Unlike Rosemarie and Joseph, I don’t have a lot of opportunity to travel, so when a region showcases the delights of their area in my home city, I jump at the chance to savour what they have on offer. Tastes of Two Regions went one better, the King Valley and Rutherglen winery regions joined forces to exhibit their delicious food and wines at the beautiful Pialligo Estate last Sunday.
I arrived at the afternoon exhibition to a perfect winters day, it was sunny with a hint of warmth. The event had started early that morning but it was still going strong. People were positioned around the grassy areas listening to the live music, warming themselves by the outdoor fires, eating cheese and of course, drinking their favourite wines. Honestly I just wanted to join them, to sit in the comfy chairs and soak up the sun with a wine in one hand and cheese in the other. But I was on a mission, what is Tastes of Two Regions without the tasting?
We picked up our special wine glasses and headed straight to the pavilion to begin. There were over 200 wines to taste, cheese, olives and chocolates to sample and even some cheeky gin to try. With so much on offer, I tried desperately to be strategic about how to see and taste everything but in the end I just drifted with the crowd, tasting what looked good and sounded a little bit different (mostly trying to make sure I could still take notes and operate my camera… thank goodness for auto).
By the end of the afternoon I had tasted as much wine as I could, bought three bottles of my favourites, savoured the many food items on offer, bought cheese and chocolate to pair with my wines, got myself a I ❤️ (heart) Pfeiffers sticker (but who didn’t) and met some fun people in the purchase pick-up line. This event ticked all the boxes for me and of course, the wines on offer were delicious. I’m already looking forward to next year!
My top picks-of-the-day
Lake Moodemere Estate: Merlot
A smooth and soft red, like a Merlot should be with a crisp finish to make you want more. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for a Merlot and this was the only one on offer last weekend but that didn’t mean it wasn’t amazing.
This white wine was oh, so, smooth and I really enjoyed the rich flavours of stone fruits. It was one of the first wines I tried and I had to go back later in the afternoon to try it again and buy a bottle to take home.
Hurdle Creek Still: Yardam Gin
There were three gins on offer for tasting and each had its own unique flavour. I’ve always liked gin but didn’t know that much about the different flavours and techniques used to create them. It was also a nice change of pace to move away from wine for a little while. The Yardam was my favourite of the three, smooth with very tasty botanicals (this is a word I picked up from the very knowledgeable lady next to me).
Valhalla: The Ranga
This red is a blend of Durif and Shiraz and boy it stood out in the crowd. It was full bodied, rich and felt like it might even have the stereotypical personality of a red head squeezed into the bottle along with the flavours of nutmeg and oak. Oh, and what a cool name for a winery!
Sam Miranda: Proseco
For a start I loved the Sam Miranda branding design, it was simple and elegant. But I’m here to talk about wine. There were a few Prosecos on offer but Sam’s really stood out for me. It had nice fine bubbles that pricked your tongue a bit like sherbet, making it crisp and refreshing.
Andrew Buller: Frazante
I had to buy a bottle of this one. It was a hugely surprising wine, it was beautifully sweet and just at the end there was this sudden hit of smokey flavour that just made you feel warm inside. It was a perfect winter white in my opinion.
La Zona: Fiaro
This white had a hint of citrus that was really refreshing. There were a lot of full-bodied wines on offer and the subtleness in the flavour in this wine actually made it a standout for me.
Bound to be a crowd pleaser, this white tasted sweet like candy with floral flavours that made you feel like spring time. It kind of made me wish it wasn’t winter anymore.
After an experience like this one, I’m definitely going to take a page out of Rosemarie and Joseph‘s book and take the opportunity to travel to these regions for myself; there are so many more wines to be tasted and food to be sampled… Oh, and I found out that a few of the wineries are now doing grapevine glamping. Yes, really! Count me in!
Writer’s Bio: Gem is a professional photographer and designer based in Canberra who would love to be a professional wine drinker if anyone has a job going. Thanks to Rosemarie and Joseph for hosting me on your blog.