Cloudy Bay Pinot and Duck Trail

Fancy a great bottle of wine this evening or perhaps a trip to lovely restaurant? Why not combine the two and sample one of the delicious combinations we sat down for recently with Cloudy Bay at the inaugural Pinot and Duck Trail.

For the month of July Cloudy Bay has teamed up with some of Australia’s finest restaurants to bring you one of the most loved food pairings of all time – Duck and Pinot. TVG was invited to Sydney’s first expedition and can’t remember a restaurant experience quite like it!

The evening was like an erratic time warp as we moved in vintage VW Kombis from the uber contemporary Nield Avenue to the 1920’s classic french decor of Felix, back to the dark and serious Sokyo and onto the futuristic N2 Extreme Gelato. Cloudy Bay Pelorus filled champagne glasses early as guests eagerly awaited Nield Avenue’s own version of the pairing, finally sitting down to Spice roasted duck with chickpea pilaf and coriander parsley salad. The Cloudy Bay 2011 Pinot was the suitable companion for the evening as wine maker Nick explained the taste, “boasting layers of dark berries and cherry, cinnamon, fresh herbs, bramble fruit and cranberry, balanced with notes of fresh mushroom, white pepper and savoury spice, making it the perfect accompaniment for duck”.

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For me the highlight of the night was undoubtedly Felix. After clambering into a fleet of gorgeous vintage Kombis the group was whisked off to Ash lane where we sat down for the second course, Duck confit, cassoulet-style white beans with pork belly and garlic sausage. Perhaps it was the setting I preferred  Felix has a great vibe and captures the provincial french style effortlessly. Again the 2011 Pinot flowed and delivered a far more enjoyable balance to the rich dish – a great interpretation from Felix.

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Moving on to Sokyo at the Star was very interesting as we’d all had more than our fair share of Pinot. Conversation and Van Morrison filled the Kombis as we chatted about the highlights of the evening so far. Sokyo was packed, which I found strange on a Wednesday evening in a restaurant I had never heard of. When the dishes came out I understood why it was packed as we tasted the Pan seared duck with shiitake mushroom, pearl barley risotto and Pinot Noir shansho jus.

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Hours later and we were stuffed, just as you might with your favourite duck dish. Upon leaving Sokyo we were told we’d be heading to a unique gelato shop that had somehow used duck to create a flavour we were about to eat, naturally I was sceptical. I’ll let the picture below do the talking but the team at N2 Extreme Gelato produced a pretty spectacular scoop of gelato and I highly recommend you get down to Chinatown to sample some of the crazy flavours they have on offer.

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For the rest of the month of July you can head over to the Cloudy Bay Facebook page and plan your very own Pinot and Duck trail in Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland or Perth or you can check out the full list of restaurants and accompanying dishes below!

SYDNEY
Neild Avenue: Spice roasted duck with chickpea pilaf and coriander parsley salad
Felix: Duck confit with cassoulet-style white beans, pork belly and garlic sausage
Sokyo: Pan seared duck, shitake mushroom, pearl barley risotto, pinot noir shansho jus
The Westin: Twice cooked confit leg of duck with white bean cassoulet, crispy black pudding and apple cider glaze
The Old Library: Pappardelle di pane, duck ragu, fungi and chestnuts
Bistrode: Thirlmere duck leg confit, savoy cabbage, bacon and chestnuts
Ucello: Duck ravioli with wild mushrooms
Wildfire: Slow cooked duck leg with duck ravioli
Park Hyatt: Jumjum Muscovy duck and wild caught abalone, pea shoots, fregola, caramelised hazelnuts and mixed leaf salad with salad cream
The Winery/Gazebo: Cassoulet of duck with gordel olives
The Treehouse Hotel: Confit duck leg with warm kipfler potato salad and house made orange marmalade

MELBOURNE
Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons (GAS): Spice roasted duck with chickpea pilaf and coriander parsley salad
Mr Mason: Pan roasted duck breast
Saigon Sally: Dry duck curry
Red Emperor: Sichuan smoked tea duck
Empire Grill: Empire Duck – twice roasted duckling (entree) and roasted duck and beetroot risotto (main)

QUEENSLAND
Sails Noosa: Salt and pepper duck
A Touch of Salt: Baked Duck Rotollo with turnip puree, fava beans, swiss browns, chestnut honey and walnuts
Fellini: Anatra arrosto
Lot 104: Crispy skinned twice cooked duck
Wasabi: Kamo
Nautilus: Duck Trio
Anise: Pan fried duck breast, braised chicory, spices, raspberry sauce
Social Eating House: Egg in a jar
Little Truffle: Confit duck leg, caramelized endive tart fine, sautéed spinach and Alsace bacon, date puree, red wine jus
Alchemy: Duck Breast with spiced glazed fennel and Pernod dressing, baked mango and pepper puree

PERTH
Clarke’s of North Beach: Honey roasted duck breast with confit duck leg, Foie Gras espuma
Raffles Hotel: Pan seared duck breast
Steve’s Fine Wine and Food: Pan roasted duck breast with chocolate jus
Zaffaneros: Double roasted Muscovy duckling served with thyme, morello cherry and a rich duck jus
The Aviary: Thai red roasted duck.

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James is the Founder and Editor of The Versatile Gent.

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