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Surfer’s Paradise, Mortadella & Brisket Cold Cuts, Israeli Salad, and Teal Lake Shiraz

Our second shabbos in Australia was magical for many reasons.  First the hotel was gorgeous, close to the beach in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia.  Surfer’s Paradise reminded me and my wife of a nicer and less seedy Miami Beach. Second the hotel was literally next door to the synagogue!  No joke, I promise!  Crazy cool. Third, we picked up some great stuff to enjoy for the Shabbos meals.  First we picked up some lovely rolls at the partially kosher bakery chain; Goldstein’s Bakery. Partially kosher, because only the articles clearly labeled as kosher, along with uncut breads are kosher.  Along with the lovely rolls, we picked up two packets of cold cuts at the Synagogue’s kosher food store, and a lovely Pumpkin/Sweet Potato soup.  The two cold cuts we bought were ones we never saw, at least in cold cuts anyway.  We bought Mortadella and Brisket. Mortadella is normally made of finely hashed/ground heat-cured pork sausage which incorporates at least 15% small cubes of pork fat (principally the hard fat from the neck of the pig). It is delicately flavored with spices, including whole or ground black pepper, myrtle berries, nutmeg, coriander and pistachios, jalapeños and/or olives (from Wikipedia). This particular Mortadella had no pork, of course.  Instead, the ingredients read Beef, Chicken, Water, Salt, Spices, peppercorns, and mineral salts.  The brisket seemed to be pastrami, but I could not be sure.

Overall, the meal and the area were just fantastic.  The sad thing was that to find a decent bottle of kosher wine in that area, was close to impossible – which was truly sad.  In the end, we found a bottle of Teal Lake Shiraz, and even that was a fair amount of work – we found it at a wine and spirits superstore called Dan Murphy’s, which reminded me of BevMo (a wine and spirits superstore here in California).

The wine note follows below:

2008 Teal Lake Shiraz – Score: B+
The nose on this purple colored wine starts off hot initially with spicy oak, ripe plum, blackberry, mineral notes, stony, raspberry, bramble fruit, white pepper, and jasmine or rose flowers.  The mouth on this full bodied wine hits you with spicy blackberry, raspberry, and plum that fill your mouth with soft and integrating tannins.  The mid palate is brooding with acid, oak, and pepper.  The finish is long with oak, pepper, blackberry, and more tannin that linger long on the palate with plum, oak, and chocolate.  This wine went downhill quickly after my initial notes, so I would drink this up now.

Barkan Pinot Noir, Teal Lake Shiraz Cabernet, Tishbi Cabernet – Petite Sirah, Tierra Salvaje Carmenere

This past week we attended the bar mitzvah of our friend’s kids.  I say kids as they are twins and they did a wonderful job both on their readings and their speeches.  After the ceremony, we were treated to a crazy feast that was quite enjoyable, to say the least.  The meal was scrumptious and the wines served with it were also quite nice.  They were mevushal wines and as stated in previous postings, the quality of mevushal wines can be all over the map.  The wines we were served were quite nice, and in many ways interesting.  None of them made us stand up and cheer, but two of them were downright enjoyable, and two of them were fascinating more from their characteristics then their overall flavor profiles.  Because I had them away from home, I had no place or ability to write notes, therefore, the notes are less through then they normally are.

So many thanks to the hosts, and the wine notes follow below:

2007 Barkan Pinot Noir – Score: B+
I have already blogged about this one here, and enjoyed it now as much as I did the last time.  The acid really picks the wine up, still funny that they bottled the Pinot in a Bordeaux bottle!

2006 Tishbi Cabernet – Petite Sirah – Score: B – B+
This is one of those wines that is really fun.  The nose is packed with classical Golan dirt, nice red fruit, a touch of blackberry, and herbs.  The mouth of this very soft and light to medium bodied wine is active, alive, and really nice.  Fresh red fruit, gobs of nice dirt, and a medium long finish with nice acidity and spice.  A great quaffing wine that is light enough, yet tasty as well.

2005 Teal Lake Shiraz Cabernet
– Score: B
This is a wine whose nose is 100% different than its mouth.  The nose on this wine is almost Cabernet like with a nice combination of red and black fruits.  However, the mouth of this medium bodied wine is a very fruity and extremely floral, to the point of throwing the wine off kilter.  It is a trait of these Teal Lake Shiraz wines, to be crazy floral, but this is a bit too far!

2008 Tierra Salvaje Carmenere – Score: B
This Chilean wine is cool because it is a rather uncommon varietal, but that is where it ends pretty much.  I will say that the wine starts off with an awful smell that does blow off over time.  Still what is left is a floral nosed wine with just enough red fruit to call it wine.  The mouth of the medium bodied wine has a fair amount of floral characteristics along with some fruit, pepper, and a touch of acidity.  There may have been some tannin in the wine, but it was not registrable above all the other noise.

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