location, whether it’s on the Peninsula, in the city or anywhere in between.  Our luxury Mercedes-Benz vehicle (#estellatheladybus) is a joy to travel in, we have chilled still and sparkling water on board to keep you hydrated during the day, we always have great music playing and sometimes there’s even a pop quiz if the mood takes you. Our aim is to give your group a relaxed, casual and sophisticated day out where you don’t have to worry about a thing — apart from which wine you prefer.”

Why not book your own group tour for winter or get in early for spring and summer dates now available. With Grape Expectations Australia, you’re in great hands.

GRAPE EXPECTATIONS AUSTRALIA

T: 0435 050 813

W: www.grapeexpectationsaustralia.com.au

FB: Grape Expectations Australia

INSTA: grapeexpectationsaustralia

War on waste continues

Matthew Evans presents his cooking demonstration at the Food for Thought Mini Fair.

Matthew Evans presents his cooking demonstration at the Food for Thought Mini Fair.

Sustainable living is a hot topic at the moment, and rightly so. Wasted food in particular has a large impact on society’s hip pocket and the environment. To mark World Environment Day, residents were invited to ignite their sustainable minds and rethink how they do food and reap the rewards on Saturday, June 1, when Frankston Arts Centre hosted Matthew Evans, the presenter of SBS’s popular food program Gourmet Farmer, at the Food for Thought Mini Fair. 

Frankston Mayor Michael O’Reilly said the Gourmet Farmer host was an awesome drawcard at this year’s event. “Wasted food has a big impact on your hip pocket and the environment,” Cr O’Reilly said. “There’s never been a better time to learn about why reducing food waste matters and what we can each do about it.” 

Matthew warmed up the crowd with tips on creating tasty meals that not only are good for you, but are also great for the environment. Matthew has written 11 books on food and is an impassioned supporter for sustainable food production. Having been a chef and food critic, he now lives and works on Fat Pig Farm in Tasmania’s Huon Valley, where he hosts farm-to-table restaurant meals. Matthew’s free cooking demonstration was a well-attended event at 10am, with everyone hanging around for the mini fair that ran from 11am-1pm. Food and drinks were available at the bar, and visitors were encouraged to bring their Keep Cup if they had one.

“Around 40 per cent of the average household garbage bin is avoidable food waste,” Cr O’Reilly said. “This is food that was bought and prepared with the intention of being eaten, but wasn’t consumed — what a waste. When food is thrown in the bin it’s sent to landfill. Because of the way food waste breaks down in landfill, it can create methane, a greenhouse gas, which contributes to climate change.”

A variety of stalls showcasing smart new ideas and old-school solutions to avoid and reduce all kinds of waste were on show at the mini fair. The ideas ranged from modern cloth nappies, Boomerang Bags, composting and worm farming information to recipes, handy hints, and demonstrations on making beeswax wraps. Also at the event were council officers ready to answer any recycling questions that arose and advise on the council’s waste management services. 


PENINSULA UNCORKED by Tom Portet

Winter Wine Weekend is here, celebrating wine, local food and crisp days and nights over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. The main event is the Winter Wine Fest at Red Hill Showgrounds on Saturday, June 8, with tickets on sale until sold out . . . and they will. On Sunday, June 9, winery cellar doors will throw down the welcome mat and showcase a more personal side of their craft. You can even visit us at the Wine Collective and meet the personalities behind smaller, hard-to-get wines and the winemakers of this glorious wine region — those that don’t have cellar doors. Here are some wines pouring at the Winter Wine Fest that are also built for winter nights. 


Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Syrah 2017 $36
When we talk about the sub-regions of the Peninsula, nothing could be more obvious than the warmth of the Tuerong and Moorooduc plains compared with the foggy hinterland of Red Hill and Main Ridge. There is a warmth on the lower slopes, perfectly expressed with Yabby Lake’s single-vineyard syrah — a variety that expresses itself wonderfully on the estate. It’s traditionally made, aged in larger 500-litre oak casks and then perfumed. It’s spicy and will drink lusciously under a starry night and in the company of good friends. 












Elgee Park Estate Chardonnay 2016 $60

In the spring of 1972, Sidney Baillieu Myer AC planted Elgee Park, establishing the Peninsula’s first commercial vineyard. A pioneering investor of viticulture in the region, his chardonnay today is built full of life, and that will suit a burning bum in front of the fire. It’s got crunch to match its concentrated punch, with plenty of stone fruit character that just keeps going. When it’s chilled it still delivers a lush fruit but will refresh even the warmest of faces. 

Sunday School sessions wholly about wine

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The organic and biodynamic winemaking pioneers at Prancing Horse Estate have developed a fantastic new inspiring and ‘enlightening’ wine education series to be held each month for the rest of 2019. And it’s called Sunday School because, let’s face it, wine is pretty close to a religion for many of us.

Sessions are held at the stunning Prancing Horse Estate on Paringa Rd in Red Hill in a spacious, private cottage named The Coterie overlooking rolling vineyards across to Western Port Bay. They run for 90 minutes and are packed with information, wine tastings and nibbles and represent extremely good value for money. While each session has a theme, it is also an opportunity for attendees to ask the experts any burning wine questions they may have. 

The Sunday School team includes owner and long-time wine connoisseur Tony Hancy; wine consultant, sommelier and owner of The Recreation in Fitzroy, Mark Protheroe; brand ambassador and WSET Diploma graduate Jane Gordon; and biodynamic viticulturist Shane Strange. The sessions are:

June 9 (Winter Wine Weekend), Burgundy Inspiration — Introduction to Burgundian Wines, $75pp;

July 14 (Bastille Day), Celebrating the Cote de Nuits, $75pp;

August 4, Happy Birthday Horses — The Pony 2018 range release, $50pp;

September 8, Champagne — Celebrating All Styles, $90pp;

October 20, Biodynamics — In the Vineyard and in the Glass, $50pp; and,

November 24, Food and Wine Pairing, $65pp.

Bookings are essential, so email [email protected] or phone Jane Gordon on 0437 353 288.

PRANCING HORSE ESTATE

A: 39 Paringa Rd, Red Hill South

M: 0419 393 145  

W: www.prancinghorseestate.com

FB: prancinghorseestate

INSTA: prancinghorseestate

Art Deco delight at Myrtaceae

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Things are a little different at Myrtaceae Winery. There’s a new label, new signage and a sensational new piece of sizeable art to marvel at when you step inside the cellar door. Myrtaceae’s elegant fresh look has an Art Deco-inspired style, with a stylised golden flower placed against the backdrop of teal. The deceptively simple logo represents the Myrtaceae or myrtle family of plants and works wonderfully with the new colour palette.

Julie explains. “We were ready for a refresh. I’ve always loved the Art Deco period and our feature wall beautifully captures the elegance of that era. The new branding, which includes a beautiful label, now appears on two vintages of chardonnay and pinot noir. More landscaping has been undertaken in the last year which further adds to the ambience and visitor experience.”

Myrtaceae is also home to the Selwyns Fault Rosé, which was the highest scoring Rosé at the 2018 International Cool Climate Wine Show.

If you’d like to experience some Art Deco magic this Winter Wine Weekend or any time throughout winter, visit Myrtaceae Winery, where history, flavour and the ‘wow’ factor walk hand in hand.  

MYRTACEAE WINERY

A: 53 Main Creek Rd, Red Hill

T: 5989 2045  

W: myrtaceae.com.au


Raise a glass to our winemakers and food producers

Fifty Mornington Peninsula wineries, more than 200 premium wines, eight chefs and a cheesemaker will come together at Red Hill Showgrounds on Queen’s Birthday weekend for the annual Winter Wine Fest. Part of the Winter Wine Weekend, the festival is a celebration of the Peninsula’s wine and food producers, with the wines matched to menus created by the chefs using regionally sourced produce.

Throughout the weekend, vignerons will welcome visitors to warm cellar doors to taste new-release wines, visit old favourites and experience the seasonal offerings of the region. It all begins with the festival on Saturday, June 8, from 11am-4pm. Book your tickets at www.mpva.com.au until June 7 or at the door until sold out.


2019 Winter Wine Fest Menu 

Alatonero 

Spit-roasted lamb Greek snack box

Chocolate mousse, baklava crumble, berries & mystika 

 

Barmah Park 

Smoked pig cheek parcel, brussels sprout remoulade

Local chèvre dumplings, roasted pumpkin, pomegranate molasses, walnut granola

 

Epicurean 

Epicurean burger: salmon & quinoa burger, tartare, shaved baby cos, squid-ink bun

Harvest slider: pulled slow-cooked lamb shoulder, barbecue sauce, baby cos, smoked paprika bun

 

Lindenderry at Red Hill

Infinity blue barramundi, tsukemono, dashi sushi rice, chives & chilli

Beef brisket, smoked eggplant, pure Tuerong Farm grains

 

Many Little

Chicken liver parfait, Even Keel rose jelly, parsley, lemon

Steak wrap, sauerkraut, wasabi aioli, cress

 

Tucks 

Mac & cheese croquettes, truffle aioli

Soft tacos, beef cheek, salsa verde, caramelised onion

 

Paringa Estate 

Local mushrooms, fried rice, horseradish tofu, baby turnips

Mount Macedon duck leg with fermented grains, pickled radicchio

 

Petit Tracteur 

Tartiflette of potato, Mountain Man cheese, lardons, caramelised onion, cream

Lamb Navarin: slow-cooked shoulder, pomme puree, roasted vegetables

 

Rare Hare 

‘Duck Dog’: duck sausage, caramelised pinot onions, brioche roll

Milk chocolate brown butter tart, crème fraiche & citrus

 

Red Hill Cheese

Cone of cow and goat cheese with prosciutto, local olives, caramelised onion and grissini


Burger bar a blast at New Atrium

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The New Atrium Restaurant and Function Centre in Safety Beach has reinvented itself yet again with the revamp of its sports bar. Launching mid-June is a brilliant burger bar offering some of the most delicious burgers around, and you’re invited to drop by and say hi while sampling some of the best local bites you’ll find.

Always at the forefront of innovative ideas, The New Atrium’s burger bar contributes to solidifying its status as Safety Beach’s premium family and friends gathering place. Combine its reputation for delivering service with a smile, offering A-plus event accommodation and plenty of space for the kids to roam free, the new burger bar brings a slice of quick and tasty offerings to your weekly table. And it’s just around the corner. 

Get down to this family-first venue for a hunger-busting burger throughout winter, or try some super southern-fried chicken ribs that will leave your mouth watering. It’s cosy and warm indoors at The New Atrium and the authentic tucker will keep you coming back for more. 

THE NEW ATRIUM RESTAURANT AND FUNCTION CENTRE

A: 10 Country Club Drive, Safety Beach

T: 5981 8123

W: www.thenewatrium.com.au

FB: thenewatrium


Winter long weekend grazing By Liz Rogers

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Why not make the Queen’s Birthday long weekend one to remember with a visit to That Pizza Shop in Dromana. Open until 9pm seven days a week, this haven for flavour provides the perfect spot for grazing and tasting, whether you’re after a twice-cooked lamb, cheese, roasted potato and pumpkin ‘Sunday roast’ pizza or a bowl of sweet potato chips with sour cream salsa or fries with the kids. There’s room for up to 32 people outside on a sunny winter’s afternoon, while inside is snug with seating for up to 20 people.

Owner Darryl and his wife Michelle mix up the menu according to seasonal sensations at this unique dine-in and takeaway destination, which also offers delicious desserts including rocky road and apple and apricot crumble pizza. It’s licensed too, so you can take your time to gather with friends and family while sampling a selection of stellar wine, beer and home-style food like Mexican meatballs, chicken wings, croquettes and other delectable treats. Cheers to that! 

THAT PIZZA SHOP

A: 234 Boundary Rd, Dromana

T: 5981 4555

W: www.thatpizzashop.com.au

FB: thatpizzashop

INSTA: thatpizzashop

Wine tours with a twist

Great Expectations Australia will tailor a tour to suit the tastes of everyone taking part.

Great Expectations Australia will tailor a tour to suit the tastes of everyone taking part.

Grape Expectations Australia are passionate about what they do. But what exactly do they do? “We do wine tours, for sure,” says Grape Expectations Australia’s Michael Aveson, “and we do them really well. But we’re not just about the average wine tour.”

With Grape Expectations Australia it seems that no two tours are the same. The focus is on the individual requirements of each group. “It’s just like wine itself — some people are partial to a pinot, others prefer a shiraz. We know every group is different, so we tailor our tours accordingly.”

And it seems not all wine tours are, well, wine tours. “The region has fabulous wine estates and we are proud to have nurtured some great relationships with some of the best. However, this area also boasts some of the very best breweries, cider and gin distilleries along with some amazing cheese factories and fruit farms. We love sharing these gems with our clients too.”

Grape Expectations Australia will create a bespoke day that can combine any of the treats our region has to offer. The challenge will be fitting it all into one day. So pick a date, choose a tour, grab some friends and get on board!

GRAPE EXPECTATIONS AUSTRALIA

T: 0435 050 813

W: www.grapeexpectationsaustralia.com.au

FB: Grape Expectations Australia

INSTA: grapeexpectationsaustralia

FORK TALK - A CHAT WITH OUR FOOD, WINE & DINING EXPERTS Marissa Hoszylek-Church — Guildford’s Restaurant, 132 Nepean Highway, Seaford

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Please describe your menu selections at Guildford’s Restaurant.
We have a huge selection of Mediterranean-style food, specialising in dishes highly sought-after by the local Mediterranean and Middle Eastern community, with sweets and savouries reminiscent of home. We attract every culture and have a menu full of variety where you can try something as exotic as our homemade borek and menemen or enjoy a simple kebab and homemade chips, or try some of our exotic teas or some of the finest Turkish coffee. We are also vegan and vegetarian-friendly.

What’s your go-to trend to serve up that customers are loving?
Our tapas are extremely popular with the locals coming in with their friends to enjoy a few drinks and the chilled atmosphere. 

For those who aren’t familiar with your café, give us some insight into what makes you different?
As the largest venue on the Seaford foreshore shopping strip, we offer 120-seat dining, fully licensed with an outdoor beer garden surrounded by a natural garden setting, in addition to a florist and a huge selection of giftware from the Mediterranean and Middle East, including Turkish lamps, teapots, jewellery, candles, handbags and gift-boxed Turkish Delights. 

Please tell us a little about your professional background?
Since completing my apprenticeship I have been cooking on the Mornington Peninsula in fine Mediterranean dining for 20 years. I have had the opportunity to spend the last two years specialising in the traditional homemade style of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, which the owners of Guildford’s envisioned, and seeing a packed restaurant gives me the satisfaction of knowing that our menu is popular. 

What is your style in the kitchen?
I enjoy taking control of the production process to ensure that dishes are plated on time and customers’ expectations are exceeded.  This includes the quality and presentation of the meal in addition to overall service expectations.

What do your customers like about your menu/venue?
The cosy rustic atmosphere and fresh homemade foods, coupled with a décor that provides a constant source of inspiration for the aesthetically conscious, is what brings the locals back every day for a cuppa. The venue has been set up with different areas where you can dine or relax by the fireplace on the couch or even chill with a glass of wine with tapas in our garden setting. We have plenty of dedicated space to cater for weddings and functions. 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Restauranting and going for long walks with my dog.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love watching people eating. It gives me so much satisfaction to be able to sit back and watch people enjoying themselves with dishes that I have prepared. 

What’s your favourite food dish/food item?
It would definitely have to be the scrumptious chicken kebab — they walk out the door.

Any advice for aspiring chefs?
There is always work locally or anywhere around the world for chefs who are good at what they do. Good chefs are in short supply so anyone deciding on a career as a chef can be comforted with the knowledge that they can work anywhere with skills that are recognised in all corners of the globe.  


Expect the best from your winery tour

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The Mornington Peninsula is home to an abundance of cool-climate wines, with hundreds of vineyards producing award-winning pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot grigio, pinot gris and shiraz. With so many wineries, finding the pick of the bunch to visit can be a daunting prospect.

That’s where Grape Expectations Australia comes in. As founder Michael Aveson says: “Sure, some wine tours will drive you around a few vineyards, but Grape Expectations Australia believes you deserve so much more.”  

The Grape Expectations Australia experience begins when #EstellaTheLadyBus picks you up from your front doorstep.  Named after a character in Dickens’s Great Expectations, Estella is a luxury 12-seat Mercedes Benz minibus that will drive you to a selection of the Peninsula’s most stunning wineries and drop you home again after a full day of wine-tasting, a leisurely grazing-style lunch, meeting wine-makers and gaining entertaining and informative insights into our winemaking industry.

“This is not just a wine tour,” Michael says. “It’s a relaxed and sophisticated journey into the gloriousness of our region’s wineries — the countryside, the characters and, of course, the wine.” 

Originally from the UK, Michael first visited the Peninsula 15 years ago, fell in love with the region and moved to Australia two years later, joining his Australian family who have lived in the area for more than 50 years.  After working as a DJ in the UK and having a successful career with Mercedes-Benz in Melbourne, he found inspiration for Grape Expectations Australia during a winery tour on holiday, combining all of his passions.

“I thought, ‘That's it, that's a quadruple whammy — wine, driving, people and the Peninsula!’”

So pick a date, get your family, friends, workmates or corporate clients together and book a tour with #EstellaTheLadyBus and Grape Expectations Australia today. Cheers!

GRAPE EXPECTATIONS AUSTRALIA

A: PO Box 12022 Carrum, 3197

T: 0435 050 813

W: grapeexpectationsaustralia.com.au

FB: Grape Expectations Australia

INSTA: grapeexpectationsaustralia

E: [email protected]

Korean fried chicken takes over By Kate Sears

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After adding takeaway and delivery options to Geonbae in March last year, the Korean barbecue kitchen at Kananook Creek Blvd was run off its feet. Enter its new takeaway sister — Choego Chicken in Shannon St Mall, Frankston.

Head chef Yeonju Lee is at the helm of both venues, so you can expect the same tantalising recipes, quality meals and top-notch ingredients that you’ve always enjoyed at Geonbae. Available exclusively to Choego are Korean fried chicken burgers, Bento boxes, salads, and even bubble tea.

Because it’s open from 11am-9pm Sunday to Thursday, and 11am-9.30pm on Friday and Saturday, you can get delivery all day, every day if you’re within the Greater Frankston area. Regular customers pop by to get their fried chicken fix on their lunch break, or pick up dinner to take the famous taste and flavour home.

You can order online, by phone or by downloading the app that’s available from Choego’s website. If you’re dropping by for a quick bite to eat, you can sit outside under the awning in the waiting lounge on bar stools. 

Or swing by Geonbae to socialise with your friends and family and embrace the atmosphere as staff cook your dinner before your eyes on the inbuilt hot plates that are situated on each table. The choice is yours. The Korean fried chicken, however, is a no-brainer. 

CHOEGO CHICKEN
A: Shannon St Mall, Frankston 

W: choegochicken.com.au
FB: choegochickenfrankston
INSTA: choegochickenfrankston

PENINSULA UNCORKED

By Tom Portet 

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T: 0490 145 144

E: [email protected] 

W: rhwinecollective.com.au

Ten Minutes by Tractor has not been without its share of Peninsula story-making over its 20-plus-year history. It all began in 1997 with three separate families owning vineyards in Main Ridge, about 10 minutes’ tractor ride apart. It was catapulted into a force with Martin Spedding’s vision to consolidate each family personality under a single estate name in 2003. Then last year, fire ravaged its eponymous starred restaurant on the estate — its sister bistro, Petit Tracteur, is still open. Their patience in making great wine is something we all must now deal with while they rebuild the restaurant under star chef Adam Sanderson. Here are some highlights of their wines while we wait for that day later this year.

Ten Minutes by Tractor Estate Pinot Noir 2016 $48 

Perfectly matched to bistro French food, this wine has energy and an extreme approachability. It’s got a dark cherry undertone with a hint of jam, so there is ripeness from a warm vintage and yet that reference of fragrance from the hills of the hinterland. They have used more whole bunches this vintage, which means the stalks are in so there is texture — perfect for savoury meats with lashings of salty sides. 

Ten Minutes by Tractor Judd Chardonnay 2016 $68 

The Judd vineyard sits in the heart of Main Ridge, high on the Peninsula hinterland and benefiting from the cool breezes and hilltop fogs that drive the line of the wine. All hand-harvested and 11-month barrel fermentation, it is fresh and layered with nectarine, whipped butter and tight warmth. It’s full-bodied yet modern and a great reference for the future of chardonnay on the Mornington Peninsula.

Ten Minutes by Tractor Coolart Road Pinot Noir $78

From the warmer northern area of the Peninsula, this ‘down the hill’ pinot is darker and brooding. If you’re into shiraz and looking to find a way into pinot noir, this is a great area to explore. Because it’s warmer, the grapes are picked earlier to maintain that acidity line. The team actually picks on a range of days, which adds complexity to already brooding and easy-going flavours.

French market returns to Dromana Estate

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After a very successful event last year, Bonjour Paris will return to Dromana Estate on Sunday, April 28, from 11am-4pm. Set in the estate’s beautiful grounds, Bonjour Paris is a family-friendly, free outdoor event showcasing all things French. 

There will be a range of food and drink stalls selling produce to consume on the day and to take home, as well as lifestyle products and fashion retailers. Additionally, there will be a live band on the day playing French music alongside further entertainment to create a totally traditional experience.

DROMANA ESTATE

A: 555 Old Moorooduc Rd, Tuerong

T: 5974 4400 for lunch booking

W: dromanaestate.com.au


Mushrooms in May for Mother’s Day

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Autumn is a wonderful time of year on the Peninsula, and what better way to enjoy this invigorating season than with a stroll through the rustic setting of T’Gallant Vineyards in Main Ridge on a Mushrooms in May tour commencing on Friday, May 3.

T’Gallant foragers will be enlightened on how to identify the different varieties of mushrooms — both palatable and poisonous — that are prevalent on the Peninsula before sitting down to a light lunch that includes grilled polenta and wild mushroom trifolati, and a delicious mushroom soup to warm you after your walk. Head chef Marco Vanuzzo will also be cooking you his smoked scormaza and wild mushroom wood-fired pizza while you experience a private wine-tasting showcasing T’Gallant’s new vintage wine.

Enjoy a fun and informative food and wine experience as you saunter through the T’Gallant vineyard, unearthing the mysteries of the fungi kingdom and hopefully finding the winery’s two favourites, the slippery jack and the pine mushroom.

Tours are available on Friday, May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 at 11am; Saturday, May 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 11am and 1pm; and Sunday, May 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 11am and 1pm. 

It is the perfect Mother’s Day gift so book early to avoid disappointment. Teenagers aged 13 and over are welcome to attend with a parent/guardian. Call T’Gallant now to make your booking on 5931 1300. 

T'GALLANT WINEMAKERS

A: 1385 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge

T: 5931 1300

W: tgallant.com.au

FB: tgallantwines

INSTA: tgallantwines

Flinders foreshore pinots and piers By Liz Rogers

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It’s on again, and this time the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association presents its Peninsula Piers & Pinots event with even more style, flavour and first-class tastings than ever. Held annually since 2002 on the Sunday of the Labour Day long weekend, this Peninsula food and wine-lovers’ celebration showcases the region’s outstanding and flavourful pinots with pizazz. 

Incredibly popular and dedicated to this balanced natural acidity and fine tannin vino, Peninsula Piers & Pinots brings together people from far and wide to taste and converse with like-minded wine appreciators. There’ll be a wonderful range of wines available to taste and enjoy alongside a simply stunning seaside lunch. Food from Georgie Bass Café, which is part of the Flinders Hotel Group, Calamari Brothers, Red Hill Cheese and Harry’s Conchilla — which you’ll find down by the pier — will satisfy your hunger, while handmade icy poles and soft drinks will keep the kids happy. Fabulous coffee from Moto Café delivers the caffeine, while live music adds to the festival vibe.

Peninsula Piers & Pinots is held alongside the Flinders pier in one of the most beautiful parts of the Peninsula. Participating wineries include 100 Years on Stanley, Baillieu Vineyard, Dexter Wines, Dromana Estate, Elgee Park Wines, Handpicked Wines, Kerri Greens, Kyberd Hills, Mantons Creek, Montalto, Moorooduc Estate, Morning Sun Vineyard, Myrtaceae, Nazaaray Estate, Ocean Eight, Paringa Estate, Pt Leo Estate, Quealy Wines, Rahona Valley, Red Hill Estate, Stonier, Tucks, Willow Creek Vineyard, Yabby Lake Vineyard, and Yal Yal Estate.

So if you’re searching for a uniquely Mornington Peninsula event that brings the three breezes delivered via Port Phillip Bay, Western Port and Bass Strait together over wine, food and crisp conversation, then Mornington Peninsula Piers & Pinots on March 10 is for you. Pre-book on the MPVA website or purchase a ticket on the day. Tickets will be available until sold out. At just $40 a person, which includes a complimentary Riedel tasting glass, tasting notes and all wine tastings between noon and 3pm, there’ll be plenty of flavour and fun in the sun. Cheers! 

MORNINGTON PENINSULA VIGNERONS ASSOCIATION – PENINSULA PIERS & PINOTS

A: PO Box 282, Red Hill South

W: mpva.com.au

T: 5989 2377


The gate is open at Baxter Valley Estate By Liz Rogers

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TRE.AND cellar door and kitchen are now open for food and wine tastings with a difference. This family-owned business headed up by Line Thye brings the flavours of fresh Peninsula produce to your tasting table at this hidden gem of a winery where family and friends are welcomed with open arms. 

She explains. “Our produce literally comes from our neighbours; rhubarb from across the road. Our kitchen provides a range of tasting plates with cheeses and terrines or you can sample a couple of main course offerings or a delicious dessert. We are open from Friday to Sunday from 11am until 4pm.” 

The rest of the week you’ll find Line doing what she loves — making wine. Two new rosés and a sauvignon blanc are coming soon. Drop by to explore, experience and enjoy on your way to the beach from town or upon your return. If the gate’s open, you’re welcome. 

TRE.AND AT BAXTER VALLEY ESTATE

A: 165 Baxter-Tooradin Rd, Baxter

M: 0404 837 160

W: treand.com.au

FB: TreAnd.BaxterValleyEstate

INSTA: treandwines


Summer sizzlers at Food Star By Kate Sears

Photo by Willow Creative

Photo by Willow Creative

Food Star is a favourite to satisfy the whole family’s taste buds, and a budget-friendly destination for visitors to the area. A day trip to Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula isn’t complete without a delectable meal to top off a day in the sun. 

At Food Star Frankston, you can choose from seafood, Asian cuisine, exotic curries, carvery, salads and your usual Western favourites. Desserts include Food Star’s famous mango pudding and homemade marshmallows as well as traditional black forest cake, tiramisu, fruit tarts, sundae station and much more. 

All-you-can-eat prices start at $15.50 for adults, $12.40 for seniors, and $7.50 for kids aged three to five. 

FOOD STAR FRANKSTON

A: 315-321 Nepean Highway, Frankston
T: 9770 0122
W: foodstar.com.au/base/frankston
FB: foodstar.frankston


BEST COCKTAILS TO TRY THIS SUMMER!

Assaggini

Small tastings, huge choice

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‘Assaggini’ might be Italian for ‘small tastings’, but there’s nothing small about its atmosphere, menu or cocktail list. This effervescent, up-market restaurant and wine bar just off Main St is loved by wine connoisseurs with discerning palettes, and its bar has a rotating range of local and exotic tipples bolstered by a variety of inventive cocktails. You can even book a cocktail party for family, friends or workmates — and with Christmas fast approaching, what better venue for your end-of-year break-up?

In true ‘tapas’ tradition, the food at Assaggini is designed for sharing, and if you’re a vegan there’s a great choice of vegan antipasto, pizzas and delectable desserts. So gather those closest to you and settle in for an epicurean experience to remember — and keep those cocktails coming.

ASSAGGINI

A: 1C Albert St, Mornington

T: 5973 5791

W: assaggini.com.au

FB: Assaggini

INSTA: assaggini_


Bar Noir

Fall under a black magic spell

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Bar Noir is well known for its original and creative cocktail offerings. It’s always evolving and playing, brainstorming with its chefs and attempting to incorporate new ingredients or flavours into its drinks.

The Martini Noir is one such example — a creamy, sweet and slightly spicy concoction of Vantage, ginger liquor, egg white and Australian native bush pepper syrup. When first poured it has a muddy grey hue and appears for all the world like something that should not be drunk, but as it settles in the glass like a Guinness it slowly gets darker and darker to finish jet-black with a fluffy crisp white foam on top. 

There’s a bit of magic on the palate too. With background spice, sweetness and the quintessentially Australian flavour notes of the Vantage liquor, it has many layers — a classy sophisticated drink.  

BAR NOIR

A: 37 Main St, Mornington

T: 5973 4047

FB: BarNoirBarNoir

INSTA: bar_noir_


Bass & Flinders Distillery 

Puttin’ on the spritz

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What better way to get your festive season off and humming than with a Cerise Christmas Spritz from Bass & Flinders Distillery. Simply add 30ml of Bass & Flinders Pink Cerise Gin — available from the Bass & Flinders website or at the cellar door — and 60ml of Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic Water to a champagne saucer, top up with prosecco and garnish with rose petals and fresh raspberries. Christmas in a glass!

Bass & Flinders is an artisanal distillery producing grape-based spirit and whose range includes award-winning gins, eau de vie, limoncello, vodka and its five-year aged spirit, Ochre. Visit the cellar door over summer or book in for a gin masterclass — but please note the distillery is moving mid-December so keep an eye on the website for address details. 

BASS AND FLINDERS DISTILLERY

T: 5989 3154 (cellar door)

E: [email protected]

W: bassandflindersdistillery.com


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Brass Razu

Awaken your inner beast

Absinthe, colloquially termed “the green fairy”, rose to popularity in the late 19th century, especially among Parisian artists and writers. Although portrayed as an addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen, the effects of this anise-flavoured spirit have been grossly exaggerated — it’s no more dangerous than other spirits. 

The Green Beast is a refreshing nod to its troubled and dramatic past. Absinthe, cucumber, lime and sugar combine to create a delicious libation. Be prepared to awaken the beast of your tastebuds after sipping this green cocktail.

Brass Razu is a dedicated cocktail and wine bar and is open Tuesday-Sunday from noon until late. 

BRASS RAZU WINE BAR

A: 13 Main St, Mornington

T: 5975 0108

E: [email protected]

FB: brass.razu

INSTA: brassrazu


Casa de Playa  

All aboard the Casa Espress’O

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If grazing on some Spanish-inspired tapas, sipping cocktails and generally having a good time are high on your agenda, then you should definitely drop into Casa de Playa this summer.

The Casa Espress’O is Casa’s signature espresso martini — a smooth and sumptuous mixture of Salted Karamel vodka, Kahlua and vanilla syrup, finished off with a hit of Little Rebel espresso. 

Plenty frothy and gorgeously moreish thanks to its decadent crunchy honeycomb crumble topping, we’re pretty sure Casa de Playa’s take on this classic will leave you wanting more — it truly is a bittersweet obsession.

We suggest you assemble the crew, book a table for lunch or dinner and drink a Casa Espress’O between each course. Why? Because you can!

See you there. 

CASA DE PLAYA 

A: 39 Main St, Mornington

T: 5976 1276

W: casadeplaya.com.au

FB: Casadeplayamornington

INSTA: casadeplayamornington


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Two Buoys Tapas & Wine Bar

Another day in paradise

Meet Phil Collins — the better looking, more talented cousin of Tom! A sweet mix of vodka, green chartreuse, cranberry, lime, and muddled cucumber, this cocktail represents summer on the Peninsula — fresh, breezy, and easy-goin’. 

TWO BUOYS RESTAURANT

A: 209 Pt Nepean Rd, Dromana

T: 5981 8488

W: twobuoys.com.au

FB: twobuoys

INSTA: two_buoys


Festive fare at Dromana Estate

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Dromana Estate’s restaurant and cellar door are open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 5pm for all your Christmas work or social gatherings. Dromana Estate’s staff are experts at catering for large groups seeking a leisurely grazing lunch or an intimate winery tasting experience for two or up to 50 swillers. 

However, you’re advised to get in quickly because bookings are filling up fast. The restaurant will be closed on December 26 but will be open again from December 27-30, then it’s back to normal opening hours. 

Saturday, December 8, will find the estate hosting its second Creators Market of the season, just in time for you to pick up that special Christmas pressie. With more than 70 stalls, live music and food trucks, this is sure to be a great day. Stalls are open at 10am and free parking is available. The restaurant will be open with a limited takeaway menu, and the full menu will be on offer for booked/reserved tables only.

DROMANA ESTATE

A: 555 Old Moorooduc Rd, Tuerong

T: 5974 4400 

W: dromanaestate.com.au


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