I am very honored and excited to introduce you to a good friend of mine Goddess of Bubbles herself, Curly Haslam-Coates. I met Curly at the Winter spectacle to end all Art Festivals, Dark Mofo in 2015. I was cooking in a fire circle with some extraordinary chefs and she was helping out close friends at a stall nearby. She came over to buy some food and hit me with her signature 1000-megawatt smile. It was a moment of recognition of Kindred souls and instant friendship. When we began to talk, we found out we had so very much in common. We both have chosen Tasmania for our forever homes, her from the UK me of course, from the USA. We both are obsessed with delicious, delicious food. We both cling hardcore to the pop culture of the 90s. We both love travel. And so very much more.
I quickly learned that as well as being an Outstandingly kind and generous human, she was one of the hardest working people behind the scenes of the luxury Artisan foods in Tasmania. She is our resident Genius WSET tutor and educator. For decades she has worked close with different vineyards and distillers in all phases of production. She is also highly decorated for her leadership roles in Australian Agri-Tourism, and THE best Market Director I have ever seen in action. The Harvest Market in Launceston really became a destination for exceptional produce and Artisan food in Australia under Curly’s careful curation.
Who else could I possibly go to for serious talk about the incredible beverage culture of Tasmania? Curly will be our resident Queen of Cups! Every season she will share some incredible Tasmanian beverages to round out your menus and cocktail hours. We will also get her recommendations on Special Occasion tipples and gift giving. I am sure Y’all will come to depend on her excellent taste, delightful personality, and the way she effortlessly demystifies adult beverages.
Here she in her own words. Sweet Thangs meet Queen of Bubbles, Curly Haslam-Coates…
My name is Curly Haslam-Coates and I am your sparkling Goddess, wine educator & writer, Tasmanian food and drink ambassador and believer in the importance of kindness and using your powers for good. I have worked in the food and drink industry for 25 years in the UK and Tasmania.
This Spring, it’s time to think pink! These are strange times indeed and there’s no going back to the world that we once knew, so we shall search for the joy and beauty around us as we find a new way to be.
I’ve chosen three rosé wines for you today, two sparkling and one still. Rosé wines have had a bad rep in some circles for being jammy nightmares that taste like an alco-pop but there have always been seriously good options out there.
The first wine is the Maria Bangor Rosé 2019. A dry rosé with bags of red fruits, berries, cherries, currants and pomegranate combine with a hint of savoury umami make it a perfect match with barbecue ribs, pork belly, smoked salmon or grilled aubergine dishes. Crisp acidity keeps it fresh and moreish. Add this to the table for your spring lunches this year.
Second up, we have the Stefano Lubiana Brut Rosé 2015 which you may not want to share with too many people. This is a very elegant and sumptuous sparkling wine with soft strawberries and rose petals, hints of savoury smokiness, the autolytic (that yeasty deliciousness of traditional method sparkling wines) notes are those of a rhubarb danish but without the sweetness. This is something to sit and enjoy with a couple of good friends as you watch the blossoms on the trees and lambs gamboling around the paddocks.
The final rosé is from the House of Arras. Their vintage 2008 rosé was held back and released after the 2009 as it needed a little more time to mature and still has a very long life ahead of it. This is a wine to share with someone you love. You can also get far more intense with the dishes that you would serve with it, something like seared duck with a cherry sauce and grated truffle and dark chocolate, or a baked mushroom stuffed with truffled brie and toasted hazelnuts, either one served with buttery wilted spinach and dauphinoise potatoes.
This sparkling wine has the weight to carry the heavy flavours but hasn’t lost the soft strawberries, raspberries and pomegranate notes, it also has a hint of vanilla, baked brioche and a subtle earthy note that binds it all together. Take a while to enjoy the company and the bubbles with the House of Arras rosé, some things are too good to rush.