Saturday, January 23, 2010

Moscato proves it has bite

With David Bray

Here is something to make all those of us who tend to be rather superior about moscato think again. Or at least go out and buy a bottle, cool it a bit, and sip.

Jacob's Creek Sparkling Moscato has won the National Australia Day Council's perpetual trophy for Best Australian Sparkling Wine - Aperitif Style at the 2010 Sydney International Wine Competition. Sydney International Wine Competition director Warren Mason tells us the wine is a crowd pleaser, great for celebrating big moments or enjoying quiet ones and makes a great wine ambassador for Australia Day on January 26. The Moscato was the competition judges' highest pointed Australian sparkling wine from among many high profile, higher priced methode champenoise Aussie sparklers. Moscato is the Italian name for wines made from the muscat grape in a style from the northern region of Piedmont, Italy.
“The Jacob's Creek sparkling moscato is low in alcohol, low in price, but not low in flavour! It is truly an all purpose wine of high quality which will appeal to a wide audience of Australian wine lovers on Australia Day and throughout the year," says Mason.
This is the first time a sparkling moscato has won the Australia Day trophy in the trophy’s 17 year history. “The fact that this wine has a rrp of $12.99, such a very accessible price point, makes it a truly pleasing Australia Day trophy winner."
At which point your correspondent would like to make the point that Jacob’s Creek is French-owned. It is part of the giant Pernod Ricard business, and none the worse for that, I guess.
The Sydney International Wine Competition is in its 29th year and is unique in that wines are judged alongside food. This year’s Australia Day “Sparkling Wine – Aperitif style” Trophy winner was judged against Smoked Salmon Timbales . Some of the judges’ comments from the final tasting: “Excellent straw green colour.
A nose of honeysuckle and ripej tropical fruits with a viscous mouth feel and loads of tropical flavours. The piquant nature of the food accentuated the riper fruits in this wine.” Ken Dobler, NSW “Honey jasmine and lime cordial notes on the nose. Dry on the palate with crisp acidity and good concentration.
A light to medium body and medium to long finish.” Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Singapore “Pale lemon straw with a slight green hue. Green apple and greengage fruit on the nose. On the palate, well structured palate with medium body, more subdued fruit with a mineral edge and firm acidity at the finish.” Martin Williams MW, Vic “Ripe citrus tropical fruit characters on the nose with some banana/lolly characters. The wine is juicy in the mouth with ripe grapefruit flavours; the finish is a little hard but becomes more juicy and grapefruit like with the food.” Neil Hadley MW, NSW
This moscato won its trophy status from an original category of 74 sparkling wine entries.
The 17 finalists included wines from Champagne, Australia and New Zealand which included mainly straight chardonnays (blanc de blancs) and chardonnay/pinot noir/and or pinot meunier blends.

Here’s what the Jacob’s Creek drop went well with....

RECIPE Smoked Salmon Timbales
Recipe by SIWC chef Jacqueline Mason

Serves 6
600g Smoked salmon slices
2 gelatine Leaves
Dash of Tabasco
½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
100ml fish stock
10g unsalted butter
150ml thick cream
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
12 tbsp mixed fresh green herbs (parsley, chervil, basil)
Ground pepper

Soak gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Heat the fish stock. Remove gelatine from water. Squeeze to remove water, then stir into the hot stock to dissolve. Cool lightly.
Line 6 x 120ml ramekins with one or two slices of smoked salmon (depending of size) leaving some overhang.
Place remaining smoked salmon in a food processor with butter and mix until smooth. Add stock mixture, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Process until well combined. Add cream and process until smooth.
Divide mixture amongst the 6 ramekins. Fold the overhanging salmon over the mousse, cover and chill overnight.
Remove ramekins from the fridge 30 minutes before serving. Invert each mousse onto the middle of each plate. Mix olive oil, lemon juice and herbs. Spoon the herbed dressing over the mousse. Serve with toasts.

Seriously, give it a go. And be delighted.