International Cabernet Tasting at Cape Mentelle.
11. A World of Cabernet
As WA’s beloved Gourmet Escape
festival draws to a close in Margaret River each year, those seeking an in-depth look into the region’s vinous forte flock to the International Cabernet Tasting at Cape Mentelle (capementelle.com.au)
. Since 1982, the pioneering winery has curated a line-up of 20 of the world’s best cab savs from the same vintage and served them incognito, forming what is arguably Australia’s greatest blind tasting. It’s an impressive – and important – way of seeing how our top local examples compare against the best regions around the globe, including Napa, Bordeaux and Tuscany. DOM SWEENEY
➽ TIP: Try not to smile with your teeth for any photos, for at least a few hours afterwards. Tickets are extremely limited.
It’s easy to get lost in Terroirs’ wine list.
12. Tasting Terroir in London
Part bistro, part wine bar, part wine shop. Terroirs (terroirswinebar.com)
is Central London’s preeminent place for falling down the vine row-riddled rabbit hole. Pull up a pew and peruse the wonderful wine list, featuring outstanding international examples of vin de terroir; wines of place and personality, from Tillingham and Occhipinti to Kindeli and Castagna. While the wines may be from all over the globe, the food is definitively French, as indicated by slabs of fleshy terrine, wee pieces of perfect cheese, crunchy cornichons, and finely sliced charcuterie. Terroirs is the kind of wine bar in which you can sit and eat and sip and sit and eat and sip all night long. DANIEL HONAN
➽ TIP: Don’t leave empty handed.
13. Cooking in the Hunter
On your next visit to the Hunter Valley, devote some time to exploring the subregion of Broke Fordwich, home to a community of wineries with an infectious passion for their little slice of paradise. Margan Wines (margan.com.au)
is one of these stellar wineries, known for its award-winning wines, one-hatted Margan Restaurant
and scenic views of the region. There’s a range of experiences for your visit, including monthly Cooking School
sessions. Starting with a walk through the on-site kitchen garden, you’ll learn about the nose-to-tail philosophy before donning an apron to start your masterpiece. After all your hard work you get to relax with a three-course lunch, featuring your dishes alongside award-winning wine. AMY NORTHCOTT
➽ TIP: Be sure to stop by Krinklewood Biodynamic Vineyard, Greenway Wines and 1813.
Margan’s monthly Cooking School.
14. Zen at Zin House
The hatted Zin House in Mudgee.
Despite a brief closure in early 2019, hatted Mudgee
institution The Zin House (zinhouse.com.au)
remains as relevant as ever. Chef and proprietor Kim Currie
prepares one of Australia’s most revered long lunches, where guests can enjoy the simple pleasures of truly local, seasonal food. Currie’s husband, winemaker David Lowe
, and his son Alex
, manage the wine selection. DOM SWEENEY
➽ TIP: Try a sample of the celebrated Zinfandel – the source of inspiration for the name Zin House.
15. Picnic in the Vines
The Hunter Valley’s Bimbadgen Wines (bimbadgen.com.au)
has your ultimate wine country experience sorted with their Vineyard Picnics. Not only will you be among the picturesque vines but you will also have the best views of Barrington Tops and the Brokenback Ranges. Your picnic basket will be filled to the brim with premium antipasto, cheeses, meats and breads alongside a bottle of sparkling. AMY NORTHCOTT
➽ TIP: Add a painting kit to your booking so you can create a life-long souvenir of your picnic.
16. Trekking to Lake Wanaka
Amisfield Bistro in Queenstown.
If you’re after a lazy long lunch, drop into Queenstown’s Amisfield Bistro (amisfield.co.nz)
for a gastronomic beginning to your wine tour. Follow the signs to Lake Wanaka and marvel at the breathtaking scenery. Grab something delicious for later at the wholesome Big Fig (bigfig.co.nz)
, a bustling organic cafe right on the lakefront. Top wineries to trek off to include Rippon (rippon.co.nz)
, bottling classic gamay, pinot noir, and crunchy riesling. Other pit stops should include a tour at the Cardrona Distillery (cardronadistillery.com)
for bespoke gins, whiskies and botanical liqueurs. Maude’s (maudewines.com)
tasting room is the perfect spot to watch the sunset while savouring crafted chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling and pinot noir. Finish off your tour with a Gallic dinner at Bistro Gentil (bistrogentil.co.nz)
. KARA MAISANO
➽ TIP: Visit March to May for sunny days, vineyards ablaze with vibrant hues and no crowds.
17. Furmint in Budapest
The view of Budapest from St. Andrea Wine and Skybar.
Budapest is one of the true gems of Eastern Europe. I recently had the unique pleasure of tasting the best of Hungary’s wines from a stunning rooftop bar. St. Andrea Wine and Skybar (standreaskybar.hu)
sits atop the World Heritage building on Váci Street, and is the perfect base from which to admire the city’s snow-capped rooftops during winter. Try the dry, smoky Furmint (from the volcanic soils of Tokaj) paired with a fresh salmon salad. Finish with a perfectly made dry martini and a sunset view across the city – the very Hungarian cherry on top. FINTAN KERR
➽ TIP: Wear smart casual to suit the mood.
18. Experience Autumn in Canada
The wine world’s secret sleeping beauty – the Okanagan Valley
– awaits you in October. Stop by Penticton for the annual Sensation Fall Wine Festival (thewinefestivals.com)
, where the very best in art, music, and food, provide visitors with an exceptional experience. DANIEL HONAN
➽ TIP: Book a room at Penticton Lakeside Resort for stunning lakeside views from every room.
To Okanagan Valley for a cultural and vinous experience.
19. Winter in Orange
The bonfire at the Orange Winter Fire Festival.
Anyone who has spent a winter in Orange knows the area truly lives up to its name as a cool-climate wine region. But the newest event on the area’s wine calendar is bound to warm up your Orange winter chills. The Orange Winter Fire Festival (orangewinterfirefestival.com.au)
in August celebrates all things flame, inspired by the good old Australian bonfire tradition. Over three spectacular days, wineries in the region host a range of events, including a winter night market, smoked feasts and fireside suppers with plenty of exclusives brought out from the cellar for your delight. Because what says winter in Australia better than a bonfire and a glass of red? AMY NORTHCOTT
➽ TIP: Make sure you give the region’s white wines – particularly their world-class chardonnay – a try. You may just find your next cool-climate favourite.
20. Premium Arras
A trip to Northern Tasmania should always entail a visit to the Bay of Fires region, for the pristine beaches, national parks and of course the wine. The Bay of Fires (bayoffireswines.com.au)
cellar door is home to two of the region’s top wine brands House of Arras
and Eddystone Point
. For any lover of bubbles the Premium Arras Tasting, at which you taste your way through the range and learn more about the sparkling, is a must. Take a tour through the winery and vineyard for further insight into the region and this world-class brand. AMY NORTHCOTT
➽ TIP: If visiting during winter, take the Twilight Wine Tour for a glass-in-hand wander through the estate.