It’s almost time to raise a glass as Tasting Australia returns from 28 April—7 May 2023. This year’s beverage program, shaped by new drinks curators Meira Harel and Banjo Harris Plane, features modern, diverse and inclusive events for every taste and budget. From sustainable viticulture and alternative varieties to next-generation winemaking and influential women in the industry, discover our top 10 beverage masterclasses.
All masterclasses are held in the University of Adelaide Masterclass Pavillion in Town Square. Make a day of it and explore Tasting Australia’s festival hub – home to deliciously diverse eating and drinking experiences.
1. Hey Ho, No Low
Not so long ago juice and soft drink – maybe a mocktail – were the only choices for anyone seeking a low or no-alcohol option. Matched pairings at a fine diner? Forget it. Change is afoot. We're celebrating the best in new-school beverages across a masterclass led by Marcell Kustos, Nick Tesar and Shanteh Wale.
2. Art & Wine
Is wine art? Let's take a look. We've assembled a panel ready to tackle this curious question, with host Max Allen to be joined by fellow wine writer Katie Spain, winemaker Charlotte Hardy, South Australian Museum head of humanities John Carty and artist Billie Justice Thomson.
3. Rub of the Green
Sustainable viticulture has traditionally been outside Australian wine's wheelhouse. Those passionate about it were considered quirky; mainstream brands stuck with what they knew. Steadily but surely, though, there has been a shift. We've gathered the nation's top experts in organic, biodynamic and regenerative grape-growing for a masterclass focusing on best practice and beyond.
4. Still Don’t Understand Natural Wine? (hint: it’s more than wine)
So you're not sure about natural wine. We get it. There's a lot of talk about this part of the wine world - and plenty of misconceptions too. We're going above the fray and welcoming three innovators from the Adelaide Hills to share their stories. Taste game-changing natural wine and learn how crafting it starts in the soil, the head and the heart.
5. Club Med – Alternate Varieties
Australian winemakers have options. They can work with the traditional varieties long grown here. Or they can pursue alternatives - grapes that flourish in our hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Discover fresh, juicy drops made with these relative newcomers to the local scene - think fiano, nero d'avola, greco, tinta barroca and aglianico - and learn from the talented folk behind them.
6. Women in Wine
Respect and equality matter for women in all industries. But in wine - traditionally male-dominated and slow to change - the need is especially acute. Tasting Australia drinks curator Meira Harel will host this masterclass, with winemakers Louisa Rose and Tessa Brown to feature alongside international sommelier Victoria James and wine professional Erin Larkin.
7. Generation Next
What’s it like to grow up in a wine dynasty? Well, there’s a decent chance it will spark a lifelong passion for the industry. We’ve united the families behind leading Australian labels for a masterclass set to explore their stories. This masterclass promises lively, wide-ranging discussion – plus plenty of coveted wine. The future for Australian wine is bright.
8. The New Barossa
Old vineyards, new energy. This is the Barossa 2.0: modern, exciting, coveted. Wine and drinks writer Mike Bennie will welcome Tasting Australia drinks curator Meira Harel, plus two leading local winemakers, for a masterclass celebrating all that's fresh from this world-class region. Amelia Nolan and Callum Powell are changing the game, opting for less oak, less alcohol and more floral expressions.
9. The New Champagne – Growers & Grapes
Champagne is always about exuberance. But when it’s new and a little wild? The party just started. Discover the growers and grapes shaping the latest fizz from around the globe. Eight brilliant bottles will be featured, and not simply new releases. These are wines from tiny growers, made in extremely small quantities, many never before seen in South Australia.
10. Cabernet – The King of Grapes
South Australian winemaker Charlie Seppelt is set to lead a masterclass focusing on cabernets from renowned international terroirs: the Napa Valley, Coonawarra, Margaret River, Hawkes Bay and of course Bordeaux. Joining him will be Tasting Australia drinks curator Banjo Harris Plane, plus international guest Angelina Mondavi and Yalumba senior red winemaker Kevin Glastonbury.
Still can’t decide? Discover more Tasting Australia beverage masterclasses here.