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Move over cheese I have been converted to wine and chocolate – any excuse for chocolate!

I visited Oakdene a rather unique winery, B&B and restaurant in rural Bellarine Peninsula about 20 minutes outside Geelong. I stayed in the Marilyn room; I could have chosen the Water room or the Attic room, each with their own particular character. The owner’s, Bernard and Elizabeth Hooley, are friends from my Manila days when I was the Philippines Qantas Manager. Elizabeth is amazingly creative and her eclectic and artistic style can be seen in the restaurant, the gardens and the cellar door. Oakdene winery was established in 2001 and Elizabeth designed the cellar door in the style of an ‘upside down house’.

Oakdene Winery Cellar Door

Lunch in the restaurant on Sunday was buzzing and I enjoyed a delicious Black Pepper Pappadelle, Green Olive, Braised Lamb Neck, Wild Rocket & Parmesan washed down with an Elizabeth Chardonnay. The restaurant has been awarded ‘Best in the Nation’ twice, winning two awards at the 2012 Savour Australia™ Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence.   In summer lunch is served either inside or outside in the garden.

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The restaurant garden area: fantastic in summer

The cellar door is open daily from 10am-4pm and is run by Steven Paul  Bellarine local with an intimate understanding of the region and a deep knowledge of wines. It was wine tasting time!

I had to start with Pinot Noir my favourite wine tipple and was not disappointed with Peta’s Pinot Noir, then it was William Shiraz another winner.

‘Try this chocolate with Bernard’s Cabernet’, Steve suggested. My first experience tasting Brix chocolate with wine was one of pure pleasure. Needless to say I came home with several dozen wine and a Brix Collection of four varieties in 110gram blocks.

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Chocolate and wine are an amazing duo: they bring out the best in each other. The natural tannins in cocoa prime the palate for the tannins in the wine, allowing the other flavours in the wine to excel.

I have been told the cacao bean and red wine are rich sources of flavanoids, a heart disease fighting antioxidant! I am convinced: another Oakdene tasting please!

Facts:

Oakdene Vineyard and Restaurant
255 Grubb Road Wallington
Ocean Grove VIC
Restaurant: 03 5255 1255
Cellar Door and Wine Sales: 03 5256 3886
General Enquiries: 03 5256 3886
http://www.oakdene.com.au

Cacao Vin importers of Brix Chocolate
PO Box 2824
Rowville VIC
Tel: 13006554069
http://www.cacaovin.com.au
Brix Chocolate can be purchased at Oakdene Cellar Door