Margaret River in Western Australia is rightly celebrated for its wine production (low volume, high quality, which is why we don’t see enough of it in Europe) and I can attest to its quality after my visit to Western Australia.
If you are travelling solo, it’s more than difficult to tour around a range of wineries if they are out of town and they don’t have a habit of having in-town ‘cellar doors’. One option that my hotel receptionist suggested was to get a taxi from place to place, or take a tour. To be honest, I didn’t want to be locked into a whole day of moving from place to place as I had only one full day left in Margaret River and I had a lot of exploring to do.
My plan was to try out a highly-rated local wine bar for a late lunch and try a wine flight of typical Margaret River wines. This worked out fantastically! My target was Morries. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might already have seen how good the food looked. Let’s get into some tasting!
To be honest, things didn’t look all that promising at first. It was a Tuesday and town was seriously quiet. I was the first person to appear at the restaurant and the owner (who it turned out was called Dave Astbury) was on a phonecall. However, any fears were unfounded and it didn’t take long for a menu to show up.
I sat in the window area, the only zone that was catching an afternoon breeze. I had a great view of the interior and wished I was here when it was busy to get a sense of the atmosphere.
The bar looks particularly inviting. You can imagine the buzz here when it’s busy. Shame it wasn’t on this weekday lunchtime.
You do know I love a Wine Wall (though it’s hard to beat the one at Bocanáriz in Santiago).
The decor makes a lot of use of patterns but because of the dark backgrounds, this isn’t so much jarring as atmospheric. Now focus, Patrick, on your reason for being here… a bite and a glass…
I started with a glass of the Pinot Gris. To counter the hot weather, I wanted cold and light. This was refreshing and peachy.
The day was so warm, but a light breeze helped lighten the load and – because this part of Australia isn’t humid – it’s not too uncomfortable.
Morries has a tapas menu celebrating local Australian cuisine. I choose (from the left), crispy pork belly with a sesame and soy dressing, a half-portion of the feta, chickpea and iceberg salad and some chicken kara’age, my very favourite Japanese-style fried chicken, with a sriracha aioli.
I had gotten speaking to the owner by now and explained my desire to try Margaret River wines without having to go around all of the vineyards and he was complicit in getting me set up with a wine flight! These are all small tastes of the house reds.
Each one had a distinct colour and flavour and I found it difficult to choose between the Pinot Noir and the Shiraz – both punchy but with some subtlety.
As the banter was good, the owner kindly invited me to try their croqueta of the day, which would be served that evening, a sauerkraut flavour. This was absolutely stunning – light as a feather.
Thoroughly enjoyed this one! Always nice to have a light lunch and a little wine – this wasn’t so much that it would knock you out for the afternoon – just a little taster to keep the tastebuds vibrant and your full wits about you!
Dave Astbury looking very pleased with himself, surrounded by every imaginable kind of wine and liquor! And who can blame him!