Months ago the girls and I tried to organise a weekend away to visit Liss and her fiance in their new town, Mansfield. It had got to the point where the only weekend we were all free was three months in advance! The weekend of 7th-8th of November finally rolled around and we made the trek over to the King Valley. Mansfield is just near Mt Buller, though unfortunately we visited in the middle of a heatwave so there was no snow to be found.
From Mansfield we drove over to Milawa to visit the Brown Brothers winery. Liss had made a reservation for us to eat at their Epicurean Centre, and I was excited to taste their food along with their famous wines.
From their menu I selected the Rustico Tart, which was described as "Kane's special rustic tart, layers of potatoes and Swiss chard with saffron aioli, pear and rocket salad" (have edited for typos...can't stand places that can't get someone to proof read their menu!) The tart and aioli together was fairly tasty, but I was very thankful for the inclusion of the pear as this helped to bring a freshness to the dish. I left the rocket; call me crazy but I hate the stuff. There's a reason I am the queen of desserts and not savouries!
I also had a side of rosemary potatoes, which were incredible. Nestled amongst the diced potatoes were roasted cloves of garlic. The waitress was very forthcoming with sourdough, which I happily spread with the roasted garlic. Delicious. I paired my meal with a glass of 2006 Barbera, which was included with the meal.
We happily sampled about half of the Brown Brothers' wine list, and I stopped myself at buying only four bottles. I could have easily purchased ten, but I exercised self control. I bought 2009 Cienna, 2009 Moscato, 2009 Sparkling Cienna (only available at the cellar door) and Zibibbo Rosa. All deliciously sweet wines - even my staunchly-against-red-wine friend Belle was happily downing the reds.
The region is known for its gourmet foods and wines - check it out next time you're over in the King Valley. To find Brown Brothers, just follow the signs when you come in to the township of Milawa.
I, of course, brought cupcakes along for the journey. These were vanilla bean cakes topped with passionfruit buttercream. I usually steer clear of using fruit in buttercream but I had a hankering for real passionfruit so I popped it in.
To make my passionfruit buttercream, you'll need:
125g unsalted butter, chopped and softened
500g icing sugar
1/2 can passionfruit pulp
Cream the butter and icing sugar. Slowly add the passionfruit to ensure that the icing doesn't get too runny. If you find that the icing is too stiff, add a little hot water to get the desired consistency.
Thanks to Charlotte, Mel, Belle and Liss for a wonderful weekend in the King Valley!