One of our favourite day or weekend trips is heading down the coast to Mornington. Mornington is full of beautiful beaches and amazing wineries at every turn, and we try and explore new nooks down the Peninsula every time we set out that way. Merricks Creek invited us to come try out their new cellar door, so on a spare day off I made the trip out with some friends, while poor Alex was cooped up back in Melbourne at the office. Merricks is one of the first pockets that you hit going out to Mornington, and a quick left turn onto a small road led us to the gorgeous property of Merricks Creek. We were greeted by Peter, the head winemaker, who immediately put us at ease with his friendly chatter- he clearly knows a lot about wine, and imparts his knowledge graciously and enthusiastically, something that unfortunately can be lacking at other wineries in the area. Merricks Creek has been making Pinot Noir for fifteen years, and last year produced their first Chardonnay- while I’m not usually a Chardonnay fan, I loved this one. It wasn’t too rich and oaky, and made for light and easy drinking for the day (I even took a bottle home with me, which is the ultimate stamp of approval!). The five Pinot Noirs that we tried were also lovely, with the 2011 Close Planted Pinot being our favourite.
We decided to have a few share plates and dessert- I love that everything on the menu is designed for sharing. We had the crispy thins with pistachio, hazelnut, feta, mozzarella and mint, as well as the tarragon marinated mushrooms with ciabatta. The crispy thins were DELICIOUS- like light, Italian-inspired quesadillas. The hazelnuts, pistachios and feta played against each other’s flavours beautifully- it was salty, rich and crunchy and we loved them! The tarragon marinated mushrooms were antipasto style, which we didn’t expect, but we really enjoyed their herby, almost pickled nature. The bread was delicious when dipped into the leftover EVOO, and we quickly demolished the mushrooms. Finally, we had the white chocolate mousse topped with fresh passionfruit and oh my god. They were AMAZING. We all agreed that we could have had both mousse pots to ourselves- they were light and flavourful and the passionfruit lent such a beautiful tartness to the creamy mousse. We couldn’t stop raving about this dessert, and I would go back to Merricks Creek for that alone.
Luckily, there’s more than just mousse to take me back to Merricks Creek. The stunning view from the cellar door, Peter’s jovial nature, the delicious wines and the food that encourages sharing- Merricks Creek is everything that I love about day trips with friends, and the perfect spot to kick off a Mornington adventure. I highly recommend visiting if you’re planning at trip down the coast, and if you’re not planning a trip- now you have the perfect reason to start!
Wine Tasting Flight
Love the chalkboard menu
This view…so beautiful and tranquil!
Gotta love a dramatic wine glass
Crispy Thins with pistachio, hazelnut, feta, mozzarella and mint
Tarragon-marinated mushrooms with ciabatta
White chocolate mousse pots with fresh passionfruit
Peter, the charismatic and passionate head winemaker
The view entering the winery
full disclosure: Boy Meets Girl Meets Food did not pay for this meal.