As I slowly and reluctantly grow into an adult, it’s essential that I also develop a sophisticated palette so I can begin to enjoy a glass of wine. As a rule I don’t drink wine, but the days of vodka cranberries are fast fading so, ever so slowly, I have begun to indulge myself in a number of different wines to tempt the taste buds. Baby steps started with moscato and other desert wines (basically the alcopops of the wine world) evolving into Riesling and finishing at Sauvignon Blanc. Chardonnay is my Everest and as far as I’m concerned it’s just never going to happen (why would I drink a liquid that’s dry?). As I expose myself to the wide world of wine and all thing Canberra it seemed fitting to attend 100 years 100 wines, Canberra district wine tasting hosted at Hotel Realm.
The event was hosted in one of the function rooms at Realm, despite the lack of signage in the lobby we made our way up to the room. The signs were obviously up here!
We were handed our souvenir glasses, which ironically were plastic, and made our way into the room. After promptly stashing the ‘glasses’ in my handbag and grabbing real wine glass we made our way around the wineries.
The wineries were around the perimeter of the room, with scattered tables of cheese and extra glassware in the centre. The room was quiet when we first arrived but gradually got busier as the night progressed. The turn out was approx. 150 persons.
We approached our first table who gave us by far the best advice on planning our strategic attack. He explained that the cool climate of Canberra was best for Rieslings so to make sure we tried one at every winery and also to do a lap for white and then revisit for the red. My favourite wineries were McKellar Ridge Wines, Pankhurst Wines, Tallagandra Hill and Granitevale Estate.
Tallagandra Hill had a Sassy red wine and had they been allowed to sell bottles at the event I simply would have just given them my credit card. I conned my friend into alternating with me for second and third helpings, to which I promptly poured all into my glass. Cheeky.
Granitevale wines had ice wines! I’d never heard from them before the event but the young man at the table was very knowledgeable in explaining the making of them. They are incredibly sweet but simply devine.
Lerida Estate also had a delish Pinot Gris
Ive made a mental note to visit both these wineries when the weather warms up for a longer stay to become more acquainted with the other wines they produce.
The event was fairly casual, being at the Realm a few people overdressed for the occasion but most (like myself) came straight from work.
The cheese was quickly consumed toward the beginning of the night and they were very generous with it initially until I assume it ran out, only about an hour in.
As did the water, which was slighty more concerning!
But the wine stayed plentiful
As grape growing and wine producing is one of the oldest industries in Canberra the wine tasting certainly did not disappoint, with a fantastically high standard of wine. Most wineries at the event had won awards, both nationally and internationally. I should say shame on me for having low expectations for Canberra wineries but I will openly admit I was happily proven wrong. For $30 per person the night was a bargain, I would generally pay that for 2-3 glasses of wine and I am confident I drank far more than that. Not to mention it wouldn’t even cover the petrol to trip to all these wineries had they not agreed to host and present at this event. Between the charismatic servers and generous tastings of wine I’m going to admit it was a struggle walking down the stairs on the way out, however I was grateful that I wasn’t the women passed out on the chair next the exit. Not an exaggeration it definitely did happen. Truly a spark of Canberra not only in the wines but also in the patronage.
The event was hosted for the Centenary of Canberra but I have my fingers crossed that it will be offered again in 2014.
If you attended the night I’d love to hear your opinion on it!