Friday Drinks – Central Otago Pinot Noir (from Aldi!)

This $15 Kaiora Bay Central Otago Pinot Noir from Aldi is a budget-friendly treat!

Kaiora Bay

Central Otago NZ is a wonderful Pinot region, and so, rightly, their cheapest offering (as compared to the usual $40 entry point) is a tasty, easily drinkable light red. A nice warm-weather red, I’d call it.

Kaiora Bay Reserve Pinot Noir Central Otago

I know I know, put your nose in the air at Aldi, but for a girl on a budget, it’s a great way to get to drink better wine!

Kaiora Bay Reserve Pinot Noir Central Otago

The Wine of Eat Drink Blog Canberra #EDB15

thats delicious

People are starting to file their highlights of Eat Drink Blog that was held in the gorgeous city (and my second home!) of Canberra over the weekend. And I’m more than a little daunted at the prospect of looking at all my photos, and writing about everything.

We are the Media

So, here’s a recap of the Wine from the weekend!

A mocktail at The Hamlet
A Mocktail from The Hamlet. Works well with a dash of bubbly ;)

I kicked it off with a very special (non-Canberran) Chardonnay while meeting Nicole from Champagne and Chips and Louise aka the Willunga Wino fir the first time! These are the ladies behind the monthly #winenot Wednesday linkup of awesome wines around the blogisphere. If you love wine, check out those linkups!

Aphelion Chardonnay

Louise spoilt us with her first vintage of Aphelion Chardonnay. Sourced from McLaren Vale grapes, and drinking deliciously, it’s a shame it’s such a rare brew!

Margan shiraz

I quickly brought out my contribution to pre-drinks and tasted the Margan 2014 Hunter Shiraz before we had to scurry off to the opening events. I finished that off last night back at home and it’s amazing :)


The Hamlet Braddon Canbera

We arrived at The Hamlet in Braddon to an amazing array of food trucks, wanting to stuff us silly (which, ZOMG, they did!). While scanning name tags, and saying hello to “internet People”, I sipped on a sparkling Bransworth wine that had been bottled in Hamilton, from Riverina grapes, which is the current “end of the line” of the trains in Newcastle.

barnsworth sparling

After stuffing ourselves silly it was off to 3 activities around Braddon – Glenfiddich Scotch and Food matching at Marble and Grain on Mort Street, Frujii Ice Cream, and cocktails at Hopscotch.

Glenfiddich food matching at Marble and grain

I actually didn’t try the Scotch, but I’m told that all the scotch drinkers had their favourites from 13 to 15 years aged. I enjoyed the food and the company, and want to go back there for dinner one day!

The cocktail we were present with at Hopscotch was a very refreshing Passionfruit Mojito:

Passionfruit Mohito

Though I was jealous of the Popsicle cocktails that the earlier groups had!

Many people piked after that, but us party people went on to some bevvys at Lucky’s Speakeasy at the QT. House wine and beer, so no photos of that, but a delicious and refreshing 42 Below Vodka and Soda ended my night!

42 below vodka and soda

Soooo… back to the YHA it was for me, and after a short but restful sleep it was back to the conference!

OK guyz. 5 hours sleep. Let's do this! #edb15

After a coffee and a wander around New Acton, the Action Buses took us to the Farmers Markets, where we were given $20 in vouchers to “spend on breakfast” and about an hour to sample every thing in sight.

Wallaroo Riesling

This is where GENIUS kicks in and Fiona spends her brekky vouchers (after stuffing herself with samples of bread and olives around the market) on a lovely bottle of Hall area Wallaroo Riesling. The 2014 was fresh, dry and crisp, so I went with that over the sweeter 2015.

Then there were talks and before we knew it it was time for MOAR FOOD at Westside Acton Park where I acquired a Turkish Chick Roll and some Collector Shiraz.

collector marked tree red shiraz 2012

(One time, in early Summer 2005, I was driving in my Laser to Canberra when a huge hail storm hit me on the Federal highway between the Collector bridges. I found it funny watching the people trying to protect their cars from the ice, while I sat in my beautiful silver car waiting it out).

Lerida estate wines

Afternoon tea saw Lerida Estate having some wines on sample. Moscato is not for me, but their whites and reds all go down a treat!

cute a baker waitress

The Conference Dinner at A.Baker had several lovely Mt Majura wines on offer, all of which I LOVED (a little too much… ooops) … oh and that cute waitress above!

mt majura pinot noir chardonnay

Starting with the bubbles!

mt majura pinot gris

A Pinot Gris which actually had me having two glasses of before I moved onto the TSG.

TSG Tempranillo Shiraz Graciano Mt Majura

This may have seen me to a late night, and I MAY have missed the next morning’s brekky…. Oh well!

Sydney Building Quick and Go

i may have also gotten sidetracked on my way to the Sunday talks. All I was trying to do was poison myself with my one true love Diet Coke, while I ended up talking to the owners of the Quick & Go in the Sydney building for half and hour or more about the evolution of the Canberra dining scene and how they have such a great business going now for people buying wine to byo to the local restaurants and that their high end spirits actually do have quite a market from the visitors staying locally or visiting ANU! Lovely people! *waves*

The Canberra Wine House

Then, it was to my final wine event of the weekend, the Canberra Wine House at the Tradies at Dickson was putting on a tasting for some of us.

ooo a tram at dickson tradies

So, we all know I rave about Canberra wines, and so going to this tasting and hearing the stories from the wine makers was a MUST!


I may not have taken notes, but it was the ultimate end to a full on but completely worthwhile weekend!

Canberra Wines

Thank you SO much to the amazing organisers and sponsors! And to everyone i met for making it awesome!!!

nameste bitches

See you in 2016??

Want to try some Amazing Wines? Try Hunter Valley Uncorked @ Balmoral this Sunday!

I had the VERY fortunate experience of heading to a trade and media tasting of award-winning Hunter Valley wines last week, and WOW they are amazing.

Hunter Valley Shiraz

Among the tastes to savour, there were many 2014 Shiraz on offer – such as the Pepper Tree and the Brokenwood Kats & Dogs Shiraz, and the 2015 Semillons from wineries such as McLeish, First Creek and Brian Ridge would be AMAZING this summer (all coming out in the next few weeks at the cellar door). And, I’ve never had “Vermentino” before, but wow, lovely variety that, like Temperanillo (Thanks to Audrey Wilkinson) works well in the heat of the Hunter.

Hunter valley winesmakers

I am so keen to head up to McLeish, Tyrell’s and Bimbadgen to reconnect with the winemakers who enlightened me so much on the night, and to of course try more of their wares with a friend!

Hunter Valley Uncorked

If you’re in Sydney this weekend, try to get out to Hunter Valley Uncorked at Balmoral Beach Esplanade, Mosman.

Hunter Valley Whites

You can immerse yourself in the Hunter Valley way of life and unearth the tastes, sights and stories of the beautiful wine soaked haven. wander through the myriad of stalls and sample gourmet delights, or just sit back in the sunshine and enjoy the free entertainment amongst a exquisite fusion of wine, food and good company. Indulge in a delectable ‘picnic lunch plate’ by Hunter Valley restaurants from $15 per plate. Fresh lemonade, coffee and gelato are also available.

Hunter Valley Reds

A $10 souvenir wine glass is your key to enjoying wine at the event. Or own your very own piece of specialist glassware, a signature Hunter Valley Riedel wine glass, for only $15 available exclusively to event visitors. Entry is free!

FREE SHUTTLE BUSES operating approximately every 15 minutes from Mosman and Spit Junction to Balmoral Beach during the hours of the event (11am-5pm, last drinks 4:45pm)

Hunter Valley 2014 Shiraz

The wineries on show are:
Allandale Wines, Bimbadgen Wines, Briar Ridge Wines, Brokenwood Wines, De Iuliis Wines, Eagles Rest Wines, First Creek Wines, Glandore Estate, Hungerford Hill Wines, James Estate Wines, McLeish Estate Wines, Mount Pleasant, Oakvale Wines, Pepper Tree Wines, Peterson House, Ridge View, Saddler’s Creek Wines, Tallavera Grove, Tulloch Wines, Tyrrells Wines, Wynwood Estate. Yum!

Flickr isn’t being my friend…. and other excuses as to why I’m so behind in posting

So, the Flickr app that is supposed to auto upload for me isn’t doign that and isn’t even uploading on demand, and so I’m left trying to be bothered to plug my phone into the computer to get the photos off it from the past two weeks. Things like this that came from Instagram:

$110/bottle? No worries

oh yeah, because when i go wine tasting, I go hard. And then go home with a couple hundred dollars worth of leftovers. You know what? The 2014 Hunter Shiraz(es) are all amazing and you simply MUST try one. Or 5.

I’ve also been being a good girl and applying for jobs. Real jobs, like ones I might want. Like at Dan Murphy’s or as a speechie or disability support officer. You know, things I’ll actually put time into applying for.


I also finished liptember with a bang, and raise $382 :) Not too late to donate! :p

Hmm what else?


I helped out at an event for Amnesty Newcastle. An art exhibit. Then we went for drinks and dinner at MoneyPenny at Honeysuckle, and these prawn rolls were delish and certainly hit the spot that hadn’t been filled by homous and rice crackers all night.


I had a disappointing experience with a food dehydrator :(



I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT EAT DRINK BLOG in two weeks time in Canberra.

Will I see you there??