Big Poppa’s Cheese Club
September 23, 2018
Yin and yang.
Ebony and ivory.
The fusion of seemingly different components merge their features to something bigger than the sum of its parts would suggest. Musings on the need to be aside, pairing artisanal cheese with a decent wine is never not a winning combination in the flavour bliss department – a department that forms the foundation and vantage point for the fine people behind the hip hop themed destination restaurant Big Poppa’s, their trademarked Cheese Club and its objective to hit harmonious notes while gently taking its members outside the zones they would normally feel comfortable in.
Big Poppa’s expertise, when it comes to classic pairings, does not result in them claiming that they know it all. Appreciating that everyone’s palate is different and unique, they provide different combinations as part of their carefully curated sessions.
Acknowledging that every country has its own individual identity and that cheese and wine will often have evolved side by side in particular parts of the world, they take it a step further and pair e.g. Australian grown Italian wines with cheeses from other corners of this earthround chosen by Big Poppa’s executive chef, Liam Driscoll – which was the case for tonight’s sessions.
Andrew Jamieson, the mastermind behind Andrew Jamieson Wine Merchants' is usually responsible for helping to blend Big Poppas’ House Wine pours. Tonight he was expertly educating us about Italian varietals, their acidity levels, tannin, their attributes and how they have been successfully grown and cultivated on terra australis, while Big Poppa’s bar manager and hardcore turophile Chris Garner MC’ed through the textures and idiosyncrasies of the cheese offerings.
The proceedings were kicked off with a crisp and young dub style skin contact Vermentino Mc Laren from South Australia whose delicate acidity met a delicate and milky, fatty and dense Penny Bu, which cut through the latter’s heavy and rounded character.
The highlight of the evening came next with Inkwell’s Primitivo Mc Laren paired with an earthy and sharp Trebbione Sheep Pecorino from the Tuscany before affairs were rounded out with a Siamo & Co. Nebbiolo from Alpine Valleys in Victoria, which was paired with a melange of a rich and funky sheep and goat milk mild and a luscious Testun Al Barolo from the Piedmont region, which again conveyed the quintessential flavours of Italy with its intensity, tang, saltiness and depth of flavour.
Was the aforementioned one long delicious run-on sentence? Well – good, because it accurately describes the evening.
A rich and sweet glass of the Old Redemption XO Tawny was proffered to finish affairs and left one lusting and intrigued for what Big Poppa’s will be planning for the next instalment.
If you are ever in Sydneytown and not averse to cheese, vino and Italian fare in an ambience that is accentuated by constant serenade of classic hop hop, it would be hard to go past Big Poppa’s.
Photos by @k.a.vv