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.
CHAMPAGNE AT TASTING AUSTRALIA 2023
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.
WHITE WINE MASTERCLASSES AT TASTING AUSTRALIA 2023
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.
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.
ROSÉS AND FORTIFIED WINES AT TASTING AUSTRALIA 2023
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.
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.
RED WINE MASTERCLASSES AT TASTING AUSTRALIA 2023
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.
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
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.
MASTERCLASSES ABOUT WINE GENERALLY
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!
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
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.
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?
KEY INFO FOR 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