Brown Brothers – Australian wine and Hix chops feast

May 02, 14 Brown Brothers – Australian wine and Hix chops feast

Brown Brothers are an Australian wine family with a long tradition in wine making. I was recently introduced to some of their wines at  a dinner at Hix in Soho with their Ambassador, Andrew Harris. Andrew has been involved in the wine making process with Brown Brothers for many years but now spends his time travelling around the world and introducing trade and consumers to the wines of Brown Brothers.

Andrew Harris, Brown Brothers Ambassador

Andrew Harris, Brown Brothers Ambassador

I was unfamiliar with the history of the company but Andrew quickly gave me the lowdown. Founded in 1889 by John Francis Brown, it is one of the few major family owned wine businesses in Australia today. The company was taking forward by John’s son, John Charles Brown. He and his sons have built it into a one of  Australia’s First Families of Wine. They have established a reputation for experimenting with innovative grape varieties as well as being specialist with certain varieties, namely, chardonnay and shiraz. At the dinner we started off with a sparkling wine from Victoria. The Patricia range takes its name from the wife of John Charles. She was instrumental in building the brand and when her sons decided to name a wine after her, she said, “You can use my name but it better be good…” A blend of chardonnay and pinot noir from Victoria , it’s a lovely sparkler with yeasty, toasty notes and a hint of citrus on the end. The grapes are hand picked and only the cleanest and freshest juice is used in production. The wine has to pass a very strict benchmark tasting with other Australian sparklers before it is allowed to be called Patricia. It was a very nice way to start the evening.

Patricia Sparkling wine

Patricia Sparkling wine

Brown Brothers Sauvignon blanc

Sauvignon blanc

jellied oyster with cucumber

jellied oyster with cucumber

That was followed by the new range from Tasmania, the 18 Eighty Nine Sauvignon Blanc and the Limited Release Banksdale Chardonnay from Victoria. They were both served with fresh oysters on the half shell. The sauvignon blanc was delicious with the oysters with a peppery clean finish to it and loads of green gage flavours. Andrew recommended we try it with curry and I could definitely see that working. The Chardonnay had lots of green apple flavors, tight and fresh on the palate, a real palate cleanser. I liked it with the oysters but it was certainly a different wine from the sauvignon, the chardonnay being a bit heavier in character.

Hix chops platter

Hix chops platter

Hix potato specials

Hix potato specials

Patricia 2006 shiraz

Patricia 2006 shiraz

Next we had a huge plate of chops, lamb, pork and beef served up. Wow! would be a good way to describe those hunks of meat. Meaty, juicy perfectly cooked chops, not too red and not over done, accompanied by baked bone marrow and crispy “potato specials” – a meat lovers delight. Paired with all that protein, the Limited Release Heathcote Shiraz 2003 and the Patricia 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Patricia spends 2 years in barrel before spending a further 2 and half years in bottle. The result is a rich and concentrated wine that doesn’t go over the top. The Heathcote Shiraz had a spicy and savoury character to it, being a more elegant and light wine but still having a lean power behind it. I enjoyed both with the meats but for different reasons. It’s had been awhile since I had been to an Australian wine dinner but I enjoyed it immensely. It’s always good to see what’s out there and I was very pleased to drink such quality wines from Australia. Brown Brothers wines are available in the UK via online merchants.

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