A couple of Saturdays ago, my friend Miss A and I found ourselves at upstairs at Shed 10 on Queens Wharf. We were dressed in Game of Thrones garb, feeling a bit foolish and ready to taste some good wine at Game of Rhones.
Game of Rhones is different to other wine tasting events because of the unofficial Game of Thrones theme and also the awesome feature being token-free. You don’t have to worry about rationing out your drink tokens, just try whatever you feel like. Each ticket holder also gets a Reidel wine glass to keep. (Just in case you’re wondering, “Reidel” rhymes with “needle”). The only thing you have to pay extra for is food which was priced well for the size and quality. For $50 we got entry, all our wine tastings and a wine glass to keep. A bargain.
Game of Rhones has enjoyed sell out events in Australia for a few years but this is the first time Game of Rhones has come to Auckland. There were plenty of dressed up folk from the wine producers and a few actors scattered around, but not many “commonfolk” dressed up. Maybe we’re still shy because the event is new. Hopefully next year’s event will mean more people getting into the spirit of the event and dressing up!
There were various brands of complimentary water available and everyone was well behaved. I won’t forget rinsing my wine glass with bottled Evian before tipping it all into a bucket. Pure mineral water from the French Alps to do your dishes…We felt like royalty.
We had a wonderful time sampling the wines, though we didn’t get through all 100+ wines (not even close). The wines we did try were very, VERY lovely. So good in fact, I went with the intention of buying some wine, but found it too difficult to choose one to take home. So I went home with nothing. We met up with some bloggers including Rebecca from Olives and Figs, and Jo Lene from Jo Lene Mahon Blog.
The food was done by Bird On A Wire who have pride themselves on healthy, real food from 4 locations in Auckland. Known for their free range chicken, I was super curious about the food they would be serving at Game of Rhones. When Bird On A Wire announced their three item Game of Rhones themed menu, my friend and I took a look and both zeroed in on one dish:
Reek’s Lament With Winterfell Greens. Braised oxtail with celeriac puree and watercress topped with crunchy gremolata
This was as good as it sounds. So good, I went back and bought a second helping just before we had to leave. I could have done thirds. Jus’ sayin’.
Chef Chris from Bird on a Wire has graciously shared his recipe which I have been granted permission to share with you. I can’t wait to make this at home! I would serve this with a robust red. The recipe calls for 500ml dry red wine, giving permission for you to figure out what to do with the 250ml of wine remaining in the bottle 😉
Recipe: Reek’s Lament With Winterfell Greens.
Braised oxtail with celeriac puree and watercress topped with crunchy gremolata.
Recipe by Chris from Bird On A Wire.
- 2kg oxtail (8 big pieces)
- 200g carrots (diced)
- 300g onions (diced)
- 200g celery (diced)
- 200g leeks (chopped)
- 500ml dry red wine
- 400-500ml beef stock or water
- 100g butter
- 1 table spoon tomato paste
- Season the oxtail well with salt and fry all pieces in a hot roasting pan until they are nice and brown on every side. Take out of the pan, lower the heat to medium and add the vegetables.
- Fry the vegetables till they are nice and brown, add the oxtail to the vegetables, add the tomato paste and sauté everything on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Pour in 1/3 of the wine, reduce till the liquid evaporates and the vegetables start frying again, repeat this 2 times until the 500ml of wine is finished.
- Add the beef stock/water till everything is nearly covered.
- Put a lid on the roasting pan and braise in the oven for around 3-4 hours on 160°C until tender.
- When the oxtail is tender, pick the oxtail pieces out of the roasting pan, set aside and cover with foil. Leave to rest in a warm place.
- Put the vegetables and the liquid through a fine sieve in a small pot and reduce the sauce till it has the perfect ‘gravy’ consistency.
- Turn down the heat and slowly whisk in the butter.
- 1kg celeriac
- 700g potatoes
- 300g butter
- Olive oil
- Peel the celeriac and cut into 2cm x 2 cm cubes. Place on a tray with a bit of olive oil and salt. Cook in the oven on 160°C for around 30 minutes or until tender.
- Peel the potatoes and cook them in salted water until soft, then drain.
- Heat up the milk and season with salt and nutmeg.
- Put the celeriac, potatoes, milk and butter together and mash gently, you still want some pieces of celeriac inside the mash.
- 200g Panko crumbs
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- Lemon zest from 2 lemons
- 100g Italian parsley
- 100g Celery leaves
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 litre sunflower oil
- Mix the panko, olive oil and garlic together and put it on a big tray.
- Roast in the oven at 160°C until golden brown (takes around 8-10 minutes).
- Fry the parsley and the celery leaves at 160°C in hot sunflower oil for around 5-10 seconds until crunchy, season straight away with salt and put on paper towels to drain.
- Mix all ingredients together and season with salt.
The crunchy gremolata is a topping for the oxtail, every plate just needs one tablespoon.
Once mash and oxtail are plated, add watercress, dressed with lemon juice , olive oil and salt.