Sake, Champagne and bar crawls galore! The 2017 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival starts today – here are our tipsy tips.
Crawl N Bite is probably the easiest way to dive into the MFWF experience. The series of 13 food and drinks (at time of publication eight still have a few spots left) crawls focuses on different themes or locations. Skip out of work and try series host Victoria Harbour’s version – Waterside Wander – as guided by enthusiastic wine expert Max Allen (do not pass up Saluministi’s porchetta roll or A25’s Golden Gaytime panna cotta if they offer). After dark, Crawl N Bite’s Late Night Bar Crawl introduces you to three of Melbourne best bars: Whisky and Alement, Eau De Vie and Romeo Lane. A good one if you’ve not been out on the town for a few years.
Further afield, everyone’s furry best friend is welcome on the Doggy Winery Tour. Explore the vines of the Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula with your pooch: they even get treated to pupcorn during a lunchtime movie. Also out in the Yarra Valley is the Saint & Sinners Cycle Tour. Pedaling your bike makes all that cider, beer and wine tasting virtuous! Lazier types may prefer RN 72, A Journey to the Alps – it’s basically a ski trip themed wine bar crawl via the 72 tram. We do need to figure out what to drink atop our bearskin rugs in from of open fireplaces this season after all.
Getting into the Spirit
Small problem. People like drinking whiskey matured in sherry casks…but they’ve stopped drinking sherry. Ponder this conundrum over drams and the fortifieds that made them what they are today at Whisky’s Flor, In Pursuit of the Sherry Cask at Whisky and Alement.
You’ll find an accidental mini-sake fest at MFWF this year (yes I know sake’s not technically a spirit. But it’s Friday. And my birthday. So I’m one martini past thinking of another title). Sake Master Andre Bishop will teach us about edgy rice wines at For the Love of Sake. Join Nobu for a sumptuous 8 course sake-matched feast at The Sake Experience or go see Lucy Liu for a slightly more budget-friendly but no less sake-fueled version called En Hui.
Cocktails & Dreams (by “dreams” we mean rosé)
Can Transit Rooftop convince us the 90s had merit? Why did we ever stop drinking these? revives the Singapore Sling, the Sex on the Beach and, natch, Cosmos for one more after-work spin. They had better play some TLC or Sir-Mix-a-Lot for the full experience.
Bar Lourinha’s chef Matt McConnell has invited his brother Sean from Canberra’s Monster to (cook) dinner at Bodega Lourinha. They’re adding gin and sherry cocktails with a twist by Romeo Lane.
Madame Brussels temporarily brings back Spring – Tokyo style – as Two Houses Collide. Here, Dominique Portet and Whispering Angel showcase their rosés amidst a flurry of sakura cherry blossoms and Japanese bites.
Patsy and Edina had it right. MSFW is breaking out in bubbles as the Champagne Lunch with Bollinger makes your Sunday session so much more chic. For a more raucous, but no less chic, time try Entrecote and Bacash’s Champagne-swilling garden party Surf, Turf & Bolli in the Park. Step one: trying to convince your boss to take the whole team for the best ever Friday work lunch. Step two: feast on steak, seafood and bubbles. Step three: don’t you dare return to work ’til Monday. Or be a little serious and try some rare drops and learn from the experts at Champagne Revolution (science says you can totally learn while drinking; the “catch” is that you’ll likely have to return to the same state when trying to remember your lessons). Things will get all turvy topsy as Om Nom presents A Savoury Sweet, Sweet Savoury Champagne Party. This soiree will be loco. Yes, your dessert is arriving by helium balloon, that’s not (only) the Champagne making you light-headed.