Footnotes January 2006 - Australia Day edition

A newsletter from the team at Nardone Baker Wines                        Edition 003   January 2006

AUSTRALIAN SOIL ... European Heritage


Hot! Hot! Hot! Chardonnay and Sparkling Shiraz rescue Australia Day

With South Australia enduring its hottest summer in 66 years, and electricity shortages cutting use of air-conditioners and refrigerators, the Nardone Baker team is surviving the heat with plenty of Chardonnay and Sparkling Shiraz on ice in sturdy, Australian eskies.

This classic Aussie summer has come in the weeks leading up to Australia Day, Thursday, January 26, 2006.

To put things in perspective, our average summer days in January average just under 30 degrees Celsius (86F) but this year our thermometers are registering around 43 degrees Celsius (109F). That is hot!

Beach cricket - an Australian family traditionHowever, in true Australian style, it will take more than extremely hot weather to stop us enjoying our Australia Day traditions, such as:

1 - "firing up" the barbecue to cook delicious Australian lamb, kangaroo and seafood.

2 - stacking eskies full of ice to chill our Chardonnay, Sparkling Shiraz, etc.

3 - playing cricket in the backyard, on the beach, at a park; wherever two or more mates are gathered!

At Nardone Baker, we also spare a thought at this time of year for the vineyard workers who brave the dry, dusty conditions among the snakes and the flies, to start harvesting ripe, juicy fruit for a new vintage of great Australian wines.

The Nardone Baker team will honour Mr G. Blaxland, Australia's best-known pioneer winemaker, with a special toast at our Australia Day lunch. It is testament to Mr Blaxland's great skill, that he was able to craft world award winning wines from vines grown in our harsh climate.

You can find out more about Mr Blaxland in the "history of Australian wine" page on the Nardone Baker website [] and you can learn about our Blaxland's Legacy range in our "tasting notes" section []. 

Happy Australia Day mate!

What goes with "Nardone Baker"? Chefs tell:

This month, to celebrate Australia Day, we are featuring a favourite barbecue treat from the home of Frank Nardone, Managing Director of Nardone Baker Wines.

Aussie Porterhouse on the BBQ with Summer Tomato Salad
This is a personal favourite of mine. I prepare it whenever I get the chance. It is a filling summer meal, the sort of thing to have on a weekend for a late lunch but certainly great to have on Australia Day. It shows how versatile Australian cuisine can be because it melds the best flavours from many parts of the world into something that is flavoursome and wonderful - truly what Australia is!

BBQ Porterhouse
Get your butcher to cut it a little thicker, about 20-25cm and allow a 350-400gm steak per person. Children will probably share one between two.

Marinade (for four steaks)
Prepare this marinade about an hour before you cook the meat. 
Mix the following ingredients together in a deep bowl.
125ml of good virgin olive oil
250ml of Nardone Baker Shiraz
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
2 medium-sized, hot chilli, chopped into 3 or 4 pieces. Use less if you wish, but you definitely need some chilli in the marinade
Half cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped. This is better than the curly parsley, which is better left for garnishing
White pepper, a good shake

Season each steak separately with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Generously dip each steak into the marinade individually and then place them flat into a sealable container (I recommend a Pyrex or glass dish with a sealable plastic lid).
With the steaks all comfortably laying in the container, add the remaining marinade to the dish, seal, and leave in a refrigerator for about one hour but no more than two hours. (If you leave the steaks longer than two hours, you will lose the natural flavours of the porterhouse).

Frank and Loredana Nardone, with Nardone Baker Chardonnay at the barbecuePreheat the barbecue, making sure it is very hot. About 15 minutes on high should be right. Place a little olive oil on the grill, when hot, and now you are ready to cook the steak. 

I like mine medium rare and allow 4 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side.

However, if you like steak a little more well done, sear the steak on both sides and then reduce the heat to about a third and cook for a longer time. 
If you take this latter approach, remember to continually brush the steaks with a little of the marinade to avoid them drying out.

Frank Nardone and daughter, Loredana, at the bbq

Summer Tomato Salad
Australia Day is the perfect time of year to enjoy fresh, juicy tomatoes. They are in season and abundant. This recipe was originally made for me by my dear friend, Pasquale. He is so emphatic in his approach to this dish, that he goes so far as to peel the tomatoes. Needless to say, he is the supreme master when it comes to this salad and often begins preparations several hours ahead of meal time. In fact, this salad benefits from being made 1 to 2 hours before serving, to allow the tomatoes to expel their natural juices and add to the dressing. The following quantities are only approximate, which is why this salad always surprises. 

2 - 3 Roma tomatoes PER PERSON, diced into 15mm cubes - this may sound like a lot of tomato, but it avoids family feuds! Note: Roma tomatoes peak around Australia Day, so feel free to use your favourite, seasonal tomato.
1 bunch of Thai basil (leaves only), roughly torn into small strips (do not cut basil with a knife because it will bruise and discolour). Note: Thai basil has more aroma than European basil. Asian societies have been growing basil for more than 5000 years and often recommend it for its ability to aid digestion and its quality as a mild sedative.
2 - 3 fresh salad onions (these are slightly bigger than a golf ball), finely diced
Various herbs - sprigs of thyme, pinch of dried oregano
Generous pinch of salt
Generous amount of the very best olive oil you can afford to buy - this is very important whenever you use olive oil in salads, as important as choosing the right Nardone Baker wine!
Finely chopped chilli if you want some bite

Gently toss ingredients together and let stand for 1 - 2 hours, gently mixing occasionally By the time you eat, the red, green and white colours will look fantastic and the salad will have an unforgettable taste and aroma. 

Serve the salad with Ciabatta roll that has been split in half and lightly toasted on the cooling barbecue. Allow the juices of the salad to soften the bread ... while you eat your steak.

We eat outdoors quite often at this time of year and are quite unconventional when it comes to selecting wine. I generally start with a chilled Nardone Baker Chardonnay, and stay with that for the remainder of the meal. I then enjoy a glass or two of Nardone Baker Sparkling Shiraz with dessert, which nearly always consists of summer fruits, while my wife prefers to finish with Nardone Baker Brut Cuvee. We then, not too long after the meal, hibernate somewhere for an Australia Day afternoon slumber! Happy Australia Day! 
Frank Nardone

If you have a superb food and Nardone Baker wine combination, please share it with us so we can share it with the world in a future edition of Foot Notes (NB News). Email details

A joyful "whisper" in a busy year
Whisper - a painting by Steve SoOne of the great joys of working in an export industry, is meeting an amazing array of people with different ways of viewing the world and enjoying life. One such person is Steve So, owner of Leung Yick Co. Ltd. - Nardone Baker's distributor in Hong Kong.  

Steve has been a hard working businessman for more than 30 years but for the last decade, he has made time to pursue his passion for painting "after hours". This surprisingly relaxed and reflective side to a typically frenetic Hong Kong businessman, illustrates the creative spirit that is at the core of Leung Yick Co. Ltd. 

One of the highlights of each December for Nardone Baker staff, is the annual arrival of the Leung Yick Co. desk calendar featuring twelve bright, colourful, original paintings by Steve So. The image, above, is from the 2006 calendar and is called "whisper".

Steve is a self-taught artist and believes that bright colours bring joy and happiness - you never find the dull greys of winter in a Steve So painting! 

Leung Yick Co. Ltd. is a dynamic member of Nardone Baker Wines' international team of distributors. Their on-going success has really tapped Hong Kong's thirst for quality Australian wine. Not only have Nardone Baker's premium range of wines been a popular part of Leung Yick Co.'s inventory, the company has enjoyed immense success with The Wara Manta Reserve wines In fact, LYC made headlines in Adelaide's Advertiser newspaper for buying the last shipment of our 1998 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and LYC has another large allocation of our multi-award-winning 2002 Reserve Shiraz on en route to Hong Kong right now!

Read full story in the News section of our website

Where Can I Find Nardone Baker Wine?

Close up of thermal blanket on NBW shipment to ItalyOur wine travels the world through numerous climates on its way to the dinner tables and bars of the wine drinking world. To help maintain the quality and consistency expected of our wine, we take a number of steps to safeguard against damage in transit.
Firstly, we work closely with transport companies to ensure our wine is stowed below deck on the large container ships. Newcomers to the game don't realise that you need a wise shipping agent to ensure this actually happens. We have heard horror stories of wine from other companies being transferred in transit ports and ending up above deck, to "cook" in the equatorial sun - if only they knew the people we know!
Secondly, we insist on thermal blankets inside our containers (see picture above) to wrap our wine inside a protective, reflective envelope as it moves through a wide range of temperatures. This step costs a few dollars more, but whenever you pull a cork on one of our wines, we think you will agree it is worth every extra cent!
If you want to put this to the test, use the link below so we can help you locate Nardone Baker wines in your neighbourhood, with the help of your closest distributor.

Email us to find an outlet or restaurant stocking Nardone Baker near you

  Contact us
Nardone Baker Wines
Australian Head Office
Ph: +618 8445 8100
Fx: +618 8445 8200

PO Box 386
McLaren Vale SA 5171

10 Gray Street
Kilkenny SA 5009

Nardone Baker range, from left, Shiraz, The Wara Manta Reserver Shiraz, Chardonnay

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  Happy New Year!  
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