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Blue Poles Wine Dinner at Fix St James, Sydney

2009 October 15
by Reemski

Wine: I’m not very good at it. Sometimes I like it, and sometimes it makes me wheeze (allergies). Other times, it’s just a great excuse to get together with some friends, eat and meet some great people. So I find myself at Fix St James for dinner with a bevy of beautiful ladies and handsome young men to imbibe wines from the Margaret River in Western Australia, courtesy of Mark Gifford and his family owned vineyard, Blue Poles.

Intro_bluepolesI’ve never been to a wine dinner before, and have no idea what to expect. But I do know I’m meant to try lots of wine. Lots.

We sit down and I eagerly peruse the menu keen to find out what will be soaking up the alcohol, we’ll be served a five course meal of deliciousness…Our first course is a cured Ocean Trout and creamed sorrel, served with the 2009 Blue Poles Viognier and a 2007 Pascal Jolivet, Sancerre.


Tonight, there are three large tables all full with a surprising variety of people. Young couples, older couples, single men, mothers & daughters, and wine writers too. We are seated in the middle, with our host Mark at the head of our table, and over each course he explains the style of wine, it’s story and provides us with a contrasting french varietal.


There are lot’s of glasses in front of us, and they are rapidly filled and refilled.


There’s an ice bucket at the end of the table. I keep waiting for champagne, but then it’s pointed out that, in fact, we are not expected to drink the entirety of every glass poured for us, and that I can, legitimately pour them out into the bucket! That’s my kind of drinking! Sip and ditch!I do feel somewhat bad that I’m pouring down the drain lots of good wine. But Mark reassures me that it’s fine. I’ve paid for it!

More Food!

Perhaps my favourite dish of the night, the Duck Breast Salad with fennel and blood orange. A cute twist on Duck a L’Orange, this salad was very quickly gobbled down by everybody! The salad was accompanied by a 2005/2006 Blue Poles “Allouran” and a 2003 Canon de Brem, Canon Fronsac


My other favourite dish of the evening was this gorgeous pasta, a lamb, pecorino and olive rigatoni..I have to declare that I’m fast developing a love affair with Fix St James pasta….this was served with the 2007 Blue Poles “Allouran” and a 2005 grand Pontet, St-Emilion


By this stage I am seriously tipsy and I haven’t drunk one full glass of anything, but as soon as settle into one glass another is put in front of me!

Our main is served up:  a slow roasted fillet of beef, with cauliflower and anchovy puree and eschallot sauce. It’s served with a 2007 Blue Poles Reserve Merlot and a 2004 La Fleur de Bouard, Pomeral


Then there’s a cheese course! I barely touch this in favour of a chocolate fondant, which is quickly devoured.

What’s the verdict on wine dinners? Well, not being a huge drinker, I felt bad that I so obviously couldn’t keep up, and the fact that I have a very undeveloped wine palate. But I really appreciate, like artisan food producers, the care that Gifford and his partners take in creating their wine, and if all wine dinners are this much fun, I’ll definitely be back.

Blue Poles Vineyard
636 Bramley River Road
Osmington WA 6285
P: 08 9757 4382

Fix St James
111 Elizabeth Street
02 9232 2767

Fix St. James on Urbanspoon

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. October 15, 2009

    Hey, nice write up, wow the food looks and sounds fantastic and seems like you got to tuck into some nice wines! Let me know when you hear about another wine dinner – ill be there for sure!

    PS – yes the pasta looks amazing, no wonder you make special takeaway lunch requests!!
    .-= Rob @´s last blog ..The Smokehouse, Surry Hills =-.

  2. October 15, 2009

    O a wine dinner… never tried one of those but now I just have to. And I guess while I’m here…

    I’m a food science student conducting a research survey on the purchase of specialty food products. Feel free to help me fill out my short 8 min research survey. It’s completely voluntary.



  3. October 16, 2009

    Looks like it was a great night 🙂 Lol at the sip and ditch method!

  4. October 16, 2009

    oh my! My mouth is watering looking at that main course. I don’t know if I would have been able to hold off on the cheese plate. I live for cheese plates (and chocolate fondant!).
    .-= Megan@Feasting on Art´s last blog ..Bazille’s Prawn Phở =-.

  5. October 16, 2009

    Hahaha sip and ditch, that’s brilliant! I can never drink all my wine but I always drink it all because I feel obligated and get way tipsier than I want to be. Looks like a fabulous fun night 🙂 After all I’ve heard about fix st james from you I really must check it out sometime!
    .-= Steph´s last blog ..Taste of Shanghai Restaurant, Eastwood =-.

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