Around the World with 80 Whites

Bars, Drink, Events, Sydney / 12 March 2014

There aren’t many people who can say they have been around the world in half an hour but I am one of the lucky few. Thanks to Frenchman Franck Moreau, Group Sommelier of Merivale, a small group of us received a whirlwind tour of white and sparkling wines from ten different countries, starting in Japan and finishing in France. Having the extraordinary role of Cellar Manager for all Merivale venues, from Ash St. Cellar to El loco, Franck handpicked a variety of whites from across the world for us to taste.
Ivy - The Terrace

Shylie and Franck Moreau
Shylie and Franck Moreau

Ten green hot air balloons were spread across The Den and The Terrace at the Ivy, each marking a different country and another leg of the journey including Chile, South Africa, Germany and Italy. I was grateful for the lack of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc so common amongst Aussie wine lists. Instead, we tried Koshu white wine from Japan, something I’d never even heard of. This quirky white was one of my favourites with Franck sharing his knowledge about each drop.
By the third country I’d forgotten we were in Sydney, enthralled by Argentina’s “mystery white wine”. That’s actually what the wine is called-  ‘Misterio Blanco’. It’s a mixture of three grapes but the ratio remains a mystery to everyone but the winemaker.
Ivy - The Den Ivy - The Den
As the sun went down, the room filled with more and more wine-lovers embarking on their own journey across the globe. We grew impatient in the line for Spain so we flew across the room to the USA, upstate New York to be exact. Did you even know New York was a winemaking region? It is so cold there that the grapes take about 6 months to ferment. Compared to the usual 2 or so days. One could grow impatient waiting 6 months for wine but with sweet Riesling with a dry finish the end result is worth the wait.
Cheese Table - The Terrace
The food being served by the friendly Ivy staff upheld the multicultural vibe. From arancini balls, to truffle parmesan and asparagus tarts, to chicken sliders and my favourite of the night: seared salmon tacos with guacamole and lettuce. There was also a few-meter-long cheese table set up on the terrace. What is wine without cheese?
From Romania to Austria and all the countries in between it was a great way to discover Merivale’s wine offering. Thank you Franck- i’ll be back!
To discover Merivale’s wine offering at each venue visit their website