Embrace the holiday season with a glass of red in one hand and cheese in the other, through a unique wine tasting experience at Contentious Character.
Combining the old-world and new-world methods of winemaking, the tasting menu at Contentious Character will leave you feeling inspired and a little curious.
Take the newly-added Rosè for example, which Customer Experience Manager, Jordan Bell, describes as one-of-a-kind.
“There is a lot of Merlot grown on the property and I haven’t seen that anywhere else! We use our Merlot for our Rosè, and we add a very lovely strawberry, raspberry and citrusy flavour to the blend. It’s a unique spin on what people traditionally think a Rosè is, ” said Jordan.
Growing the highest vines in the region at 850m high, Contentious Character encapsulates everything we love about wine, from growing the grapes to pairing it with local produce.
“We only use local ingredients because they are grown here. That’s why we don’t often have seafood on the menu because we are nowhere near a beach. We prioritise using produce that people grow on their properties, that’s native and local to us. That’s what we want to showcase here, and I think we have done a great job of it with our new menu.”
Similarly, Director of Contentious Character, Tony Mansfield, says that locality defines this all-in-one restaurant and winery.
“We define ourselves as a vineyard because we grow grapes, and a winery because we make the wine. The cellar door is the wine side and the kitchen is the cooking side. So, it’s a vineyard, winery, cellar door and kitchen.
“One of the reasons we bought the vineyard is because everything is grown here on the property. Our intention with the wine was to work with what we’ve got. Unlike other wineries we don’t buy-in grapes, we work with what we have on the property. Some of these vines are 25-30 years old, which make them excellent vines to work with.”
Growing and creating a diverse range of wines on the property means that Contentious Character serves up a wine tasting experience like no other. For just $10 you will enjoy all the tasting wines, with the added bonus of a redeemable $10 voucher at the cellar door.
Wine tastings can also be paired with one of the specially made platters that incorporate a selection of artesian Aussie cheeses, preserves, fresh breads and cured meats.
With over 10 years of experience as a chef, Jordan is naturally able to pair the Contentious Character wines with complimentary meats and cheeses.
“I mean, what goes better with wine than cheese! There are certain wines on the tastings that go great with the cheese on offer. Everything that is put on the board, from our charcuterie, the duck with the patè, is aimed at enhancing the tasting experiences, which is all made in-house.”
For those seeking a little bit more of a thrill, Jordan suggests joining the wine club.
“The club is a way of getting our wine to people every two, three or six months, tailored to their preferences. They get to decide what they want, what food to pair it with and our winemaker will specially select a pack for them.”
The club membership also comes added with benefits such as discounts on purchases within the restaurant. It’s an initiative that Tony says invites his customers to feel like they are “part of the Contentious Character family” because it’s “a bit more personal”.
This personal touch echoes throughout the restaurant with visitors able to take home a whole lot more than just the wines. As Tony explains,
“We have packs of wine and we’ve even bottled Tom’s [Chef] famous cherry compote and also our grape and onion preserve from our cheese and meat platter. Then we also have a local lady, Merile, who grows lemons and all sorts of things on her property, she is also very active in the local market. What we’ve done is brought her range on board and endeavour to use those things in the kitchen because people generally only buy what they taste. They are more likely to buy if they have had it on a plate with something, and that’s how it started with the preserve and compote with people asking ‘where can I buy it’?”
For Jordan, Contentious Character offers more than local products. He says that the inspiration visitors take away from the wine tasting experience is just as satisfying as selling the products.
“For me, it’s important that everyone walks away from the tasting learning something they didn’t know before. You can go to cellar doors and taste two or three new wines that they’ve got, but here we’ve got fourteen wines on our tasting list. People coming here and learning something about wine is probably why I have transitioned from kitchen to wine in the first place. I’ve been teaching people about food for ten years and now I want to teach them about wine.”
Contentious Character is located on 810 Norton Rd, Wamboin. To book your wine tasting experience visit the Contentious Character website.
Wednesday 10 am – 5 pm
Thursday 10 am – 5 pm
Friday 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
Friday 5 pm – 8 pm
Read more about the Contentious Character Kitchen here.