A beach wine festival suits Perth down to a tee. When you throw in an amazing sunset, food, beer, gin and more – well you can’t really go wrong! Yesterday I attended Sunset Wine down at Brighton Reserve in Scarborough. I haven’t been to this festival since the debut of Sunset Wine in 2014 – so it was good to head back and check it out.
Firstly a big thanks to CMS Events for inviting Mr. Spittoon and I along. This year we had a very chilled approach to the festival – we tried a number of wines before it got to busy and then we spent the rest of the evening chilling out on the grass taking turns to get another beverage from the selection on offer. Yep this year I had a bit of everything from wine to cocktails to beer and a lovely gin and tonic with cucumber. Perhaps that mix is why I had to consult my wine flu post this morning. But it was worth it!
So yesterday was hot, 10 degrees cooler would have been ideal. Everyone was hot and sticky in the 35 degree heat and we were all trying to hunt out the shade. It was a stark contrast to the rain and wind of Sunset Wine 2016 which our friends went to. With it being so hot, I found we actually bought a lot more drinks – so I guess that’s good for the vendors!
The location of the festival was also slightly different this year, it’s a bit further south. I actually think it was a great spot as even without being on the verandah (which was my favourite spot at the festival!) you could see through to the ocean whereas at the other location you weren’t able to do that.
If you are heading down to Sunset Wine today, make sure you’re sun smart – I am so glad I had my big floppy hat on and plenty of sunscreen as I think there’ll be a few people today suffering with sunburn from what I saw. Also take a drink bottle with you, as there’s plenty of water stations to fill it up and keep you hydrated!
So what were my highlights of the festival this year? It seemed smaller than I remember, yet I still didn’t manage to get round all the stalls. From the ones I did, these were my highlights..
Peach Bellini’s from House of Cards
We firstly stopped by House of Cards for a tasting and as always I found a number of their wines that agreed with my palate. The bubbles was definitely a favourite and also the 2015 Chardonnay was a beauty! But I couldn’t resist trying one of their Peach Bellini’s for $10 – basically it’s a glass of bubbles with a nip of peach mixture in – it went down pretty easily and is worth a try. I think they were suppose to be a bit more frozen than they were but alas the weather wasn’t on their side yesterday!
Rosé from Happs
It’s always great bumping into Happs – as always I make sure I try through the range just to remind my palate. They’ve recently released a dry rosé which I had to give a whirl and it’s a beauty! I’ll be looking forward to hunting some of this out soon. I also really wanted to try their frosé, however due to power-cuts and the heat it meant the mixture wasn’t freezing up as it normally would. I may just have to make some of my own Happs frosé like we did over Christmas. I also really enjoyed the 2015 Chardonnay.
Barton Jones Wines
I have long been a fan of Barton Jones and it’s definitely great to see their bright floral labels at a wine festival. Their Box Seat Semillon is always a stunner and their rosé was a real standout for me and the friends I was with.
Clown Fish & Cowaraump Wines
These guys have been exhibiting at the Wine & Food Events WA festivals since I can remember and I always end up falling in love with one or a few of their wines. Today it was the Cowaraump 2012 Reserve Chardonnay – it’s a stunner and worth a taste for sure guys.
Cabernato from Howling Wolves
You can’t go to a festival where Howling Wolves is exhibiting and not have a Cabernato! And when it’s 35 degrees – oh my goodness these wine based cocktails are the best thing in the world! I was hugging that icy cup like it was my absolute BFF.
2005 Sparkling Wine from Umamu
I was lucky enough to try some of the Umamu range last year and from first sip, my palate was in love. It was such a welcoming surprise to see these guys exhibiting at Sunset Wine this year – it’s the first time these guys have done one of these festivals and if you’re serious about good wine then it’s a must that you check them out. The 2005 sparkling wine was insanely good – so much flavour and texture.
G&Ts from Bloom Gin
Gin is my spirit of choice, so grabbing an $8 G&T from Bloom, a London Dry Gin, was a must. I loved their bathtub setup at the festival and it was also cool how you could choose your garnish, there was grapefruit, cucumber and strawberries. I typically have my gin with soda as I find you can enjoy the taste of the gin a bit more, so I think I might have to hunt out some more Bloom to enjoy at home!
Thorny Devil Beer & Cider
Naturally the boys had to get us on the beers and cider at some stage – I am not sure exactly what we had but the few brews I tasted were pretty nice – actually I think they went straight down without even touching the sides. Very refreshing!
I always love checking these guys out at the festivals and it’s safe to say I have complete paella pan envy! Mr. Spittoon and I decided to get a little pottle full of their paella yesterday and it was delish! When a paella has that nice crisp on the bottom, it’s perfection for me. Such a good dish to enjoy with a glass of vino.
Gosh it was beautiful! As mentioned, I really liked the verandah area at the festival. It’s been upgraded since that very first Sunset Wine I went to and it’s safe to say it was the top spot to be when the sun started setting. With a glass of wine in hand and some good company it was the perfect way to end the day.
If you’re planning on heading along to the festival today, tickets are $33 at the gate and it’ll be running from 2:30-7:30pm. You can find more information here. And you can find more pictures from our day on my Facebook page here.