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In Review: Secret Dining Society

Wednesday 26th September 2014

Venue: The Carlton Wine Room
Wines with thanks: George Street Wines

On Wednesday 26th September GOOD44 hosted one of their exclusive Secret Dining Society events. This was the latest installment of our secret dinner party collection available to food and wine enthusiasts who are part of this unique membership.

It was a Carlton based dinner this time, with executive chef of the Carlton Wine Room, owner Jay Bessell and wine aficionado Lauren Bardis from George Street Wines coming together to present a unique Spanish inspired four course experience.

Of course, and as is always the case, the dinner party location and exact inclusions are kept secret until the day of the dinner. Before revealing the ultimate location our guests were asked to meet at Markov in Carlton for a pre dinner drink.

On arrival at The Carlton Wine Room we were ushered upstairs to the Mezzanine greeted by Paul who introduced us to the Cape Jaffa Chardonnay Sparkling.

The Cape Jaffa Chardonnay Sparkling: Released to celebrate Cape Jaffa’s 20th birthday is a refreshing style of sparkling with lively aromas of citrus and strawberry. Driven by primary fruit flavours, the palate reflects the citrussy notes on the nose…think lemon pith.

With each of the four seated courses, the very vivacious Jay and Paul (The Carlton Wine Room) and Lauren (George Street Wines) appeared to personally explain the ingredients and pairings.  The Cider braised prawns with apple was the refreshing start we wanted and its cocktail companion, made with a blend of Spanish sherry (La Gitana Manzanilla sherry) and cider (Lobo Cloudy Cider) was both fruity and punchy.

The full menu read as follows:

Cider braised prawns with apple
Served with La Gitana Manazanilla sherry Sanlucar de Barrameda, Jerez Spain

Grilled octopus, smoked paprika, chilli and mint
Served with 2013 Tinpot Hut Gruner Veltiner Marlborough, New Zealand

Suckling pig Barcelona style (sides w/ Patatas bravas & Green beans)
Served with 2013 Willunga Grenache McLaren Vale SA

Dessert (Cheese Course)
Queso Valdeon, walnut cream, cassis ge
Served with a comparison match, 2012 Cape Jaffa Cabernet Sauvignon, Limestone Coast SA & 2008 Campina Tora Contadero Vinas Centenarias Tinta DOC Costilla-Leon Spain

Engaging and chatty company seems to be the way at Secret Dining Society. Between momentary pauses for some quick food and wine talk it’s clear that we’ve created a dinner PARTY – as many members have commented, it’s the perfect excuse for a dinner party mid week. This is a concept born from a desire to bring together a group of people sharing the wonders of Melbourne’s diverse food scene. It’s integrated, personal, unintimidating and fun from start to finish.

GOOD44 would like to thank the team at The Carlton Wine Room and Lauren Bardis of George Street Wines. For wine sales, private tastings or corporate wine education events contact Lauren directly on 0428 174 509 or

One || the next Melbourne Secret Dining Society will be hosted on November 19th.
Two || Secret Dining Society will soon launch in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. Stay tuned.



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