30 April - By Sean Menezes
A key feature of this year’s Tasting Australia festival is its association with East End Cellars that puts wine squarely into the spotlight.
EEC is involving local wineries, distillers and producers, drawing on its 25 years’ experience in the wine industry to offer a wide range of events. It runs from free tastings each day of the festival at Town Square, to 19 specially curated Masterclasses designed to offer a fun approach to wine. “More theatre rather than theory,” explains Michael Andrewartha from EEC.
EEC aims to have fun with the audience and introduce them to more than 250 wine labels, showcasing diversity and flavours from different wine regions around Australia.
“There is a pocket-versus-pallet approach to the events this year, with the free tastings trying to cater to all audiences, whereas the masterclasses are specially designed to cater for specific aspects, such as preservtive free winemaking, skin contact winemaking and wines from cooler regions,” says Michael, explaining that the sessions are hosted by winemakers.
Michael was especially excited about the Masterclass involving Robert Hill Smith, who has come out of retirement for the Grenache Tug of War session between the Barossa and McLaren Vale wine regions, which also features prominent winemakers Chester Osborne of d’Arenberg and Stephen Pannell. Another masterclass revolves around beer and food matching, providing a chance to try four courses from four different cuisines, each paired with a different beer.
A Rockford Basket Press shiraz masterclass showcases a fleet of vintages from the famed Barossa producer, with winemaker Robert O’Callagan generously presenting wines from his personal cellar.