Tastin’, Talkin’ and Tweetin’

leanne / March 31st, 2011

We have just been through the busiest two days with a visit by Rick Bakas of BakasMedia from the USA. He was flown out to Australia by the Wine Communicators of Australia for a whirlwind trip around the country, espousing the virtues of Social Media as well as coinciding with Tweetups (wine tastings held concurrently in Australia and the USA).

Rick arrived in Victoria yesterday morning, minus luggage, but full of enthusiasm. Helped by the energetic Trish Barry (of Mastermind Consulting and busy mother of 2), he visited Yering Station and Innocent Bystander finishing up with us for a very casual dinner last night. And the tweets kept coming.

This morning, Steve showed Rick and Trish around the vineyard, stopping momentarily to take this video of Rick and Steve in the vineyard (to encourage the tweets to keep coming) finishing in a two hour tweetup running simultaneously in various cities of the USA.

Yering Station, Innocent Bystander, Coldstream Hills and ourselves had sent some Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to some tasting groups in the USA. Comments (as tweets) cascaded down the ‘twitterfall’ (on a giant screen) from all over Australia and the USA as we were tasting similar wines. This takes virtual wine tasting to a whole new level.

Just by adding the hashtag #YarraWine to their comments, everyone could see what others had written.

And for those who think Social media is very antisocial , I am here to tell you it isn’t. there was plenty of banter, plenty of tasting and of course lots of tweeting.

The washup of todays tasting for Yarra Valley wine was that 1,353 tweets were sent with the hashtag #YarraWine reaching 2,429,677 people. How is that for having a casual little chat with a few interested friends!

Follow Rick on twitter http://twitter.com/RickBakas or Trish on http://twitter.com/MastermindTB



Oh, and you can follow me on http://twitter.com/DeBortoliWines

Vintage and Visitors from Afar

leanne / March 24th, 2011

This week we had a visit from Mr Li and his team from Chinese Tianjin TV (TJTV) who have been roaming around Victoria filming at various wineries including ourselves. Although the weather was supposed to be dismal, it performed admirably on the day to show blue sky and warm sunshine (just what we needed for the grapes as well!).

Host Missy Liu was shown the finer points of making pizza by Steve (more than just a winemaker) and we all sat down to a fine feast of pizza and bbq ….plus plenty of wine.



You can follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/DeBortoliWines

Spaghetti Carbonara, the real deal

leanne / March 17th, 2011

I have had a few discussions (with friends and on twitter) about cooking Spaghetti Carbonara, the Italian way. By this I mean the proper Italian way without cream. I received a few comments  “What…Carbonara….without cream??”.

Cooked this way, Spaghetti Carbonara is one these tasty little gems that is easy to make and uses few ingredients. Wikipedia has this to say http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonara.

All you need is Pancetta (or Bacon), Eggs/egg yolks, Pecorino (or Parmigiano cheese), Olive Oil, black pepper and spaghetti. That’s all. You can trick it up with a few other ingredients like mushrooms, parsley, peas, garlic, white wine etc but I prefer the simplicity of the basic dish.

So how do I make mine?

For 4 people: 1 x 500g packet Spaghetti (I use Barilla),  2 tblsp Olive Oil, 175g pancetta (or packet bacon), 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg, ½ cup of grated Pecorino (or Reggiano Parmigiano), Lots of grated black pepper (according to taste), Some reserved pasta cooking water, Grated cheese to add at end

Method: Chop the bacon into pieces and cook gently in 2 tablespoons olive oil until nearly crisp. Leave to cool slightly in pan. Add pasta to a pot of boiling, slightly salted, water and cook until al dente. Whilst pasta is cooking, whisk 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Add half a cup of grated Pecorino (or Reggiano Parmigiano) into the mixture and combine. Add freshly grated black pepper and mix well. When the pasta is cooked, drain it but reserve a little of the cooking liquid in a small bowl. Add the pasta to the egg & cheese mixture and then add the bacon. Mix thoroughly and add a little of the cooking water if needed to help coat all the pasta thoroughly. It should glisten. Grate some more cheese on top and serve straightaway with crusty bread and a green salad. So tasty, so easy.

Do you have a different take on Spaghetti Carbonara or perhaps a family recipe that you would like to share with us for our 2011 calendar? If so, we would love to hear from you.

For details click here http://www.debortoli.com.au/cellar-doors/calendar-2012.html

Buon appetito!


Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/DeBortoliWines

Pinot Gris V Pinot Grigio. What is the fuss?

leanne / March 10th, 2011


The endless debate about Pinot Grigio versus Pinot Gris would lead you to think that they are two different grape varieties for the style of wine they make. Steve and I have been trying many different styles from different makers over the last few months and have enjoyed both; the minerally, more acidic style of Pinot Grigio favoured by the Italians as well as the richer, more textural style of Pinot Gris a la Alsace. Both have their place.

Scorpo, Ocean Eight and Carlei are amongst some good Aussie examples of the Pinot Gris style that we have tried and like immensely. We are also unpertubed by any tinges of pink we see in some Pinot Gris wines, just embracing it for what it is.

Anyway…we are excited because we have started picking Pinot Gris from our Yarra Valley farm and are liking what we see. This fruit will end up in La Boheme Act 3, ‘Pinot Gris and Friends’. Grapes today, wine bottling in 4 to 5 weeks, ready for market in October/November 2011.

Steve was tasting these wines the other day and commenting about Pinot Gris needing a little bottle age. He says they are bright, minerally and faintly aromatic when young, but with a bit of luck, brooding and naughty later.

For this reason, we held back from releasing the 2010 La Boheme Act 3 late last year to give it a little more time in bottle. Glad we did as it is drinking beautifully now.

However it is not about what we say, try it for yourself and let us know what you think



follow me on twitter  www.twitter.com/DeBortoliWines

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