One of the most important things to remember when drinking wine is what you are eating with it.
Some wine and food combinations just don't marry well together, delicate tuna sashimi with Barossa Shiraz, freshly shucked oysters with botrytis Semillon are the type of combinations that will leave both hating the food and the wine.
Lucky for us in Orange, however, there is a new wave of sommeliers and front of house staff teaming up with their talented chefs to create the perfect combinations for your next dining experience.
Magnificent views, local produce grown on the property, a function room to cater the perfect wedding and even a place to land a helicopter are all major assets to this stunning location.
Perhaps no greater asset however to this restaurant is the new staffing team.
Richard Learmonth began at the restaurant in January of 2018, transforming its cuisine and culture.
Richard's spectacular cooking pedigree has seen him bring an element of flair combined with a desire to understand the ingredients around him.
Fortunately for Sister's Rock, Mary Nelson has joined the team, bringing not only a dedication to wonderful service but a passion for wine as well.
This exceedingly wonderful duo are beginning to create next level dining experiences that are an absolute must.
Mary has chosen Richard's Stinging Nettle Veal Pappardelle along with Borrodell's Pinot Meunier.
Great matching, Richard is a genius with pasta and this dish has quite a bit of richness to it.
The Pinot Meunier offers some brilliant earthy notes to help fill out the veal, bright fruit components of the wine helps lift the dish and with wonderful acidity cutting through.
Veal is tricky with wine sometimes, too harsh a red can leave the mouth feeling dry and really ruin the experience, Mary's choice adds elegance, complexity and some fun.
Sweet, Sour, Salt
So perhaps Sweet, Sour, Salt are not the new kids on the block, but Chef Ivan Podres has helped Orange completely change the way it thinks about Asian styled cuisine.
The restaurant is almost 10 years old, with no sign of slowing down.
Home delivery was added to the repertoire, they moved to Anson street with tremendous success and have now added Leigh Oliver to their front of house team.
Leigh has an amazingly knowledgeable beverage background, but it is his understanding of the new and eccentric where he truly works magic.
It's one thing to list amber wines, it's another to explain, to match them with food is even harder again.
Leigh does all this seemingly flawlessly.
- READ MORE: HELLO WORLD | November babies, 2019
Chef Podres has a love for Thai style dishes and it is the Whole Baby Snapper with Thai dressing and herb salad that Leigh has chosen.
Fish and spice can be a wine matching nightmare, balancing heat (spice) and a white meat.
Leigh brilliantly choose award-winning See Saw SAMM, an amber, skin contact white made form Sauvignon Blanc and Marsanne grapes.
It's very funky, balances the spice, accentuates citrus elements lifting the richness of the fish right up.
Textural and brilliant, Leigh's choices at Sweet, Sour, Salt are truly original and will keep customer returning to try the amazing combinations.
The Union Bank Schoolhouse Restaurant
One of Orange's most well-known and beloved venues has been reborn, this time under the watchful eye Dom Aboud and Sarah Crowley.
While the duo are quite appropriately touted as Rockpool alumni (Dom kitchen and Sarah front of house), it is not nearly as important as the obvious passion they display for their craft.
Creating a venue from scratch is incredibly tough, recreating a venue is even tougher and these two hospitality superstars are well on their way to creating something very special.
First of all, I love steak tartare, it is one of my utmost guilty pleasures.
The dish is an absolute hit for Chef Dom Aboud, fresh pop of horseradish and a wonderful secondary earthiness from the mushroom component make this very easy to consume, over and over again.
Brilliant choice of Nebbiolo for this dish, medium bodied red with great length and power from Rowlee wines.
Sarah has done an amazing job to find her feet so quickly and this matching is proof of what is yet to come.
- David Collins is the restaurant manager and sommelier at Charred, he's studied wine and the wine industry for several years.
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