One day, not so long ago my friends and I decided we needed a “Work Christmas Party Function”. They seemed to be all the rage at the time- everyone was having them. Probably because it was Christmas. So we booked ourselves into The Long Apron up at Montville, because, we is well fancy.
If you’ve bothered to read this far, I’m guessing you haven’t been to the Longy, as I like to call it, or you would have flicked on by, knowing how glowing and flowing this little essay would be. So click onto the linky if you like, or take it from me: It’s in Montville, and it’s worth the trip. It’s bloody beautiful.
Now make no mistake, I am no food reviewer, and if we are to be completely honest here, and I think we usually are, I must state from the outset that I don’t know my Guinea Fowl from my Guiness, but I do know a bloody good deal when I see one, and “McWilliams Mount Pleasant Wine Lunch” for one hundred and twenty five smackers sounded like a beauty.
Rose and I arrived unfashionably early (and I mean really unfashionably- they were still clearing out the wedding from the night before) because: Queensland and no daylight saving, and also, the evil geniuses both had parties to attend, and there was not a snowballs chance that we were driving ourselves to a WINE LUNCH. I think Nath shoved us out whilst MissXtralia2013 was still moving, such was his haste to: 1.Get Unit One to the first party 2.Get Unit Two to the second party 3.Get off the range and back to the coast before he changed his mind and sold his kids for kindling and joined our lunch. Such was the magnificence of the setting.
A fancy front-of-house lady showed us to the library, and brought us tea to
get us out of her way help us settle in. Bonus.
So we lounged on the lounges, as was befitting for ladies of our standing.
After a time, the other guests started to arrive, and we were invited to join them on the lawn, with some NV Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve. I said, “That champi has my name on it”, and then wrote it with spit on the fog on the side of my cold glass to prove it. See: fancy.
It was a bit of a wait, so there was more champi, and then we were seated and there was something yummy to eat. I don’t know what it was, but some of it was butter, but not just any butter. Some kind of crazy butter that was so delicious that I surreptitiously ate it like cheese when no-one was looking.
Then there was a speech by the very cute winemaker who I suspect might be named Phil, and the chef, who’s name may or may not have been Cameron (sorry maybe-Cameron) and the chef’s helper, and did I mention there was champi? They talked us through the wines and the food, and it was all very lovely and civilised and very interesting and then guess what? More wine. This time, TWO: Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon and Leontine Chardonnay. The Lovedale was awesome, but frankly the Chardy was bit shit. It was a bit nicer with the trout, but still, they can keep that one for the proper wine peeps. “Gimme the Goodlovin’ “, I said, so they did, and all was well.
I was sad to say goodbye to the crispy stuff, but it was onto the Guinea Fowl, and Lord knows I’d never match that with a white, so we had a Mount Henry Shiraz Pinot and then…. I must say here, I do love a good story, and there was a good story behind the Old Hill, which eludes me now, but suffice to say it was about a Paddock and a Hill and old vines. I think. And the old vines were apparently good ole vines. Amazingly, the wine was then called Mount Pleasant Old Paddock and Old Hill Shiraz.
Finally, the edges got a little blurry and everything was a little loose, and we had a CRACKING McWilliams Morning Light Botrytis Semillon, matched with some ice-cream made with lemon leaf that they picked just up the road. Or off the road. One of those. I definitely heard something about the road.
I suspect I impressed and astounded the punters across the table from me with my excellent knowledge of the Botrytis fungus (I did Microbiology in second year you know), before we retired to the lawn to play croquet.
I took a shitload of photos, made best friends for life (or the end of the day, whichever came first) with the Winemaker’s wife Sylvia, promised the National Sales Manager Greg I’d write an astounding blog about the day, threw the croquet ball (? puck? anyway, the round thingy) to show my “good arm from softball (circa 1985)” and at some point, someone brought out a dog, which I may or may not have promised to buy.
So, there you have it, Mc William’s Mount Pleasant: the blog post, as promised. You were sensational hosts, your people are affable, and even more than quaffable, your wine is the nectar of the angels. And I shall never buy Noble One again.
…Nor shall I ever have so much plonk on a hot Queensland Summer afternoon.
PS If you would like your establishment reviewed, send me your deets. I shall consider it carefully (should you promise to pay in wine). As you can tell, I am nothing if not professional and precise.
Have you been to The Longy? Do you want to? (I’m free that weekend, BTW)