MAD SYD – An Appetite for Knowledge

Some of the world’s most exciting chefs and culinary thinkers will meet at the Sydney Opera House on Sunday 3 April for the inaugural MAD SYD, a day of talks and ideas exploring the future of food.

MAD SYD

Kylie Kwong & Rene Redzepi (Image supplied)

Confirmed speakers include noma’s René Redzepi, Momofuku’s David Chang, Osteria Francescana’s Massimo Bottura, Billy Kwong’s Kylie Kwong, Zimbabwean farmer and food activist Chido Govera, and Australian social researcher Rebecca Huntley, with more to be announced.
Founded by René Redzepi, MAD (the Danish word for food) is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to build a community of cooks, purveyors, thinkers and food enthusiasts with an appetite for knowledge and a desire to create a better world through a better meal.

The annual MAD Symposium – described by the Wall Street Journal as “the food world’s G20” and “the Davos of food” – has been held in Copenhagen since 2011, providing a global industry forum to discuss and share ideas.

“Back when we started MAD in 2011, we found ourselves on a field, in heavy rain, in a tiny circus tent that ultimately collapsed during lunch” says René Redzepi, founder of MAD. “MAD has been on an incredible journey since then, but the culmination of our long relationship with Sydney and Australia taking place in one of the world’s most iconic spaces is the greatest privilege. We cannot wait to share this day with everyone – friends and family, old and new.”

Ann Mossop, Head of Talks and Ideas at the Sydney Opera House, says: “Over the last two years, Sydney Opera House Talks & Ideas has had the pleasure of welcoming international chefs and food pioneers from Alice Waters and Yotam Ottolenghi, to Jamie Oliver launching his “Food Revolution” with a live cooking extravaganza. We are thrilled to partner with the renowned René Redzepi to see the next phase of MAD begin in Australia.”

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dArenberg 2012 Derelict Vineyard Grenache: Wine Review

McLaren Vale has been a great proponent of the Grenache variety.  Its suits the warmer climate of the Mediterranean region. While it can be at risk of over yielding, and higher sugar and therefore alcohol, careful vineyard management can produce stunning examples.  d’Arenberg have been advocates of Grenache and especially older vine Grenache.darenberg Derelict Vineyard Grenache

The 2012 Derelict Vineyard Grenache, comes from a resurrected bush-vine vineyard. Restoring these vineyards has been a time consuming labour of love for the d’Arenberg team. The result is a wine with aromas of warmed earth, cola, spices and white pepper. No hints of confectionery, but plenty of fruit.  Ripe raspberries, and plenty of ripe darker fruit leap about.  It looks almost Shiraz like in colour.

On the palate its definitely bigger bodied than some Grenache’s, with more tannin and intensity – again making me think of Shiraz. Flavours of sour cherries, white pepper and warm spices. Nice fresh acidity balances the ripeness. Finishing with more savoury edge. Some may choose to cellar for a few years for the tannin to soften, but it could also be a gateway drug for those Shiraz lovers wanting to explore the Grenache style more.

Alcohol: 14.2%
RRP: $29
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Source: Provided by producer

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Brimoncourt Champagne: Wine Review

Brimoncourt is a newer name to the range of Champagnes available in Australia.  To date they have impressed with their marketing, their style and generally their whole approach.  Hopefully engaging a new segment of the wine market.Brimoncourt Champange

However, the proof is always in the product, and the experience so far only reinforces the view that Brimoncourt is a contender. It’s a name to remember and even to seek out.

Champange Brimoncourt ‘Extra Brut’ NV

The Brimoncourt ‘Extra Brut’ Champange is made with 20% Chardonnay and 80% Pinot Noir from Grand Cru vineyards: Aÿ, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Cramant, Mesnil and Oger. It has a lower dosage of 2 g/L.

On the nose it’s a very complex array of aromas; fresh bread, almond meal and fresh red apple. On the palate again a complex range of flavours which seem to last forever.

Fresh citrus/citron, green apple and a hint of brioche fullness to finish and round out the palate.  You could match this with food, but such was its completeness I found it perfect to enjoy on its own.
Champagne Brimoncourt

The bead is lively and fine, and brings more freshness and joie de vivre to the whole generous experience. Indeed a memorable wine which will make its mark in Australia.
Alcohol: 12.5%
RRP: $110
Region: Champagne, France
Source: Provided by Brimoncourt Australia

Champagne Brimoncourt Brut Regence NV

A blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. Fermented in stainless steel and spends four years on lees.  The champagne has subtle toasty bread aromas, fresh apple/nashi pear and complex honey nut nougat. Brimoncourt Champange

On the palate it’s lovely and rounded – possibly a little fuller than the Extra Brut. Fine persistent bubbles keep it refreshing and help balance the fullness. Softer acid than the Extra Brut, but still showing fresh citrus characters on the palate.

Alcohol: 12.5%
RRP: $85
Region: Champagne, France
Source: Provided by Brimoncourt Australia

Champagne Brimoncourt is available from GPO restaurant in Martin Place in Sydney, or in Bulletin Place in Sydney.

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Wirra Wirra 2015 Mrs Wigley Rose: Wine Review

As spring progresses and the evenings get warmer, rose’s feature more and more regularly (especially here in South Australia). Roses are quite a broad category ranging from sweet to bone dry, and based on a diverse range of grape varieties. Around South Australia Grenache roses are quite abundant, especially in Barossa and McLaren Vale.

Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Rose

Wirra Wirra Mrs Wigley Rose

The Wirra Wirra 2015 Mrs Wigley Rose, is a lively pink colour. The Grenache fruit adding to its vibrancy.  On the nose its packed full of fresh raspberry and strawberry fruit, with a herbal edge. A sweet confectionery/candy floss aroma could easily lead you to think this is at the sweeter end of the rose spectrum.

On the palate of the Mrs Wigley Rose, there is more strawberry and ripe summer berry exuberance, with a prettiness in flavour and appearance. Its all fresh fruit sweetness, finishing dry and crisp, with a little bit of grip to add texture. Ideally enjoyed cold; its full of fun and summer in a bottle.

Alcohol: 13.5%
RRP: $20
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Source: Provided by producer

 

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dArenberg 2011 Sticks & Stones: Wine Review

For those used to big dark fruity red wines, you may require a little encouragement to approach the d’Arenberg Sticks & Stones.  But I strongly encourage you.  Its a blend of 60% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache, Souzao and Tinta Cao.  Never heard of Souzao nor Tinta Cao? Dont worry, I had to look them up as well.

dArenberg Sticks & Stones

The 2011 d’Arenberg Sticks & Stones has lovely meaty, gamey aromas. Definitely more savoury and earthy end of the spectrum, but also nice ripe dark cherry keeping it fresh.

On the palate there are more savoury characters, like cured meats, and Italian herbs. Medium bodied, with warming alcohol.  The tannins are smooth and drying, and cry out for a platter of cured meats, and roasted vegetable antipasto in the afternoon sun.

The 2011 d’Arenberg Sticks & Stones is interesting and not your normal package. But you shouldn’t expect anything normal from d’Arenberg.

Alcohol:  14.4%
RRP: $29
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Source: Provided by producer

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dArenberg 2011 Laughing Magpie: Wine Review

dArenberg Laughing Magpie

The Laughing Magpie from d’Arenberg has always been a consistent performer.  A traditional blend of Shiraz, with a bit of Viognier adding softness and floral characters.

Alas, the 2011 d’Arenberg Laughing Magpie took me by surprise.  On the nose there was a bit of forest floor up front, followed by meaty characters and dark plum. All-round it wasn’t an intense aroma as expected and probably lacking the floral component of previous years. Perhaps I was having a sensory bad day.

On the palate it was soft and drying, with good length. Dark cherries, ripe plum, a whiff of cracked black pepper, and clove/allspice.  But overriding was a funky smoked meat quality which distracted.  It reminded me of an acquaintance, Brett, who I haven’t seen for a few years. Shall we just say he had a personal aroma problem, but he also liked funk music, so we put up with him because he was interesting. [Obtuse cork-dork reference.]

On the second day the funk had dissipated. But overall it wasn’t the Laughing Magpie I knew so well.

Alcohol: 14.2%
RRP: $29
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Source: Provided by producer

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