22 December 2011

Bay of Fires Sparkling Tasmanian Cuvee Rosé

I’ve just returned from a nice little trip to Northern Tasmania to help celebrate the old girl’s 60th birthday.

We ate what could have been one the best meals ever eaten at the brilliant Stillwater restaurant – a singularly exceptional venue where the view from the window is bettered only by the vision presented on the plate, and where both are only sideshows to the quality and flavour of the grub.

Oysters so plump they could have been a whale’s sneeze. Eye fillet so tender it melted at the mere suggestion of a blade. And wine that I’ll never be able to afford again, so won’t waste time writing about it here - except to say that I usually avoid wine in clear bottles, but was happy to make an exception in this case.

The next day, while the women folk spa’d and pedicured, we three boys took in a spot of early morning fly-fishing and bagged ourselves a trifecta of big brown trout. With the fish chilling out on ice, we carried on up the Tamar, taking in a raft of vineyards up the valley. If you like pinot and sparklers, this is the drive for you. Provided, of course, you’re a passenger.

Ninth Island, Stoney Rise, Tamar Ridge, Pipers Brook. All very good. But the nicest of the day for mine was a cheeky little Bay of Fires Sparkling Rosé.

I don’t usually go for this kind of stuff, but this one was very nice. And when the lovely lady behind the tasting counter mentioned something about strawberry, musk and “a complex character called Lanolin”, I knew it was for me.

“Lanolin? Like...like in sheep’s wool?”, I asked in what was a perfectly obvious Anchorman reference (complete with accent). She didn’t seem to understand though, possibly because Taswegians didn’t actually have televisions in 2004.

We bought a couple of bottles and took them up the beautiful Cataract Gorge the next day for lunch. We barbequed our trout, and lit up a lot of candles (sorry Mum) on a pretty spectacular birthday cake.

The bubbly was the perfect accompaniment to our picnic in the thin Tasmanian sunshine. Fresh and fruity and easy-drinking.

My brother added his thoughts that it was just like a good stag-party stripper - pink, perky and priced to please. Of course, I wouldn’t know about such things. But I did enjoy the analogy.

I reckon it’s just the kind of drop that is pretty perfect for Christmas afternoon toasts and generally for keeping your mother-in-law happy. I’ve just picked up another dozen for that specific purpose.

Happy birthday Mum.

And Merry Festivus to the rest of us.

Rating: 8.5
Drink with: Christmas
Price: $30



  1. I have read, and great ideas for future books for myself. Just really love and learn from your postings....

  2. It was nice reading about your celebration and happy belated birthday wishes to your mom.

  3. This would be a great gift for the wine lover who has everything. Thanks for the great post.
    Wine Gift