On the weekend, Perth played host to the 2nd annual Western Australia boutique wine and food show – UnWined. The festival was held in Perth’s swanky suburb of Subiaco, where the organisers of the show, CMS Events, brought together the amazing flavours and tastes of the west coast for us to try in the one spot! With 39 exhibitors this was a smaller scale show than I was use to, however it meant you could get up close and speak one-on-one with the people responsible for making your taste buds moan with delight.
The show only ran for 2 days (27-28th October 2012) and if your sitting there reading this and thinking you have missed out, then fear not – this is to entice you to be ready for the 2013 show! You will find all the details for the organisers at the bottom of this post, so follow them on twitter, like them on facebook and bookmark their website so you are ready to fill your wine glass or mouth with delectable delights next year. My top 5 highlights from the show this year had to be:
1. Woodgate Manjimup Wines: Mark Aitken, the Winemaker of this family owned winery was probably one of the friendliest faces of the day. He spoke to me and my Spittoon (that’s my boyfriend’s wine-nickname as I swear he will down anything, even if it’s off!) about the winery and wines with so much passion and enthusiasm. It’s people like this, which make the wine industry so much fun to be a part of. Mark told us about his career change at the age of 34 to become a Winemaker and how he hasn’t looked back. Plus I have to give it to him that he did a great job at convincing me (a Kiwi and lover of Kiwi Sauvy.B) to give his Sauvignon Blanc a go, and to be honest it wasn’t half bad! Actually I ended up buying a couple of bottles! The other stand out had to be his Bojangles Sparkling, a Pinot Noir & Chardonnay blend; this beauty was a sheer delight in the mouth, well worth the $30 price tag!
For information on Woodgate Wines click here.
2. Gidge Gourmet Fudge: These girls definitely saw me coming (yes I basically spotted the stand from the entrance and made a beeline!) and had the toothpicks with tasters on ready for me to melt in my mouth with joy. I have only ever had chocolate fudge, and naïve as I am; I thought this was the only way it came. I was proven very wrong! Gidge don’t even have plain chocolate fudge! They start with double chocolate and then have everything from lemon to roasted macadamia to vanilla, coconut, coffee, mint, and even choc chili!!! And when you can get 3 blocks for $10.. You really can’t say no can you? My ultimate favourite and the one I am currently seducing my mouth with is the lemon. Absolutely divine!
If your fudge lover or just like a sweet indulgence every now and then, make sure to check them out on the book: www.facebook.com/gidgegourmetfudge
3. Cape Grace from the Margaret River: I have to be honest I have had an encounter with this winery before at the Margaret River Wine Festival and yet again I am overly impressed. The vineyard is fairly young having been planted in only 1996 by Robert and Karen Karri-Davies. Karen was holding the fort at the stand on this day and I just love her laidback approach. She leaves you to make up your own mind about the wine, if you like it, you like it, if you don’t – no worries! I happen to be on the ‘I like this wine VERY much’ end of the scale and their 2010 Chardonnay and 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon happened to be my two favourite wines from the show. Watch out for tasting notes on here when I finally give up and crack them open (my attempt to cellar wine just doesn’t seem to work!).
For more information on Cape Grace checkout their website by clicking here.
4. Habaneros 4 Gringos: These folks from Malaga have some of the yummiest sauces and relishes! From spicy to non-spicy these biker looking men knew exactly how to electrify your taste buds! We were so impressed with the tasting samples that despite the 35 degree heat and not really feeling like hot food we just had to get one of their Bratwursts for lunch with an assortment of their mouth tingling sauces on! You can find out more information on the family run business through their facebook page by clicking here.
5. Ditch the Pitch: Free bottles of wine… need I say more? Actually this is no joke and I do believe they were one of the busiest stands. Ditch the Pitch also held free tasting seminars at the event, which was a fun way to take a break and sit down without missing out. I also acquired a Ditch the Pitch goodie bag for $2 from their stand. If you do live in Australia and are interested in receiving a free bottle of wine in exchange for your pricing review of the wine, click here to learn more. For more information on UnWined and other CMS Events check out these links:
Receive free wine in exchange for pricing feedback? Did I hear that right? Yes in fact I did! Newcomer to the scene Ditch the Pitch (DTP) are wine aficionados who are wanting to put the power back into the consumers hands when it comes to wine buying.
At the recent UnWined Western Australia boutique wine and food festival in Perth, I got a small introduction to who and what exactly DTP are trying to do. As part of the festival DTP held 2 sessions a day free of charge to share the vision of DTP. We sat down to find 6 glasses full of different wines in front of us, a marking sheet and of course a spittoon and bottle of water. We then proceeded to taste the wines and for each wine we had to mark whether we were familiar with that particular wine style (you can guess who had all ticks for theirs!) and how much we would pay for such a wine.
Phil May, the owner of DTP explained to us that he wants to determine what us the consumers are prepared to pay for a wine without being aware of the typical wine sales prompts, such as recommended retail pricing and third-party endorsements.
We the consumers are able to say that this is a good wine with great structure and complexity, I would pay X amount of dollars for it or this wine is unappealing with a lack of flavours, I would pay X amount for it.
I think this is an interesting initiative and I am intrigued to see what comes out of it. It is nice for the average wine lover to have their chance to evaluate and provide feedback on a wine instead of having Mr. Master of Wine tell us what we should and shouldn’t like. Plus you can also be awarded the “ Ditch the Pitch Most Representative Palate” of the year. That has to be a good party conversation starter!
Now I am off to taste my first DTP wine – a 2010 Margaret River Chardonnay from Shag on a Rock!
For more information on Ditch the Pitch, check out their website here and watch this fun introductory video below.