Do you think of the food ahead of the wine when considering events to check out for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival? This year, it’s wine’s time to shine and, to help you focus on the goodness of the grape, the Festival will hold its first dedicated wine weekend at Melbourne Town Hall on February 28 and March 1.
Return to Return to Terroir, a highlight of the 2011 Festival, is back in 2015 with 30 of the world’s leading biodynamic winemakers on show at Melbourne Town Hall. Standing at the very forefront of the global biodynamic wine movement, this is a rare opportunity for wine lovers to come face to face with some of the industry’s most progressive and interesting winemakers including local wineries Castagna, Cullen and Jasper Hill. Internationals on show will include Domaine Marcel Deiss, Domaine Ostertag, Coulée de Serrant, Weingut Wittmann and Nikolaihof Wachau, to name just a few. Connoisseurs or casual enthusiasts will love this extraordinary tasting session. Melbourne is lucky enough to be one of the few cities selected on the global tour of Return to Terroir, which has recently traveled to Bordeaux, Hong Kong, New York, Shanghai and Tokyo.
One of my favourite events, Acqua Panna Perfect Match, is back again with Australia’s luminaries of the kitchen and cellars uncovering wine and food pairing through a series of fun and informative sessions.
Topics include Korean flavors with the team behind Sydney hot spot Moon Park and thought-provoking American winemaker Brad Hickey (Brash Higgins); and Lee Ho Fook’s Victor Liong alongside Thousand Candle’s William Downie presenting some colourful and inventive food and wine matching ideas, as part of a series of six sessions, moderated by wine personality Matt Skinner.
Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience will focus on one of the hottest debates in modern wine – are the classic grapes such as chardonnay, shiraz and pinot noir being unfairly overlooked in the rush to find lesser known, quirkier varieties? Across two afternoons and two palate-whetting sessions hosted by respected wine writers Max Allen and Mike Bennie, a panel of some of Australia’s foremost wine experts and educators will take attendees on a journey through the best of the old and the new – a lively tour through the constantly shifting landscape of wine.
Sunday afternoon is sure to be a weekend highlight as Mike Bennie explores the not-so- classics with a tasting trek through a whole new world of exciting flavours and rediscovered vines with a panel that includes; Singapore-based Master of Wine Lisa Perotti-Brown, winemakers Rollo Crittenden (Crittenden Wines) and Katherine Quealy (Quealy Wines) and Master Sommelier Sebastian Crowther (Rockpool est. 1989).
Tickets to all Melbourne Food and Wine Festival events are on sale now.