The mornings are cold (especially when you insist on a T shirt) and the days are shrinking, but the weekend forecast for Margaret river is blue sky. . . I'm looking forward to exploring what I think I already know, perhaps I'll find something surprising like the 2007 Edwards BCE Cabernet - it's their top level wine, a single bottle buy from a few years ago and I had wondered whether I had been blinkered when I bought it. . . the bottle's heavy and it's named after the patriarch and I'd been dreading the oak and a heavy hand. . . It's wonderful. Light and free moving, a edgy nose and a slippery body. Yes.

A trio of found objects.

I spotted a pair of ravens (aaarrrr) about a month ago, I thought it curious, they had stones in their beaks. . . then I started findings pieces of pecan shell and the hunt was on. . . I'm still to locate the neighbourhood pecan tree, but I'm warm, presumably it's in a backyard accessible only to blackbirds with big mouth. They kindly drop the harder nuts on the street. I've been picking them up while walking the dog. . .

A mischievous label. 14.5%. Tempranillo. Approx $A26.

Raisins, tar and Summer. Bold. Given the nose, it's unusually slim and shapely in the mouth. Delicious - cherry cola confection with good pace and form. New and bright and quite hard to resist.

The service is patchy, the tables are cramped and they serve a plate of tomatoes with sugar for $10, but already I'm planning my next visit.

The waiters look flustered and the basics like offering water and wine glasses (clunky) have been forgotten; orders are taken by tablet, but errors still occur. On the side of redemption - the kitchen is fast and the food is very good. The cold noodle starter is simple but unexpectedly pleasing.

Cloudy and unfiltered, this is more about method than the grape or place. For the record it contains - Sauvignon blanc, riesling, muscat and fiano from the Adelaide Hills and the Riverland. It's very similar in taste to the Brash Higgins Zibibbo. The back label mentions hiking through the mountains. . . it's certainly floral and sappy, I can smell ginger and hops; glue and solvent. . .

Free of fault and quite admirable, but I had expected more life and pace, had hoped for something slippery and serpentine. This seems very middle of the road, no gaps or exaggeration.

Cream and raisin, it's plush and full, round and heavy.



Younger sibling.

Something new, cheap, curious and good.

There are different Margaret river subregions; Wilyabrup and Wallcliffe being the two that come immediately to mind. I don't think I've previously heard of Osmington. . . On the maps it's inland of the townsite and and just North of the river.

A slightly light weight non serious front label and on the back the words "A natural wine, picked and plugged by Walsh and Sons". It's sealed with a short stumpy natural cork. To me three yellow flags. . .

I believe in randomness. . . so when I ordered a case of wine recently, what drew my attention was not the bottles (which being carefully selected were expected) but the unrelated packaging. Unico Zelo was emblazoned on the box, along with various bombastic and tangential statements and several grids of sudoku. When you spot barely contained craziness, you have to get closer. . .

Clare and Adelaide Hills fruit.

The meal is long gone, but I keep thinking about it, in particular the sauce, thin but rich, like a winter soup. I'm so glad I avoided the temptation to reduce the liquid.

In construction and method, it's similar to the tagine with lamb and seven vegetables, but it's been pared back and seems less fussy.

Warm the tagine (heat diffuser, medium heat) add a generous splash of olive oil and fry a finely chopped red onion and 4 cloves of diced garlic.