With over thirty wineries located within a thirty minute drive of Canberra, we are positively spoilt for cellar doors to visit. However, if you want to have a nice meal with your wine… then the choices become rather limited – especially if you want a proper meal, rather than just pizza or cheese platters. But don’t worry because I’ve found a solution! Contentious Character located in Wamboin, not far from the Federal Highway (so if you’re headed back to Sydney, leave a little early and make this winery your lunch stop).

Open on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm, Contentious Character offers a great selection of food. It’s been a long time since I had a meal this good. Seriously, I really couldn’t fault any of their dishes.

Crisp white table cloth covers a heavy timber table. The table is adorned with wine glasses, white plates and a vase full of lavender.

I dined as a guest of Contentious Character, which meant that I was able to try a lot more meals than I would’ve if I’d been there myself (when you aren’t paying you can order as much as you can eat). The meals were generous and we were glad we didn’t order three mains. We needed a walk when we’d finished!

We started with a very generous cheese platter ($25) and the duck terrine with house pickles and fresh bread ($14). The cheese platter had a good variety of cheeses and the wait staff were able to talk us through the different cheeses. I think it’s quite important that the wait staff know about the food they’re offering. I don’t mind if they have to check the details, but they need to know. I’m not a fan of duck terrine, but the people I dined with loved it.

In the foreground is the duck terrine, with the pickles scattered over the terrine and in and around the crisp bread. Behind it sits the cheese platter. Grapes and pears are scattered between the biscuits and cheese.

We ordered two mains, sharing them between us (we knew we had to pace ourselves for dessert). While the dishes weren’t designed for sharing, the staff at Contentious Character didn’t fuss when we asked for additional plates so we could share. My favourite was the Wood fired, free range chicken, on roasted root vegetables and hummus ($30).

For dessert we went a little crazy and had all three that were on offer; the Salted caramel panna cotta with peanut praline ($14),  the Brown sugar blondie with chocolate ice cream and honeycomb ($14) and the Ros√© variations which came in the form of poached pear, sorbet, syrup and jelly ($16). My favourite was the Brown sugar blondie, so indulgent! But I know my mother would’ve loved the Rose variations. She is a huge fan of poached pear. I grew up on pears poached in wine as our dessert for when visitors came, and their’s rivalled my mum’s!

For more information, please visit Contentious Character’s website, or their Facebook page.

Written by Nadia



Neither had I until we went there. I was so glad to have had the opportunity. Now I know it’s virtually just around the corner, it will be our standard lunch venue when we have friends and family come stay.


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