2019年12月19日 星期四

Australia Letter: What To Eat And Drink This Australian Summer

It's holiday season and we're hot and hungry.

Letter 138

What To Eat And Drink This Australian Summer

At Congress, a wine bar in Collingwood that opened in 2018, the chef Jack Stuart collaborated with Katie McCormack, an owner, to come up with a menu of wine-friendly dishes.Kristoffer Paulsen for The New York Times
The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau. This week’s issue is written by Damien Cave, the Australia bureau chief.

It’s the holiday season and we’re hot, hungry and ready for a break — so this week’s newsletter will be short and laser-focused on what brings comfort: food and drink.

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In the midst of all the news in recent months, you might have missed a few Timesian explorations of such things, so let me be your concierge.

Let’s start with our wine critic’s favorite wine moments of 2019, not just because that thoughtful critic, Eric Asimov, suggests some fantastic bottles for gifts or family gatherings, but also because two of his favorite experiences occurred in Australia.

At the Carlton Wine Room in Melbourne, Eric ordered a 2017 riesling with the curious name Das Sakrileg, “and from the first sip I was entranced,” he writes. “The texture was rich yet delicate at the same time. It was tense and energetic, stony, succulent and absolutely delicious.”

When he visited the winery, La Violetta, and its proprietor, Andrew Hoadley, Eric learned that the wine was fermented in barrels without clarifying or filtering — a radical approach that produced the name, suggesting a wine breaks all the rules.

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Another favorite moment for Eric: visiting Luke Lambert in the Yarra Valley, where he discovered Mr. Lambert’s nebbiolo.

“It was nuanced and complex, with a lovely, fine texture and classic flavors of dark fruit, menthol, flowers, tar and earthy minerals,” he writes. “It was the truest combination of nebbiolo and place that I’d ever had outside northern Italy.”

If you see either of those wines on the shelf at your local bottle shop, grab a case.

While you’re shopping for drinks, you might also want to pick up a bottle of Australian whisky. Yes, that’s right, whisky.

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When Clay Risen told me he was going to write about it, I admit I was a bit skeptical. But then I bought a bottle of Lark in Tasmania as a gift for a friend, who was kind enough to share a glass or two with me, and I quickly (hallelujah!) became a believer.

Many of Australia’s small whisky distilleries are now turning heads around the world, for a reason worth noting: they’re not copying what others are doing, but forging ahead with something new.

“The existing cohort, bourbon and Scotch, didn’t appeal to us,” said David Vitale, the founder of Starward, one of Australia’s award-winning distillers. “We wanted to create a modern, progressive whiskey that spoke to the place it’s made.”

You may also be looking for something to eat to go along with all that drink.

Besha Rodell, our Australian food columnist, has a suggestion: Barbecue. Not that North or South Carolina-inspired kind you can get at a kiosk at the market; not some slathered-up ribs at the pub.

No, what she’s talking about is a new and exciting form of Australian barbecue that can be found at places like Sydney’s Firedoor, or Burnt Ends, another fire-friendly spot run by an Australian in Singapore.

Her exploration and explanation of Australian barbecue is an argument filled with passion.

“What if there was a style of Australian barbecue that was its very own thing? Influenced, perhaps, by Southern American barbecue, but more heavily by the Basque region of Spain?” she writes. “I believe that such a style is beginning to emerge, and that it’s far more exciting than the glut of American-themed barbecue in Sydney, Melbourne and beyond.”

And finally, one more suggestion: recipes. I officially became an NYT Cooking regular this year, with dozens of meals guided along by the brilliant food crew of The New York Times. So I was especially thrilled with a year-end list of their 50 most popular recipes. Some of them I’ve tried and loved (jerk chicken) and others I’m eager to taste in 2020 (mango pie).

This will be our last newsletter until then, so hopefully all this food and drink will keep you busy. Have a wonderful holiday season — and thank you for inspiring us, challenging us and reading and supporting our work in 2019.

We couldn’t do it without you, and wouldn’t want to anyway.

Now here are the stories of the week.

The funeral of Valisa Talosaga, 2, who died after contracting measles.Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

Trump Impeached

President Trump leaving the Oval Office on Wednesday for a campaign event in Michigan as the House was debating his impeachment.Doug Mills/The New York Times

On Wednesday, President Trump became the third sitting president in American history to be impeached. Here’s what you need to know.

Around the Times

Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

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