Disclosure: Qantas invited myself and Mr. Spittoon to attend the epiQure Wine Fair.
I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the inaugural Qantas epiQure Wine Fair on Saturday at the WA Ballet Centre in Maylands. This unique event put on by Australia’s leading airline is designed to showcase the Qantas epiQure Wine Club’s extensive wine selection as well as the chance to taste local produce and attend informative masterclasses with some of Australia’s leading wine professionals.
What is Qantas epiQure?
Funnily enough my epiQure membership has lapsed recently. I signed up in my first year of living in Perth at the Good Food and Wine Show mostly due to the free gift on offer at the time. Just being totally honest with you! The subscription was $99 and in return at the time I received a bottle of Seppeltsfield Rare Tawny from the Paramount Collection and a years membership to the club. Bargain!
I am happy to let you all know the offer still stands, you can sign up for $99 for a year subscription or through your Qantas points, I think it’s about 13,000 and in return you’ll receive a bottle of Seppeltsfield or a bottle of Taittinger Champagne for free as well as exclusive access to the epiQure online wine community.
As a Qantas epiQure Wine Club member you’ll be able to:
- Purchase exclusive wines from the award-winning Qantas First and Business class cellars and lounges with cash or frequent flyer points
- Access the 2014 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion award-winning wines and nominee wines
- Earn Qantas points on all purchases (up to 3 points for every $1 spent on wine & events)
- Receive free delivery on all wine purchases within Australia
- Access the latest Neil Perry recipes online
- Partake in quarterly wine plans selected by the experts to make sure you never run out of the good stuff
- And of course the chance to attend exclusive wine and food events like the inaugural epiQure Wine Fair (totally worth it, keep reading below!)
Please note all the T&Cs for membership here.
The Qantas epiQure Wine Fair
The epiQure Wine Fairs take place around the country every year. They’re a 1 day event which normally runs for about 5 hours on a Saturday. You’re given a Riedel wine glass to taste wine from some of Australia’s best wine producers, a goodie bag to take home (see photo below) and lots of delicious wine and fresh produce to taste. My favourite part had to be partaking in one of the masterclasses and I have to admit the WA Ballet Centre was the perfect venue!
International Wine Masterclass Experience
The Qantas staff (who were all dressed in the lovely navy, red and pink onboard uniforms) were kind enough to give us the heads up on this class and both Mr. Spittoon and I loved it. Who doesn’t love cheese and wine right?
The class was intimate with a maximum of 30 attendees and was run by an MC who then had a panel of 4 on the stage with our special guest being Peter Forrestal, one of WA’s leading wine writers.
The artisan cheese was supplied by the delicious Bottega Rotolo from South Australia and I was in heaven. I couldn’t even mutter words to Mr. Spittoon after I tried each, I was simply ‘mmmming’ my way through. We tried a tradition Brie from France, a Brebirousse D’Argental from France (one of my favourites), Swiss Gruyere from Switzerland, Perla Nera with Truffle from Italy and Pyengana Clothbound Cheddar from Tasmania. It’s good to know all the cheeses can be bought at the Bottega WA warehouse in West Perth! Check out the Bottega Rotolo website for more info.
We were also lucky enough to have Pepe Saya at the masterclass to taste of their delicious ‘milk from happy cows’ cultured butter and tasty mascarpone. You’ll never look at a margarine or butter alternative again, well I won’t (off to the gym I go for even typing out those words!). Check out the Pepe Saya website for more info.
And now the wines! The Brie was matched with the La Riva dei Frati Prosecco DOC Treviso 2012, the Breibirousse was macthed with the Domaine William Favre Chablis Montmains 1er Cru 2012, the Gruyere was matched with the Antinori Tenute Marchese Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2009, the Perla Nera was macthed with the Domaine Faiveley Mercurey ‘Clos des Mygland’ Monopole 2011 and the Cheddar was matched with both Mr. Spittoon’s and my favourite wine from the class, the Seleccion de Torres Ribera del Duero Celeste 2011.
My Favourite epiQure Wines
After the masterclass we spent the remaining time strolling around the wine stands. There were some fabulous producers at the fair from Champagne distributors with the likes of Taittinger and Pommery to WA favourites like Cullen Wines, Howard Park and Leeuwin to some of the biggest names from over East like Penfolds and d’Arenberg and even some Kiwi wineries like Giesen. Too many wines too little time!
We weren’t able to get around them all and try everything but here are some of my notable favourites from the arvo:
1. Giesen – It was fabulous to try some of the wines from their newly released label “The Fuder”. If you’re a fan of The August 1888 Sauv Blanc (that’s you Mum and Nini!) then you’ll love their two new Sauv’s. They may have a hefty price tag at around $50-60 a bottle, but my oh my they are delicious!
2. Cullen Wines 2012 Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon as well as the Kevin John 2012 Chardonnay.
3. Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2004 Blanc de Blanc
4. Champagne Pommery Rose
5. Flowstone Margaret river 2010 Chardonnay
6. Millbrook Margaret River 2013 Vermentino
7. Arras 2001 Blanc de Blanc from Tasmania
8. Howard Park 2013 Great Southern Riesling
9. Leeuwin Estate Margaret River 2011 Chardonnay and the 2013 Riesling
10. Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon
We had a fabulous afternoon, the Qantas staff where all exceptional. I loved Annie, one of the Qantas staff who was making sure everyone had plenty of water throughout the afternoon (always important with so much wine on offer) plus Nicola and the lovely ladies on the door were super helpful and friendly. A huge thank-you for the invitation and for introducing me to even more of the offerings of the fabulous world of wine (currently sipping on a glass of the 2009 Voyager Estate Chardonnay from the goodie bag, perfect blogging material!).
If you like what you see above, make sure you check out all the photos from the event here.