Leichhardt-based winemaker Andrew Caillard holds the rare Master of Wine qualification, is a veteran wine auctioneer and fine wine expert. Not only is he author of “Penfolds: The Rewards of Patience” but also associate producer of award-winning wine documentary “Red Obsession”…
You’ve had a long and varied career in wine – how did you first get into the industry?
I first worked as a ‘stagaire’ (an intern) with a Bordeaux wine merchant called De Luze et Fils in 1979.
What inspired you to start making your own wine?
I was writing a book for Penfolds called The Rewards of Patience in 2007. I was researching the origins of St Henri and came across the story of the now defunct Quarry Vineyard. All of the Penfolds old timers spoke about the vineyard and the grape variety mataro with great affection. I thought there must be something to this variety – and there is!
How does Australian wine compare with the rest of the world?
Australia makes wonderful wine and it is comparable to the very best wines of the world. We should be proud of our heritage and the generations of families and winemakers who have built our industry.
What do you think the role of wine is at the dinner table? How does it add to a meal?
Wine makes conversation. I am not a great wine and food matching person. Perfection cannot be contrived.
If you could invite anyone over for dinner and a glass of wine, whom would it be and why?
If French artist Pierre Bonnard was alive, I would invite him because he really understood colour better than any other artist of the 20th Century.
Caillard wine is available at www.caillardwine.com.au.
I love making omelettes and they are perfect with a glass of red wine. Neil Perry once told me (admittedly 25 years ago) that I make a great omelette. I must have dined out on that often. The recipe is simple, but the secret is in the wrist action as it makes an incredible difference…
First crack a couple of eggs and whisk them with a small sprinkling of salt and pepper (to your taste). Add no milk or water. Put a medium-sized shallow skillet over a high burn flame. Leave it for a minute or two and then add a dollop of butter. Let it melt and brown (essential). Flick the butter around the pan.
Quickly whisk the egg mixture again so that it is frothy. Pour into the skillet over the hot melted butter, and allow the mixture to cover the pan. Use a wooden spatula to gently and continuously pull back the egg mixture and with your wrist move the remaining mixture about over the exposed pan.
When finished allow omelette to brown for a moment and then roll off onto a plate using wrist action again. Both of these techniques create a beautiful ‘feuilleté’ texture; heat and movement are the essential elements.
Serve with 2012 Caillard Mataro!