Rais­ing the bar

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

Source som­me­liers take din­ing to new level

MDINING

Graeme Phillips UCH is writ­ten about food and wine match­ing. Is it an art, a sci­ence or serendip­ity? In truth, per­fect food and wine matches are rare and in a long life where I’ve had many good and some­times great food and wine pair­ings, I can count on only one hand the num­ber that for me were “per­fect”.

Af­ter a five- course de­gus­ta­tion lunch at The Source a fort­night ago, I now need two hands.

In terms of all- round food and wine, it was a most mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence, by far the best I’ve had in Tas­ma­nia and, for me, among the best ever.

Which is a big call and an enor­mous credit to The Source’s team chef Sam Chang and the rest in the kitchen un­der ex­ec­u­tive chef Philippe Le­bain, man­ager/ head som­me­lier Joseph Bur­ton, and his deputy who looked af­ter us so ex­pertly on the day, som­me­lier Michael Fisher.

Plus, of course, im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice by the floor staff who, as we all know, can make or break any din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

I re­peat, to get a one- course “per­fect” match is rare, to get it across five cour­ses is ex­cep­tional.

And the ex­per­tise that Bur­ton and Fisher bring to their job was no bet­ter demon­strated than with the 2011 Wil­liam Downie Gipp­s­land Pinot Noir they chose to part­ner the shim­mer­ing el­e­gance of Chang’s won­der­fully cre­ative and light- as- air scal­lop gnoc­chi with yuzu puree, ponzu and spinach.

First, I was sur­prised they’d se­lected a red wine with such light, al­most ethe­real seafood gnoc­chi.

Then, although Wil­liam Downie is an ex­cel­lent wine­maker, I was even more sur­prised they’d cho­sen a wine from the far­less- than- great 2011 Vic­to­rian vin­tage.

Plus, of course, Gipp­s­land is not the first re­gion you’d look to for a good pinot, es­pe­cially when there were al­most three pages of much more im­pres­sive pinots and red Bur­gundies on the global wine list from which to choose.

But, when asked, Bur­ton said they were ini­tially ac­com­pa­ny­ing the dish with a 2010 red Bur­gundy.

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