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Our top wine picks from the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival

Publish Date: 16 Dec 2016

Authored by: Casey Warrener

With the 25th Melbourne Food & Wine Festival to coincide with The World’s 50 Best awards, attracting wine talent from around the globe to our shores, it’s set to be an exciting couple of weeks. Ahead, we pinpoint the festival’s top vinous events – have your diary and pen ready to circle these on the calendar. 

For the intrepid wine lover

What: Rootstock x MFWF
When: Friday, April 7
Where: The House of Food & Wine, 361 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Why: Who doesn’t love a wine party? A small-scale version of Rootstock, a festival born in Sydney and centred on minimal intervention wines, is coming to MFWF thanks to founders Giorgio di Maria, Mike Bennie (pictured) and James Hird. With its line-up of funky, textural wines and sour beers, it’s a great opportunity to drink different. And importantly, it will be a whole lot of fun.
Cost: $125, including five tasting plates with matched drinks.

For the Francophile

What: Let’s Celebrate, Vive Le Festival
When: Tuesday, April 4
Where: Philippe, 115 Collins St, Melbourne
Why: This is your chance to dine with two legends of food and wine – chef Philippe Mouchel and winemaker Alister Purbrick. The pair has worked together to create a classic French feast perfectly matched to Tahbilk’s Rhone-inspired wines. A celebration of the festival’s 25th birthday, Philippe will dish up a few retro dishes and Alister will put forward his best vintages from the past 25 years.
Cost: $198, including five courses with matched wines.

For those who love to talk about wine

What: Vino Rapido
When: Thursday, April 6 and Friday, April 7
Where: The House of Food & Wine, 361 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Why: This one-of-a-kind event will be run like a speed-dating session, except that instead of sitting across from a potential soul mate, you’ll be sitting across from Australia’s foremost wine authorities. You’ll have three minutes to ask your burning wine questions of the likes of Master Sommelier Sebastian Crowther, wine writers Mike Bennie and Max Allen, and winemakers Taras Ochota, Mac Forbes and Nick Brown.
Cost: $55, including wine tastings.

For the cabernet drinker

What: The Future of Tradition
When: Sunday, April 9
Where: The House of Food & Wine, 361 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Why: For this year’s festival, Langton’s Fine Wine Partners will be sharing a selection of celebrated cabernets from its respected wine Classification, which you’ll try alongside a panel of Australia’s greatest wine minds. Discuss and taste the icons as well as up-and-coming examples of the varietal.
Cost: $250, including tastings of top-rated cabernets.

For an intimate wine experience

What: The Winemaker’s Feast
When: Saturday, April 8
Where: The House of Food & Wine, 361 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Why: Top Australian sommeliers and winemakers, including Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda and Ron Laughton of Jasper Hill, will choose wines they love to match to a five-course feast prepared by star chef Scott Pickett (Estelle Bistro, Estelle by Scott Pickett, and Pickett’s Deli and Rotisserie). The twist? There will be one winemaker and one sommelier in charge of selecting the wines for each table, meaning guests will enjoy an experience that’s personal to their hosts.
Cost: $295, including five courses with matched wines.

For those who like to learn

What: Makers & Muses
When: Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9
Where: The House of Food & Wine, 361 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Why: Meet the matriarchs and patriarchs of the Australian wine industry, and learn how they’ve paved the way for the winemakers of today. Find out how these trailblazers have influenced our nation’s wines, and taste examples from the new generation of winemakers they’ve inspired.
Cost: $55, including tastings.

Next article: for something different, why not try a few interesting beers for your festive celebrations?

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