This was my first year attending ‘Wine Show By the Bay’ – the biennial wine tasting fair put on by The University Club of WA. I’ve heard about it previous years but didn’t have a chance to make it along, so this year I thought I had better get my palate down there! Plus tickets were only $20 for the 11am-5pm tasting session, so you’re getting some serious bang for your buck!
At the 2017 show, there were over 200 wines to taste from about 40 different producers, plus you had a couple of foodie stalls like Bayswater’s Little Cheese Shop and Rawsome. Throughout the day there were also wine masterclasses and cooking demos you could attend which were at an extra cost. When we were booking out tickets we booked in to the 50 Shades of Rose masterclass which was $30 on top of the general entry ticket. More about that below!
I have to admit The University Club of WA have one stunning location at Matilda Bay, I just wish we could of soaked up more of that view from inside!
On arrival we were given a monogrammed tasting glass (at the next show in 2019 I would love to have the option to pay more for a Riedel or Plumm glass – they simply show the wines so much better) and a wine show booklet which had the full exhibitor list and map alongside all the wines on taste at the show. There was also room in the book to jot down notes.
It was a big day, and unfortunately we didn’t get around all the stalls but the ones that we did get around – we found some gems at!
The Tasting Stalls
So many wines and such little time! There were so many interesting wines to taste and people to meet on the day. Here are a few of the ones we visited..
The Best of New Zealand
Funnily enough this was the very first stand we visited! For those who don’t know, I am a Kiwi, so it’s always good to try new wines from my home country. The lovely Margie was manning the stall alongside David from West Coast Wine Cellars. These guys are a local distributor here in Perth and had a few of their brands at the show.
It was the Stanrock 2016 Pinot Gris and the Stanrock 2014 Albariño that really had my palate in a flutter. Both are absolutely beautiful wines and to be honest the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc from Stanrock was also pretty good.
This is the first time I believe I have come across Ibizan Wines, a boutique producer in Margaret River. It was lovely to meet, Michelle on the stand who owns and runs Ibizan with her husband Brian. It was the 2016 Semillon Sauv Blanc that caught my attention. I love when this wine style has more Sem than Sauv in!
It was good to revisit some of the wines from Brash – the 2015 Chardonnay stole the show for me. It’s a single vineyard Chardy with plentiful stone fruit flavours and oomph. Heaven!
It was great to catch up with Steve Hamilton (@somm_wine_bloke) on the Bellarmine stand. The 2016 dry Riesling was insanely good and I have to admit I loved the laboratory decanters they had some of the reds in – a quirky wine accessory that would be great fun to pull out at a dinner party.
It’s always great to see the Myattsfield team, manning the stall at the show was Josh and Emma. As always I can’t go past a sip of the Methode Champenoise bubbles and the 2015 Chardonnay was also tasting mighty fine!
This is the first time I’ve come across Coriole who hail from the Barossa Valley in South Australia. They had a 2016 Nero D’Avola and a 2015 Sangiovese on taste which went down superbly. I have to admit, I’m looking forward to trying these again soon on a clean palate!
Hillbille Estate Wines
This is another new one for me, these guys are from the Blackwood Valley here in WA. And before you ask, no it’s not pronounced Hillbilly, it’s a bit more fancy than that, ‘hill-bill-ay’. I had a great chat with these guys and it’s safe to say their 2011 Reserve Chardonnay hit the spot for me and also the 2012 Reserve Merlot went down a treat.
Fraser Gallop Estate
Again, it’s always good to run into Fraser Gallop. Between their 2016 ‘Parterre’ Chardonnay and the 2015 ‘Misceo Red Blend’ – I was definitely satisfied.
I recently tasted a number of the Juniper Estate wines at City Wine – however it’s always good to remind the palate right? It was great to hear about ‘Aquitaine’ which was a potential name for my friend who I take along to a number of tastings. We’ve got to the point, we need a blog name for her, like how we do for Mr. Spittoon. I still don’t think we’ve found the right name for her, so the search continues..
Again an old favourite, I can never go past the Singlefile Fume Blanc (lightly oaked Sauvignon Blanc) and as always their Chardonnay was on point!
Little Cheese Shop
In amongst all those wines, it was great to have a cheese intermission. At the Little Cheese Shop they had a ‘Beppino Occelli al Barolo’ and a ‘Ubriaco al Vino Rossi’. I tried the latter of the two and it was delicious! As you may guess from the name, it is cheese with a wine-y twist. From what I understand the rind/crust of the cheese is soaked in wine to give it a wine-y taste and aroma, I believe Merlot was used for this one and it was simply scrumptious!
I always love when I have the chance to dig into some Castelli Estate wines. The stall was being manned by the wonderfully enthusiastic Luke and Juan who poured us the delicious Sparkling Riesling and the 2016 Gewürztraminer Riesling blend which went down superbly.
3 Drops Wines
I always love bumping into the wonderful 3 Drops team and pestering them about when the 2017 100% Nebbiolo Rose is going to be released! From the rose to the Riesling, Chardonnay and the reds, there’s always something to entice the palate.
Alkoomi & Wills Domain
These Great Southern and Margaret River wineries were on the same stand, so there was plenty to try! I really enjoyed the NV bubbles from Wills Domain and that 2016 Melaeuca Riesling from Alkoomi is definitely something special.
The cardiologist behind the brand was on the stall at the show! I remember hearing the story behind Thompson Estate at the Margaret River Cellar Door in the City event last year so it was great to meet the man behind it all.I really enjoyed both the 2016 SSB and the 2016 Thompson Estate Chardonnay. Both great wines and I love those Four Chambers labels!
Howard Park are another brand we are very familiar with and also one that we won’t pass up an opportunity to taste! The NV Jete Sparkling went down a treat at the show but also their 2016 Porongurup Riesling was a highlight.
It was great to see this Swan Valley winery out and about. These guys don’t have a cellar door, so when you spot them at a wine show like this, it would be rude not to have a taste. We only tried the 2007 Verdelho which was tasting beautifully however it’s the fortified wines these guys are really known for.
I could have easily sat down with a bottle of both the 2016 Signature Series Riesling and the 2016 Finisterre Chardonnay and sipped the afternoon away. Great wines! We unfortunately didn’t try too many of the reds, however I’ve heard very good things about the 2014 Finisterre Cabernet Sauvignon and the Syrah!
It’s the first time I have tried Mollydooker Wines from McLaren Vale in South Australia. Matt was manning the stall and he was a great laugh! It was the Girl on the Go Sparkling Verdelho that I loved, and the still version of it, The Violinist Verdelho, was also rather tasty.
The Masterclass – 50 Shades of Rose
Our masterclass was the first class of the day, which I think we planned well as our palates were still nice and fresh. As mentioned the tickets for the masterclasses were $30 which I think were well-priced as we got to try 6 wines alongside dinning on a tasting plate of ‘Baharat Roasted Chicken Breast, Hummus and Soused Tomatoes’. I found the masterclass very interesting however I know my friend thought it was a bit technical at times – I guess it’s hard in situations like this to find a middle ground as you’ll always have a room full of people with different levels of knowledge on the subject.
We were taken through how rose wine is made and given a short introduction on all the wines we were tasting. My only qualm is it did feel like a bit of a university lecture with our trainer sitting behind a desk. However after a few tastings it most definitely didn’t feel like any uni lecture I’ve ever done – haha!
All up though, for $30 it was worth the money and I would definitely go to one of these masterclasses again!
We had a fab day full of plentiful good wines, great conversations and I dear say I’ll be getting tickets for the 2019 Wine Show By The Bay when it comes up again!