DiscoverVin™ is a wine importation and distribution company, sourcing wines from the South West of France.
The company started with three people passionate about wine and food, who live in the heart of the wonderful food and wine region in the north east of Victoria, Australia. And whilst being surrounded by fantastic cuisine and Australian wines, they also greatly appreciate the varieties, style and differences that the southern French wines offer .... and of course the French cuisine!
It was whilst living in the south west of France in 2009, that they discovered the many affordable, good value for money wines available that have never made it to Australian shores. Their DiscoverVin website provides information on regions and varieties, it provides clues on how to 'de-mystify' French wines and offers affordable good quality wines.

This blog brings together their passions for food and wine, and gives updates on restaurants and events in the south west of France, and in places closer to home. Please enjoy! And if you enjoy this blog you may well enjoy their website:

Click here to order wines… www.discovervin.com.au


24 July 2014

Prune Tart, Gabriel Gaté, the Tour de France and Chateau Jolys Cuvée Jean: French classics!

The Tour de France is moving towards a climax of racing in the Pyrénées! We are looking forward to the mountain racing, enjoying the wonderful scenery and  sipping a classic wine of the region. This excellent not-too-sweet dessert wine is being poured by some of the most famous restaurants in Australia. Its available to enjoy as part of our Taste the Tour 6 pack.




Stage 18: Jurançon
Thursday 24 July -
Pau : Hautacam
145.5 km
Today the riders start in Pau the city of Henri IV - who was baptised with the wine of Jurançon. Pau has welcomed the race in style, 65 times, which puts it on the podium with Paris and Bordeaux as the most visited cities of the Tour. Today they climb the Col du Tourmalet, always a challenge. Next up, the final climb up Hautacam, which has earned a hallowed place in the history of the Tour.  Sit back and enjoy the ride with one of the famous wines of Jurançon. 
The nose presents notes of honey, apricot and peaches.  The palate is fresh, powerful yet smooth.  Petit Manseng at its very best with fabulous length and balance.  This wine, like many from Jurançon, is pleasantly sweet without a cloying finish.  Best served with one of the classic cheeses of the region or a fruit gateau.
Suggestion: We have seen a photo of a gorgeous Gabriel Gaté tart matched to this exact wine. Might this be his recommended food and wine match while in Pau for the Taste of the Tour????! If you don't have a chance to macerate some prunes and bake a tart, a cheese or fruit platter would be a perfect late night #tourdesnack.


22 July 2014

The Tour de France, Basque Chicken and Chateau Jolys Jurançon sec white wine

The Tour de France finally heads into the beautiful Pyrénées. We look forward to sitting back and enjoying the gorgeous scenery (and the wines of the region, contained in our Taste the Tour Pack.) 

To get in the mood, we have prepared a delicious Basque chicken casserole typical of the region (using the recipe on the SBS website originally published by Margaret Fulton.) We modified it a little by adding some powdered Pimento de Espelette that we had squirrelled away in the pantry. We bought a small container during our last trip to the south-west of France. It adds a gentle warmth and smoky depth of flavour. A tiny bit of chilli powder would be an alternative.  

And just in case we are still hungry late in the evenings, we have picked up some delicious hard sheep's milk cheese from our friends at Jones the Grocer. 

We are planning to enjoy this with one of our favourite (and best-selling) wines. The versatile and award-winning Chateau Jolys Jurançon sec- a perfect match with the chicken, the cheese, or seafood, or a few nibbles or just to match the scenery! ....


Stage 17: Jurançon
Wednesday July 23 - Saint-Gaudens : Saint Lary Pla d’Adet 124.5 km 



At 125 km, the shortest stage comes just after the longest. A difficult stage through the Pyrenees mountains. Three category one climbs including the Col de Peyresourde before finishing in the mountain ski resort town of Saint Lary Pla d’Adet.
A delightful, complex, fruity but dry wine. From the excellent 2011 vintage, this wine is from one of the most beautiful and under rated regions in France. 92 points Huon Hooke. A great alternative to sauvignon blanc. Tropical fruits and citrus on the palette. Crisp dry finish. Our best selling white. 
Suggestion:  It would be a perfect match with seafood and shellfish, but also goes down a treat with pre-dinner nibbles and dips as you watch the highlights.

16 July 2014

"Braising the Steaks' Dinner Chophouse Sydney July 30th 2014


It's the perfect Winter wine dinner at Chophouse, one of our favourite Sydney CBD venues. 

Four courses of deliciously braised meats with extraordinary wines to match.
$95 includes four courses with matching wines. 

Call 1300 246 748 to make a reservation.



























15 July 2014

DiscoverVin in the Pavilions des Vins at Brisbane French Festival July 2014

Yummy French Treats.
 DiscoverVin spent the weekend before Bastille Day at the Brisbane French Festival.  A wonderful celebration of all things French organised by a great time of Brisbane Francophiles.
The team behind the Brisbane French Festival


Chateau Rollan de By Cru Bourgeois Rouge from the Médoc was one of the most popular wines on the day.  The customers enjoyed the lifted nose with  gorgeous mouth feel, soft, round and long with great balance. 
We think this is wine with a WOWfactor for taste and value for money. 
Currently being served on Air France A380 Business Class, so BBR visitors were happy to sip, taste and imagine the flight to Paris.





People were interested to taste wines made from indigenous varieties such as Tannat from Madiran in the Domaine Du Crampilh rouge.

Women in Berets on a Sunny Saturday in Brisbane

8 July 2014

Damien Pignolet brings French Flair to 3 Weeds with Bastille Day Eve Luncheon

Celebrity Chef Damien Pignolet brings French flair to The 3 Weeds, Rozelle this Bastille Day Eve
And with it a special offer for DiscoverVin customers

Damien Pignolet- doyen of French cuisine
The multi-award winning 3 Weeds Hotel, nestled in the back streets of Rozelle will launch its inaugural Chef du Jour program on Bastille Day eve (Sunday 13 July) featuring celebrated doyen of French cuisine, chef Damien Pignolet...and a gem from DiscoverVin will be part it.

The Chef Du Jour series will expand the hotel’s culinary horizons and dining experiences with featured specialist guest chefs working in partnership with the 3 Weeds’ own executive chef, Nathan Jackson.  The exciting collaborations will bring a diverse offering of cuisines and styles that accentuate the personal flair of the respective chef du jour.

This first Chef du Jour event will begin with an inspired lunch menu created by legendary chef Damien Pignolet.  As an Australian of French heritage, Damien’s cultural culinary roots are celebrated. He is a specialist in both French and modern Australian cuisine and as a pioneer of the Sydney gastro-pub scene, teaming with the 3 Weeds is a natural fit. Pignolet’s impressive portfolio includes Claude’s Restaurant, Bistro Deux, Moncur Terrace, Cleopatra, and most notably, Bistro Moncur, the acclaimed institution which re-defined the standards of pub dining in Sydney.

Bastille Day Eve at the 3 Weeds will be a celebration of the French tradition of the leisurely Sunday lunch – and an evening of French indulgence shared by family and friends.

The menu begins with an amuse bouche, accompanied by an apero, followed by four sumptuous dishes consisting of; hors d’ oeuvres, potage crème, plat principal and salade, each paired with matching wines and liqueurs. Finally, Damien’s signature dessert will take centre stage with tea and coffee to follow.

The outstanding biodynamic 2011 Domaine Roche-Audran, Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre, Côtes du Rhône from DiscoverVin will feature with the plat principal.  

Do not miss this opportunity to experience the unique partnership of 3 Weeds executive chef Nathan Jackson alongside Damien Pignolet in a celebration of French cuisine.
The 3 Weeds 197 Evans Street 
Rozelle, Sydney
Ordinarily the prix-fixe offering, including a glass of French bubbles on arrival is $88 or with matched wines and liqueurs for $123 BUT FOR DISCOVERIN MEMBER THAT IS $110 PER HEAD COMPLETE WITH MATCHED WINES.   Reservations are essential as spaces are limited. For further enquiries and bookings, please contact the 3 Weeds Rozelle on  (02) 9818 2788.  AND mention you are as DiscoverVin friend.
 
The history of the 3 Weeds in the former working class Rozelle-Balmain peninsular exemplifies the Bastille Day motto of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité’…. Freedom, Equality…and ‘mateship ’ 
although much has changed in the area since it was established in 1881. With the gentrification of the neighbourhood, the 3 Weeds has emerged as a front-runner of the Sydney gastro-pub scene and the perfect venue to catch up with mates.



24 June 2014

Taste the Tour Pack


Celebrate 101 years of Le Tour in 2014 with a younger tradition – DiscoverVin’s Taste the Tour Pack. DiscoverVin wines from the Pyrenees, the Rhone and the South West of France matched to stages through these scenic appellations.

 


http://www.discovervin.com.au/shop/item/taste-the-tour-6-pack-01
Allez Cadel - click on the photo to purchase a tour pack
It’s that time of year again; time to enjoy the legendary Tour de France. Enjoy the sights of the racing and the stunning scenery whilst enjoying this selection of French wine.









The wines in this 6 pack are sourced from vineyards in the Pyrenees, the Rhone and the South West of France - regions that the 2014 Tour passes through in the second week as the battle for the yellow jersey really hots up!  They represent value for money and are a great introduction to DiscoverVin’s wines. And at a fraction of the price of a ticket to France! 

CLICK HERE TO TASTE THE TOUR
Stage 13: Rhone
Friday July 18 Saint Etienne: Chamrousse 197.5 km  
The ride crosses the Rhone River after a category three climb of the Col de Croix de Montvieux.  It then heads east with a final climb up Chamrousse, an 18.2 km mountain with an average gradient of 7.3%.

From a biodynamic producer on the Cotes du Rhone a delicious Grenache/Shiraz! Excellent value for money for the quality of this artisanal wine.

Suggestion: Enjoy this wine with meat dishes like braised beef with carrots, Navarin lamb or chicken casserole.


Stage 15: Provence
Sunday July 20 Tallard : Nîmes 222km
A long transition stage across the Provencal hinterland to round off the second week of the Tour. It appears unlikely that the sprinters will be thwarted in this majestic finish opposite the Nîmes arena.

Cru Classé rosé from Provence.  Rosé seems to be popping up everywhere these days - see what the fuss is about!  Pale pink, elegant nose with citrus fruit aromas.  Supple, fruity with a soft and silky "finale".

A great wine to enjoy on any day of the tour to evoke the French summer as you watch La Tour wrapped in a rug!

Stage 17: Jurancon
Wednesday July 23 Saint-Gaudens: Saint Lary Pla d’Adet 124.5 km  
At 125 km, the shortest stage comes just after the longest. A difficult stage through the mountains of the Pyrenees. Three category one climbs including the Col de Peyresourde before finishing in the mountain ski resort town of Saint Lary Pla d’Adet.

A delightful, complex, fruity but dry wine. From the excellent 2011 vintage, this wine is from one of the most beautiful and under rated regions in France. 92 points Huon Hooke. A great alternative to sauvignon blanc. Tropical fruits and citrus on the palette. Crisp dry finish. Our best selling white. 
Suggestion:  It would be a perfect match with seafood and shellfish, but also goes down a treat with pre-dinner nibbles and dips as you watch the highlights.

 Stage 18: Jurançon

Thursday 24 July:
Pau: Hautacam
145.5 km
Today the riders start in Pau the city of Henri IV - who was baptised with the wine of Jurancon. Pau has welcomed the race in style, 65 times, which puts it on the podium with Paris and Bordeaux as the most visited cities of the Tour. Today they climb the Col du Tourmalet, always a challenge. Next up, the final climb up Hautacam, which has earned a hallowed place in the history of the Tour.  Sit back and enjoy the ride as with one of the famous wines of Jurançon. 

The nose presents notes of honey, apricot and peaches.  The palate is fresh, powerful yet smooth.  Petit Manseng at its very best with fabulous length and balance.  This wine, like many from Jurançon, is pleasantly sweet without a cloying finish.  Best served with one of the classic cheeses of the region or a fruit gateau.




Suggestion: We have seen a photo of a gorgeous Gabriel Gaté gateau matched to this wine. Might this be his recommended food and wine match while in Pau for the Taste of the Tour?
  
Stage 19: Mandarin
Friday 25 July: Maubourguet Pays du Val D’Adour: Bergerac 208 km
The tour leaves the mountains of the Pyrenees.   Today’s departure is from Maubourguet Pays du Val D’Adour in the foothills of the Pyrenees. An area of plains and hills, the Pays du Val D'Adour is at the crossroads of the Béarn, Bigorre and Gascogne cultures.  Maubourguet, the name of the common was chosen by its inhabitants to inspire fear to possible invaders. But the “Bad Village” will certainly be far more hospitable to the riders. This 208 km stage is completely devoid of any real difficulties and, on paper at least, should smile upon the sprinters.  There could be a surprise breakaway.

This is a powerful multi-award winning wine from a well-regarded producer in the Madiran region. This domaine aims to produce a wine “in a style that brings out the heart and soul of south-west France. The wines of this region date back to roman times but were made famous by pilgrims passing through the region.  Made from 70% Tannat and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. A beautiful deep purple colour. An intense and savoury nose with black fruits, vanilla and leather. A concentrated palate with rich black fruit and peppery spices balanced with great structure, fine chalky tannins and acid. Intense, powerful but great length and balance.

Suggestion: Perfect with lamb shanks or duck breasts. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for suggested recipes!

Stage 20: Bergerac
Saturday 26 July: Time Trial Bergerac: Périgueux 54km
What happens in the organisers' dreams? The final winner is decided in this 54 km time trial.
Bergerac, the second city of the Dordogne area has only been visited by the tour twice before but has a long history of wine making.
The Bergerac region is picturesque and historic with bastides (walled towns) medieval cities, chateaux, Romanesque churches and abbeys and gorgeous stone villages full of character and history and some exciting wines.

A classy Merlot/Cabernet (60:40) blend from a sought after biodynamic producer.
This complex beautifully balanced and satisfying red wine is from one of Bergerac’s renowned producers Luc De Conti.
Suggestion: It is a superb tasty wine that goes well with game, duck, stews and cheese. 
Les Vaches du Tour


CLICK HERE TO TASTE THE TOUR

7 June 2014

Bordeaux Wine Festival - Fete le Vin!



One of the worlds great wine festivals unfolds this month on June 26th to June 29th. Held on the banks of the Garonne river in the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Bordeaux a series of wine tastings, wine events, concerts will take place. 

A spectacular son et lumiere (sound and light show) is projected onto the magnificent buildings around Place de la Bourse (refer photo) and fireworks are launched from barges on the river. 

There is so much more to the city of Bordeaux but wine is integral to the economy and heritage of the city. On this one week-end every second year the Bordelaise and visitors from across the world celebrate the wines of Bordeaux!

This festival is definitely worth planning around for any trip to France.

More details on the Bordeaux Fete le Vin website

28 May 2014

The French Dinner: June 28 2014 in a secret venue in Melbourne!


DiscoverVin as well as our friends Domaines Rollan de By and Chateau Beycheville are excited to be part of this unique event. 

"The French Dinner" is a secret and unique culinary experience following the four seasons. Food created by legendary chef Jaques Reymond in a secret location.

Champagne aperitif and classical music. 6 course degustation dinner prepared by Jacques Reymond with matching wines (6 glasses of fine French wine by DiscoverVin) , French cabaret, and... Sorry, but everything else is a... SECRET!

For more information and to purchase tickets click here !


25 May 2014

New wine: Chateau Rollan de By 2008

Our new wine from Bordeaux Chateau Rollan de By 2008 has attracted some attention this week being named wine of the week by wine writer Winsor Dobbin.  He wrote....

"The price of some the more prestigious Bordeauxs has put them beyond the reach of mortals with budgets; but there is still some great "claret" available to those without a black American Express card. This is a case in point, a very impressive Cru Bourgeois from the ever-growing stable of Jean Guyon, who also owns the renowned Chateau Greysac. This Medoc blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot is soft and understated without any hints of greenness. There are moccha and ripe fruit aromas while the medium-bodied palate is blessed with an appealing structure with dark blackcurrant and restrained oak to the fore. Perfumed and elegant, it was an excellent match for a beef casserole. I liked this a lot. $59. Imported by DiscoverVin " ...


This wine has won many other awards including 2 stars in the French wine review bible The Guide Hachette and a Gold Medal at the Paris wine show.

All published scores for this wine are here on wine-searcher 



Wine Enthusiast90/100   
Wine Spectator90/100   
CellarTracker87/100    
Jean-Marc Quarin85/100   
Decanter16.7/20  
Gault & Millau15/20   
Jancis Robinson15/20   
Vinum Wine Magazine14.5/20  



Jean Guyon is the owner of Château Rollan de By. Twenty years ago, when he purchased this domain, he began to improve quality and extended the vineyard.  Traditional vine growing systems were adopted.  Vines were replanted and natural fertilizers used to support the recovery of the natural ecosystem.  On an impressive deep soil of gravel, Jean Guyon produces wines that were every bit as good as the classified-growths.  The vines on the 45 hectare vineyard have an average age of 35 years.
Berry Brothers in London describe this Chateau as "a very reliable source of good value Medoc"
Region/Terroir:  Médoc –Cru bourgeois
Grapes:  Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), Merlot (70%), Petit Verdot (10%).
Soil:  Clayey-chalky gravel hills.
Alcohol:  13% VOL
Wine making: Grapes picked by hand.  Fermentation occurs at low temperatures in stainless steel, temperature controlled vats.  Malolactic fermentation occurs partially in new oak barrels.  The wine is aged in oak for 16 months.
Cellaring potential:  A wine that will achieve full maturity a decade from the vintage, but which enjoys such balance that it can be enjoyed in its youth.  Parker suggest drinking over the next decade (see below)
Our Tasting notes:  This wine had a WOW factor in a large line up of wines from the Médoc.  Lifted nose with some floral (violet) notes and blackcurrant/cassis.  Gorgeous mouth feel,soft, round and long with great balance.  Complex palate , blackcurrants, liquorice notes and tobacco.  As good as many classified growths.
It is a pleasure for DiscoverVin to bring this wine to Australia. It can be found on our website by clicking here. Trade prices on application 0260206016 or info@discovervin.com.au

5 May 2014

"Offal the beaten track" : food and wine event in Sydney.


Chophouse, one of our favourite Sydney CBD restaurants is holding a winter dinner on 3rd June. It's called 'Offal the Beaten Track' and features some interesting cuts of meat and a superb array of interesting unusual wines/grape varieties.

The dinner includes one of DiscoverVin's white wines - Domaine Bellegarde "Pierre Blanche" Jurançon Sec 2009 - a superb dry white from an organic producer in the foothills of the Pyrenees in the south-west of France.  

We attended a wine dinner at Chophouse last year and it was a fantastic night- excellent food, service, atmosphere and generous wine pours.  For more details see the menu below.

Seems like this will be a great night of "culinary exploration for the adventurous"!