Valentine Canapés with Hartz Barn Wines Black Bead Sparkling La Grein 2006.

“Roses are red, so is my wine. Refill my glass & I’ll be just fine”

Barossa Valley and red wine go hand in hand. Like bread & cheese or chocolate & strawberries, red grape varieties love growing in this historical area of South Australia. Big full boded reds with bold flavors of blackcurrant and spice, but what about a sparkling red wine from Barossa? When I was traveling around Australia last year I spent some time in the Barossa tasting as many wines as possible (well I needed to be sure I didn’t miss anything) As well as mostly red varieties I did try a few sparking wines too. Hartz Barn Wines make an amazing style of sparkling red using the Ligroin grape. This variety is a relative new comer to Australia and not well know outside North-east Italy.

This is an intense wine with aromas of red berries, violets & rose petals. On the palate refreshing spices with a hint of chocolate and berries and with a long finish this wine has a lot to say for its self. It really was one of the highlights from my trip and a memory of Barossa I will not forget.

Sparkling red wine can range from bone dry to very sweet and there are many different styles of this on the market today. One of the most famous would be Lambrusco. Once an old fashion style of wine drunk years ago, this sparkling red is now making a come back appearing in many wine bars up and down the UK.

After leaving the Barossa I managed to bring a few bottles back home with me including a bottle of the sparkling red from Hartz Barn Wines. A family owned vineyard and wine enterprise based in the village of Moculta, Eden Valley, Barossa. The home of Hartz Barn Wines has supported the families of the district as a General Store (known
as Hentschke General Store) since 1885 offering an extensive range of goods and services.The Hartz Barn Wines ‘Dennistone Vineyard’ is planted on phylloxera resistant vine rootstock with the varietal clones being selected to produce premium wines that are full flavoured, balanced and distinctly display their Barossa heritage. The Dennistone Vineyard is planted to Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and more recently La Grein. The vineyard is situated close to the map references of Henschke’s Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone vineyards.

Now, I don’t just want to drink this sparkler on any normal day being I only have the one bottle. So what better day then Valentine’s Day. With a nice romantic evening in with your loved one I really want to remember this wine at its best, so I decided to match it with food. I would normally prepare the food matching myself but when you have a twin brother who is a head chef and been cooking professionally for 14 years, you would be stupid not to use him. So I got Chris to come up with 3 different style canapés which he would match perfectly with this sparkling red.

Mini Beef Club Sandwich with Truffle Cheddar, Beef Tomato & Horseradish Cream

Smoked Salmon & Avocado mousse topped with caviar & Dill

Chocolate Coffee mousse, Amaretti crumb, Raspberry & Chocolate shards

“Food has always been a passion of mine for many years. What I love about canapés is that you can have many different flavors and textures on one plate. A canapé is very important to a chef. It shows just an example of the style of food that they can produce”. Chris Laurie Head Chef The Pipe Of Port @Essexcookingman