So what do we do on an Election Day when everyone already knows the outcome? Did you get your sausage in the queue? The clouds and rain were forecast to arrive, so before the sun disappeared, the small BBQ made an appearance, and the long lunch of takeaway pizza, grilled prawns and vegetables commenced. By the time dessert around, the time was showing 4pm, technically displacing tea.
Byron Bay Cookie Company ‘cookie bars’ Triple Choc Fudge
Baked a medium brown colour, certainly a couple of shades lighter than one would typically anticipate for a triple choc. Little traces of nut with larger bits of dark chocolate and white choc drops, this is an easily palatable crunchy cookie. Not as chocolatey as I’d like, I don’t this it meets it’s ‘indulgent’ claim but I prefer this to the white choc bar.
Byron Bay Cookie Company ‘cookie bars’ White Choc Chunk & Macadamia nut
This is baked medium-soft, uniform sandy brown colour, decent sized chunks of macadamia nuts but their hard crunch is in stark contrast to the crumbly structure of the dough. If I could feel more butteriness, then this would be quite a treat. Still, a gluten-free treat so this will be a nice treat for some.
Madecasse ‘exotic pepper’ 63% cocoa with tsiperifery pepper, Madagascar
I had tried Madecasse chocolates previously, and this company has continued to grow, being named one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world by Fast Company magazine and this is proudly printed on their packaging. This bar has 63% cocoa spiced with the rare Tsiperifery pepper. This is a rare pepper with only 1500kg harvest in a year, and is growing in gourmet value due to an enticing aromatic profile. The pepper tree can reach up to 20m in the tropical forests of Madagascar and only the young shoots on the top produce fruits (“Voa”), handpicked by the villagers from the East Coast of the Island.
It is the colour of burnt brown earth, lacks a shine and snaps fairly easily. Very faint smells, floral, a sense of dried beans and only slightly peppery. Moderate melt factor, woody and earthy flavours, a linger buttery weight on the palate. It didn’t have the pepperish spice that I was looking for, but now that I know how rare the pepper is, I don’t expect much to be in this offering. It’s somewhat complex, but doesn’t exactly captivate. However, a nice chocolate that is inoffensive. This could be accompanied by something with rich acidity, perhaps an orange-based dessert. I enjoyed it thoroughly with the Sánchez Romate Cardenal Cisneros Pedro Ximenez.
Virgona Malvasia delle Lipari passito 2008 DOC, Aeolian Islands, Sicily, Italy
AUD$86 (500ml). This is one of the rare occasions I’ve come across Malvasia bianca, a Mediterranean variety from the same family of the Malvasia used to make Madeiran Malmsey. Malsavia is used to make white wine, dessert wines and fortified wines in countries such as Italy, Croatia, Spain, Madeira and in some regions of the Californian coast. Each region has its own indigenous varietals, so there must be a huge assortment of wine styles to try. It’s a real shame that this grape is unlikely to be the sole focus of any tasting event.
It is produced with 95% Malvasia white grapes and 5% Corinto black grapes, withered partly on the plant and exposed to sunlight on traditional long racks of reeds (known as cannizzi) for about 15 days after the vintage. Once the stalks are removed, the grapes are gently pressed and the must obtained is fermented, stabilized and matured for an 8 month period. A wine that simply must be served chilled (~12-15ºC).
A clear amber gold colour. An intense aroma of ripe apricot syrup, bees wax and gum honey. A sweet lush wine, interesting subtle flavours presenting as layers of mandarin, orange blossom and baked apricot with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Drink now – 2018. 90/100.