YOU can take the NorthernGirl (that’s me) out of the northern hemisphere and plonk her firmly and squarely in the middle of Sydney, upside down and thousands of miles from home, and she’ll still yearn for pie, peas and gravy.
And that’s exactly what I got. My first meal in this welcoming, blue sky, crisp, clean, friendly city was eagerly grabbed from Harry’s Café de Wheels; a stop-by-and-be-tempted kiosk which has been frequented by the great and the good.
I know this, because their pictures were on the walls.
I was as giddy as a kipper. Not just about the pie for lunch (it was scrummy) but because I’d arrived in this city on the eastern coast of Australia just a couple of hours earlier and was excited to discover its secrets.
I’ve found my new favourite wine, Hunter Valley semillon from Australia, with the help of one of the UK’s most popular chefs, Masterchef’s John Torode.
John has joined forces with chief winemaker Neil McGuigan from McGuigan Wines to work on a special project Vine to Glass. They have made a new limited edition Hunter Valley Semillon together and along the way have captured the story in a series of videos.
I met them both Down Under and their enthusiasm for their shared project is contagious. Their deep love of food and wine taste explosions, together with the chemistry between each other – a brotherly professionalism doused in humour – could in itself be bottled.
I drank alot of semillon in Australia. (I know, but it was warm and I was thirsty.) As a young wine it is light, fresh and limey. As it ages in the bottle it takes on toast, nut and honey notes with no help from oak. It’s just helped along its way by a magical Hunter Valley alchemy.