Monday, 20 October 2014

What's In The Box? - The Vegan Box - October 2014


The Vegan Box. Image: Willunga Wino


Summary:

The Vegan Box is a monthly subscription box with several versions (e.g Beauty Box) with all products being suitable for vegans. It's one of my newer discoveries, and I've been a subscriber for about 6 months.





Unique Feature: 

All products are vegan.

All products are palm oil free.

Local and imported products are included.

Focus on edibles.

Occasionally, The Vegan Box offer part of their profit for certain sales periods to charitable causes.



Packaging: 

The Vegan Box comes in a custom, rectangular shaped cardboard box adorned just with a logo sticker keeping costs down and recyclability (and recycled content) high.

Sample packaging is mostly recyclable, except for some foil bonded plastic packages (for trail bars, or bonded pouches).




Cost: 

$26.95 a month ($29.95 inc shipping)

$76.95 for a 3 month subscription ($28.65 per month inc shipping).

$149.95 for a 6 month subscription ($27.99 per month inc shipping).

Seasonal Beauty Box $49.95 ($52.95 inc shipping).

Shipping an additional $3 a month Australia wide. 




Whats in the Box: 

In the Vegan Box there is a good balance between food, drinks, beauty, and home cleaning products.

Products come in sample, travel and full sizes. 

There are 6-10 products per box. 

All subscribers receive the same products.

An info slip is included which tells you what is included in the box, but not links to buy direct. It does include the product RRP's.

In the September 2014 box, the contents were:

  • Naturalie-Boon Chocolate Square Treats RRP $6.00 (full size)
  • Heavens Pantry $15 Voucher
  • The Healthy Fix Taste Tester RRP $5.00 (full size)
  • Kaffe Organic Clay Soap RRP $3 (full size)
  • Peeld Snacks Cinnamon Crunch RRP $6.95 (full size)
  • Cobs Natural Popcorn Sea Salt RRP $0.60 (full snack size)
  • Nutraorganics Gingerbiotic Bar RRP $4.50 (full size)



Contents of the October 2014 box. Photo: Willunga Wino


Bonuses: 

Instagram a picture of your box using the hashtag included in the product slip for the chance to win the following month's box.

There are also regular competitions via their social media feeds.





Online Shop: 

There is no product online shop. 



Product of the Month:

My favourite product this month was the Healthy Fix Protein Punch and Internal Bliss.

The Internal Bliss tastes like chocolate, and the Protein Punch has a neutral flavour and both make a great addition to smoothies.

This was closely followed by the choc-ginger flavoured GingerBiotics bar, which was delicious and helps to balance your digestive system.





The Gingerbiotics bar. Photo: Willunga Wino






What goodie would you most like to try out of this month's box? Comment below!



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Rating : 5 Glasses 
Price: $$
Menu: 6-10 vegan goodies delivered to your door each month.
Meal Size: Travel, sample and full size treats.
Atmosphere / Ambiance: Natural, healthy, discoveries. 
Standout Dish: Screaming Seeds Cous Cous tasty with the sultanas and some parsley. A great full size product.
Service: Friendly, and quick responses to enquiries.
Online Booking: Orders are exclusively online.

Restaurant Details and Location:
Tel No(+61) 408129597
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 10:00am to 5:00pm EST
Access: Via website, email or phone.




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Quick Sip - Kay Bros Hillside Shiraz 2010 - October 2014


Image: Willunga Wino




Kay Brothers is a very special place. 


The oldest family-owned McLaren Vale winery, Kay Brothers have been crafting fine wines since 1890.

Decorated with photos of the family past, and with enviable views across the vale, the triple threat is finished with knowledgable and engaging cellar door staff. I've also been lucky enough to converse with Japanese tourists while there the last two times I visited.


After a swirl in the glass, the Hillside Shiraz 2010 releases aromas of coffee, and a bit of licorice at the back of my nose.

On the palate it is juicy, full bodied with flavours of plums and lasting coffee grounds, and the balanced tannins are a real highlight.







Kay Bros Hillside Shiraz 2010. Photo: Willunga Wino




We hang on to our remaining bottles for a little longer.



Region: McLaren Vale
Alcohol: 14.5%
Closure: Stelvin
Price: $40 cellar door
Tasted: October 2014
Rating: 4 glasses
Food Match: With a rich meal, like devilled sausages and mash.
Available: At cellar door.
http://www.kaybrothersamerywines.com/



Who are your favourite founding family's of Australian wine? Comment below!



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Sunday, 19 October 2014

What's In The Box? - Vegan Mystery Box - October 2014


Image: Willunga Wino




Summary: 

The Vegan Mystery Box is my most recent goodie box discovery. I've been really impressed with the full sized products, products that allow you to make a whole meal, the number of products and variety. It is the largest box I subscribe to.

Both local and imported products are included, with a focus on edibles. 






October Vegan Mystery Box. Photo: Willunga Wino


Unique Feature: 

All profits made by the sale of the Vegan Mystery Box are donated to an animal rescue group, with the recipient being nominated each month by members on Facebook, and then voted on by subscribers. Very democratic and you know it's for a good cause. Approximately $8-10 from each box sold goes straight to the animal rescue group.


This month, all funds raised went to Animal Angel Sanctuary. 

All products are vegan.

Local and imported products are included.

Focus on edibles.




Packaging: 

The Vegan Mystery Box comes in a large, flat square shaped recycled cardboard box. It is the biggest subscription box I receive. It is made from recycled material and is recyclable.

Sample product packaging is mostly recyclable, except for some foil bonded plastic packages (for trail bars, or bonded pouches).



Cost: 

$40 shipping included (except for NT, remote WA and FNQ, which is an additional $14).



Whats in the Box: 

In the Vegan Mystery Box there is an emphasis on food and drinks, with some beauty and home. 

A good mix of sweet, savoury, full meals, snacks, sweets and meal starters are included.

Products come in sample, travel and full sizes. 

There are 10-14 products per box. 

All subscribers receive the same products.

An A4 single sided black & white info sheet is included which tells you what is included in the box, and a welcome note. It doesn't include the product RRP's.

In the September 2014 box, the contents were:


  • Nice and Natural Nut Bar (full size)
  • Constant Craving Chocolate Truffles x2 (I got coffee & jaffa)
  • Vitasoy Oat Milk - Brown Sugar and Cinnamon (full size poppa)
  • HealthWarrior Chia Bar (full size)
  • Lucerna Soy Tea Light Candles (full size)
  • Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque (full size)
  • Go Picnic Ready to Eat Snack Box (full size)
  • Kirkland Signature Roasted Seaweed (full size)
  • Out of Africa Shea Butter Lip Balm (full size)
  • Larabar Fruit and Nut Bar (full size)
  • Eskal Noble Choice Dark Choc Almond Block (full size)





Contents of the October 2014 Box. Photo: Willunga Wino


Favourite Product:

My favourite product of the month was the Coffee flavoured Constant Craving chocolate truffle, it was so rich and smooth. There was a pretty decorative squiggle of chocolate on the top, the filling was nicely coffee flavoured.





My delicious chocolate. Photo: Willunga Wino


Bonuses: 

The $8-10 support for an animal charity per box is fantastic.

This is the biggest box in size and number of products that I recieve.

Full meals and meal bases are included.

There are also regular competitions via their social media feeds.




Online Shop: 

Boxes are ordered online via the Facebook page. Occasionally there are "special" boxes offered on a first in best dressed basis via the Facebook page as well. 

There is no online shop to buy full sized products from the box. 




Note - There will be no box for November, and none over the summer months. I'll miss you Vegan Mystery Box - have a great summer break!





Which goodie from the Vegan Mystery Box for October would you have liked to try? Comment below!







Rating : 5 Glasses 
Price: $$
Menu: Sweet & savoury products.
Meal Size: Sample, travel and full sized products.
Atmosphere / Ambiance: Generous, variety, charitable. 
Standout Dish: Kirkland Organic Black Bean Soup.
Service: Friendly and prompt.
Online Booking: Order via the Facebook Page.

Restaurant Details and Location:



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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Quick Sip - Jimmy Watson 2014 Winning S.C Pannell Syrah 2013


Image: Willunga Wino


Thursday October 16th the announcement rang out that the Jimmy Watson trophy was to return to McLaren Vale after seven years. 

Steve Pannell has followed a dream to this amazing conclusion, his S.C Pannell's Adelaide Hills Syrah 2013 was awarded as being the best young red wine (from the previous two vintages - 2012 and 2013) in the country. 


Stephen Pannell and his wife Fiona Lindquist founded S.C Pannell in 2004, following on from Steve's stint as Chief Red Wine Maker at Hardy's. During which time - by the way -  Steve took home the 1996 Jimmy Watson for the Eileen Hardy 1995 Shiraz, and McLaren Vale's top award of being crowned Bushing King in 2011 for his 2010 S.C. Pannell Tempranillo Touriga.

In November 2012,Steve purchased his first vineyard,  3.6 ha of shiraz,  first planted in 1891,in the Blewitt Springs area of McLaren Vale.

The purchase of the cellar door & vineyard at the former tapestry site earlier in 2014 added another 8 ha of vineyards (mostly soon-to-be-grafted-away chardonnay).

This is every young and aspiring winemaker's dream - to earn your stripes at a winery before branching out on your own to great success. Certainly Stephen and Fiona's story is an inspiration to many in McLaren Vale & beyond (including yours truly!).

So it was that last Thursday, the day after the 2014 Jimmy Watson announcement, that Mr Wino bounced the ute up the sand track to Olivers Rd to pay a visit and secure 3 precious bottles.




S.C Pannell Syrah 2013. Photo: Willunga Wino




The fruit was sourced from the cool climate region of the Adelaide Hills, but from the wamer end of the region, Echunga, near McLaren Vale.

This has resulted in the interesting and perfect balance displayed between the two styles:
- cool climate: delicate red fruit and fine tannins
- warm climate: big body, dark fruit, spice, broad palate.


Pretty aromas fill the bowl of my Handmade Vintage B Plumm glass. Blackberry, dark brambles, sweet dark chocolate and high quality vanilla. The barest hint of heat in the back of my nose.

The aromas follow through into my mouth. On the palate it is savoury. Tip of tongue juiciness dries into grippy back palate. 

It is a really lovely wine. 

We will be keeping the other two for a few years before tasting again, to see how it evolves.



Region: Echunga, Adelaide Hills
Alcohol: 14%
Closure: Stelvin
Price: $30 cellar door
Tasted: October 2014
Rating: 5 glasses
Food Match: Savour by itself, or enjoy with ploughmans, platters, or light non-tomato pastas.
Available: At cellar door if you are quick.
https://www.pannell.com.au


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What do you think of this year's Jimmy Watson winning wine?

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Quick Sip - Carrick Riesling 2005 Central Otago - October 2014


Image: Willunga Wino



In 2011, Mr Wino and I had a memorable skiing holiday to Queenstown, that of course included several touring days in Central Otago. 


Carrick Wines is on a flat escarpment with short, sheer cliffs dropping into the creamy blue Bannockburn Inlet. We sampled pinot noir, but the off dry riesling stole my heart. So much so, we returned the next day for lunch and another bottle. Then airport-gate happened. Forgive us for thinking it, but we feel like En Zed is another Aussie state. And this was our first OS trip in a looong time after lots of domestic ones. 


We just didn't pack the wine into our suitcases. 


We had it in our carry on. 


Oh I cannot describe the feeling as we approached the security gate knowing we had $500 worth of Central Otago's most delicious nectar that we could not take. We asked the security man if we could open & drink it - any of it - desperate times, desperate measures. He said no. And we had to drop all of our bottles into the bin. WORST FEELING EVERRR! Mr Wino couldn't speak for hours. 


Well an auction came up and remembering my love for the Carrick off dry riesling, Mr Wino surprised me with three bottles of the 2010 this long weekend. 




It's now showing a hint of its' age in it's straw colour.


Continued through to the nose, a hint of the characteristic kero mixed with really pretty florals and super ripe melon, and honeysuckle sweetness.


On the palate the first thing you taste is the sweetness. It coats your mouth and is balanced with softly juicy acid. It's like a fresh summer lemon granita with a drizzle of honey and a slice of melon.


The honey buzz goes on and on, as do my memories of the bottles that got away!





Carrick Josephine 2010. Photo: Willunga Wino





Region: Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand
Alcohol: 8.2%
Closure: Stelvin
Price: Was $28 cellar door
Tasted: October 2014
Rating: 3 glasses
Food Match: Spicy food, the spicier the better! Or dessert.
Available: Auction houses these days.
http://www.carrick.co.nz/


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Are you a fan of sweeter Riesling styles?

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3 Goodies to Try At Candela - Goodwood, Adelaide - January 2014



Image: Willunga Wino


Heat, lime, corn, cerveza. 

Latin American cuisine to me is irresistible. 

On our last day in Portland, USA, we stopped at a food truck pod on the way to the airport and Mr Wino tried an arepa. It was mostly filled with cheese and he wasn't a fan, finding it stodgy. But I am always willing to give things a second go.

Mexican cuisine has filled the fair city of Adelaide. 

Now other parts of South America are having their day. 

Cuban, Argentinian and, on the happening Goodwood Rd, comes Venezuelan.





Goodwood Rd knit bombing. Photo: Willunga Wino



After searching out a rare-as-hens-teeth street parking spot, head toward the train station past street art, funky shops and dessert bars until you see Candela, the "firey" mascot which signals that you have reached your destination.






Candela, which means 'firey'. Photo: Willunga Wino




Candela is a hole in the wall diner with three or four small tables, and thoughtfully packaged take away.

On entry you will be welcomed with a smile by chef and owner Nela Ramirez, who is very helpful, explaining the menu and guiding your selection. Carlos Benitez, the other co-owner and chef, is busy preparing meals in the kitchen.






Menu board explains what an arepa is. Photo: Willunga Wino




The first selection I made, was a signature arepa.

White cornmeal is mixed with flour (gluten free!), shaped into a thick discs, and then grilled on a flat plate until crispy on the outside. 

In Venuzuelan style, the arepa is then split through the middle to create a little pocket which is then stuffed with filling.

Veg Fiesta ($7.50) is filled with black beans and optional shredded cheese and chipotle mayo. It is hot all the way through, soft and yielding in the middle and firm but not crunchy on the outside. It was a little starchy for me, and I wished I had bought a jar of the house made chimichurri sauce ($12) to liven up the flavours. It's not very big, about the same size as a single soft taco, so I was glad I got a few more things.




Veg Fiesta arepa ($7.50). Photo: Willunga Wino



The Caribbean style empanada, "Empanadas Caribeno Queso" ($4.50) was different to the flour pastry type empanadas I'm more familiar with. 

Again it used the white cornmeal, made into a thick half moon shape, stuffed with feta cheese in the middle. It was smaller than the arepa, but tasted largely the same, though I think this one was deep fried rather than grilled on the flat plate like the arepa.





Empanadas caribeno Queso Fetta Cheese $4.50. Photo: Willunga Wino




I normally avoid friend foods so this after the arepa felt a little heavy for me. Afterwards I felt the same as when I eat a plate of polenta chips. For me it's definitely "occasional" food. 


I wish I had eaten in so I could add plenty of the renowned house-made chimichirri sauce from argentina. It is vibrant green and loaded with parsley, coriander, 3 kinds of chillies, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.


Next time I would opt for the El Vegano, a vegan taco, or the Veg Trío meal plate with two mini arepa breads, rice, black beans and veggies, with a serve of the tasty Quinoa or Heart of Palm salads of the day.





Photo: Hola Vegans, Vegetarians and everyone that loves fresh veggies! Candela has a new addition to the menu. El Vegano, our vegan Taco full of flavour for you! Te esperamos! ��


Taco Vegano. Photo: Candela Facebook Page



The Dulce de leche chocolate cookie sandwiches - known as "alfajores" - looked decadent, and are offered everyday, along with churros.

Insead, I opted for a very special treat. "Golfeados", are Venezuelan sweet rolls. What makes them special is "papelón" for sweetening, a by-product of sugar cane processing, and "queso blanco", a salty white cheese. The two special ingredients are rolled inside an anise-flavored sweet roll dough, then baked, drizzled with more syrup made from the papelón, and sprinkled with more of the grated white cheese.

It was a perfect sweet-salty treat, like a grown up version of a coffee scroll. I particularly loved the salty white cheese, which is what they use a lot in the US with Mexican cooking.





Golfeados Venezuelan sweet rolls. Photo: Willunga Wino




With a dessert like that, and the enticement of lighter but still signature regional dishes, it certainly warrants a long overdue repeat visit!


Learn more about Nela and Carlos, and their restaurant Candela, in this video by the City of Unley.









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What would you most like to try at Candela? Comment with your answer below! 




Rating : 3 Glasses 
Price: $$
Menu: Arepas, tacos, hot dogs, burgers, salads and desserts.
Meal Size: On the small side so get a few to share.
Atmosphere / Ambiance: Welcoming, casual, colourful, authentic.
Standout Dish: 
Golfeados Venezuelan sweet rolls.
Service: Friendly, efficient table service and take away.
Online Booking: Not necessary - there is not much room to eat in but parks nearby
.
Restaurant Details and Location:
120 Goodwood Rd,
Adelaide SA, 5000
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Candela-Latin-American-Food/1412525075637930
Tel No: (08) 8271- 1132
Opening Hours: Tue - Fri: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm; Sat: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Access: Street parking.



Candela Latin American Food on Urbanspoon


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