At Rob Dolan Wines, whenever there’s a need for wine and food matches to be attached to tasting notes, the job seems to come straight to me. An email entitled “Food/Wine matches please”.
I’m not sure why this is! Perhaps it is the life-sized poster of Jamie Oliver I have at home. Or maybe it is because I bring my own microplane to work so I can grate Parmesan, from a height, over my slow cooked Pork Ragu with Parpadelle. Who can tell!
But I thought I would scan the lunchroom and see who else here might be a good candidate for this job.
The first person I come to around the lunch room table is Luke Mcnamara. He’s eating toasted sandwiches but he has to cut them into perfect triangles and arrange them into “points”, as though he is in a country club. He also has to do mid-air practice cuts so he gets it just right. A little parsley garnish and he’s done….a definite candidate.
Then there is Mark Nikolich. Any person who has baby octopus with pasta for lunch is another candidate.
Here’s the man himself, Rob Dolan, sitting sadly in front of a small garden salad. “Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year” I ask. “Yes” says Rob looking down and hoping his salad has magically transformed into a mixed grill and chips.
Peta Carlson the lab tech seems to subsist entirely on Hot Cross Buns. I’m sure some of our wines would go well with Hot cross buns but I might move on to the next person.
Now here we have Ben Dolan, quietly groaning over a laksa that he bought from his favourite Laksa shop. He finishes his soup with a big smile and a rub of the belly and starts to tell us how perfect was the balance of sweet and sour, “just the right amount of fish sauce, just a hint in the background….and just a hum of chilli”. Thumbs up.
Here’s Kate Allen. She’s filling the lunch room with aromas of Tikka Masala. “Did you buy the Curry Paste” I ask. “I did, but I jazzed it up with my own special additions, a little bit of ginger and coriander root then I finish it all off with a drizzle of Greek yoghurt”.
Wow, this lunch room is rife with candidates.
As I sat in the lunch room, squeezing lime wedges over my Thai beef salad, I felt content in the knowledge that if I can’t fulfil my duties in food/wine pairings, there are many people who can step up and take my place.