15 wine events to attend at Tasting Australia

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Tasting Australia returns to Adelaide from 5 to 14 April.

With a plethora of events happening, we have narrowed it down for you and will tell you over a series of articles which events we recommend across various categories. First up, wine!


1.Sommelier Smackdown
4pm, 13 April, $95

A rare gathering of four of the country’s top sommeliers in one room including festival special guests Franck Moreau MS (Group Sommelier, Merivale) and Tim Watkins (Automata, A1 canteen) alongside two of South Australia’s finest young bottle slingers. They will each present three top South Australian wine picks and decipher, decode and deconstruct them one wine at a time.


Learn the tools of the restaurant wine trade, what food to match, how they are made and how to get the best out of each of these twelve top SA wines. These ‘somms’ are typically great fun and have strong opinions when it comes to wine, so expect both fun and fireworks in this one-off tasting.


2.Glory of Grenache
6.30pm, 11 April, $95

The festival’s favourite, most raucous and wildly delicious wine tasting returns in 2019 for the third instalment celebrating the glory of grenache. Presented by the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale’s finest, wittiest winemakers you taste through 12 wines with them to decide which region is Australia’s #1 grenache locale.

Going in hard from the Vale is festival ambassador Stephen Pannell (S.C. Pannell) with the Count of Curious himself Mr. Chester Osborn (d’Arenberg). They mince words with Barossa Valley globetrotter Jane Ferrari (Yalumba) and the lanky larrikin with a fast mouth, Dean Hewitson (Hewitson). Umpires (& local wine critics) Nick Stock & Nick Ryan will officiate. Game on!


3.One Hour Wine School
Midday 6 April or 7pm 10 April, $50

Have you ever wondered why wine connoisseurs swirl their glass before putting their nose in it? Or why some wineries call their shiraz “syrah”? Become an instant wine expert with this special one-hour intensive class covering all the basics. Take a deep-dive into the world of wine with your Tasting Australia tutor who will teach you everything from how to taste like a pro, to why you shouldn’t store your wine under the stairs, as well as answering all your wine-related questions.


4.C’est Gamay, C’est Chic!
12.30pm, 14 April, $95

The world’s hippest wine lists and wine bars are awash with the wines of Beaujolais and the delicious gamay grape responsible for these juicy, drinkable reds has found a happy home more locally.


Some of the best young winemakers in South Australia and beyond have jumped on the fresh wine bandwagon and started growing and making gamay in a number of tasty styles.


This tasting brings the best local bottles together and pour them alongside a selection of the coolest offerings from leading French Beaujolais producers. Taste 12 wines from Taras Ochota,
BK Wines, Jean Foillard, Jues Metras, Jane Eyre, Bass Phillip, RIppon, Sorrenberg, Sinapius and more.


5 .Ashton Hills Reserve Pinot Vertical with Stephen George
12.30pm, 13 April $85

Stephen George is the undisputed master of pinot noir in the Adelaide Hills and has an esteemed record of making the most consistently outstanding pinot in the region. His
dedication to the vineyard at Ashton has seen him develop an extraordinary resource of clonal material and refine his viticultural practice and winemaking to a level of detail and diligence that is rarely seen outside of the great slopes of Burgundy. Join Stephen for a unique
tasting of 10 vintages of the top Ashton Hills Reserve bottling, spanning from 2006 to 2016.


6.Wines from Around the World Comparative Tasting with Bento Box Lunch
11.00am, 10, 11 and 12 April, $85

Taste wines from around the world, including France, New Zealand, Santa Barbara County and Sonoma County and compare them to iconic Wolf Blass Australian Wines.


This will be followed by a bento box lunch in the Platinum Room overlooking the beautiful wetlands near the Wolf Blass Visitor Centre in Nuriootpa. Lunch includes sushi, a seasonal poke salad bowl, tempura mushroom and crispy fried beef and wine.


Wolf Blass Wines is one of Australia’s greatest success stories. From a humble tin shed in the Barossa in 1966, Wolf Blass has grown to become one of Australia’s most successful and awarded wine brands.


7.International Chardonnay Tasting
3.30pm, 7 April, $195

There’s no more exciting and competitive space in the world of white wine than that of chardonnay and the wines for this tasting are selected on the basis of highest quality,
typicity, reputation and global relevance.


The cut and thrust of chardonnay styles across these different countries, producers and vintages guarantees a fascinating tasting lead by Master of Wine Michael Hill-Smith (Shaw + Smith) and wine critic Nick Stock.

Tasted blind, you will know the wines on tasting but not the order they are served. Can you pick the Grand Cru Burgundy against the best from around Australia and the leading names from the stunning Adelaide Hills.


Twelve wines will be on tasting from Chablis, Burgundy & Australia.


8.International Pinot Noir Tasting
5:30pm, 12 April, $195

The ultimate ‘terroir’ grape makes for a fascinating muse when tasted across a matrix of locations, vintages and winemakers. Pinot’s expressive nature means there is never a dull moment in a tasting like this, it is 100% thrills.

With soaring prices and scarce availability making Burgundy unattainable for most, the world is looking to other countries to fill the demand for top quality pinot noir. At the same time, winemakers have really honed in on pinot as the ultimate ‘winemaker’s wine’ and are now delivering wines with a level of quality and distinction never seen before. That all adds up to a great tasting experience. Tasted blind, you will know the wines on tasting but not the order they are served.

Do you know your Piccadilly from your Pommard? No matter because if you love great pinot this will be a highlight of your wine tasting year!


12 wines on tasting from South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Burgundy, New Zealand and more!


9.Pinot Pioneers: Jane Eyre & William Downie
7pm, 11 April, $125

Join two of Australia’s most courageous and accomplished pinot noir winemakers as they share their unique journeys in pursuit of making great pinot noir.

Australian expat Jane Eyre has established a tiny domaine in Burgundy and is attracting much attention in international media as one of the region’s rising stars.


William (Bill) Downie established his credibility as a great maker of pinot some 15 years ago and brings to Tasting Australia the debut vintage from his own Guendulain Farm and new plots in Gippsland.


Jane makes her Australian pinots with Bill in Gippsland and so these two have much in common, despite their journeys taking them to different sides of the world.


This very personal tasting promises to be as inspiring as to is delicious.


10.The Charcutier and The Winemaker – A Masterclass
3pm, 6 April, $95

This is an opportunity to taste Kay Brothers’ premium wines expertly paired with some of South Australia’s best charcuterie, freshly sliced in the surrounds of their heritage listed cask room.


The Winemaker, Kay Brothers, is the oldest winery in McLaren Vale that is still owned by the original family and all wines are still traditionally basket pressed.


Nestled in the heart of the Adelaide foothills, The Charcutier, Parma Handcrafted Cured Meats, is founded on the philosophy of providing high-quality, locally sourced, meats, produce and artisan smallgoods, fresh from the farm to your table.


This promises to be an unparalleled experience of high-quality Adelaide tastes and flavours


11.The Art of Fortifieds
10:30am 13 and 14 April, $400

Go beyond the wine room and unearth the secrets of Chateau Yaldara with the ultimate fortified masterclass at Tasting Australia.


Begin your journey, glass of sparkling in hand, with a private tour of the Estate, then head to the lab to learn the art of fortified blending and sparkling red dosage.


Afterwards, it’s time to relax and enjoy lunch in Chappy’s Chapel, an intimate tasting room on top of the original underground tanks. Indulge in South Australia’s finest charcuterie,
cheese and garden produce while the chef prepares lunch.


Finish the afternoon with a fortified and chocolate flight that will challenge your taste buds.


12.The Chemistry of Wine
5.30pm, 10 April $25

Have you ever wondered why your favourite wine tastes, smells and looks the colour it does? It’s chemistry.


Join Yalumba chief winemaker, Louisa Rose, and Associate Professor Kerry Wilkinson from the University of Adelaide, as they delve into the chemistry of wine at this Tasting Australia class.


As you sip on award-winning Yalumba wines, Louisa and Kerry will take you on a chemistry journey to remember, exploring colour, aroma, style and faults. There are also canapés included in the ticket price.


The class is presented by the Australian Academy of Science and supported by Yalumba and The University of Adelaide.


13.Great Wine Voyage
2pm 7 April $89

Following a sold-out 2017 and 2018 events, the Great Wine Voyage returns in 2019, giving voyagers the chance to experience first-hand why Adelaide is ranked alongside the world’s best wine regions in the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.


With new bars and wine personalities, journey by foot to nine of Adelaide’s most exciting bars, while comparing a locally-produced wine with an established expression from each of the International Great Wine Capitals member cities.


This Tasting Australia event showcases South Australian winemakers and wines alongside international wines from the member cities of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.



7pm, 11 April $250

Celebrate fare of river and sea and explore South Australia’s world-famous shellfish, unique coastal plants and fish sourced direct from the fishermen.


Philip Rachinger of Restaurant Mühltal hof in Austria is a young prodigy who drives six generations of experience into his own contemporary ideas. He will be complemented by Albany’s Amy Hamilton, the chef behind Liberte – a leading regional restaurant known for French-Vietnamese fusion.


Kane Pollard will bring the finesse of his refined, produce-driven dishes at Topiary , Tea Tree Gully to the menu, while Jessie Spiby (My Grandma Ben, Bowden) will offer a socially-conscious take on coastal cuisine.


15.Cider Fromage Orchard Harvest Rendezvous
Midday, 13 April $180

Rendezvous in the orchard at harvest time for a celebration of Adelaide Hills produce and producers.

LOBO cider has been operating for 10 years, working with established apple orchards in the Hills to produce authentic, flavour-filled ciders and spirits. Join LOBO and the farmers in the orchard and feast on a lunch from their neighbour, acclaimed chef – Shannon Fleming (of Forgotten Seasons).


It will be Pink Lady harvest time during Tasting Australia, perfect to devour a lunch matched to the local ciders and spirits, and featuring cider-washed cheeses made in partnership with Section 28.


Lenswood is named after a French town, and Cider Fromage Orchard Rendezvous draws on the traditions of France to mark harvest with a community feast at Tasting Australia.


For the full program and to book your tickets, click here www.tastingaustralia.com.au


Which events are you going to attend at Tasting Australia?

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