Posts Categorized: Fringe Food Festival

An amphora dinner that will show why wines made with ancient techniques are so exciting

What: Amphora Wine Dinner at Virginia Plain When: Tuesday 13 November 2012 7pm Where: Virginia Plain, 31 Flinders Lane (next to Cumulus Inc) How much: $110.00 (plus 30c booking fee) How to book: Booking only through Trybooking here. The other day I received two bottles of some of the most exciting wines I’ve bought. They were made by former Fosters head winemaker Glenn James not in bulk in stainless steel (like most Aussie wine) but in an amphora – that’s a large pot which he’d crawled inside and lined with beeswax. It’s part of a movement where winemakers are turning their backs on the last half century’s tradition of using stainless steel for everything and the previous 500 hundred years of French and other European techniques usually involving oak barrels. Instead James used the amphora pictured above by simply dumping in a blend of grapes. Typically, there is no intervention in terms of adding yeast, sugar, acid or oak to the wine. Although a little sulphur is sometimes used to aid preservation. The grapes are left in the amphora for up to a month or two and nature is left to do its job. We’ve pulled together a dinner with Ducks in a Row and Virginia Plain and Fringe Food to showcase and compared some locally made amphora wines with some internationally recognised cult wines including Gravner and Pheasant Tears. For me Amphora (and natural) wines are textural and packed with umami – a bit like sherry – making them perfect match for food. I find that they stop me in my tracks and make me want to savour rather than sink several bottles. Glenn James, former head winemaker at Fosters, from Ducks in a Row and other winemakers will be there on the night to talk about his story and amphora wines. This is what wine writer Huon Hooksaid in the Sydney Morning Herald about James’ amphora wine: “Now, readers of this column know I am a little sceptical about ‘natural’ wines, but here is one made by a seriously competent and experienced winemaker, and it is a quality wine – but also one made with the least manipulation imaginable. And it tastes terrific. The colour is lightly cloudy mid-yellow, without any brown tints. Its bouquet is delightfully floral and spicy, with the muscaty fragrance of the moscato giallo dominant, although it is a small percentage of the blend…. Read more »

Just a few places left for Thursday truffle dinner. Book now.

What: When: Thursday 5th July, 7pm Where: 12-18 Yarra Place South Melbourne VIC 3205 How much: $80.00 including booking fee. How many: 60 places (54 for sale) How to book: Booking only through Trybooking here. There’s just a handful of places left at our St Ali truffle dinner this coming Thursday as we just releases some extra tickets. St Ali was the venue of our first truffle diners last year with the pop-up truffle shop Madame Truffles supplying the produce. We can pretty much your handbag (or wallet) will come away smelling of fine Australian truffles. This year we’ll have the kitchen headed by Jesse Gerner (The Aylesbury and Anada) who has gone into partnership with Sal at St Ali to lunch St Ali North in spring 2012. We’ll be showcasing truffles from at least three states on the night with about 10-12 grams per person. We’ll have the light and earthy Bobar Shiraz as the only wine available at $30 a bottle and $8 a glass. So hurry up, there’s only 54 tickets on sale (and an additional ten reserved for St Ali’s hipster baristas). 1st Course Confit Egg Yolk, Truffle, Savoury Granola, Celeriac Milk 2nd Course “Roasted Chicken & Chips”, Truffled Bread Sauce 3rd Course Truffle in its Natural Surroundings (Risotto of Wild Mushroom) 4th Course Brie, Truffle, Quince, “Toasty” 5th Course Salted Peanut Caramel Truffle