Tuesday 28 February 2012

Mornington Peninsula: Piers and Pinots

Sunday 11 March 2012
12noon – 3pm, $25

• 20 wineries at Flinders foreshore
• Taste Pinots, local food producers, live music
• Includes wine tastings, notes, Riedel tasting glass

Sunday 11 March 2012 at Flinders Foreshore from 12 – 3pm Mornington Peninsula is uniquely situated with 3 breezes delivered via Port Phillip Bay, Westernport and Bass Strait. The effect creates ideal conditions for the region's pinots - wines with outstanding flavors, balanced natural acidity and fine tannins.

Twenty one Mornington Peninsula Pinot producers will be down by the sea at our annual Labour Day weekend showcase. Taste a range of Pinots along with local fine food and music.

A wonderful range of wines will be available to taste - or buy a glass to enjoy along with a seaside lunch to remember. Also don’t miss the annual Piers & Pinots Yacht Race which will be held on the day.

This year tickets can be purchased online and those intending to come are encouraged to book prior to the event as numbers have been steadily increasing each year and numbers will be limited to a comfortable size. $25 per head includes complimentary tasting glass & wine tastings. (Follow the flags & Overflow parking at Flinders Golf Club)

Bluestone Lane Even Keel Yal Yal Estate Willow Creek Vineyard Box Stallion Stonier Wines The Duke Vineyard Balnarring Vineyard – Quealy Montalto Yabby Lake The Cups Estate Moorooduc Estate Rahona Valley Prancing Horse Estate Dromana Estate Miceli Darling Park Winery Crittenden Estate Lindenderry Elgee Park Baillieu Underground

Please download a booking form here now

Monday 27 February 2012

Tertini Wines Leads The Way

Media Release

Southern Highlands producer, Tertini Wines, has started 2012 in spectacular fashion with a swag of trophies and medals at the South Coast Wine Show.
Pinot Noir 2009

The recently released 2009 Pinot Noir proved to be the star of the 2012 South Coast Wine Show for Tertini, winning a Gold Medal and Trophies for Best Pinot Noir, Best Red Wine of the Show and Best Wine from the Southern Highlands Region.

The 2008 Tertini Riesling continued the winery’s extraordinary track record with this grape variety by winning a Gold medal and Trophy for the Best Riesling. This Riesling has now won 9 Gold medals including at the International Riesling Challenge.

The 2009 Tertini Reserve Noble Riesling also seems to be destined for further show success, winning a Gold medal at its very first wine show!

Tertini Wines Sales Manager, Robert Kay, explains “We are absolutely delighted.

The judges at this wine show are highly respected, with plenty of national and international experience. The Chief Judge emphasised in his summation that three of the wines, including the 2009 Tertini Pinot Noir and 2008 Tertini Riesling, are truly world class.”

“Only 6 Gold medals were awarded across 19 Classes,” Mr Kay explained, “and Tertini Wines received three of them.”

2011 Tertini Pinot Gris

The 2009 Tertini Pinot Noir has won four Gold medals in recent months including at the 2011 National Wine Show, Australia’s only best-of-the-best wine show where a wine has to win gold or silver at another major wine show to be eligible to enter.

Like Riesling, Pinot Noir is a variety that is well suited to the cool climate of the Southern Highlands and it seems to be doing particularly well at Tertini’s “Yaraandoo” vineyard near Berrima.

Mr Kay further explained; “Pinot Noir is a challenging variety that is very sensitive to climate, soils and vine age so it is particularly pleasing to see these results from such young vines. The success points to a great future for Pinot Noir from “Yaraandoo” and the rest of the Southern Highlands Region.”

Mr Kay said “We are committed to producing the best quality fruit possible at “Yaraandoo”, with hand pruning, regular soil testing, careful canopy management, low cropping and hand picking”.

“Then we hand over the fruit to our winemaker, Jonathan Holgate, with the expectation that he will craft an award-winning wine, which he has done brilliantly and consistently”.

In all, the small range of Tertini Wines, which includes Riesling, Arneis, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo and Cabernet has won over 240 trophies and medals at regional, national and international wine shows since the first vintage in 2005. The wines have also been named “Best in Class” on over 40 separate occasions.



RESULT of a textbook
perfect vintage.

David Ellis

PINOT Gris appears to be really hitting its straps of late, not just here but internationally, particularly amongst female drinkers who enjoy its slightly more fruit-forward characters either for social sipping or with a variety of food choices.

And interestingly California is now the world's biggest maker of Pinot Gris, overtaking its home-town France (and Italy where its known as Pinot Grigio,) while Australian growers are also planting more of the variety, as are many in New Zealand.

One particularly enjoyable New Zealand Pinot Gris is from Essenze in Waipara on the South Island where the 2011 vintage was one of almost textbook perfection: their resultant wine that's just been released here is one with ripe fruit flavours of peach, pear and with citrus touches, and a touch of minerality.

Chief Winemaker, Corey Ryan and young-gun off-sider, Gwyn Olsen can be justifiably proud of this one, and to enjoy it (at a well-priced $19.99) to its best at the table, they suggest matching with roast chicken over shiitake mushroom and goat's curd fettuccine.
TRY this one with Vietnamese
barbecued pork fillet.

ONE FOR LUNCH: RYMILL in South Australia's Coonawarra have released their first-ever Gewurztraminer, and it makes you wonder why they've waited so long to show their skills at making this perfumed, sweeter-style wine – and which in this case is made in more dryer-than-usual mode.

Senior Winemaker, Sandrine Gimon crafted the 2011 Rymill Coonawarra gt (for Gewurztraminer) as part of the company's "Coonawarra Foodies" range of wines. And she certainly achieved her goal of a wine that's traditionally crisp and luscious, and ideal to partner with a myriad food options, in particular most spicy Asian dishes (think along the lines of Vietnamese barbecued pork fillet,) duck, or chicken or pork stir-fries.    

Nicely priced at $19.95 for adventurous foodies.

(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out  http://www.vintnews.com )

Friday 24 February 2012

Meet the Glandore Team at NSW Wine Festival - Sydney Cellar Door

Join us at the NSW Wine Festival

Sydney Cellar Door

Sat 25th & Sun 26th Feb

NSW Wine Festival's Sydney Cellar Door is Sydney's biggest outdoor food and wine event. It will be held this coming weekend Saturday the 25th & Sunday the 26th February 11am-6pm in Hyde Park South with the largest gathering of NSW Winemakers in one place anywhere.

The whole Glandore team will be on hand at the event. So come on by for a few glasses of Glandore wine and catch up with Duane, Matt and our new Cellar Door Manager Ashleigh. We will be pouring our new Vintage wines including Blanc De Blanc, Savagnin, Blush Moscato, Canberra Shiraz, Hunter Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It looks like great weather for the weekend. Look forward to seeing you all there!

To avoid the rush on the day purchase your tasting token packages online so you can enjoy a fast and easy start to your day. For further information and to purchase your tasting token packages visit  www.nswwine.com.au 

Regional Victorian produce and wines showcased for AIME 2012 at PM24

by Roderick Eime | Traveloscopy.com
Each year the world's conference and incentive buyers descend on Melbourne for the massive meetings and events expo, AIME.

This year the hosts (MCEC and MCVB (aka 'The Bureau')), treated media to a scintillating 10-course degustation dinner at PM24, where acclaimed French chef, Philippe Mouchel, is in residence. The Press Club Group restaurant opened to much fanfare in December 2010 and has become an instant sensation.

Philippe Mouchel welcomes his media guests
George Calombaris, at the helm of the Press Club Group’s success said at the time, “Philippe is a culinary legend… his passion and knowledge for food is amazing, I’m so happy he has joined us.” 

Along with intricate descriptions of each hand-crafted course from Philippe, head sommelier Tim Stow took us on a tantalising tour of his wine list and showcased some selections for the night's edible extravaganza.

Here is the special menu. (Read it and weep!) and Tim's showcase selection:

  • Dominique Portet Sparkling Rose NV – Yarra Valley
  • Bannockburn Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – Geelong
  • Sorrenberg Chardonnay 2010 – Beechworth
  • Williams Crossing Pinot Noir 2010 – Macedon
  • Yeringberg Cabernet 2008 – Yarra Valley
  • Bests Late Harvest Muscat 2010 – Great Western

I confess to being finicky with white wines, but both the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc were superb. The Sorrenberg, in particular, having a rare creamy character not found in most wines of this type. The Williams Crossing pinot noir certainly reinforced the Macedon region's growing notoriety for cool climate excellence.

Tim has been with Philippe since the opening when the pair came over from the Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel at Crown Casino.

Despite travelling widely to such locales as Epernay, Reims, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Basque, Tim is unashamedly a Geelong boy who is quite upfront about his preference for local produce.

"I like to spend time at the wineries during vintage and I was at Paradise IV in Batesford and Curly Flat in Macedon recently. I like to see firsthand the character and craftsmanship of our regional wines."

New Cumulus wines

Media Release:


As a Major Sponsor of the 2012 NSW Wine Festival, Cumulus Estate Wines is a fierce believer in the quality of wines from NSW and in particular those produced from the high elevation, ancient volcanic soils of Mount Canobolas in Orange.

Committed to enhancing the reputation of the wines from Orange, NSW's premier cool climate region, it is very timely that Cumulus can coincide the start of the NSW Wine Festival (25 Feb – 31 March 2012) with the release of the new vintages from their reserve range of wines, the...

2009 Cumulus Shiraz (RRP $30)

2010 Cumulus Chardonnay (RRP $30)

In 2008, Block 23 (with its deep clay loam threaded with quartz and shale, sitting above 605m elevation) produced shiraz of such quality it made a wine voted one of the Top 10 Shiraz in the world at the 2011 Syrah du Monde. The 2009 vintage followed suit and winemaker Debbie Lauritz again selected this block as the best in the company's 508ha vineyard. However, wanting to strive for something a little extra she also blended in 10% from Block 51 (with its distinctive terra rossa soil) which "really seemed to add an authentic brightness to the wine," said Debbie. "We also included some whole bunch components which worked really well and increased the texture and funky elements in the wine."

Debbie continues, "The 2010 Cumulus Chardonnay again comes from Blocks 14B and 15. The harsh soil conditions here consistently produce strong vines with extra character and the basalt-derived loam with quart and shale in Bock 15 creates intriguing mineral characteristics in the fruit.  We did experiment a little in the winery though, using more natural fermentation, a little less malo and refined oak use."

Following gentle whole bunch pressing the majority of free-run juice was barrel fermented in a combination of new and aged oak barriques. A few selected parcels were placed in larger puncheons and "The Egg" fermenter (an oval, concrete fermenter which follows biodynamic principles), using a combination of cultured and wild yeasts. Debbie adds, "We are continually evolving our use of oak, each year selecting the best coopers, barrels, toasting levels and wood types to suit our wines. For the 2010 we matured the wine for 12 months in a mix of French and Hungarian oak. Whilst drinking well now, I'm confident that this wine will continue to develop into something really special over the next 5 years."

The Cumulus Shiraz 2009 and Cumulus Chardonnay 2010 will be the star attractions at the Cumulus Estate Wines stand at Sydney Cellar Door, part of the 2012 NSW Wine Festival. Join the Cumulus team in Hyde Park South, Sydney on Saturday 25 or Sunday 26 February to taste these great wines, alongside the Rolling and Climbing ranges.

Cumulus Estate Wines prides themselves on their sustainable approach in the vineyard, and all the fruit used for these wines is grown with the long-term view of producing healthy, balanced vines with minimal intervention.

Cumulus Shiraz 2009 & Cumulus Chardonnay 2010 – both RRP $30

Stockists: Distributed by Cumulus Estate Wines; available nationally though independent liquor stores or buy direct via www.cumuluswines.com.au

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Villa Maria remains on Gold Course at the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards

Villa Maria Estate picked up 11 gold and 17 silver medals at the 59th Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, continuing its 2011 winning strike in 2012.

The Royal Easter Show Wine Awards are New Zealand’s oldest and longest running national wine competition with over 1200 wines entered into the 59th season.

Commenting on another excellent award success for Villa Maria, Sir George Fistonich, owner and managing director says: “Our Chardonnays continue to win over the judges taking out a quarter of all Chardonnay Gold medals in this year’s show.”

2012 Royal Easter Show trophy winners will be announced at the official awards dinner on 17 March 2012.

Villa Maria Estate’s gold medals:

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2010
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2008
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Gewurztraminer 2010
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot 2010
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Gisborne Chardonnay 2010
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot 2009
Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Syrah 2010
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Dry Riesling 2011

About Villa Maria

Villa Maria has been New Zealand’s most awarded winery for 30 years. Founded by George Fistonich in 1961 and still privately owned today, Villa Maria is one of the great wine companies of the world. Sourced from expertly managed wineries in the best growing regions of New Zealand, the Villa Maria Estate range is enjoyed in over 50 countries worldwide.

With a strong sustainability focus and absolute commitment to quality, Villa Maria has won critical acclaim for its ability to “express individual winemakers’ flair” with the stamp of a “perfectionist’s zeal” and to create “beautifully crafted” wines of “supernatural consistency”.

The Villa Maria Estate range includes: Private Bin, Cellar Selection, Reserve, and Single Vineyard wines.

Visit www.villamaria.co.nz for more information.


Media Release:

This weekend’s Sydney Cellar Door will see the launch of ‘Ask for it’, a new NSW Wine marketing initiative. ‘Ask For It’ is a new campaign designed to continue the momentum that has been created since 2008 when the NSW Wine Strategy was launched. The strategy is designed to highlight the quality and diversity of NSW wines and to encourage NSW residents to become as fiercely parochial about their State’s wine as the other wine producing States.

The strategy has been incredibly successful to date and has seen on-premise sales of bottled NSW wine within NSW increase from $52.3M in 2007 to $87.7M in 2011, an increase of over 60%.

Representation of NSW wines on NSW restaurant wine lists has also improved, with a recent report showing a 22% increase between 2010 and 2011.*

Whilst a great start, this is not the time to rest on past successes so ‘Ask For It’ is here to remind consumers that the power is with them. If they can’t see a NSW wine on a bottle shop shelf or on a wine list then they should ask for it. Whether that be in person or via the many social networking platforms now available, ask for it.

The launch of ‘Ask For It’ encourages NSW wine lovers to make their desire to drink local wines known to their favourite restaurants, wine bars and bottle shops, helping lift sales of NSW wine to the next level. Importantly, this initiate will support the many small, family owned vineyards who are competing with large corporations from across the globe, and in turn offer consumers even more value and choice.

Look out for…





You can find out more at www.nswwineaskforit.com.au or pick up a flyer at any of the wine stands at Sydney Cellar Door

(Sat 25th & Sun 26th February 2012, Hyde Park South, Sydney)

*Wine Business Solutions Report 2011 Peter McAtamney P: 02 9744 8332

Monday 20 February 2012


GREAT value with oven-baked rack of
lamb or a beef & Guinness pie.


David Ellis

ALTHOUGH its just $10 a bottle, Deakin Estate's 2010 Shiraz is a wine you can easily put on the table with a meal to impress – things like oven-baked rack of lamb, or a hearty beef and Guinness pie come quickly to mind.

Made from fruit from the company's vineyards in the Murray Darling region of North West Victoria, it's a wine whose deep and vibrant red colour not only looks good, it tastes good too.

Winemaker Phil Spillman aged separate parcels of the wine in American and French oak barrels, then brought them together for the resultant blend: rich blueberry characters are to the fore with medium tannins and a lingering finish.

With its $10 price-tag its worth considering by the case, particularly as its showing plenty of potential to cellar well through until 2016 or so; or enjoy now with that rack of lamb, beef and Guinness pie or even aged sirloin topped with a chimichurri sauce.

REALLY enjoy this with Moroccan and Asian
dishes, or spiced-up chicken wings and pork ribs.
ONE FOR LUNCH: EVEN though he has planted just 34-hectares of their 280-hectare fine wool property to grapes, Graeme Shaw and his family have produced some ripper wines from their Shaw Vineyard Estate at Murrumbateman just to the north of Canberra.

One of their latest is their 2011 Riesling, a wine that shows how Riesling can enjoy life to the full in a cool climate like that around Canberra: this one's got lovely tropical fruit aromas and a palate of passionfruit and limes, and with Riesling being one of the great food wines – it'll match such a diversity of dishes through the whole spectrum from entrees to desserts – try this one with anything from Moroccan, Asian or Mexican, to spiced up chicken wings or pork ribs.

Just 300 cases were made, at just $22 a bottle these are sure to be snapped up.

(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out  http://www.vintnews.com )

Saturday 18 February 2012

Sydney Cellar Door: Wine, Dine & Dance!

2012 NSW Wine Festival ~ Feb 25 to March 31

Sydney Cellar Door kicks off the 2012 NSW Wine Festival, brought to you by Citibank, on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February in Sydney's Hyde Park South. It's a chance to taste wines from all over NSW (more than 400 of them!) and to meet face-to-face the talented men and women behind the creation of some of our country's finest wines. Learn the stories behind the labels and be the first to discover the new secret gems of NSW wines.

Add to this ultimate array of NSW wines, Sydney's leading restaurateurs, live music from a mix of well-known and up-and-coming artists and 30,000 like-minded food and wine lovers and you have a world-class festival vibe!

Announcing the 2012 Sydney Cellar Door LIVE MUSIC line-up…

The Cellar Door Stage starts out easy on Saturday with Dixieland trad jazz from Robbers Dogs, before erupting with the high octane sounds of The Myall High Club and Sydney's hottest young group of artists, Aston.

Sunday sees last year's hit duo Kinetic Method return to start the day with a bang, handing over to Bluehouse from Melbourne and The My Ty's, who provide boppy tunes with a hint of reggae that you can't help but move to.

2012 Food and Wine Matching…

Find your favourite stylish Rosé to match the equally groovy barbecue pork, leek and jalapeño from Porteño Restaurant & Bar, or a chilled Pinot Gris to cool the spicy pepper and garlic prawns from Nilgiris. With 14 NSW Wine Regions to sample from, you can create your own matches but a Hunter Valley Sangiovese could be an ideal accompaniment to the Syrian specialities from Almond Bar or maybe an Orange Merlot to complement last year's sell-out success, the famous homemade meatball wraps from Wine Odyssey?

NSW regional produce will be celebrated with NSW Wagyu Beef from Restaurant Cuvee and award-winning cheese platters from the Hunter Valley Cheese Company.

Don't forget, after Sydney Cellar Door and throughout March you can still enjoy a glass or two of NSW's finest thanks to NSW Wine of the Month (NEW in 2012) and Dine with NSW Wine - February 27 to March 31, 2012. NSW Wine of the Month sees a selection of Sydney's best wine bars – Firefly, Water Bar at Blue, Zeta Bar at The Hilton, Time to Vino, Grasshopper, The Gazebo, The Owl House, and many more - offering a glass of NSW wine and matching bar snack for just $15.

When you've done sipping and grazing, tuck in to Dine with NSW Wine, with many of the state's leading restaurants offering exclusive, great value wine-matched menus from just $30-$50.

For a full list of participating bars and restaurants and to pre-purchase SCD tokens, visit www.nswwinefestival.com.au


Thursday 16 February 2012

NZ Winery Finds Favour with International Airlines

They may be rivals on the ground and in the air, but when it comes to knowing a good wine it seems some of the world's best airlines are in agreement on which wine to serve their passengers.

A number of The Mud House Group's internationally honoured vintages have been selected for in-flight dining on several prestigious airlines for Asia Pacific routes and as far afield as Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

The Mud House Wine Group marketing manager Cathy Wansink, says Scandinavian Airlines will now be serving the celebrated 2010 Mud House Sauvignon Blanc to its business class guests from June this year. The same wine has also been selected for Singapore Airlines business class flights, she says.

Wansink says the company is thrilled to have also found favour with Australia's national carrier, with Qantas choosing the 2009 Mud House Swan Pinot Noir for its business class passengers.

"We pride ourselves on producing a range of exceptional wines from both the Waipara Hills and Mud House brands which are unsurpassed in their quality and taste, we are thrilled that so many global airlines are recognizing our wines in this way, " says Wansink.

The company's wines are also a huge hit with our own domestic carrier, Air New Zealand choosing to serve the popular 2008 Waipara Hills Waipara Chardonnay on international business premier class flights recently. The Mud House wines continue to enjoy their position as industry heavyweights.

"The 2010 Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir has been selected by Air New Zealand for international economy class flights and will be available in the near future while the 2009 varietal can be enjoyed in Koru Lounges throughout the country already," says Wansink.

The award-winning 2010 Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc remains a standout success, helping Jetstar win the 'Best Business Class White' in the influential Cellars in the Sky Awards 2011 held in London earlier this month. 

The awards, run by Business Traveller magazine, recognise the best business and first class wines served by airlines worldwide, with more than 250 wines entered by a total of 32 carriers*.

Described by the judging panel as "crisp, fresh and herby with a hint of celery… A good core – balanced, focused and intense," the 2010 Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc received a mark of 95 out of 100 to take out the prestigious title.

Wansink says the award is a great achievement for the company which continues to make its mark on the world stage.

"The Cellars in the Sky Awards is a particularly unique competition in that it recognises the best wines served to passengers by airlines during in-flight dining. Our brands have continued to impress in this category and have been enjoyed by many thousands of people on a number of different carriers," says Wansink.

For more information, visit www.waiparahills.co.nz or www.mudhouse.co.nz

Monday 13 February 2012


NEW-look Aussie Chardonnay to
enjoy with grilled lemon chicken.


David Ellis

WINE consultant, tutor, critic and author, Rob Geddes noted recently that Aussie Chardonnays are making a come-back, after falling off the rails in the 1990s and their sales being hammered further by rising star Sauvignon Blanc.

Rob blames the Chardonnay demise on makers here following the Californian experience and coming up with what he calls their "Dolly Parton-style – full-bodied, up-front and with everything on show." In brief, he says, "they were over-scented, thickly textured and laden with toasty oak."

As we know sales of our Chardonnays spiralled downwards over the past decade, but Rob says we've learned our lesson and Aussie Chardonnays today are more likely to be more elegant, lean and streamlined. And certainly one that falls into that category is Cumulus Estate's 2011 Rolling Chardonnay that's possibly the best that their winemaker Debbie Lauritz has ever produced.

Made from fruit from the company's vineyards on the Central Ranges and at Orange NSW, this is a Chardonnay that's elegant with finer than usual fruit flavours ranging through citrus, white stone-fruits and riper tropicals, and with some acidity and a wonderful mouthfeel.
INVEST for the cellar, or team this one
now with almost any red-meat dishes

At $17.95 enjoy this new-look Aussie Chardonnay with grilled lemon chicken.

ONE FOR LUNCH: SMALLER than average crops in the Hunter Valley in 2010 produced some wonderfully intensely-flavoured fruit for winemakers, and one stand-out drop that resulted from this was Mount Eyre Vineyards' 2010 Three Ponds Merlot.

A wine with generous dark berry fruit flavours and some nice soft tannins, it's a lovely drink now but will develop further complexity over the next ten years if you'd like to tuck it away. If more interested in enjoying it now, pay $22.95 and share it on the table with almost any red-meat dishes.

(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out  http://www.vintnews.com )

Thursday 9 February 2012

NSW Wine Festival | Tour of the Regions Dinners

2012 NSW Wine Festival ~ February 25 – March 31

Tour of the Regions Dinners

Media Release

One of the most popular experiences in the NSW Wine Festival program is the series of exclusive degustation dinners entitled 'Tour of the Regions Dinners'.

These dinners bring together some of the country's most knowledgeable and entertaining food and wine commentators, four of Sydney's best chefs, 10 of NSW's most talented winemakers and an intimate number of dinners, offering guests the ultimate way to tour the 14 Wine Regions of NSW without leaving the dinner table.

Tickets to these dining events go on sale today (starting from $150 per person, including degustation menu and wine) and sell out fast so don't delay!

2012 NSW Wine Festival 'Tour of the Regions Dinners':

OTTO RISTORANTE ~ Tour of the Regions "Trophy Winners" Dinner with Huon Hooke, Richard Ptacnik & Nick Paterson

Tuesday 28 February, 6.30pm – for 7.00pm start

What a way to start the series of 'Tour of the Regions' Dinners! An exceptional degustation menu of finely crafted dishes matched to the ultimate selection of Trophy winning wines from the recent 2011 Citibank NSW Wine Awards.

This dinner will unite the talents of Chef, Richard Ptacnik; Nick Paterson (winemaker of the 2011 Citibank NSW Wine of the Year) and one of Australia's most renowned wine critics and Chair of the NSW Wine Awards Judging panel, Huon Hooke. Explore the 'best of the best' of NSW Wine with their experienced guidance, learn what the experts think are the cream-of-the-crop from NSW's 14 diverse regions and find out what it takes to make a Trophy winning wine.

Host Chef:                               Richard Ptacnik                    

MC:                                         Huon Hooke

Featured Winemaker:            Nick Paterson, Mistletoe Wines winemaker & winner of 2011 Citibank NSW Wine of the Year

Address:                                 6 Cowper Wharf Rd Woolloomooloo NSW

Price:                                      $150 per person                     Bookings: 02 9368 7488

BUON RICORDO ~ Tour of the Regions Dinner with Armando Percuoco & Lyndey Milan

Tuesday 13 March, 6.30pm – for 7.00pm start

Armando Percuoco is an icon in the world of authentic Italian cuisine and Lyndey Milan is the most recent recipient of The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Legend Award, making them the perfect hosts to offer you the ultimate Mediterranean meets NSW experience. They will be joined by three leading NSW winemakers who will share their passion for the amazing variety of wines being produced in NSW today and the tricks of the trade to achieve great food and wine matching with this equally diverse cuisine.

Host Chefs:                             Armando Percuoco               

MC:                                         Lyndey Milan

Guest Winemakers:               Westend Estate Wines, Moppity Vineyards, Bimbadgen Estate

Address:                                 108 Boundary Street, Paddington NSW

Price:                                      $150 per person                     Bookings: 02 9360 6729

MARQUE RESTAURANT ~ Tour of the Regions Dinner with Nick Stock & Mark Best

Tuesday 20 March, 7.00pm – for 7.30pm start

Yet again Marque Restaurant has achieved the prestigious three hats in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, continuing to inspire customers with cutting edge cuisine that provides the unexpected from the extraordinary. During this year's NSW Wine Festival, Marque's Owner/Chef Mark Best will be joined by wine expert Nick Stock (author of The Sydney Morning Herald Good Wine Guide) and three of the State's most forward-thinking winemakers to showcase how NSW winemakers are pushing wine styles to new heights.

Host Chef:                               Mark Best                              

MC:                                         Nick Stock

Guest Winemakers:               McGuigan Wines, Cumulus Estate Wines, Audrey Wilkinson

Address:                                 4/5 355 Crown Street, Surry Hills NSW

Price:                                      $160 per person                     Bookings: 02 9332 2225


SEPIA RESTAURANT ~ Tour of the Regions Dinner with Joanna Savill & Martin Benn

Tuesday 27 March, 6.30pm – for 7.00pm start

This exceptional Eurasian restaurant is the latest winner of the prestigious title of The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2012 Restaurant of the Year. Joanna Savill, co-editor of The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, and Chef Martin Benn will present an unforgettable menu and a panel of NSW winemakers will introduce guests to some of the best new wines from NSW.

Host Chef:                               Martin Benn

MC:                                         Joanna Savill

Guest Winemakers:               Logan Wines, Printhie Wines, De Iuliis, Brokenwood

Address:                                 201 Sussex Street, Sydney NSW

Price:                                      $155 per person                    Bookings: 02 9283 1990

Visit www.nswwinefestival.com.au for further program and pricing/ticketing information.

NSW Wine Festival     @NSWwinefestival


Tuesday 7 February 2012

Winner of the Best Sommelier of Australia competition

Presentation of the Marc and Eva Besen Perpetual Trophy to Franck Moreau

Recently crowned the winner of the inaugural three-year title of ‘Best Sommelier of Australia’, Franck Moreau will be officially presented with the Marc and Eva Besen Perpetual Trophy in Sydney on Monday 27 February, receiving an extraordinary piece of sculpture created by renowned silversmith Robert Baines.

In late 2011 Franck Moreau from the Merivale Group took out the title of ‘Best Sommelier of Australia’. He was joined by fellow finalists Mark Protheroe (Grossi Group VIC) and Daniel Wegener (Quay, NSW) in a gruelling on-stage examination. The finalist trio were tested on service, tasting, vineyard recognition and wine list correction, all demonstrating the key elements that make a brilliant sommelier. But there could only be one winner.

Marc and Eva Besen have had a long-standing commitment to the Australian wine industry and the arts via their acclaimed Yarra Valley based winery, TarraWarra Estate and the privately funded, public TarraWarra Museum of Art. They have kindly commissioned this handcrafted perpetual trophy in recognition and acknowledgement of the sommelier profession, aiming to inspire future talent to continue to reach for the best in food and wine service.

The trophy has been designed by Professor Robert Baines who has applied his trademark technique of delicately interlaced powder-coated silver in a stunning design that features wine bottles and glassware. Now completed, it is ready to be handed over to its worthy recipient.

The top 14 sommeliers that competed for this coveted award were:

· Matthew Brooke – Circa, VIC
· Joseph Burton – The Source Restaurant at MONA, TAS
· Jeannette Clarke – Ezard, VIC
· Banjo Harris Plane – Attica, VIC
· Yuki Hirose – Rockpool Bar & Grill, NSW
· Travis Howe – Coda, VIC
· Alan Hunter – E’cco, QLD
· Sally Humble – Kumo Izakaya, VIC
· Jarrod Mills – Merivale, NSW
· Franck Moreau - Merivale, NSW
· Emma Plumridge – Rockpool, NSW
· Mark Protheroe – Grossi Group. VIC
· Daniel Wegener – Quay, NSW
· Sanpellegrino ‘Young Gun Wild Card’ entrant, Sarah Ward – Circa, VIC

The competition was developed by the Sommeliers Australia Education Committee comprising Ben Edwards (Sommeliers Australia President; Director of The Wine Guide), David Lawler (Sommeliers Australia Education Committee Chair and Vice President; Head Sommelier at Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne), Dan Sims (Sommeliers Australia Education Committee member; Project Manager at The Wine Guide) and Chris Crawford (Sommeliers Australia Education Committee member).

Fowles Wine: the winery formerly known as Plunkett Fowles

On 1 February Plunkett Fowles winery will be known as Fowles Wine to reflect the future direction of the winery.

Late last year, the Fowles Family purchased the remaining interest in the winery from Alan Plunkett. In the circumstances, Sam Plunkett has decided to pursue his Master of Wine.

These key developments are a significant milestone, marking what the Fowles Family feel is an exciting opportunity toevolve the winery's name from Plunkett Fowles to Fowles Wine.

Fowles Wine will continue to be led by Matt Fowles, with Victor Nash stepping up to lead the Fowles Wine winemakingteam as Chief Winemaker.

Matt Fowles said: "We have an incredible team here at Fowles Wine and a real winemaking talent in Victor Nash. Victorhas worked alongside Sam Plunkett crafting our award winning wine for over ten years and has had full operationalresponsibility for the winery since 2007."

Matt Fowles said: "There will be no changes to any of our wine or wine brands. We continue to be wholly focused onpouring the best of the Strathbogie Ranges into the glasses of our loyal followers. We only intend to make a smallcosmetic change on our logo to reflect the winery's ownership change.

As a family we're excited about the next phase and, in particular, continuing to take the best of the 'Bogies to the world.

"For further comment or more information please contact Matt Fowles: 0413 605 447 or matt.fowles@plunkettfowles.com.au

Monday 6 February 2012



David Ellis

COOL idea for bubbly celebrations.
WHEN one of our most respected sparkling winemakers sums up a vintage in just one word – fantastic – you can expect a bubbly from that year to be nothing other than, well, fantastic.

And that's the case with Chandon's Tasmanian Cuvée 2008, a celebration drop that the company's Sparkling Winemaker, Glenn Thompson can quite rightly describe as "a sensational blend of vibrancy, complexity and intensity."

Made up of 48 per cent  Pinot Noir and 52 per cent Chardonnay from the cool-climate Coal River Valley south-east of Hobart, this sparkling reflects just what comprised that "fantastic" vintage – a perfect growing season followed by a long, slow and cool ripening period that meant for wonderful flavour development and beautiful natural acidity.

Add to all this Glenn Thompson and his team's skills in the winery and you've a wine with a silky palate of brioche and toast from extended yeast aging, and which melds with lush fruits and a backbone of fresh acidity and minerality. At $39.95 you'll find it ideal with that next celebration brunch.

VALUE enjoyment with Asian dishes
or lighter Southern Italian pastas.
ONE FOR LUNCH: WITH some of the toughest conditions in New Zealand's Marlborough – steep slopes that many said were impossible for viticulture, high sunshine, strong winds, cool nights and low rainfall – you'd wonder why Peter Yealands even bothered.

But with determination and a great winemaker in Tamra Washington he's created some extraordinarily good wines, not the least his just-released Yealands Way 2011 Pinot Gris. Remarkably this variety actually flourishes in those harsh conditions we've mentioned, and the 2011 is full of stone fruit and honey flavours, and nicely-balanced fruit smoothness and acidity.

At $17.99 it's great value with Asian dishes or lighter Southern Italian pastas.

(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out  http://www.vintnews.com )