A place which I love to visit whenever I can is Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander, a winery cum restaurant, bakery, cheese maker, coffee and sweats sellers as well as a fun offering place in the heart of Healesville, the picturesque little town in Victoria about an hours drive northeast of Melbourne.
Despite the huge hall with the public dining facilities, the wine tasting and other desks (to sell bread, sweats and so on), the place is quite cosy somehow. It’s a place for large family and other groups as well as for having a coffee or glass of wine by oneself. They have a German “kicker” game and other entertainment facilities. In the mornings you see many young mothers with their kids. Free wireless internet access is another bonus the place has to offer.
The “hall” with tables and counters
It was of course packed with people in the pre-Christmas period when we came in. We went for lunch before heading home to the vineyard and decided on pizza. Ever since we have lived in Rome, Italy, we love thin pizza of the Roman type. My favourite pizza is the simplest one, a pizza margherita (that is it’s usual name) with just tomatoes and mozarella cheese and basilico.
The pizza served in Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander is quite nice, though not as thin as a Roman one.
Tomatoes to be dried
The pizza oven
Pairing pizza with wine is a tricky thing. The recent controversy of my fellow blogger Do Bianci with Dr. Vino is a case in point. I think Jeremy Parzen is mostly right. When we lived in Rome we had never pizza with wine. Beer was the usual drink. However, as with any food one can have wine with it. That applies also to pizza.
Frankly speaking, I drink whatever wine is offered with the pizza if in a friends home. In a restaurant my choice of wine depends on my mood. My mood told me wine, local wine.
A sniff and a mouthful
I decided on a ’2008 Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir’ which is not a complicated wine but rather young and fresh. As regards the pizza margherita there is a lot of cheese on it which might not go well with the high acidity of the Pinot since it destroys the “harmony”. However, the earthy character of the Pinot is what I think makes it somehow acceptable, at least to me.
On www.theworldwidewine.com there is a list which shows which grapes go with which pizza.
The pizza-wine pairing suggestions
Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir
The four of us we had a great time at Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander. I highly recommend to visit the place to any casual tourist. If in Healesville do as the Healesviller do!
Giant Steps Vignerons – Innocent Bystander Winery
336 Maroondah Hwy.
Healesville, Victoria 3777