Unless you live down on the Peninsula, getting to Merricks Creek can be a bit of a hike from pretty much everywhere else in Melbourne. But trust us, this hike is worth making! By the time you’re done reading this review, you won’t just be willing to make the trek, you’ll be trawling their website for when they’re next open! Why? Because there’s divinity being concocted in their little wine shed, as well as magic coming out of their kitchen! All topped off by beautiful scenery!
We were kindly invited by Georgia-May to try out the new nibbles and wines from her family-run establishment. Very grateful for the opportunity and invitation, we quickly accepted and locked a date into our calendar and trekked down one gorgeous Saturday afternoon.
We were initially met by the young, bubbly and informative Sam – the son and side-kick to his father Peter, who creates all those miracles in the bottles – of which were soon to arrive on our table! Peter started us off by tasting the 2015 Chardonnay ($10/glass), which was a smooth and slightly oaky drop. This was the first batch Merricks have produced of a white wine, and what great way to get off the starting block!
Sam brought around the first red we got to enjoy, which was the 2011 Pinot Noir ($10/glass). Although light in both colour and taste, there was still a distinct fruity flavour. Definitely a great, soft wine for a warm summer day!
When the 2011 Pinot Noir “Closed Planted” – that had that touch more intensity due to the style of tending to the grapes – was swishing around in our mouths, Hubby bear was served an amazing share plate of Rare Eye Fillet ($15) with a caper and pickle vinaigrette. To quote hubby, as he served himself up a piece of nicely warmed ciabatta bread: “This is as good in flavour and quality as I’d expect from Rockpool or The Town Mouse.” And for my fellow foodies, you must know how big a statement that is for a dish coming out of this little winery down the Peninsula! Hubby just had to ask, “Who’s in the kitchen?” and Sam proudly answered, “My mum, Georgina.” <insert a bunch of awwwws here>. But no, really, OMG momma! Keep up the good work!!
Then the most astonishing thing hit the table: a bowl full of mushrooms. But not your ordinary mushrooms, a little treasure of Taragon Marinated Mushrooms accompanied with slices of ciabatta ($11). Incredibly tasty! So much so that I, the self-proclaimed anti-mushroom vegetarian, couldn’t stop eating them! For real! The taragon was such an amazing and different flavour to infuse with those little morsels – highly recommended! Hmm….
Next up, we got to wet our mouths with the 2012 Pinot Noir ($10/glass), which had a stronger flavour than the previous reds, apparently due to the process of pulling some grapes a little early so the remaining ones on the vine become more instense with flavour. This one was getting closer to our ‘sweet spot’ with the wines. We had this wine with the share plate of Roasted Tomatoes, Main Ridge goat curd and grilled ciabatta and basil ($11). Again, the delicious full flavour of the curd, smeared onto the bread, to then be smothered with a sweet little hot tomato – ohhhhhh, so yum. This was an amazing match to the wine.
The 2013 Pinot Noir and 2013 Pinot Noir “Closed Planted” were right up our alley in terms of smooth texture and a more robust, tannin-y flavour. So much so, we left with two bottles! Sam tag-teamed with another friendly server (of whom we can’t recall his name) who swept away empty glasses and plates, and served up fresh new ones – the service is is truly comforting and attentive here.
We finished our fairy-tale experience with a duo of White Chocolate Mousse mini pots with fresh passionfruit ($11). This is eye-rolling-into-the-back-of-your-head desert material folks. Do not miss this when you go!
We really don’t know what else to say, other than, Merricks Creek thoroughly pleased, surprised, and satisfied us in all categories – wine, food, atmosphere and service. Truly, this family is committed to hitting home run after home run! Do yourselves a favour – go!
Address: 44 Mericks Road, Merricks VIC 3916
Tip! Make sure you check your calendar, Merricks is only open Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays – except for in January, when they’re open everyday in January.