Blue Poles Wine Dinner at Fix St James, Sydney
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.
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!
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