Tasting Australia is a celebration of South Australia’s real food heroes. Travel north or south; you’re sure to find an event to attend.
BY LIZ H
When Australian cooking legend Maggie Beer lends her name to an event, you know it’s going to be good. Add world-renowned chef Simon Bryant, South Australian wine expert Paul Henry and a cocktail of international and local food celebrities, and you’ve got a sure-fire recipe for success.
This year, Tasting Australia will be held from 1 to 8 May. At the heart of the event is the Town Square, located in Adelaide’s Victoria Square. Further afield, you’ll find a smorgasbord of events in our State’s north and south.
Cruise the Clare Valley
Located in the meandering Clare Valley, Pangakarra Foods’ Anama Park property opens its doors to the public on 5 May, with international author Liz Carlisle leading a discussion on sustainable agriculture. Take a farm and crop tour, followed by a delicious lunch matched with local wine and beer.
The flavours of the Fleurieu
The Fleurieu’s fertile pastures yield a huge amount of fresh produce, meats, dairy and of course, wine. McLaren Vale, the gateway to the region, is only 45 minutes’ drive from Adelaide’s city centre, making a day-trip to the region extremely easy.
For a totally unique dining experience, book a seat at the Lime Cave Degustation lunch. Held daily from 2 to 7 May at Maxwell Wines (note, minimum numbers are required), explore a century-old limestone cave, originally hand-carved to grow mushrooms. Here you’ll dine in style over seven courses where mushrooms are the hero. Each course is matched to Maxwell’s premium wines.
Woodstock Wine Estate is the perfect venue for A Palette of Shiraz – a progressive regional landscape dinner held on 7 May. Move from the vineyard to the kitchen as you drink and dine on great wine and fresh produce from the Limestone Coast, Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale. You’ll also get a chance to chat with winemakers and hear their stories throughout the night.
Indulge in a gourmet platter at Woodstock Wine Estate
Head to the Hills
Escape to a wonderland of leafy canopies and quaint cottages, just 20 minutes from Adelaide’s city centre. The stunning Adelaide Hills show their true colours each autumn, with towns such as Stirling, Aldgate and Bridgewater turning shades of orange and gold as the seasons change.
Autumn also happens to be the perfect time to taste the region’s amazing food and wine. Relax and enjoy lunch in the company of Rodney Dunn at Ngeringa on 6 May. Both Ngeringa and Rodney’s own Agrarinan Kitchen share a belief in ethical production. Explore herb filled gardens before sitting down to a delicious long lunch.
Want to linger longer for dinner? Don’t miss Figsation on 6 May. Step back in time at the stunning Glen Ewin Estate. Start your evening wandering through the 100 year-old fig orchard, then dig in at Pulpshed where chef Simon Davies cooks delectable local produce as part of a three course menu.
If sweets are your specialty, try the Chocolate and Coffee Experience at Red Cacao in Stirling. Chocolates are made with local ingredients onsite. Paired with single-origin coffee, you’ve got a match made in heaven.
Just over an hour’s drive north of Adelaide is the world-famous Barossa. The picturesque region is known for its plethora of award-winning wines, but its fertile soil means great seasonal produce too.
Held on 7 May, the Barossa Aussie Icon Long Laudin combines the Barossa’s exceptional food and wine. Spend a lazy afternoon feasting on a buffet of classic Barossa recpies and sip unique blends from local wineries at the open bar.
If you really just want to take it easy, head to beautiful Flaxmans Valley at 4pm on 7 May. Kick back, put your feet up and savor an afternoon at Hobbs of Barossa Ranges. Chat with producers, learn more about their wines and enjoy a platter of local produce.
If you’d rather something a little less structured, drop into the Barossa Valley Cheese Company for one of their mouth-watering Cheese and Wine Trail
packs. Packs are available daily and include four cheeses, a map and a list of 22 superb matched wines. It’s up to you to discover the rest at your own pace.
Be tempted at the Barossa Valley Cheese Company
Driving home to Melbourne after Tasting Australia? Make a pit stop at Kalangadoo Organic on 7 May. Spend some time in the company of Liz Carlisle and Paul West and enjoy a share table lunch created by chef Kirby Shearing.
If you’re on Kangaroo Island on 1 May, book a table for lunch at 11am and enjoy Penny’s Tasting Trail of Kangaroo Island at the Penneshaw Hotel.
You certainly won’t go hungry in the Flinders Ranges. Call into the famous Prairie Hotel at Parachilna for a three-course Feral Feast (lunchtime Monday to Friday or dinner weekends, bookings essential). If you like your lamb, you’ll love the four-course lamb inspired dinner: Lamb Tasting at Rawnsley Park on 1, 4 and 7 May.
Still craving more? You can find the full menu of events at the Tasting Australia