Italian Food and Wine Festival

Drink, Eat, Melbourne / 8 June 2016

#Italiansdoitbetter at the Italian Food and Wine Festival

#Italiansdoitbetter -the official hashtag for the event and an accurate summary of the day. After finding success in Sydney, the Italian Food and Wine festival brought the best of Melbourne’s Italian food and drink together under one roof – and you don’t get a better roof in Melbourne that at the Royal Exhibition Centre in Carlton.
The day included live food and chef demonstrations (think cheese and pasta-making), olive oil master classes and wine master classes hosted by Max Allen including ‘pour that funky white wine white boy’ and ‘Italy’s Royal Reds.’
With more than 250 of Italy’s finest wines to choose from, even with the 10-hour full day pass it can seem overwhelming to try to fit everything in (we opted for a three hour evening pass). Luckily the room is divided into Italy’s wine regions from Piedmont in the North (widely known as Italy’s greatest wine region, home of Barolo) to Tuscany to Sicily (largest producer of wine in Italy), making it easier to navigate your way around.
Unlike many Aussie wine labels that we’re used, to Italian labels carry much more coded information that tells you something about where the wine is from and how it has been made – doing a bit of research goes a long way towards deciding which of the 250 wines you want to try.
In between wines there was plenty of food to line the stomach with in the Gourmet Traveller Food Market. Favourites include pizza from 400 Gradi and the pumpkin gnocchi with braised duck from La Bonta. Salami from Saluministi and a Negroni from Bar Americano pair as the perfect nightcap and with specials on every bottle purchased on the night, it would be a crime to head home empty handed. After talking to the producer about Carlton’s 19 point win earlier in the day, I chose his $100 bottle of Barolo – up there with the most expensive items I own.
While that’s Melbourne finito for this year it’s Sydney’s turn next with the Italian Food and Wine Festival happening there on Sunday, 21st August.
Italian Food and Wine Festival
Sydney – Sunday, 21 August