Silver Travel Wine Club

February 2023 – Fine dining done differently

When it comes to food and wine matching, restaurants in Australia’s wine regions really deliver, particularly in Victoria. With Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia it’s easy for foodies as they combine wine credentials with fine dining degustation experiences. Check out the following recommendations. These wineries are all family-owned and located within easy driving distance from Melbourne and they all offer amazing restaurant experiences that bring local food to the fore!

Estate to Plate, Montalto, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

When you book Montalto’s Estate to Plate experience you’ll be immersed in a philosophy that underpins everything they do at this flagship winery on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Your private four-hour journey begins with a personal tour of some of the oldest and largest kitchen gardens in Victoria followed by a bespoke wine tasting that explores the Mornington Peninsula’s world-famous cool climate vineyards.

Food and Wine Adventure, Brown Brothers, King Valley, Victoria

Discover Brown Brothers rich history as pioneers of winemaking in Victoria on their Food and Wine Adventure. With four generations of wine making experience the Brown family are producing some of Australia’s most innovative wine from their King Valley Winery in the stunning Victorian high country. Hear the stories with a guide by your side, join the chefs in the kitchen garden and help forage for produce to include in your exclusively designed lunch menu, perfectly matched to Brown Brothers wine and served to you by the Chef in the acclaimed Brown Brothers Restaurant.

The Andre Experience, Dominique Portet, Yarra Valley, Victoria

In Australia, we like to think there’s a little bit of Bordeaux in our own backyard and in the Yarra Valley’s Dominique Portet, this maxim is best brought to life during The Andre experience. You’ll be joined by one of Dominique Portet’s experienced wine educators to share in the legacy of ten generations of winemaking and enjoy a tutored wine tasting in the André room, perched above the working winery. You’ll then make your way to the Bistro where the head chef draws on Bordeaux roots to create a three-course menu of French family classics with matched wines. If you’re looking for something extra special, you can choose to upgrade your wine tasting to the ‘museum wine match’ which includes beautifully aged Portet classics from the family cellar.

Unique deBortoli Experience, deBortoli, Yarra Valley, Victoria

The European connection in the Yarra Valley continues with the Unique deBortoli Experience. In this exclusive behind the scenes tour you’ll hear the De Bortoli family story and understand the determination that started nearly 90 years ago in war-torn Europe and see how their achievements unfold four generations later touring the vineyard and winery and then over lunch at Locale. This winery restaurant reflects the De Bortoli family’s Italian heritage in name and nature and offers Italian-inspired dishes that celebrate the abundance of local and seasonal produce available.

How to win a case of Yarra Valley wine

Comment below and tell us of your favourite dining experience and what wine you enjoyed alongside the meal.

A winner will be chosen in early March 2023.
The competition closes on 28 February 2023.

Please note: by commenting below and entering the prize draw you consent to your email address being shared with Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia who will contact you on one occasion with more information about their offerings.

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60 Responses

  1. My favourite dining experience was with my husband at the White Swan hotel in Alnwick. The dining room features the paneling from the White Star liner The Olympic which was a sister ship to the Titanic. We ate a beautifully cooked seabass fillet and we drank a lovely Savigion Blanc. This was 6 years ago so unfortunately I cannot remember the brand.

    1. The white Swan dining room is a wonderful dining experience and really has to be seen to be believed with the level of luxuryprovided on the Olympic.

  2. My favourite dining experience was on a cruise ship with an Italian speciality restaurant with a wonderful bottle of Merlot Brigantello

  3. Our best dining experience was a double really, consecutive evenings at a Michelin Star restaurant for the first time. First for a tasting menu and return the following night for “a la carte’. We had turbot and then duck. We had Lyme Bay White (English) then a Barossa Valley Red. Food and drink wonderful.

  4. We can remember going to the Jacobs Creek vineyard, in the Barossa valley. We were lucky enough to be able to go on a tour of Australia for three weeks, when we retired. It was very impressive. We had a meal there very lavish. We had steak for the main course, Wow was that big. We were offered a red wine, I think it was Shiraz. We also had a walk around the edge of the vineyard, to have a look at the vines. I was surprised to see a rose bush at the end of each line of vines. When asked our host told us that the rose tree was planted there for a purpose. Any sort of blight that may come, would attack the rose bush instead of the vine!

  5. I like good wholesome food food which is served to me with a smile and in a courteous manner. Not having to do the washing up improves it as well. Just to be treated properly in the old fashioned way. A good full bodied red wine would be icing on the cake. Thanks

  6. On a beach in Australia or New Zealand whilst tasting wine from the area. It is a great way to try new (to you) wines and often they cannot be found in the UK.

  7. My favourite dining experience was at a random restaurant in Kyoto, Japan. We were tired and very hungry and decided to duck into the next restaurant we found. Down by the river, we saw a menu board so checked it out – steaks, tartar, affordable beef – we headed inside. We had the most incredible sizzling steak on a hot plate with unique freshly prepared and pickled japanese veggies. To pair with this meal, they brought us over a glass of Rioja red wine each, in Japan of all places. This experience was just fantastic and we’ll never forget the taste of that meat and the rich red wine.

  8. Fish and chips on the beach at Neutral Bay, Sydney, accompanied by a bottle of Brokenwood Cricket Pitch, beautiful weather and wonderful friends. Happy days!

  9. We went to a much-delayed Australian Wine Dinner at Thompson’s Restaurant in St Albans. The wines had been carefully selected to accompany each delicious course

  10. I’ll never forget a wine tasting river cruise we took in Perth, Western Australia. I’ve never has so many excellent tasting wines in such a short period of time. Brilliant!

  11. My favourite dining experience was at Hambledon vineyard in Hampshire, near where I live. The 10-course tasting menu in the pop-up restaurant was exquisite and beautifully accompanied by Hambledon vineyard’s Classic Cuve – delicious!

  12. My wife and I enjoyed a hearty venison casserole accompanied by a black red Aussie merlotin a great location (our kitchen) . Food, wine, company and location couldn’t be better.

  13. House of cards Chardonnay 2021 from Australia, we had when I celebrated a birthday whilst cruising in the Mediterranean onboard saga’s spirit of adventure. The company joining me on a beautiful sunny evening were friends I had known for many years. The main meal was rack of lamb with all its trimmings. A very enjoyable evening

  14. I spent a really enjoyable meal with friends at the Stoke Park Hotel in Buckinghamshire. I ate sea bass and we shared a couple of bottles of Montrachet. Delicious.

  15. What can beat sitting at a table on a beach, good food and wine and the tide gently coming in, waves licking and cooling my feet, an attentive waiter pouring another glass of wine and the sun setting red over the sea?

  16. Over 20 years ago – went with my Hubby on a P & O Anniversary cruise. Most of the meals were memorable and their was always a good choice of wine.

  17. My favourite meal was a family Sunday roast at the lovely old Bell Inn, Horndon on the Hill, Essex.
    I lived in Australia for a few years and therefore usually order an Aussie red with a roast.
    My middle name is Merrill and so I ordered a wine I didn’t know – a Geoff Merrill Cabernet Sauvignon.(Sadly no relative!)
    It was absolutely brilliant and we had a second bottle. I knew most of the excellent Yarra Valley wines since I had lived in Victoria, but this winery was new to me.
    I can recommend it, but frankly most Aussie reds are very drinkable and compare very favourably with European wines of similar price.

  18. My husband and I were car tour and one night we stayed at the Kings Head Hotel in Ross on Wye. It’s an old coaching Inn so we decided to try their evening menu and what a lovely meal we had. The Braised Shin of Beef was so tender and a simple dry red Merlot wine was just what was needed.

  19. My favourite dining experience was a few years ago when I splashed out and treated my Lady to a special steak meal in Wetherspoons on Valentines day! It came with a free bottle of Californian Coldwater Creek Zinfandel Rose wine and we both really enjoyed the evening.

  20. Wonderful experience at my local Italian restaurant. Main of Agnello Siculo. Lamb cooked in Marsala with garlic and other herbs. Didn’t need a knife , as the lamb just fell apart after slow cooking. A bottle of Montepulciano D’Abruzzo went brilliantly with this. And for afters, the home-made Tiramisu was planets away from the supermarket offerings.

  21. It was Easter in Paris and we were staying in a fairly rough hotel in Montmartre. On the Sunday evening we ventured out for a meal to find that all of the tempting restaurants that we had spotted on our Saturday jaunt were closed. Palm Sunday and all of the Catholics were in church! Presumably. Increasingly tired, hungry and fed up we turned down a narrow alley to escape a sudden shower and there it was – an open restaurant! It was a tiny place with no more than a dozen covers run by a young Lebanese couple. She did front of house and waited while he cooked. Never having eaten Lebanese food before we stumbled through the menu with our hosts, us with bad French and them with halting English and ended up with an extremely large array of various dishes. Oh and by golly it was all extremely delicious. The house wine was red and came in a large carafe and was just right. It was probably Lebanese but could well have been made in the bath upstairs. By that stage we cared not. The bill came and it was not expensive as I recall. I wonder if that little amazing place is still there. It deserves to be.

  22. In Warsaw Poland, we were among the first guests in the newly restored Hotel Bristol in the mid 90s. The hotel manager invited us to dine with him and his wife and ordered neck of goose as a great treat and red wine to go with it! To our surprise the combination was amazing. We’ve never forgotten the meal.

  23. One Boxing Day we had a supper of Bath Oliver biscuits, stilton, grapes and a delicious Pinot Noir. So simple but so delicious!

  24. On holiday in Italy experiencing a wine tasting in a marquee when the heavens opened. We were enjoying nibbles at the time. We waited and waited but the rain did not stop, so our hosts issued each of us with a black plastic sack to wear and off we stumbled back to our coach, plodging through the puddles, but the sacks kept us dry. What a sight we must have looked. No photos!

  25. When I was younger my current partner and I took a trip to Venice. It turned out to be very expensive to eat out. However we found a back street cafe where the gondoliers ate and took their lead by ordering lasagne and a bottle of pinot grigio. Delicious!

  26. Finally a family BBQ after lockdown eased and my boys could come home, even if only to the garden. Washed down by a Margaret River red.

  27. I was on a lovely luxurious cruise last year to France, so enjoyed some really tasty meals including sumptuous, succulent steaks with superb sommelier suggested wines, including Bordeaux, of course, as we visited there!

  28. alfresco… on a mountainside anywhere in the world…. fresh bread – local cheese – fresh tomatoes all washed down by a local dry white wine.

  29. We had a fabulous taster menu at what was the Stargazey Inn in Port Issac, to celebrate our wedding anniversary with an accompanying wine flight. Fantastic food with great tasting wines that went with each dish superbly. A fantastic experience!

  30. A braai (BBQ) with our friends in South Africa in 2016. Delicious steak, chicken, sausages, with lovely salads and vegetables in their wonderful, secluded wildlife-friendly garden by a river. The wine was a superb 2014 Jordan’s Merlot – now unfortunately unobtainable.

  31. A fabulous Sicilian meal in Mama Mia in Rochester with a Sicilian red that I did not know. Just made the evening perfect.

  32. My memorable and favorite dining experience was on board a cruise ship when we wee served Beef Wellington with a delightful red wine called Fleurie. Complimented the meal perfectly.

  33. I’ve had the most fantastic dining experiences with my family and friends ranging from candlelit dinners in nice Restaurants to home cooked Sunday roasts to BBQ’s in the garden or on the beach with our catch of fish, seaweeds and mussels. Accompanied by a good robust red or a fresh cold white, Australian wines are generally our favourites, closely followed by New Zealand and Chilean, but of course the most important ingredient of all is good company. In that regard I must be the richest man in the world, being fortunate enough to have the most wonderful bunch of friends and a great family!

  34. A few weeks ago at a fabulous French restaurant on the Hampshire Wiltshire border looking out at the ponies on the New Forest. Camembert then steak with a lovely juicy red

  35. Husband used to make a really ‘mean’ steak and kidney pudding – boiled for about 6 hours the suet crust was crispy round the edges and the shin beef had cooked down into a rich gravy. Served of course with a big hairy red!

    It was just what was needed on a cold dark winter evening…

  36. We had a beautiful tasting menu on holiday in jersey last year – but actually my favourite meal of the trip was seafood cooked fresh from a takeaway shack on the seafront / washed down with a cold rose

  37. We visited South Africa and had a personalised wine tasting day visiting five very different wineries in the Western Cape Province. We lunched at the Delaire Graff Estate with wines chosen from the estate to accompany Karoo lamb and beetroot cured trout.

  38. Back in 1972 I took my girlfriend to a cosy romantic restaurant in Lymington Hampshire. The ambience was great, the lights were low and I wanted to impress her by ordering a nice bottle of wine with our meal. I did not know a single thing about wine, so I asked a knowledgeable friend beforehand who said, if in doubt, go for a rosé, which I did.
    I ordered a bottle of Mateus Rosé, in that unusual shaped bottle ,which we both thoroughly enjoyed. Our tastes have moved on a bit since then but this year we will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary so a time and a place can mean so much. x

  39. In Florida, chicken wings with blue cheese dip and crudites of celery & carrots washed down with a jug of beer!

  40. Over the years, far too many meal/wine combos to pick a favourite from but my wife and I were near Malaga last week and had a superb local Chinchilla Cloe Chardonnay to accompany the Basque hake dish (Merluza a la vasca)

    Happy to say the wine can be sourced here apparently

  41. In 2006 friends of ours organised a trip to South Africa for a group of like-minded plant enthusiasts. We toured the Western Cape in two minibuses and as well as seeing wonderful wild flowers, gardens and wildlife we stayed in many different hotels, the most memorable being the Art Deco Montagu Country Hotel. I remember one meal in particular, enjoying the company of my favourite people on the holiday, lots of jokes, the grand piano being played in the background and enjoying a fish main course – I think it was trout. Life from Stone Sauvignon Blanc from the (fairly) nearby Springfield Estate tasted really good with the fish. Fast forward 15 years and my husband and I invited the couple who’d organised the holiday to have lunch with us at Read’s Restaurant in Faversham. Once again I ordered fish (I generally do) then we discovered there was Life from Stone on the wine list. We had to have it. Memories came flooding back and the wine was just as good as the first time we’d had it.

  42. Simple. A cool crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with sea bass and salad under a blue Italian sky.
    Generally I prefer a good red wine and would love to try some from the Yarra Valley.

  43. Located in the historic village of Kilpeck in the heart of the beautiful south Herefordshire countryside, hubby took me to the Kilpeck Inn for our wedding anniversary, and we had a lovely and delicious Rump of Welsh hill lamb, Roast new potatoes, carrot & swede clapshot, Rosemary Jus, paired with a lovely glass of Zinfandel Malbec red wine.

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