February 16, 2008
Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: $55 at the door ($50 pre-sale)
Last year we had so much fun that we decided to go again for some serious tasting. And boy am I happy that we did return, because it was even better. Last year the entry price gave you the chance to try 18 medal winning wines, and as many non-medal winning wines as you wanted. This year you could try whatever you wanted and as much as you wanted. Last year the challenge was to allocate your tasting allowance on your favourite categories and those wines that interested you. This year, the hardest decision was what to try next.
After getting a few Aussies sparkling I’m yet to try out of the way (Houghton’s Pemberton sparkling was a good surprise) and moving through some other categories, I decided that it would be fun to put my effort towards my favourite categories. And so I did. From sweet white wines to muscats to ports to brandies, I tried everything sweet, fortified or late harvested that they had in that room. McWilliam’s took my award of the day for two utterly sublime wines in the Hanwood Tokay 2 and the Hanwood Grand Tawny.
Another improvement on last year was the introduction of the Trophey Room, where you could enter for a limited amount of time and try all of the wines that won trophies at the event. This gave everyone a chance to try everything they wanted and made sure there were no crowds around some areas.
Once again it was good to see what some of my favourite producers were awarded. I was really pleased to see that Banrock Station’s The Reserve sparkling wine picked up a very well deserved silver medal. Blue Pyrenees Estate were also well rewarded for some of their better wines.
Produce from the Royal Food Show was also impressive with a great selection of dips, meats, nougat and bread on offer.
This event is simply a must for anyone who takes their wine seriously and wants the opportunity to try a lot of the better wines coming out of this country all in the one room.