Pandemonium Wines which opened to the public in 2015 has in the past year or so expanded to offer food in the form of platters, pizza and now pinxtos along with their wine. Interestingly, each of their wines is named after a demon, which is a point of difference from other operators, giving drinkers an opportunity to learn a bit about mythology as the wine is consumed.
A large shed on the Great Northern Highway in Baskerville has been nicely fitted out, with an impressive bar; tables made from wine picking crates and some interesting paintings on the walls, a large screen, record player, all combining to produce an attractive space for tasting the wines on display. As well, display cabinets for platter ingredients, a small al fresco area at back, along with a pizza oven and at the front of the shed the Swan Valley Gin Company is turning out some very special gins.
We were invited along to test drive the new pinxto offerings, which are matched with one of their wines in a 50ml pour. At $20 a head these are very good value if you are looking for a snack in the Valley.
First cab off the rank, garlic aioli, chilli olives and anchovy paired with “Verrine” made from little grown (in WA) grape Savignan – the demon of impatience –pale straw, this blend has aromas of lemon and pears; some salty and briny notes on the palate, with zesty apple and a touch of citrus zing at the end; very good – and wonderfully paired to contrast with the saltiness of the anchovy and olives, the earthiness of the creamy garlic and the zestiness of the chilli.
Then on to pear slices with cheese, thyme and drizzled honey complemented by the “Rosier” – a demon who bestows love between the sexes and brings about romance – rosé made from Grenache, translucent pink with strawberry and cherry aromas; the palate has some residual sugar, but good acid finishing off dry with plenty of red apple and strawberry flavours on the finish. Another very good match with the sweetness of the honey, the aromatic herb and buttery cheese well suited to the rosé style.
The limited release Tempranillo was next – alas no demon’s name attached to this one – matched to bean paste smeared on the bread and topped with peppers and a mildly spiced chilli chorizo – again well matched with the earthy bean flavours contrasting with the meaty spice of the chorizo and the chocolate and dusty berry flavours of the wine.
The final in the selection was prosciutto topped with a very hot and spicy pickled chilli – loved the chilli! – paired with The Beast Shiraz Grenache blend – plums, sour cherries and prunes dominate the bouquet; the palate is full bodied, grippy and chewy, with liquorice and dark plum flavours evident. And big enough to hold its own with chilli.
So, we think a fine addition to the offerings at Pandemonium, and the Swan Valley more generally – and they are able to change the ingredients a little to suit those who may not want to eat meat – so just ask. The pizza and platters also appeal as great value – perfect with wine (and the gin!)
Definitely recommended as part of any Swan Valley tour – and good news too with the new Swan Valley Hop On Hop Off bus service having just established a stop out front – so no need to find a sober driver – just grab the bus from Guildford station!