Foods from around the world tend to reflect the regional nature of the climate, geography and in deed the residents and their culture. Some of the now world famous gourmet foods originated in small rural villiages throughout Europe. At Toms Waterhole wines in Canowindra, in the beautiful Belubula Valley we continue to look for local foods to match our wines. To this end the vine leaves are large and tender after all the recent rain so that leads us to turn our hands to making Dolmades.
I refer to Wikipedia for a definition….
Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and surrounding regions such as Russia, Middle East and the Caucasus and Central and South Asia. Perhaps the best-known is the grape-leaf dolma. Common vegetables to stuff include onion, zucchini, eggplant, tomato and pepper. The stuffing may or may not include meat. Meat dolma are generally served warm, often with sauce; meatless ones are generally served cold, though meatless dolma are eaten both ways in Iran. Both are often eaten with yogurt. The filling generally consists of rice, minced meat or grain. In either case, the filling includes onion, parsley, herbs and spices. Meatless fillings are cooked with olive oil and include raisins or currants, onion, nuts or pulses.
Dolma is a verbal noun of the Turkish verb dolmak, ‘to be stuffed’, and means ‘stuffed thing’.
Dolma is a stuffed vegetable, that is, a vegetable that is hollowed out and filled with stuffing. This applies to courgette, tomato, pepper, eggplant, and the like; stuffed mackerel, squid, and mussel are also called dolma. Dishes involving wrapping leaves such as vine leaves or cabbage leaves around a filling are called sarma though in many languages, the distinction is usually not made. Sarma is derived from the Turkish verb sarmak which means ‘to wrap’. Other variants derive from the Turkish word for ‘leaf’, yaprak.
Anyway back to Canowindra we think it will make an interesting experiment to see if our Dolmades taste any different wrapped in Chardonnay, Shiraz or Sangiovese leaves.
Is anyone else game to join the experiment???
Twelve people are registered for our salami workshop this Saturday 20th August. The pig is hanging in the cool room. the seasonings are lined up on the kitchen bench, the skins are soaking and our guest “salamateur” Tony Belmonte is excited by the interest we have generated.
Gab and Gobble @Toms
Join our winemaker for a long, lazy ploughmans lunch of our homemade cheeses, smoked meats, pate, pickles, chutneys and breads.and a glass of wine, whilst he entertains you with anecdotal wine stories from around the world.
Where: Toms Waterhole Wines
Longs Corner Rd., Canowindra
Time: 12 mid-day
Bookings: Essential - Phone Jan on (02) 6344 1819
Dates: Sundays 19 September, 17 October, 21 November
Also: Montgolfier Balloon weekend 20/21 November 2010
Graham’s recipe for Rare Honey Glazed smoked beef. This is one of the specialty meats that we serve on our ploughman’s lunches at Toms Waterhole Wines.
Use a whole fresh silver-side of beef and cold smoke for eight hours at under 50 degrees Celsius using American oak chips that have been soaked in Toms Waterhole Shiraz for a minimum of twelve months. Baste the outside every hour with wild bush honey. Then raise the temperature of the oven to 100 degrees Celsius and cook until the internal meat temperature reaches 60 degrees for ten minutes. This will give you perfectly rare beef. I use a meat thermometer to gauge the “doneness”.
A bit about smoking meats at home. Search on google for “wood for smoking meats” and you will find numerous sites with lots of info but in Australia, hickory, the traditional smoking wood, is expensive as it is all imported. Of course oak chips are imported also but after the winery is finished with them you won’t pay nearly as much for them as when they are new and unused. The link below has a very detailed description of woods used for smoking around the world. Oak is strong but not overpowering and is a very good wood for beef or lamb. Oak is probably the most versatile of the hard woods.
If you would like to try out using our Shiraz soaked U.S. Oak chips order them from our on-line shopping cart.
Thirty members of the Forbes Claret Club visited Toms Waterhole Winery for winetasting and endless ploughmans lunch. Resident winemaker Graham Kerr entertained guests with anecdotal wine tales and discussions on the production of fermented foods which include wine, bread, salami, cheese and olives.
Balloon Joy Flights has just been announced as a Finalist in the NSW Tourism Awards. This follows on from our recent win in the Inland Tourism Awards. The Gala presentation is to be held at the Sydney Convention Centre on November 19th 2009. Our friends from The Old Vic Inn and The Black Sheep Inn are also finalists. This means that us three local “Kids from the Bush” are up against the Big boys now. Wish us luck by leaving a comment to this posting.
Toms Waterhole Wines will be hosting our first “Fermented Foods” festival at the winery on 17th/ 18th and 24th/25th October.
In conjunction with Orange Wine Week, we will have visiting French vignerons Phillipe and Aline from La Colline Wines in Orange to assist Graham and Jan in presenting a range of both cool climate and our warmer climate wines over a long ploughman’s lunch featuring local breads, cheeses, salamis, saurkraut, olives and olive oil. To find out more or make a booking for this event contact us.
Morning Graham & Jan.
Just a short note to thank you for putting on a GREAT tasting/information and lunch for us yesterday. It really was the highlight of the trip with everyone congratulating me for the choice of lunch venue & menu. This praise of course, goes to you. It is always a concern when organizing these trips that things will turn out Ok when you haven’t actually eaten at places, but the vibes from our earlier visit and discussions with Jan – just felt right! And obviously, from the sales, the wine is also great. I think you may have some return visits. Apologies for driving off without paying!!!!!! Thanks again and continued good health and success.
Regards Norm Kitto
Springwood Rotary Trip Convenor.
Just a reminder that this Sunday 23rd August is our second “Sunday Lunch” function in the Winery. The last one was a sellout success with 33 people enjoying a tasting of the whole range of Tomswaterhole Wines together with Graham and Jan’s fabulous woodfired pizza. Sunday 23rd starting at 12.30 $20 a head for all the pizza you can eat. Why not get a few friends together and come and hear first hand about the “Canowindra Challenge-Festival of Flight”. There will be a short presentation and workshop about it over lunch.
The Happy Winemaker
A story for our time
Once upon a time a winemaker came to a small country town. He saw the green hills. He saw the clean river. He saw the rich soil and he felt the warm sun and he knew that this was the place to plant his precious Chardonnay grape vines
So he planted his grape vines on those green hills with the clean water and the rich soil and the warm sun and soon the vines were heavy with bunches of rich, fat golden grapes. And the winemaker took those rich fat golden bunches and pressed them and fermented them and made a rich fat luscious golden wine with just a hint of the green hills that the vines grew on. Then he stored the wine in the finest oak from the forest and after a time he bottled the wine and the people came from all around to taste this marvelous drink.
The winemaker became famous and throughout the world people begged for his wine and other people tried to copy it but none of them had green hills and clean water and rich soil and warm sun like his little country town. And the winemaker was happy and the people who drank his wine were happy and the winemaker even had hopes that he might become rich.
One day a narrow eyed man in a white coat knocked at the winemaker’s door. “Hello,” said the winemaker, “how can I help you?”
The narrow eyed man looked down his narrow nose at the winemaker. “I travel all over the world tasting wine,” said the man. “I know all there is to know about wine. I am an expert. If I like a wine I give it a star and if I don’t like a wine I write nasty things about it. Then my friends who live in big cities and drink coffee with froth on the top and watch themselves in mirrors will stop drinking the wine so I am very important. I have heard about your wine and I have come to taste it.”
The winemaker was a naturally polite person so he invited the narrow eyed man to taste his golden luscious wine. The man took a glass, swirled the wine around, looked at the colour, stuck his narrow nose in the top, took a sip and spat the wine on the floor.
“Aren’t you going to drink the wine?” asked the winemaker.
“I never drink the wine,” said the narrow eyed man. “That would spoil my sense of taste.” Then he looked at the wine again and looked at the winemaker. “You say this is Chardonnay?” he asked.
“Yes,” said the winemaker, now suddenly afraid.
“No,” said the narrow eyed man. “I have traveled all over the world and I have been in the land of frogs where they have been making Chardonnay for hundreds of years and where, you will agree, they know how to make Chardonnay. This is nothing like Chardonnay from the land of frogs. This isn’t proper Chardonnay at all.” he looked sternly at the winemaker. “Unless you start making Chardonnay like the Chardonnay from the land of frogs I will write nasty things about you and my friends in the city who drink coffee with froth on top and like to look at themselves in mirrors will not buy your wine.”
“What must I do?” asked the winemaker in great fear.
“In the land of frogs the hills are not green, the water is not clear, the soil is not rich, the sun is not warm and their oak barrels are old. You must copy that.” The narrow eyed man in the white coat turned to go. “And remember, I will be watching you and I will return.”
Afraid that he would lose his sales to the city people the winemaker began to change the way he grew his grapes and made his wine. He let the soil grow poor and the hills turn brown. He stopped giving his vines the clear water from the river. He picked the bunches of grapes before they became fat and golden in the sun. He stored the wine in stainless steel tanks and it never saw the oak of the forest.
True to his word the narrow eyed man in the white coat returned and tasted the wine. “This,” he said, “is more like the Chardonnay from the land of the frogs.”
“But most people tell me they don’t like it,” said the winemaker.
“Don’t worry about most people,” said the narrow eyed man. “I’m the only important person; me and my friends who drink coffee with froth on the top and watch themselves in mirrors.”
So the winemaker continued in his new style, making Chardonnay like the Chardonnay from the land of frogs and most people stopped drinking it and he began to lose money. “Help me,” he called to the narrow eyed man. “You say you are an expert. My business cannot survive. What should I do?”
“Your problem,” said the narrow eyed man “is Chardonnay. People, real people who drink coffee with froth on the top and look at themselves in mirrors, those people don’t like Chardonnay any more. But in the land of the frogs there is another grape called Marsanne. You should grow that instead.”
So the winemaker planted Marsanne. It did not make a very nice wine and not many people bought it so he called out to the narrow eyed man again.
“No, no, I didn’t say Marsanne,” said the narrow eyed man. “I said a grape from the land of bulls, Verdelho”
So the winemaker planted Verdelho and it didn’t make a very nice wine and not many people bought it so he called to the narrow eyed man again.
“Verdelho? Why did you plant Verdelho? No, you need to plant the vine from the land of spaghetti. You need to plant Pinot Grigio.”
So he planted Pinot Grigio and it didn’t make very nice wine and not many people bought it. So the winemaker turned to the narrow eyed man.
“I’m sorry,” said the winemaker, “but I can no longer make wine. I don’t like the wine I do make and the people don’t buy it so before I run out of money altogether I’m going to pull up all my grapes and grow wheat and canola in the rich soil and fatten sheep on the green hills and sit in the warm sun and catch fish in the clear river and I won’t ever again have to worry about narrow eyed men in white coats or city people who drink coffee with froth on it and watch themselves in mirrors.
And,” he said to himself, “on the top of the hill will be one small row of Chardonnay that will grow fat rich golden grapes and I will make a fat golden wine just for me.”