Sammy’s on The Marina are quickly becoming well known for their wine dinners, joining forces to pair the finest locally sourced seafood with delectable drops from wineries across the Barossa, McLaren Vale and everywhere in between.
The latest in this series of highly-anticipated wine dinners featured a six-course degustation accompanied by vino from well-renowned winery Hentley Farm, located in the rich wine region of Seppeltsfield in the Barossa Valley.
With the help of a 1950s soil map and good old fashioned research, founders Keith and Alison Hentschke set out on a quest to find out where the best red wine grapes were being produced in all the Barossa Valley. On their mission to find the best parcels of land, they hit the jackpot with a 150-acre block which was abundant with rich red soil.
After purchasing the parcel in the 1990s, the couple went on to release their first wines in 2002. The property extended even further following the purchase of neighbouring winery Clos Otto in 2004, and the pair of winemakers have since gone on to completely transform the arid land into a thriving cellar door and restaurant that has earnt itself quite the highly esteemed reputation.
Hentley Farm‘s founder Keith Hentschke spoke to guests between each course about the traditional winemaking techniques that go into creating the unique tasting notes behind each variety of wine, ensuring the experience was just as educational as it was mouth-watering.
Coffin Bay Oysters – Rockefeller Oysters & Natural Oysters
Kicking the evening degustation off with a bang was a serving of four oysters fresh from the sea. The two natural oysters were as smooth as silk, transporting you to the depths of the surrounding ocean with each bite. For those who may be timid in trying out natural oysters, the creamy Rockefeller oysters slightly dulled the strong saltwater flavours with spinach, watercress, pernot, parmesan and bread crumbs.
Accompanying Wine: Hentley Farm Eden Valley Riesling
This refreshing starter was paired with the Hentley Farm Eden Valley Riesling, which exudes steely mineral-infused notes of freshly squeezed lime and citrus. Hentley Farm’s resident winemaker Andrew Quin headed over to the winery’s neighbouring town of Eden Valley in order to create this lengthy drop with a long dry finish.
South Australian Lobster Bisque With Crispy Pide Bread
The perfect hearty comfort food on a chilly winter’s evening, the South Australian Lobster Bisque warmed your soul with every sip. Vibrant orange in colour, the bisque was perfectly thick yet smooth, containing hints of lobster oil and topped with an ivy green pesto-like herbal paste. To soak up the creamy bisque, we were served a crispy wafer-thin generous length of pide bread. Intricately decorated and topped with morsels of tender lobster, cherry tomatoes and parsley, each of these complementary elements combined to add a crispy freshness to the dish.
Accompanying Wine: Hentley Farm Eden Valley Riesling
The bisque and pide was accompanied with the Hentley Farm ‘Poppy’ White Field Blend. Comprised of riesling, chardonnay, frontignac, viognier and pinot gris, this unique blend combines crisp fresh flavours of limes and green apples with hints of honeysuckle and mineral-infused citrus.
Pork Belly Served With Apple Sauce, Pea, Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus
Myth: Sammy’s on The Marina only serves seafood. This common misconception was well and truly busted at this six-course degustation, which also featured pork, duck and beef dishes. A tender morsel of pork belly lay on top of a ring of thinly sliced pineapple, surrounded by sweet potato, asparagus and peas. A thick layer of crispy crackling glistened on top, drizzled over with a thick apple sauce. Surrounded by a decorative semi-circle of finely sliced apple and edible violets, the fruity elements contrasted yet complemented the savoury, meaty main.
Accompanying Wine: Hentley Farm ‘Stray Mongrel’ GSZ
What do you get when you combine grenache, shiraz and zinfandel? You get the Hentley Farm ‘Stray Mongrel’ GSZ, a tri-blend that is unique to Hentley Farm itself. Decadent fruity flavours of plum, blueberry and raspberry are infused with a dessert elements of toffee apple, creative an aromatic blend that pairs perfectly with the sweet and savoury mains dish.
Duck Breast in an Orange and Fennel Sauce with Crushed Baby Potatoes and Broccolini
Yet another non-seafood option was the buck breast, which was a delicate light pink in colour and released flavoursome juices on the tongue. Served atop a bed of orange and fennel sauce, the sweetness soaked into the breast meat in order to add a fruity twist. Topped with crisp alfalfa sprouts, crushed baby potatoes and broccolini heads to form a rich crumb, a theme of sweet and savoury amongst the mains continued in this unique flavour combination.
Accompanying Wine: Hentley Farm ‘Old Legend’ Grenache
This dish went hand in hand with the Hentley Farm ‘Old Legend’ Grenache, which pays homage to the Barossa Grenache – a drop that has been produced in the region for over 150 years. Beyond the vibrant colour lay a complex mixture of aromas and tastes, comprising of florals, spices and even berry-infused Turkish delight and strawberry.
Braised Beef Cheek with Baby Carrot, Baby Beet and Green Beans Parcel with a Red Wine Jus
The last in the series of mains was the braised beef cheek, the two tender slices crumbling underneath the fork yet retaining a thick, gelatinous texture with each mouthful. Baby carrot, beetroot, a green beans parcel along with an assortment of baked vegetables added a crunch to the silky smooth meat-centric dish. Topped with a flavoursome red wine jus and edible violets, this dish was the perfect way to wrap up the savoury portion of the degustation on a high note.
Accompanying Wines: Hentley Farm ‘The Beauty’ Shiraz and ‘The Beast’ Shiraz
Unlike the other dishes, this main was accompanied by two Hentley Farm varieties that are distinctly unique from one another yet go hand in hand.
First came ‘The Beauty’ Shiraz, a fitting partner to ‘The Beast’. Co-fermented with a touch of Viognier, ‘The Beauty’ contains delicate floral and fruit elements of peaches and apricots, tied together with a pinch of white pepper. Soft, subtle and airy, this is a wine of elegance that lives up to it’s name.
Then came ‘The Beast’ Shiraz, an unlikely match for ‘The Beauty’. As Hentley Farm so aptly put it, “Like the fabled character, ‘The Beast’ is big and bold, yet has a beautiful soft side.” Perfect for those chilly autumnal and wintery evenings, ‘The Beast’ is a Christmas dessert in drink form, infused with the richness of spices, dark chocolate and forest berries.
Crème Brûlée with a Chocolate Shortbread
Last but most certainly not least came the pièce de résistance and crowd favourite dessert classic: the beloved crème brûlée. With a short and sharp tap of the spoon, the thin caramelisation layer cracked to reveal a vibrant yellow custard inside. A shortbread dipped in dark chocolate on one side added a savoury crunchiness to the dish. Decorated with a semi-circle of biscuit crumbs, raspberries and a drops of a dark coulis, this dish was paired with a dessert wine to add the cherry on top.
As always, endless amounts of thanks goes to Pervez Alam and the lovely staff at Sammy’s on The Marina for their generous hospitality, as well as Keith Hentschke from Hentley Farm for enlightening us with tasting notes and educational tid-bits along the tasting journey.
Sammy’s on The Marina’s series of wine dinners continues on Friday 20 September with The Gulf St Vincent & Pacific North West Seafood Collaboration. Experience a seafood fusion between the USA and South Australian as Chef Outta Water’s acclaimed chef Chris Holen brings his cooking expertise all the way from the United States! Featuring beautiful local wines from The Lane Vineyard, this is a night you’ll want to be apart of. Be sure to book in advance before this highly anticipated event sells out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (08) 8376 8211 or 0431 756 759.
Sammy’s on the Marina // 1/12 Holdfast Promenade, Glenelg, SA, 5045