The Source

Licensed $$$   Hat iconHat iconHat icon   Glass iconGlass iconGlass icon
655 Main Road, Berriedale
03 6277 9900
Open: Breakfast and Lunch daily; Dinner Wed to Sat.

Much is written about food and wine matching. Is it an art, a science or serendipity? In truth, perfect food and wine matches are rare and in a long life where I’ve had many good and sometimes great food and wine pairings, I can count on only one hand the number that for me were “perfect”. After a five-course degustation lunch at The Source a fortnight ago, I now need two hands.

In terms of all-round food and wine, it was a most memorable experience, by far the best I’ve had in Tasmania and, for me, among the best ever. Which is a big call and an enormous credit to The Source’s team – Chef Sam Chang and the rest in the kitchen under Executive Chef Philippe Leban, Manager/Head Sommelier, Joseph Burton, and his deputy who looked after us so expertly on the day, Sommelier Michael Fisher. Plus, of course, impeccable service by the floor staff who, as we all know, can make or break any dining experience.

I repeat, to get a one-course “perfect” match is rare, to get it across five courses is exceptional.

And the expertise that Burton and Fisher bring to their job was no better demonstrated than with the 2011 William Downie Gippsland Pinot Noir they chose to partner the shimmering elegance of Chang’s wonderfully creative and light-as-air scallop gnocchi with yuzu puree, ponzu and spinach.

First, I was surprised that they’d selected a red wine with such light, almost ethereal seafood gnocchi. Then, although William Downie is an excellent winemaker, I was even more surprised that they’d chosen a wine from the far-less-than-great 2011 Victorian vintage. Plus, of course, Gippsland is not the first region you’d look to for a good pinot, especially when there were almost three pages of much more impressive pinots and red Burgundies on the global wine list from which to choose.

But, when asked, Burton said they were initially accompanying the dish with a 2010 red Burgundy. “Then”, he said, “As the Burgundy aged and its youthful acid softened, we found the combination no longer worked. So we needed something younger, lighter and fresher to handle the savouriness and acidity of the food”. And, of course, he was spot on – as were he and Fisher with their other pairings.

Here’s what we had.

Caprese salad 2013 – 2011 Donnhoff ‘Oberhauser Leistenberg’ Riesling Kabinett
Beans, white peach, mint, almonds, coriander emulsion – Michel Chapoutier 2010 Saint-Joseph Blanc ‘Deschants’
The scallop gnocchi and Downie’s 2011 pinot.
Rabbit, squid, brebis gnocchi – Domaine Tessier 2008 Meursault 1er Cru ‘Les Charmes Dessus’
For the ladies: Fresh raspberries, pistachio Anglaise and crumb, orange chibouste, freeze-dried raspberries – 2010 Schloss Lieser ‘Lieser Niederberg Helden” Riesling Auslese Lange Goldkapsel
For the men: Inverted Mille-Feuille – 2000 Chateau Filhot Sauternes.

I’ve been less than complimentary in my past reviews of The Source. But on the basis of this lunch, and with the current kitchen and floor teams, it has well and truly come of age.

And, should you be impressed by the long titles of the French and German wines offered and suspect they might have been pulled out for the benefit of this review, the same wines were being poured at all the other tables on the day and I’m assured, as vintages change, they or similar matchings are the norm with the three, five and seven-course degustation and wine menus

Rather than saying any more, I would simply suggest to readers to go and experience The Source for yourself and, like our non-foodie mainland friends who hosted us, I hope you too will be “blown away”. While our friend’s wife purred that her meal was “better than sex”, he quickly reminded us they’d been married 37 years and were now grandparents in their 60s. So, a day of perfect matches all round.

3 courses – $75/$40; 5 – $115/$60 7 – $145/$80 9 – $175/$100

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