The annual celebration of all things wine and food has rolled around again, and runs through to Sunday evening at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, and we were privileged, along with other Perth foodies, to a sneak preview of the offerings before the event opened to the public on Friday morning.
Hosted by Sandra from Devahasdin PR, we were greeted and escorted to the Cape Mentelle VIP Room where their newly released Rosé was on display – a blend of Shiraz and Grenache, it has a delightful pale salmon colour, with a fragrant bouquet of cherries and spice; the palate has a touch of sweetness, but finished dry and satisfying – just the thing at 8.30AM on Bastille Day!
Along with the wine beautifully presented platters of petit four, and strawberries, cream and scones, helped to assuage any early morning hunger pangs.
Then we were off to see the skills of pizza supremo Johnny Di Franchesco of Melbourne’s renowned 400 Gradi – he will be hosting pizza making master classes throughout the three day event.
On to Tucker’s Natural Cheese Alley where we sampled two top class cheeses from ItsAmoreCheese – a zesty chilli style and a sublime truffle infused soft cheese – brilliant, and there are so many more to try at this and other cheese stalls – not to be missed.
Vino Mofo was our next stop – and their fantastic “wine-screams” – wine ice cream! – wow- the Riesling version was more a sorbet style – with lots of lemon and apple notes, while the Shiraz was simply adorable – creamy, rich and singing with plummy shiraz flavours.
You have to try them – and of course they had many wines to sample, too – a sparkling white helped to cleanse the palate after the creamy desserts.
Our final stopover was the fabulous Taittinger VIP Suite where this magnificent drop flowed freely, along with more petit four, cucumber sandwiches and hot dishes from the chefs at the suite. Here, too, we were addressed by three of the celebrity guests of the Show – Jack Stein (Ric’s son and manager of the Stein restaurant empire), Manu Feildel, one of Australia’s most recognizable chefs, and Adam Liaw, former lawyer and Masterchef Australia winner. Champagne and Bastille Day – a perfect combo!
Then we were free to wander the stalls as the show opened to the public – and what a display of food and wine there is! Wines from WA, Australia and overseas, with food for tasting and sale – I was particularly taken with the products of Sublime Spices and took home a wonderful jar of their lime and peri peri – sour and spicy – you must try this!
O’Leary Walker had some excellent wines for tasting – a couple of outstanding dry Rieslings – one from Polish Hill and another from Watervale, but for me the hit was 22 Petals, also from Watervale, beautifully floral and with a lick of sweetness – the name deriving from the 22 grams of residual sugar in the wine.
Helen and Joey, a winery from the delightfully named Gruyere in the Yarra Valley, was new one on me and their chardonnays were something else – Alena, Layla and Inara – great names for excellent wines.
Swings and Roundabouts were there with their award winning sparkling, which we tried earlier in the week at the Perth Royal Food Awards launch, as were Latitude 34 – the display, put together by their 15 year old son was especially eye – catching – he obviously has great wood working skills.
Emmetts Crossing from Dwellingup, another new winery to us, had some top notch wines, also – the Cabernet Merlot Reserve a standout.
And we dropped in to Secret Bottle to try their range of Hunter Valley wines and buy a sample pack of their wine flasks – a really neat way of tasting a lot of new releases and then snapping up bottles of those you particularly enjoy.
There is so much to see and do and try and buy that I can only touch of a little of what is there – you simply have to get along and experience it for yourself. And if you don’t make it this weekend, make sure you mark your diary for next year – it comes around quickly!