2013 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival wine event preview
With a plethora of local and international talent heading to Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, the vinous experiences are set to get Australia’s wine lovers in a frenzy.
Be sure to mark March 9-10 2013, in your diaries as the next Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience, held in association with Gourmet Traveller WINE, is shaping up to be an extraordinary event. As part of Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, which runs from March 1-17, this cavalcade of tastings, talks and brilliant ideas will feature some of the great wines of the world. Think: Ata Rangi, Felton Road, By Farr, Chambers, Bindi and Arras from the New World; and Selosse, Rousseau, Puffeney and Biondi from the Old. These wines are surpassed in their quality only by those guest speakers who will assemble to give them voice.
“Whose Pinot Reigns Supreme?”, the trans-Tasman pinot noir session, allows you to ask questions of the top producers Michael Dhillon (Bindi), Blair Walter (Felton Road), Nick Farr, (By Farr) and Nick Mills (Rippon), moderated by Nick Stock.
The world of sparkling wine will be under the microscope at “To Champagne ... and Beyond!”, from the southern English vineyards of Sussex to the greats of Champagne and Australian market leaders, as sparkling doyens Kate McIntyre MW, Tyson Stelzer, Lincoln Riley and Ed Carr dissect the mystique of bubbles. You will taste Nyetimber, Krug, Arras, Selosse and more.
As with any great tasting, it is not just about the wine in the glass, but also the people on hand to share their knowledge. Jancis Robinson MW, perhaps the most influential wine writer of modern times, is speaking at not one but two tastings. The “Wonderland of Wines” tasting will lead off with narello mascalese from Biondi, savagnin from Puffeney and the DJP Moncerbal mencia, alternative grapes in their glory to tempt you away from chardonnay and pinot. On the panel beside Robinson are alternative grape champions Jane Faulkner, Kim Chalmers and Mike Bennie, moderated by Max Allen.
The key tasting of the weekend is “Great Wines of the World: An Exploration”. It will include wines from Prüm, Chambers, Conterno, Rousseau and Equipo Navazos, and will be discussed by Jancis Robinson MW, Michael Hill Smith MW, James Halliday and Franck Moreau MS. Few tastings bring such heavy weights to one room.
Of course, there is more. Being held alongside Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience are the Perfect Match sessions. Perfect Match, also held in conjunction with Gourmet Traveller WINE, explores the intricacies of food and wine matching while giving an insight into the personal relationships between chefs, producers and wine experts. The Perfect Match sessions will be led by Ralph Kyte-Powell over two big days of wine tasting. Will Studd and Steve Flamsteed explore the world of cheese and wine while Stefano de Pieri and Kathleen Quealy talk up all things Italian. If Italy or dairy is not your style perhaps Philippe Mouchel and Dominique Portet’s French fling will be right up your alley.
Wine is different things to different people, and above all else, the 2013 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival will tell that tale.
TEXT BEN KNIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MELBOURNE FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
This article is from the October/November 2012 issue of Gourmet Traveller WINE.