Tasting Australia 2023: 12 Masterclasses to attend

Tasting Australia 2023
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Tasting Australia 2023 is back in Adelaide in just over three weeks and as always there are an exciting range of masterclasses featuring champagne and French wines and more. These masterclasses take place at the University of Adelaide Masterclass Pavilion, Town Square, Victoria Square in Adelaide’s city centre. To find out everything you need to know about the French-related masterclasses, read on.


The New Champagne – Growers and Grapes

3pm 7 May


Champagne is all about exuberance. But when it’s new and a little wild? The party just started.

Discover the grapes and growers shaping next-generation international fizz. Eight brilliant bottles will be featured, and not simply new releases. These are wines from tiny growers, made in extremely small quantities, many never before seen in South Australia.

Leading the exploration: wine writer, lover and drinker Mike Bennie, Tasmanian drinks communicator Curly Haslam-Coates, Noosa-based boutique champagne importer Nesh Simic and US sommelier and author Victoria James.



The Greatest White Wine you’ve never tried aka Chenin Blanc

1pm 30 April


Chenin Blanc has been out of the national spotlight for a while. Western Australia remains its stronghold; elsewhere many vineyards planted to the variety have disappeared since the 80s.

In France and South Africa, though, Chenin Blanc’s star never dimmed. The result? Brilliant, versatile wines you just have to try.

Join Master of Wine David LeMire, sommelier Shanteh Wale and importer Iain Cameron to explore sparkling, dry white and sweet wines made with this one multi-faceted variety – including examples from Australia and New Zealand.

Step outside your white wine comfort zone and let Chenin Blanc work its magic.


Riesling and why you should drink more of it

3pm 29 April


Riesling is often overlooked by consumers worried it will be sweet, acidic or simply not to their taste. But this variety has much to offer: versatile, food-friendly and great value for starters. Discover why you really should drink more riesling.

Host Nick Ryan will lead a masterclass featuring Clare Valley winemakers Stephanie Toole (Mount Horrocks Wines) and Sam Barry – commercial manager for Jim Barry Wines – plus beverage expert Leanne Altmann. Rieslings from Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria and France will share the spotlight.



Tickled Pink – Great Rosés

5pm 29 April


Explore a range of styles across this one dynamic category. Explore the best in local rosé, also looking to stellar examples from elsewhere in Australia and around the world. Thinking pink for this masterclass will be South Australians Marcell Kustos, Selina Kelly and Laura Carter, with the insightful Nick Ryan as host.


Tasting Australia 2023Sensory Cheese and Fortified Wine

Sunday 30 April


Join cheese expert Valerie Henbest from Adelaide’s Smelly Cheese Co, together with Seppeltsfield chief winemaker Fiona Donald, for this indulgent and interactive tasting.

Treat yourself to very best local and international cheeses curated with a treasure trove of fortified wines, including selections from the iconic Centennial Cellar. The Seppeltsfield 1923 100-year-old Para Vintage Tawny will be among masterclass highlights.




Cabernet – King of Grapes

5pm 6 May


King of grapes is a big call – but cabernet always stands up to scrutiny. South Australian winemaker Charlie Seppelt is set to lead a masterclass focusing on cabernets from renowned international terroirs: the Napa Valley, Coonawarra, Margaret River, Hawkes Bay and of course Bordeaux. Joining him will be fellow University of Adelaide graduate and Tasting Australia 2023 drinks curator Banjo Harris Plane, plus international guest Angelina Mondavi and Yalumba chairman Robert Hill-Smith.

Settle in to explore cabernet at its most impressive, discovering what makes it so long-lived and the complexity and balance great wines made from this variety can offer.


Grenache of the World

7pm 29 April


South Australian grenache hit its stride during the past decade. McLaren Vale and the Barossa are our leading local sources; the best wineries are producing modern, elegant styles with restrained levels of alcohol. Further afield Spain and France continue to star. Let’s take a tour.

Discover grenache at its most impressive alongside those helping elevate its South Australian standing: Skye Salter and Charlie Seppelt from McLaren Vale label Paralian, plus Amelia Nolan of the Barossa’s Alkina and wine importer Lachlan Barber


A Brave New (Pinot) World

5pm 7 May


Revel in Pinot Noir at its most powerful. Consider the benchmark – France – and new world nations holding their own in style: Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

These are big-ticket wines, each a dazzling expression of pinot noir and worthy of appreciation inits own right. Tasting them together is a rare luxury. Four brackets of two wines will star.

Host Meira Harel will be joined for this masterclass by winemakers Leah Adint and Ben Haines, plus wine professional Erin Larkin.

There’s nothing quite like exceptional pinot. Set forth into this brave new world.



Tasting Australia 2023 masterclasses

How to Wine

6pm 3 May


Many people like wine. Far fewer are confident talking about wine. Let’s change that.

It’s easy to be intimidated by the scene. Sometimes it feels as though conversations about wine are deliberately obscure, all technical terms and assumed knowledge. No longer.

Join Tasting Australia 2023 drinks curator Banjo Harris Plane, Sydney-based sommelier Bridget Raffal and winemaker Michael Downer from Adelaide Hills label Murdoch Hill for a fun look at the fundamentals. Got questions? Sorted. Not sure where to start? No worries!


Still don’t understand natural wine? (Hint: it’s more than wine)

1pm 6 May


There’s a lot of talk about this part of the wine world – and plenty of misconceptions too. Wine and drinks writer Max Allen will host this masterclass, and will welcome three innovators from the Adelaide Hills (James Erskine (Jauma), Alex Schulkin of The Other Right and Manon’s Monique Millton) to share their stories.

Taste game-changing natural wine and learn how crafting it starts in the soil, the head and the heart


The Langton’s Classification

3pm 6 May


Good wine is easy to find – especially if South Australia is home.

The finest wine proves far more elusive. Yalumba chief winemaker Louisa Rose, Seppeltsfield chief winemaker Fiona Donald and Master of Wine Ned Goodwin will lead this exploration. Half the featured wines will be South Australian, half international. Taste your way through five brackets – think Grosset Springvale and Crawford River, Penfolds Yattarna and Cullen’s Kevin John, Best’s shiraz and Yalumba’s Octavius, Katnook and Lakes Folly.


Wine! Wine! Party! Party! JOIN THE WAITLIST

5:30pm 28 April


They’re throwing a Tasting Australia 2023 opening night party! One shaped by friends of the festival: a chance to catch up, drink excellent things, and celebrate all that is to come.

It’s on. Town Square will host this Friday night fiesta, with multi-talented Max Veenhuyzen to soundtrack the revelry.

Taste wine chosen by festival drinks curators Meira Harel and Banjo Harris Plane, Pirate Life brews and cocktails by Nick Tesar and local star Mark Reginato.

Which wine masterclass will you attend at Tasting Australia 2023?


WHAT: Tasting Australia 2023

WHERE: Various locations in Adelaide and South Australia

WHEN: Various dates from 28 April to 7 May 2023

HOW: Purchase your tickets via the event links above or view the whole program via this link: tastingaustralia.com.au

HOW MUCH: Prices vary depending on the event

For other events with French and Francophone links happening in Australia this April, check out our What’s on in April article


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