Brisbane food bloggers meet at Bar Barossa

Last night 14 Brisbane food bloggers met for the first time over dinner at Bar Barossa and it was great to finally put faces to blogs and twitter names.

Interestingly, although ages and themes varied greatly, we all shared an unusual interest in food - how it tastes, where it comes from, how it's made. Talking about the finer points of goats cheese, without boring your dinner companion, was a welcome relief.

According to yesterday's report in The Courier-Mail, we are all most likely 'Potentialists'.  It's a new post GFC group  of people identified by social researcher Mark McCrindle who are after a richness in lifestyle, particularly when it comes to food and cooking.  According to McCrindle, Queensland is the best place for Potentialists and I'd have to agree with that.

Last night we dined well at Bar Barossa which is a funky little bar cum restaurant at the top end of Queen Street, not far from E'cco. The grape shaped chandeliers are an interesting feature. On the menu was Freshly shucked Coffin Bay oysters, House made pasta with scallops, prawns and salmon in saffron salmon cream and pearls for entrees.

My main was Grilled Atlantic salmon on celariac mash with steamed seasonal greens with sorrel buerre blanc and pearls which was a knock out.  The salmon was beautifully moist and flavoursome and the salmon pearls and buerre blanc mixed deliciously through the mash - heaven. Crisp asparagus and snow peas were a wonderful contrast.

Another popular choice was the Braised lamb shank pie with Careme sour cream pastry on potato mash with green pea puree and shiraz juz.  It certainly had wow factor when it arrived and was devoured by my dinner companions.

Darren Davis put on an interesting selection of wines starting with a Clare Valley reisling from The Wilson Vineyard Vines which would be perfect match for a dozen oysters. It comes from 30 year old grape vines and was not at all sweet. It's the sort of wine people in the trade love. I love that you can get a good quality riesling for under $20.

Marco Cirillo, an eight generation wine maker and first generation Australian, talked to us about his family's wines.Planted in 1850, their vines are some of the oldest left in the world today and their case production is limited to about 200 a year.

Next was a Cirillo Old Vine semillon with a nice acid drive towards the finish and lemon lime zest that pushes through. Marco said this one will age well.

The Picardy Chardonnay from Pemberton, Western Australia, had a beautiful oak influence. This was a wine I would like to drink again.

If you are thinking of trying more rose, remember that  8-10 degrees is the perfect temperature to drink it at. As refrigerator temperature is usually around 5 degrees,  leave your wine out for five minutes before serving. We enjoyed a Queensland rose with a beautiful rich, soft, sweet flavour - Summit Alto Spanish collection blend 2008.

The fruit speaks through the glass with the Cirillo 2006 Grenache from the Barossa Valley from grapes planted in 1850. Their Grenache is the last block to be picked. According to Marco, Grenache is a soft gentle wine and it's about finese. He believes Australian wine makers have not concentrated much on grenache as it takes twice as long to process. Keeping an eye out for this wine in the future, Marco is holding 50 dozen  to release as a 10 year old wine.

All these wines are available from Bar Barossa and Purple Palete which is located next door.

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