Shaw & Smith - Friday Table Experience

Shaw and Smith - 136 Jones Road, BALHANNAH SA 5242

A visit to a winery can be so many things, from stunning locations, views and sceneries, to fun, informative and tantalising wine tastings, and even delicious, creative and impressive food.  Lucky for us, this was exactly what we experienced at our recent visit to Shaw and Smith Wines (S+S) in the Adelaide Hills.  All food and beverages were provided on behalf of S+S.

S+S Vineyard

Every Friday from now until the end of February 2019, S+S have a very special 'Friday Table' offering, which will take you behind the scenes with a hosted tour, wine tasting and lunch for $240 per person.  We began this special Friday at 11am with a guided tour, of first the vineyard, where we got up close and personal with the vines and then the winery, as our lovely and very knowledgeable host Grace shared S+S's wine growing and making philosophy.

Barrels of Wine

The vineyard and winery tour will vary depending on the stage of wine making occurring at the time. So hot tip... if you visit in January/February you will likely have the opportunity to pick the fruit straight from the vine, taste the grapes during the fermentation phase and also taste the wine in it's completed state.

Wine Tasting

The 8 wines we tasted!

As touring the vineyard can be thirsty work, we were then taken inside S+S's stunning private tasting room for a comprehensive tutored wine tasting of 8 current release and limited, single site wines.  It was a wonderful way to reacquaint myself (Amanda) with the iconic Sauvignon Blanc, taste S+S wines I hadn't tried before and also have the opportunity to compare varieties side by side made in different Adelaide Hill's regions.  Our expert winemaker who guided us through the wine tasting, was only too happy to answer our questions and share all his winemaking knowledge, so we too felt like wine experts... especially by the 7th or 8th glass!

Snapper & Scallop Terrine

After the wine tasting, we were taken to a lounge room overlooking S+S's stunning property, with a glass of French Champagne in hand to chat with our fellow newfound friends about the superb day so far.  Once the lunch table was set, we sat down to a delicious two-course lunch, thanks to chef Ali Seedsman (from the nearby Walk the Talk Kitchen).  Each course was served with two matching wines.

The starter was a snapper and scallop terrine with dill mayonnaise and served with the 2016 S+S M3 Chardonnay and the 2011 S+S Aged Release M3 Chardonnay.  I'll be honest, a terrine is not on the top of my favourite things to eat but oh my, this terrine changed my view after the first bite.  It was delicious!  There was texture thanks to varying sizes of tender and juicy seafood, which balanced well with the acidity and freshness of the dressing on the greens and the creaminess of the dill mayonnaise.  The dill was so moreish with the seafood terrine, I couldn't get enough!

Having the opportunity to compare two chardonnays with the starter made for great lunch table discussion, with everyone sharing their tasting notes and trying to search for those citrus and nectarine notes their fellow diner tasted!

Braised Duck Leg

For main course we were served a braised duck leg with lentil and mushroom ragout and wilted spinach.  The matching wines were the 2015 S+S Pinot Noir and the 2012 S+S Aged Release Pinot Noir.  The duck meat was so tender and juicy that it fell off the bone with a gentle nudge of the fork.  Mopped up with the flavoursome ragout and spinach, this dish provided a hearty and delicious main course that helped to soak up our lengthy wine tasting session.

The two Pinot Noirs were noticeably different in flavour profile, with the table divided with their favourite.  This led into a fun wine guessing game our host Grace and owner Martin Shaw set up for the table.  A anonymous non S+S wine was poured for each of us and we were asked a serious of questions such as, is this wine from South Australia or Victoria, is the wine from Barossa or McLaren Vale etc until we drilled down to trying to guess the exact wine we were drinking.  It was not an easy game but so much fun and interesting how our wine knowledge improved over the day's learnings.

Shaw + Smith Winery

To finish the Friday Table experience we were served coffee, tea and cheese.

The Friday Table offering was the most spectacular day thanks to the personalised, friendly and informative service from beginning to end, along with the generous and delicious wine tasting and the divine and memorable lunch.  Yes, the price point is up there but it really is a unique and special way to learn about the exciting and refined wines S+S create.  We would recommend the Friday Table as an amazing experience to celebrate a special celebration or if you love food and wine and want to have an exclusive first class winery experience.

The Friday Table is available every Friday, 11am to 3pm for up to 12 people, or you can book a smaller group and join a shared table.  Specialist transport can be arranged upon request with car transfers from $25 per person (groups of 8-13) or $180 per person (groups of 1-4).  If you want to take it to that next level, air transfers are available from $340 per person!


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