Some of the best laid plans are forged between midnight and 4am… Well, at least according to Tyson Stelzer and Stuart Oldfield. There’s something to be said about indulging in Louis Roederer cuvée and canapés in the Barossa on a Wednesday night… And that something is nothing short of genius.
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Arriving at Musque Food & Wine, in Tanunda on a crisp and cold autumn evening, held a defining contrast to the warmth and welcome that awaited me as I walked through the door. A Champagne Soirée in full swing showcasing the well-known champagne house of Louis Roederer and supported by a sumptuous offering of fine food.
A joint idea of friends, Tyson and Stuart, it was in an intimate evening designed to educate, delight and inspire via a champagne and food journey to be remembered. Over 50 guests attended from both local and Adelaide including winemakers, industry legends and champagne enthusiasts.
Tyson is a multi-award winning wine writer, television host, international keynote speaker, tour host and wineshow chairman and judge. Tyson also contributes to The Barossa Mag with his influential and sought after Barossa wine reviews every edition.
Stuart is a local, well known and accomplished chef in the Barossa region. With more than 23 years in the kitchen, Musque Food & Wine owner and self-confessed champagne fanatic creates exceptional and uncomplicated cuisine that is perfectly matched to the intricacies of champagne.
This evening was a perfect example of their talent. One thing became very clear to me throughout the night. The sheer passion and enthusiasm shared by these two craftsmen is something very special.
Tyson spoke of the importance to offer international benchmarks in the restaurants of wine regions. And with a number of champagne lunches and dinners already hosted with Stuart in the Barossa, it has given him insight into the impressive interest in champagne among the winemakers (not to mention their wives!).
“There is lots of interest in champagne among the locals and visitors to the Barossa, and to me it’s a sign of the coming of age of the region for it to be open to such a showcase, not to compete with the local wines of the region but to stand alongside and support them.” – Tyson Stelzer
Tyson said “There is lots of interest in champagne among the locals and visitors to the Barossa, and to me it’s a sign of the coming of age of the region for it to be open to such a showcase, not to compete with the local wines of the region but to stand alongside and support them.”
Wednesday night’s soiree was the second of multiple events curated by Tyson and Stuart. Tyson recently celebrated his 20th wedding anniversary with a special dinner at Musque.
It was following this evening that Stuart and Tyson caught up to chat about opportunities the next day and it overflowed into a five hour conversation where they planned out the concept of a very special champagne focus for Musque.
Tyson volunteered to team up with Stuart on an unpaid basis as the curator and ambassador for his Champagne list.
The evening showcased four cuvées from the great champagne house of Louis Roederer, matched with nine substantial canapé courses created by Stuart. With each pour of a new cuvée, Tyson would offer a glimpse into the life and journey taken, from vineyard, to winery, to bottle and finally glass.
His natural storytelling ability, coupled with a vast knowledge of the Champagne region and Louis Roederer house, is testament to his unwavering passion.
The energy in which he educated the room left me wanting to know more… to consider that next trip to France a little sooner.
Just like a fine champagne, Tyson always delivered his passion with style, finesse, integrity and grace.
Stuart spoke of the dedication to true, locally sourced produce, and how it frames everything he and his team strive for.
One of the canapé’s was based on Porcini mushrooms which Stuart handpicked in the Adelaide hills. In Stuart’s true comical fashion, he shared with the room his secret location for this delicious fungai by pointing towards the hills and saying ‘that way’!
It was evident through Stuart’s address, the importance he places on creating dishes which are intricate, yet simple. The food was matched perfectly with each cuvée and celebrated by all the guests.
The evening offerings consisted of:
Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV en magnum
Grilled half shell scallops, white miso butter, wakame
Milk bread sliders of wild caught snapper, avocado and wasabi
Louis Roederer Vintage Rose’ 2012
Cornet of lightly cured Atlantic salmon, lemon, chives and capers
Tempura soft shell crab and lemon
Louis Roederer Philippe Stark Brut Nature 2009
Wild picked porcini, Lescure butter and sea salt
Roasted butternut pumpkin, reserve Ibérico fat, brioche
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2009
Belly of Berkshire pork, salted pear, compressed apple and scorched onion
Rillettes of duck, fried, kewpie
And to finish, a big piece of Comté, which is a a French cheese made from unpasteurised cow’s milk in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France.
The evening was a huge success and to say I was impressed is an understatement. To anyone with a passion for champagne and fine food, make sure you get along to Musque Food & Wine or catch Tyson at one of his next events.
Tyson will be back in South Australia on August 22nd for ‘Taste Champagne’, a showcase of 74 champagne houses at the Adelaide festival Centre. For further details and upcoming events, visit TysonStelzer.com