Raising the bar
Source sommeliers take dining to new level
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.