Calling all food and drink lovers: with just under a month to go, we’ve skimmed the 300-long program of events, corralled our friends in the know and picked our top five events not to miss at this year’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Prepare to wine and dine amongst famous chefs and country winemakers on Melbourne’s rooftops and out in Victoria’s rural vineyards, from 16-25 March.
Words by Hannah Sparks
Rutherglen Durif – Delicious, Diverse & Distinct
Have you discovered the wonders of Rutherglen durif yet? Victoria’s premier wine region has been making this rich red grape varietal for over 100 years and now you can try a whole range of durif wines during a four-course dinner as part of this year’s festival at Project Forty Nine Beechworth, Collingwood. The event will be held on Friday 16 March, from 7.00 – 11.00pm. Among the numerous wine producers on the table, that night will be Rutherglen Estates with their 2014 Renaissance Durif and 2014 Limited Release Durif – a rare treat! Dishes will be crafted from seasonal produce from the High Country.
Riedel Sensory Workshop
After Riedel’s ‘Tasting with a Spanish Twist’ event sold out, the team has decided to throw another workshop for those who missed out over at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 3.00 – 4.00pm, Sunday 18 March. Pull up a seat and join local Riedel rep Emily for a fun and entertaining masterclass in which you’ll discover how the shape of your glass affects the aroma and flavour of wine. The focus will be on red, with tastings of pinot, cabernet and shiraz, plus some Lindt Chocolate! You’ll also get to take home three of Riedel’s beautiful Veritas glasses at the end.
Ales on Rails
All aboard the steam train from Castlemaine to Maldon on Saturday 17 or Saturday 24 March, for an indulgent day of tasting some of Victoria’s best craft beers, while looking out at the picturesque countryside. Start the journey with a light wheat beer, alongside scrumptious snacks, before stopping in at Maldon’s Kangaroo Hotel for a gourmet lunch and a chance to choose a beer from their extensive list. Return to the tracks with a rich chocolate porter in hand, a warm belly and plenty of happy memories.
Flavours of Footscray – Cocktail Masterclass
Learn how to impress your family and friends at home in this cocktail masterclass at Littlefoot Bar, Footscray on Tuesday 20 March, 7.00pm – 10.30pm. You’ll learn how to shake, taste and mix delicious cocktails alongside an expert. This unique masterclass will also incorporate tastes, smells and sights from the multicultural suburb’s famous Footscray Market.
Chinese Laundry Yum Cha
Yum cha and riesling – need we say much more? Join winemakers and chefs for a laneway party celebrating two of our favourite things on Sunday 25 March, 12.00 – 2.30pm. The event will feature Dan Hong and Michael Lou (Mr Wong, Sydney), Patrick Friesen and Eric Koh (Queen Chow, Sydney), renowned food writer and author of Hong Kong Food City, Tony Tan and ShanDong MaMa’s very own Mama Meiyan Wang.