WBW #66 & SHF #62: Lillypilly Noble Blend Paired with Chai Apple Galette

Here’s the truth: If I’d known how incredibly wonderful, how complex, how fascinating this Lillypilly 2002 Noble Blend was going to be, I wouldn’t have been so selfish and opened it tonight for Wine Blogging Wednesday #66, , hosted by Jennifer Hamilton, The Domestic Goddess who asked us to think about dessert FIRST. Read her blog post,  Your Tenderest Twosome.

I also wouldn’t have opened it had I known it would cost me $40 to replace it–if I could find it at all. (I do admit I have a 2006 which has a $13 price tag).

I should have suspected it would be outstanding. After all, I bought it at a Grateful Palate Imports Warehouse Sale on the advice of Dan Phillips, and just about everything I’ve had from those sales has wowed me.

This wine was the 12th and last bottle of a case that Dan Phillips, owner of the Grateful Palate, helped me pick out. I had said I wanted something sweet but not too sweet, that I liked ports but wanted something a little different, maybe something white. Dan said he knew exactly the wine for me: it wasn’t out on display, as part of the sale, so he sent Tim Coles to find a bottle for me in the back.

Tim came out with a Lillypilly 2002 Noble Blend. I don’t remember exactly how much Dan charged me for it; I do remember thinking it was a little more than I wanted to spend for a 375 ml bottle of a wine I knew nothing about except his recommendation (and at that time, I knew nothing about what his recommendation meant!) My guess is I paid around $15 because if it had been more than $20, I would have said no, and if it was less than $10 I wouldn’t have batted an eye.

But before I get more deeply into the wine, let me address some of the parameters of the prompt. Jennifer argues that while most meals end with a dessert and coffee or a dessert wine, the pairing often comes as an after thought, without as much care as the rest of the meal.

Obviously she’s never been to dinner at our house! We like dessert, we like ports, we like late harvest wines, and recently, I’ve discovered fine sherries and madeiras. Not only are we fond of dessert, but I love to bake and create simple, easy yet memorable desserts.

I was definitely up for the challenge and devoted a significant portion of my day to shopping and preparing our meal and dessert.


Although I wasn’t sure what the wine would be like, when I went to figure out my menu, I hoped it might be similar to Bonny Doon’s 2008 Vinferno, a blend of grenache blanc and rousanne, which I adore–and not just because of the name!

I suspected it would be interesting with Continue reading