Any visit to Tahbilk is immersive. The glisten of the white mudbrick buildings. The yeasty scent of the underground cellars that echoes winemaking. The gentle hum of insects in the wetlands. And most symbolically, the plush mid-palate of old-vine shiraz that tastes ripe, plush and generous. On this visit, our conversations with Alister Purbrick shed light on his personal journey with Tahbilk.
Perth in Five Drinks
Emma Farrelly, Director of Wine for the ground-breaking rebirth of Perth’s historic State Buildings (main photo above), takes us on a personal tour of the west’s capital. As always, it’s a tale told through the lens of five favourite drinks.
Historically, Perth has been painted with the small country town brush. However, if you scratch beneath the surface, even just a little, there is a plethora of things to do, eat and drink. And it’s only getting more and more vibrant. You can have a pretty ripper time here, backed up by the fact that it is a tale of two seasons in old P-town (luckily, we get about six months of summer). I have two boys, so much of my time off is spent with them, generally trying to tire them out!
The Beach – Scarborough
We spend heaps of time down here. Scarborough used to be pretty sketchy, but it’s been revamped recently. So now there’s heaps of stuff for the boys to do (if they’re not surfing), and it’s pretty vibrant. After an action-packed day, we can relax at El Grotto with a Tommy’s Margarita (for me) and tacos (for the boys). It’s great for people, and sunset, watching.
Tommy’s Margarita ($17)
Clean, fresh and salty with a green herbal edge and hint of citrus.
The Park – Kings Park
At probably one of the most beautiful spots in the city, you can do some pretty amazing bushwalks among the wildflowers and native gardens. The grassy area in Kings Park that overlooks the city is a very popular picnic spot to smash a Re Store feast and bottle of fizz. Just beware the very brazen kookaburras who have a penchant for Vacherousse d’Argental.
Vino Volta ‘Methode Ancestrale’ Chenin Blanc 2019 ($35 RRP)
Made by Garth Cliff who rallies champion varieties such as chenin blanc and grenache from the Swan Valley. Fun and bright with sherbet, grapefruit pith and delightful minerality. The ultimate shower for your mouth.
The Date – Galileo Buona Cucina
An absolute classic when it comes to date night – old-school Italian food and service that is traditional, sincere and grown up. Order the meatballs, the duck and some Barolo and be happy.
Luigi Baudana Barolo Serralunga 2015 ($185 on premise)
Aromatic, broody and delicious, this wine has inky red fruits, iron and dusty herbs, bound by fine yet muscular tannins and pristine acidity.
The Show – Perth Festival
The highly anticipated Perth arts festival happens every year in February, and it’s a great opportunity to see some incredible musicians. This year, I have my eye on Briggs and Evelyn King. One must always start a Perth Festival night at Lalla Rookh to indulge in Jez’s outstanding wine collection.
Domaine Valette Viré-Clesse Macon 2014 ($112 RRP + $15 corkage if enjoying on premise)
One of my favourite producers who never disappoints. There is brightness, lifted energy and a compelling salty tang that washes over the palate and grips you in an almost cerebral manner. Outstanding.
The Regret – Joe’s Juice Joint
The final scene of any rowdy night, ending up at Joe’s is often the greatest and worst idea of the evening, where the behaviour is generally reminiscent of that scene in Gremlins (you know the one). The music is loud, the place is dark, and the floor is dirty, but many a late night has been spent there with out of town friends when you just don’t want to call it a night (I’m looking at you, Yoko), drinking cheap beers and whiskey sours. You always wake up with the taint of regret but know you’ll be back the next time someone says, ‘One more at Joe’s?’
Whiskey sour ($15)
For me, a whiskey sour is about velvety texture and perfect balance. I like Tiger Snake Whiskey that’s distilled down in Albany. It’s very creamy and has beautiful spice nuances.