Tasting Australia to share beverages at their best
Modern, diverse and inclusive events celebrating the best in beverages will feature at Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel this autumn.
The festival’s new Drinks Curators Meira Harel and Banjo Harris Plane have shaped a broad range of masterclasses, with wine varieties including rosé, riesling, grenache, pinot noir and chenin blanc in the spotlight.
Masterclasses will be held in the University of Adelaide Masterclass Pavilion in Town Square, Victoria Square/ Tarntanyangga and will highlight sustainable viticulture, drinks with low or no alcohol, natural wine, next-generation Barossa winemaking talent and influential women in the industry.
A series of more intimate Tasting Table events are set to take place across leading Adelaide and regional venues, focusing on beverages such as champagne, liqueur and beer – plus treasured wines from around the world.
South Australian Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said the festival’s offering of beverage events told an important story that would attract visitors from across the nation.
“South Australian strength in food and beverages is a crucial element of our state’s appeal, enticing visitors to explore Adelaide and regional SA,” Minister Bettison said.
“As Australia’s ‘wine capital’, an impressive 80 per cent of the nation’s premium wine is made here in South Australia and latest tourism data shows one-fifth of all interstate visitors in the 12 months to September 2022 visited a winery during their trip.
“On top of this, our state’s reputation for boutique spirits, craft beer and alcohol-free options only continues to grow so it is terrific that this year’s Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel celebrates our state’s industry-leading position and offers even more reasons for people to see South Australia.”
Harel said each of the festival’s latest beverage events would offer insights for beginner and advanced connoisseurs alike.
“Sharing the joy of great drinks with Tasting Australia’s audience is an opportunity to celebrate tradition and also look to the future,” Harel said.
“Best practices, the new frontiers in beverage production and simply delicious drinks – including rare gems not found anywhere else – will be on show.”
Harris Plane said South Australian beverages would be featured alongside exciting global releases.
International experts are also returning to the festival this year, with United States winemaker Leah Adint of Oregon winery Erath to be joined by trailblazing sommelier Victoria James. Other guests include wine writers Max Allen and Mike Bennie, along with South Australian winemakers Louisa Rose, Stephen Pannell, Amelia Nolan and Michael Downer.
“It’s a thrill to welcome leading winemakers, distillers, brewers, sommeliers and thinkers who share a passion for great beverages and all their possibilities,” Harris Plane said.
“Drinks are more diverse – and more fun – than ever. We’re so excited to share them with the Tasting Australia audience.”
Beverage program highlights for the 2023 festival include:
Tasting Table: Suitcase Wines – Friday 28 April
It’s a classic sommelier move: stashing special bottles from an overseas jaunt in the suitcase to enjoy at home. Discover international gems otherwise impossible to find in Australia at the east end’s favourite basement bar: Hellbound.
Hey Ho, No/Low – Saturday 29 April
A token mocktail is out – nuanced non-alcoholic options are in. Restaurant Botanic sommelier Marcell Kustos and former Quay sommelier Shanteh Wale will be joined by Nick Tesar to present the best in new-school drinks.
How to Wine – Wednesday 3 May
This masterclass was created for everyone who enjoys wine but lacks confidence when discussing it. Harris Plane, Sydney sommelier Bridget Raffal and Murdoch Hill winemaker Michael Downer will cover the fundamentals.
Tasting Table: All About ‘R’ at Victory Hotel – Thursday 4 May
In search of Burgundy’s best? Join The Victory Hotel owner Doug Govan as he opens a dazzling selection of regional highlights, among them Domaines Roulot, Ravenau and Armand Rousseau.
The Langton’s Classification – Saturday 6 May
Discover 10 standout wines from the latest Langton’s Classification, a definitive guide celebrating the upper echelon, alongside Yalumba chief winemaker Louisa Rose, Seppeltsfield chief winemaker Fiona Donald and Master of Wine Ned Goodwin. Half the featured wines will be South Australian, half international.
The New Champagne – Growers and Grapes – Sunday 7 May
Explore the latest fizz from labels pushing boundaries in all the best ways. Hosted by wine writer, lover and drinker Mike Bennie, guests will taste eight stellar champagnes.
RAA Travel General Manager Travel and Distribution Gina Norman said the release of new beverage programming was a moment to celebrate.
“Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel takes guests further – exploring the best of our great state and sharing its beautifully unique experiences,” Ms Norman said.
“Remarkable beverages are a South Australian signature, and where better to indulge than in Town Square and across the best city and regional venues?”
Tickets to Tasting Australia events are available at tastingaustralia.com.au.
Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel runs from Friday 28 April to Sunday 7 May 2023 across Adelaide and regional South Australia.