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Meg Brodtmann – Rob Dolan Wines

Meg Brodtmann – Rob Dolan Wines

Episode 31 – Wine and Books

Meg Brodtmann – Rob Dolan Wines

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Rob Dolan Wines is a lovely Winery and Cellar Door in South Warrandyte part of Victoria’s Yarra Valley wine region. Founded by local legend Rob Dolan after 25 years of making wine for some of Australia’s most iconic wineries, this is the only winery which I have joined the wine club of, ever! The goal here is extreme drinkability and I must say, I have tried all their wines and am never disappointed, there is not one which I haven’t enjoyed!

Earlier this year Master of Wine Meg Brodtmann joined the team and I just had to have her on the podcast for a chat! Meg initially undertook a Bachelor of Science (Hons), majoring in Microbiology and Immunology. However, after a few years working in medical research and some extensive travel, she realised wine was a far more interesting career option.

Meg actually started her winemaking journey in Australia with Rob before heading overseas and eventually ending up in beautiful Chile. She became the first Australian woman to pass the Master of Wine exam in 2002 and came back to Oz in 2008 working for wineries and sharing her knowledge and love of wine through education and is now the Education and Global Outreach human for Rob Dolan Wines!

The pairings:

2020 Rose РA fresh and youthful wine, pale strawberry in colour with aromas of cherry, red currant, pomegranate + rose petals this is red currant on the palate, crisp and textural with a dry and savoury finish

I absolutely love Rose wine and was so excited to see this one on the tasting list! It’s such a wonderful spring/summer drink and I have the perfect book to pair with it!

The Other Side Of The Sky by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Prince North‚Äôs home is in the sky, in a gleaming city held aloft by intricate engines, powered by technology. Nimh is the living goddess of her people on the Surface below, responsible for providing answers, direction‚ÄĒhope.¬†Below they think the people in the sky are gods. In the sky, they think there’s nothing below. When Prince North falls to the ground there is a clash of culture and confusion. North believes in technology while Nimh believes in magic.¬†North‚Äôs and Nimh‚Äôs lives are entwined‚ÄĒthough their hearts can never be. Linked by a terrifying prophecy and caught between duty and fate, they must choose between saving their people or succumbing to the bond that is forbidden between them.

A beautiful blend of technology and magic this book is super fresh and youthful having only just been published in September and is a Young Adult book. The world-building is so vivid and the characters are lively and fun. There’s loads going on and it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. It is a really fun read, with great characters and an interesting story which you’ll get through far too quickly and you’ll want more where it came from … just like this Rose!

2017 Black label Arneis –¬†Italian for little rascal, and rightly so, this grape which originates in the Piedmont region is tough to grow but worth the reward. Lean, crisp and mineral with almond notes, this wine is an industry favourite and a cracker for food pairing.

The book I am going to pair with the Arneis is a lot older than the last one I mentioned … it was published in Italy in 1996 and translated into English in 1997 and again in 2006.

Silk by Alessandro Baricco

When an epidemic threatens to destroy the silk trade in France, the young merchant Herve Joncour leaves his doting wife and his comfortable home in the small town of Lavilledieu and travels across Siberia to the other end of the world, to Japan, to obtain eggs for a fresh breeding of silk worms. It is the 1860s; Japan is closed to foreigners and this has to be a clandestine operation. During his undercover negotiations with the local baron, Joncour’s attention is arrested by the man’s concubine, a girl who does not have Oriental eyes. Although the young Frenchman and the girl are unable to exchange so much as a word, love blossoms between them, conveyed by a number of recondite messages in the course of four visits the Frenchman pays to Japan. How their secret affair develops and how it unfolds is told in a narration as beautiful, smooth and seamless as a piece of the finest silk.

This is a slim book, more of a novella even, written by an Italian and set in France and Japan … but don’t be fooled into thinking this small, romantic sounding tale is anything less than stunning! It has those crisp, textural and ripe elements of the Arneis and for such a small book there is so much to it, layers of beauty which will linger long after you finish reading it. It might be tough to find these days but it’s well worth the effort!


2017 White label Cab Sav –¬†A deep crimson purple colour with aromas of blackcurrant, forest fruits, bay leaf + cedar and¬†juicy dark fruits and mocha on the palate this is a balanced and complex wine with fine tannins.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

 A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery make up The Forgotten Garden.

Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

¬†Inheriting a book of dark and intriguing fairytales written by Eliza Makepeace‚ÄĒthe Victorian authoress who disappeared mysteriously in the early twentieth century‚ÄĒCassandra takes her courage in both hands to follow in the footsteps of Nell on a quest to find out the truth about their history, their family and their past; little knowing that in the process, she will also discover a new life for herself.

This is the first Kate Morton book I read, and although I like all of her books, this is still my favourite. It is beautifully written, with three generations of women telling their story.

Layered, delightful and seductive, this is an atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory, a book to savour, with a hint of darkness and perfect to read whilst sipping at this delicious Cab Sav!



This episode of Literary Elixirs was recorded via Zoom, please forgive any minor technical glitches!   

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.        




Episode 7 – Books & Wine


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Wine and books are a match made in Preston! I was excited to chat with Gary at Jamsheed Urban Winery and only slightly nervous after he told me he majored in Literature and was very interested in what books I was going to suggest to pair with his wines … oh the pressure!

I think I did rather well but you’ll have to listen for yourselves to find out ūüôā

Jamsheed Urban Winery in Preston is a fully functioning winery housed in a rather large warehouse in Preston. The space, like the wine, is packed with personality with an industrial brewery feel on one level and a cosy lounge and pool room on another. 

Gary and I sat in the lounge area of this working winery and had a lovely chat about three of his many beautiful wines, how he fell into the winemaking business and how a winery is similar to an author.

The wine and the books: 

2018 Jamsheed Beechworth Roussanne – honeysuckle, buttercup, fleshy grapefruit, mineral, textural

¬†Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg –¬†This book starts out as the story of two women in the 1980s, of gray-headed Mrs. Ninny Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women-of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth, who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern cafe offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder.¬†

The tale is told in snippets, as the narrative jumps across time and space with various narrators. At the heart of the novel is the relationship between Idgie and Ruth. 

Ruth’s doomed marriage to Frank Bennet and the tragedy within that marriage is foreshadowed early – but the author drags on the suspense till the very end about what actually happened to Frank Bennet and whether Idgie had anything to do with it.¬†¬†

There are also other dramas surrounding non traditional families, the 1930s modern woman, racism and small town life. 

This is a delightful, moving, sassy, textural, fleshy and earthy read which deserves to be read whilst drinking a delicious wine like this one.  

I should add that the movie is quite good, almost as good as the book! 


2019 Candy Flip – a blend of Pinot Gris, Mourvedre and Merlot – Pet Nat style –¬†Red apple/Schapple, crushed blood oranges, rosehip and red rooibos tea flavours. Finishes lively and playful!¬†¬†

The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared by Jonas Jonasson is a funny, clever and heart-warming debut novel. Kind of like a cross between Forrest Gump and Up! if you know those movies! 

The 100 year old man, Allan, is a wonderfully playful character. His love of vodka and indifference to politics combine with his ability to blow things up and get him into lots of trouble! Through Allan we see some of the momentous events of the twentieth century in a new light. We travel from Sweden to Spain, from the USA to China. 

It all starts on Allan‚Äôs one-hundredth birthday when, sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not…Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century.¬†

This is a lively, light, bright, playful and fun read and highly recommended with a vibrant tipple! 


2017 Ma Petite Francine 100% Cabernet Franc¬†–¬†raspberry, cherry mulberry leaf, funky with some green pepper, red liquorice and¬†red berry, earthy forest floor

Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore by Robin Sloan

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, but after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything; instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Totally clueless, yet suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends, but when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.

What follows is a fantastical series of events involving secret booknerd societies, typography, ancient artifacts, codes and puzzles, the capabilities of computers, and the coolest bookstore you have ever heard of. It’s a collision of ancient mystery and very modern, internet-savvy characters. It is a juicy, red berry, funky and vibrant read.


Gary also shared some of his recommended reads:

Infinite detail by Tim Maughan – fantastic science fiction read.

Terra Nullius by Claire G. Coleman is the best Australian novel Gary has read in a long time, unexpected and brilliantly conceived.

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje is a book of precision writing, not a word out of place and so detailed.



4 Albert Street, Preston, Vic 3053

[email protected]¬†

Literary Elixirs is recorded live in a noisy world. 

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.