Keep it cool this summer with winemaker's own rosé sangria recipe

The days are only going to get hotter as summer approaches and a rosé with a twist might be just the tonic.

HOT TIP: Winemaker Gwynn Olsen, who works at Briar Ridge Vineyards and Pepper Tree Wines, recommends rosé this summer.

HOT TIP: Winemaker Gwynn Olsen, who works at Briar Ridge Vineyards and Pepper Tree Wines, recommends rosé this summer.

Award-winning Hunter Valley winemaker Gwyn Olsen thinks so, anyway. She reckons a rosé sangria is the perfect drink to quench a thirst and has kindly shared her very own recipe for Herald readers. 

You will need one bottle (750ml) of fruity rosé; one-and-a-half cups of lemonade; one bunch of mint; two big slices of watermelon, diced; and one teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Then, all you need to do is cut the watermelon, chop the mint and place both in a large jug. Stir in chilled wine and lemonade, add cinnamon and stir.

It’s as easy as that. 

The secret to a good rosé, Olsen told Food & Wine, was “targeting specific blocks with great fruit expression and picking them with balanced, fresh acidity and lovely bright fruit flavours”.

“The Hunter Valley climate is perfect for rosé – the warmer days allow us to achieve a great fruit expression at a lower alcohol with some fine acidity still there. We are able to make dry style rosé based on texture and length which makes for perfect afternoon drinking or for pairing with great food. My favourites at the moment are either Vietnamese rice paper rolls or prosciutto.”

A warm welcome

Becci Fowler, of The Tea Collective, has opened The Autumn Rooms at 127 Darby Street. 

“Basically we wanted to create another warm and cosy atmosphere like the Tea Collective – a little bit elegant and slightly romantic – with more of a chilled vibe and soft music, lots of greenery and attentive staff. But we really want to wow everyone with our product. Our baristas are best in the business,” she told Food & Wine.

The all-day menu is definitely worth a look – it’s healthy, organic and seasonal, and children are catered for. They even have a play area to explore.  

Get your creep on 

You can rely on Murray’s Brewery to celebrate an occasion in style, and Halloween is no exception.

This weekend, November 4 and 5, the Bob Farm brewery will be pouring Pumpkin Ale and a spooky menu alongside live entertainment, tours and tastings. 

Eighty kilograms of pumpkins are peeled and dry roasted with added cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Brewer Sean Costigan says the brew “really does taste like pumpkin pie in a glass” and has a low bitterness level as well as a distinct colour and flavour.

The annual collaboration between brewers and chefs has this year extended from beer to food – and the spookier the dish, the better. The Witches Fingers served in Creepy Crawly Sauce is a vegetarian dish centred on new season asparagus and Bat Wings will be made from marinated chicken wings.

Children will enjoy Pirate Bob’s Scavenger Hunt, an interactive kids’ game that leads the players on a Haunted Halloween themed tour of Bobs Farm, solving puzzles to collect their treat.

Puddings galore

Jason Fox from Lifeline kindly reminded Food & Wine the other day that Christmas is less than two months away.

That means it is time for people to order a Lifeline Christmas pudding, made with love by Adamstown Pudding Kitchen. You can choose from traditional puddings, flavoured puddings or gluten-free puddings.

A third of the proceeds provide much-needed funds for Lifeline’s telephone crisis support, face-to-face counselling and other suicide prevention services. Order one at any of Lifeline’s local shops or by phoning 4940 2000.

Tapas special

Bar Petite in Newcastle East is offering a selection of $5 small tapas plates on Sundays only.

The offer is valid between 5pm and 6pm only.  

Family focus

Drayton’s Family Wines have a new east coast distributor, Crush Fine Wines. Established in 2008, the family-run Crush links 250 wineries to more than 5000 restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels.

Treat yourself

The honeycomb chocolate bark at Coco Monde Chocolateria looks delicious. The Darby Street eatery has a new menu, too, and the courtyard area has been given a facelift. 

Short and sweet

Popolo Gelateria on King Street in Newcastle has Nutella on tap. Enough said.

Pop-up bakery

It’s been a long time coming but Gareth Williams of Restaurant Mason is poised to host his first official Covered in Crumbs event. The pop-up bakery and patisserie is coming to Sherwood Coffee Bar in Newcastle West on Saturday, November 18, 8am to noon.

Vegan banquet

Basement on Market St has launched Meat Free Mondays, a monthly vegan shared banquet accompanied by live music. Even the beer, wine, cocktail and mocktail list will be vegan. Kicking off on November 6, the banquet will be held on the first Monday of each month. Tickets are $55 per head and bookings are essential by phoning 4906 1386.

Best of the rest

The Tyrrell’s 2005 Vat 1 Hunter Semillon last week won the 2017 Pier One Sydney Harbour NSW Wine Awards trophy for the best wine of the day, the best dry white and the best mature dry white. Wines from Hunter-based producers won 10 of the 18 trophies awarded.