Each issue Australian Traveller delves into the world of wine – including new reviews, cellar doors, books and tours. By Alissa Jenkins.
By Paul Lockyer
($59.99, ABC Books)
When unseasonal rainfall transformed Lake Eyre from an inhospitable salt pan in outback South Australia into a thriving wetland, it inspired renowned ABC journalist Paul Lockyer to film a TV series and write a book. With his colleagues Gary Ticehurst and John Bean, Paul made several trips to the region – before, tragically, all three lives were lost last year in a helicopter crash while filming. This book, however, stands as a tribute to their skills, the stories they found, and their affection for the region. Enhanced by dramatic photographs showcasing the wild beauty, the book explores the inland sea’s past from its Aboriginal tribes to pioneers and cattle kings.
5 minutes with…
SARAH LIMACHER, HEAD SOMMELIER AT THE KEYSTONE group
She might be younger than many of the wines she serves, but don’t underestimate 25-year-old Sarah Limacher, who designs award-winning wine lists for one of Sydney’s biggest hospitality groups.
What appealed about becoming a sommelier?
They say do what you love, so drinking was right up my alley! I’ve always been interested in wine, and when I moved from NZ to Sydney in ’07, I worked alongside some amazing sommeliers who took me under their wing and shared their passion. I hope to get involved with winemaking one day; one of the best parts of my job is meeting winemakers, trying their wines and hearing their stories.
Does your age affect how you combine food and wine?
I think so – I’m more adventurous. I love finding new and weird things to push the boundaries – it’s a bit like treasure hunting. It’s so rewarding when people try something new and go “wow!”
What’s the rule to making a good match?
I like to think about regionality. For example, if I’m eating venison from NZ, I pair it with a great Martinborough or Central Otago pinot noir. I also look at how the food is cooked – like fish can be smoked, grilled, fried, and each calls for a different approach to how it’s matched with wine. But the main rule is to have fun; experiment and enjoy it.
What’s your all-time favourite combination?
My favourite was at Attica in Melbourne. We had a bottle of 1988 Krug with a snow crab dish and it was magic! However, the best wine I’ve ever had was 1961 Chateau Latour from Bordeaux – almost a spiritual experience. I was lost for words.
What has 2012 got in store for you?
The Keystone Group has some exciting new venues opening up, such as the Newtown Hotel relaunch in September, and a new rooftop bar in Kings Cross, which I’ll be writing some fun and fabulous lists for! I’m also currently a part of the Australian Working with Wine Fellowship.
NEXT TIME YOU’RE IN…
TASSIE WINE TOURS
Want to learn about wine without the waffle? Prestige Leisure Tours in Launceston has started new Wine Appreciation Tours, offering just that. On a daytrip to picturesque Josef Chromy Vineyard in Relbia, guests can learn about the whole process from vine to wine, tour the production and bottling areas, taste from tanks and have a long, laid-back lunch. Along the way, expect informal lessons in wine tasting and food matching. Minimum of eight guests; from $195 per person.
STONE COLD SHOTS, ANYONE?