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Parallels: Coffee & wine

We initiated our Parallels tasting series with an event at Market Lane Coffee in South Yarra this past Monday. With 30 members of industry in attendance, the tasting provided a unique forum for baristas, sommeliers, coffee roasters and winemakers to communicate about the drinks that they work with. The panel for the evening consisted of:

Tim Varney – Coffee consultant and renowned barista
Keith Harris - Yabby Lake viticulturist
Jenni Bryant and Fleur Studd – Market Lane Coffee
Josh Elias – Alquimie Editor in Chief

The evening started with a discussion about terroir and how both coffee and wine are capable of conveying a sense of place. The discourse touched on the importance of temperature, rainfall, altitude, soil type and site aspect as geographical influences on the agricultural production of both grapes and coffee cherries. After this discussion we tasted the first bracket.

The first bracket displayed six different terroirs from across the globe through a selection of benchmark coffee and wine.

Coffee 1: Passeio / Wine 1: Yabby Lake Chardonnay, 2008
Coffee 2: La Gloria / Wine 2: Brundlmayer Riesling, 2004
Coffee 3: Gatchami / Wine 3: Jean Foillard Morgon, 2011

Following a conversation about the importance of nature, the focus of the second bracket shifted towards the hand of man and how production techniques can alter the flavours we taste. Fleur and Jenni touched upon the different ways that green coffee beans can be processed prior to roasting. Following that, Josh and Keith talked about the way that fortified wines are produced as to create a product that differs from table wines.

The second bracket featured four drinks. Each coffee and wine were made from the same natural product respectively; i.e. grapes from the same vineyard or coffee beans grown on the same plantation. The main difference being the way the processing methods that created a unique product; i.e. washed vs natural coffee processing and table wine vs fortified winemaking.

Coffee 4A: La Fany, Washed Processing / Coffee 4B: La Fany, Natural Process
Wine 4A: Quinta do Noval Cedro do Noval, 2007 / Wine 4B: Quinta do Noval Late Bottled Vintage Port, 2005

After the conclusion of the formal tasting attendees were treated to a selection of cheeses to compliment the beverages on show. A satisfying end to a thought provoking evening.

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