Leeuwin Estate Dinner at Maze Grill


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Back in August (yep…this is Ritsy writing!) we had the great pleasure of attending the Leeuwin Estate Art Series dinner at Maze Grill in Melbourne.

This was our first time at Maze Grill and after reading some mixed reviews we were definitely going more for the wine than the food. I’m pleased to report though, in the main the food was quite enjoyable – so much so that at one point I got sprung by our waiter scraping the last remains of a dish with the comment “scrapey scrapey” – gold…

We started the evening in the bar / holding area with a glass of the beautiful 2009 Art Series Riesling, which was generously topped up until we were walked through the restaurant to the Grill where we were dining.

The room was dotted with the artwork that adorns the various wines, which I thought was a nice touch, and each seat had a menu, tasting notes and a glossy Leeuwin Estate brochure. The menu explained that there would be 5 courses, each served Family Style to share.

When everybody was seated we were then given another glass of the Riesling… Donny & I are pretty convinced that before we’d even had any food, we’d already drank a bottle of Riesling between us!

It wasn’t long until the first plate arrived – a delicious “Charcuterie, pate de campagne, Jamon de Terule, cornichons & caper berries”, which we gobbled down!

Service was swift & in the blink of an eye we’d be poured a glass of the  2009 Art Series Sauvignon Blanc & were happily munching away on “Arancini balls with basil pesto, Chorizo, piquillo peppers, confit potatoes & shallots”.

Our excitement was rising as we knew what was coming next – the 2007 Art Series Chardonnay! We were yet to drink one of these beauties, and boy was it worth the wait. It was excellently paired with “Salmon ceviche, chilli, avocado, lime & coriander”, “Watermelon, feta & avocado salad with lime dressing” and “Prawn and miso salad with cucumber, edamame & shiso cress”. While the top-ups for the wine had been free-flowing all evening, we thought they might be less generous with this wine, given it’s more than double the retail price of the two wines that came before it, so we took our time with this course & savored every moment – that is of course until we saw a waiter coming around with a bottle to top up the glasses 😀

It was around about this stage of the evening that we heard from both the Daughter of the founder of the winery and the wine maker himself, which was fantastic – although we had a bit of a wine buzz by now, so I can’t remember the finer points of these presentations!

We were  then poured a glass each of the 2008 Art Series Shiraz & the 2005 Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon, which, while nice to compare I found a little overwhelming. This was accompanied by “Cape Grim, grass fed, bone on the rib eye (380g)”, “Rocket, radish, Pecorino Romano & olive”, and “Slow cooked butternut squash w/ Parmesan & oregano and thick cut chips”.

The steaks were noted as being cooked “New York style” in a custom made broiler at 650c.  We both found the steak to be overcooked & were somewhat underwhelmed by this dish. I think I even ate more steak than Donny, which is practically unheard of!

It was then time for dessert, which was also less than fantastic. Maybe it’s just us, but what’s the deal with green tea desserts of late? They seem to be everywhere & hardly any of them done well 🙁 This, I’m sorry to say was another one to add to the list. “Chocolate & pecan brownie, salted caramel ice cream”, “Green tea puffs, chocolate sauce”, and “Baked cheesecake & exotic fruits”.

All in all a pretty good evening. There were some high points with the food earlier on and copious amounts of fantastic wine 🙂


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