Aussie Wine Month @ Dan Murphy's

As the official launch event of Aussie Wine Month, Dan Murphy's are thrilled to be involved in showcasing the very best Australian wine regions, their characters, and stories.

For more details and to purchase tickets (which includes a free goodie bag with a Riedel glass and Gourmet Traveller magazine) visit

Aussie Wine Month is Australia's biggest wine festival that celebrates our diverse and outstanding Australian wines, the places they come from and the larger-than-life characters who make them.
Running from the 1st to the 31st of May 2014, Aussie Wine Month aims to create excitement about Australian wines by increasing awareness through a calendar of on-going events that showcase Australian wine, regions and personalities.

Now in it's 3rd year, Aussie Wine Month is your chance to be a part of Australia's largest wine festival.

Themed tastings throughout Aussie Wine Month will also be a feature in all of our stores focusing on the regionality of Australian wine. Visit This Week's Tastings to keep up to date with all of the Dan Murphy's tastings being held at your local store.

Spanish Armada @ Robert Burns Hotel [11 & 12 March 2015]

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Freixenet.
As part of the 2015 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Gastrology recently attended Spanish Armada at Robert Burns Hotel where celebrity chef Miguel Maestre and Head Chef Marc Albalate treated Robert Burns’ kitchen implements as paint brushes and our plates as their canvas.
The unique six course dinner was matched with supreme Spanish wines from Freixenet Barcelona, and paid homage to some of Spain’s most famous painters, with each dish inspired by the palette and mood of a masterpiece.
Miguel Maestre taking guests through each of the courses

Head chef Marc Albalate was born in Barcelona, but grew up in Palma, the capital of Mallorca (the largest of the Balearic Islands) and has turned The Robert Burns Hotel into the home of truly traditional Spanish cuisine, albeit its very Scottish name. 
The menu is classically Spanish and features the best dishes from the many different regions of Spain.
Red cabbage “Gazpacho”. Beetroot foam, balsamic vinaigrette reduction
Inspired by: Perceval Graells. ‘Al Alba’ (At the Sunrise) 2006. 
Matched with: Freixenet Cordon Negro NV

The evening started with a lovely aperitif.  We loved the gazpacho’s wonderful freshness and vibrancy in flavour.  The matching Cordon Negro Brut echoed the gazpacho’s vibrancy with its crisp and clean characteristic. 
Mango “Salmorejo”, roasted peppers, cherry tomato jam, balsamic glaze, sprouts, leafy greens
Inspired by: Joan Miro, ‘El Jardin’ (The Garden) 1925
Matched with: Freixenet Cordon Negro NV
Marriage of seafood “Salpicon” and Ceviche - prawn carpaccio, emperor ceviche, pickled mussel, red onion, leche de tigre
Inspired by: Joaquin Sorolla, ‘Paseo a Orillas de Mar’ (The walk on the border of the sea) 1909
Matched with: Freixenet Cordon Negro Vintage 2011

The ceviche was our favourite dish of the night. Displaying technique, elegance and skilful restraint, the ceviche items were beautifully presented and accompanied by a beautifully made leche de tigre, a citrus-based marinade that cured the seafood. It was a wonderful mélange of salinity, sweetness and acidity. 
Confit rockling, creamy goats cheese rice, black olive, ink cracker.
Inspired by: Pablo Picasso, ‘Guernica’ 1937
Matched with: Agnusdei Albarino 2013

This dish was visually, the clearest match to its corresponding work of art - A canvas of  black, white and grey. The rockling was cooked to perfection and the ink cracker was a nice addition. The matching Agnusdei Albarino’s unctuous, toffee notes acted as a great partner to the dish.
Grilled lamb ribs, baked beetroot, honey & rosemary braised baby onions, cherry tomato, potato
Inspired by: Luis Melendez ‘Bodegon’ 1770
Matched with: Solar Viejo Crianza 2011 & LalaLand Tempranillo

Our final savoury course, the lamb was roasted to perfection and hence was juicy and succulent. We particularly enjoyed matching this course with the Solar Viejo Crianza which boasted the fine aromas, liquorice flavours and red fruit flavours with an elegant oak finish.
Crema Catalana, chocolate coated honeycomb, chocolate cookie crumble, whipped white chocolate cream
Inspired by Salvador Dali ‘La persistencia de la Memoria’ (The persistence of the memory), 1931
Matched with: Segura Viudas Semi Seco NV

A theatrical dessert concluded our evening at The Robert Burns on a decadent chocolate note. The Semi Seco was a wonderful match with the medium acidity cutting through the richness of the dessert while the fruity and citrus notes matched the honeycomb and white chocolate cream perfectly. 
The Robert Burns brings the authentic tastes and cultures of Spain to Melbourne’s iconic Smith Street. A family and kid-friendly, restaurant, it is an ideal place for all occasions from relaxing in the courtyard, with drinks and tapas to a decadent dinner in the wine room.

Location: 376 Smith Street, Collingwood
Phone: 03 9417 2233
Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas, Mediterranean

Robert Burns Hotel on Urbanspoon

Southgate Fiesta at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival [28 February - 1 March 2015]

From 12pm-6pm on Saturday 28 February or Sunday 1 March, Southgate will be serving up $15 tasting platters at some of their fantastic restaurant which includes entry into the boutique wine tasting area on Southgate’s promenade.

Taste your way through a range of boutique Australian wineries as you enjoy live music and entertainment on the banks of the Yarra River. 

The Southgate food and wine Fiesta is part of the opening weekend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, also featuring specially designed tasting platters at Southgate restaurants.

What: Southgate Fiesta at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Where: Promenade / Southgate Melbourne
When: Feb 28 & March 1st 2015
Time: 12-6pm
Get more information here.

Our top tasting plate picks...

Red Emperor
Red Emperor will be serving it's "Entrée Platter" of Steamed prawn dumpling, Steamed prawn, coriander & water chestnut roll, fried rice paper prawn roll and spicy salt & pepper calamari.

Read more about Red Emperor here.

Hophaus Bier Bar Grill 
Hophaus presents the "Taste of Hophaus" which features it's delicious Pulled Pork, Sausage Marinated Herring, Corned Salt Beef, Toasted Rye, House Pickle.

Read more about Hophaus here.

Tutto Bene
Iconic Italian restaurant, Tutto Bene will be putting on something special for the sweet tooths out there with a sample of 3 desserts created by Head Chef Nathan Scarfo – including peanut butter semifreddo with caramel popcorn, eton mess with blackcurrant marshmallows and chantilly cream and our new upcoming dessert... so you can discover something new.

Read more about Tutto Bene here.

Upcoming event: Fromage A Trois [Sunday, 15 March 2015]

Fromage A Trois returns to the beautiful grounds of Werribee Park Mansion on 15 March 2015 with a bigger and better line up than ever seen before.
The day will be filled with many picturesque scenes and foods, and allow a perfect setting for indulging with family and friends. 
Some of Melbourne’s most iconic food haunts and trucks including Trailer Made, White Guy Cooks Thai and Brûlée Cart, as well as local breweries including Two Birds Brewing who will be serving up their delicious ales including bespoke-ales Bantam Ipa and Taco Beer. 
Renowned Cheesemonger Naomi Cristante will be taking to the main stage alongside other professional chefs, to take visitors on a culinary journey, demonstrating how to be versatile with cheese and incorporating it into your every day cooking.

What: Fromage A Trois, Melbourne’s renowned cheese and cider festival
When: Sunday, 15 March 2015 (11am to 5pm)
Where: Werribee Park, K Road, Werribee South
Tickets: Pre-purchased tickets $35 ($40 at the door) includes official tasting glass & event guide. Children 12 and under enter for free. 

Purchase tickets here.

Awards presentation for Young Guns of Wine and Baptism of Fire 2014

Gastrology attended the event courtesy of Young Guns of Wine and Baptism of Fire.
A new generation of wine makers and wine lovers came together on December 6, for an awards night that championed innovation and showcased the best of new wines.
Gastrology was privileged to attend the trophy presentation at Cellar Bar, beneath Newmarket Hotel in St Kilda. The awards ceremony captured the mode of 2014 in wine, setting the tone going into the New Year by celebrating winners in two separate viniculture challenges: the Baptism of Fire and the Young Guns of Wine. Other awards included the “Best New Act” and the “Winemaker’s Choice”.
For the Baptism of Fire contestants, the awards night signified the end of a journey from wine lovers to “wine makers”. A fight to the ferment and beyond, the Baptism of Fire challenge pitted six teams of first-time winemakers against each other, and against the harsh realities of making and releasing a wine. Their journeys from wine lovers to “wine makers” has been documented by Renegade Films with an upcoming release of the voyeuristic series anticipated.
And the winners are…

Wine Baptism of Fire Award

2014 winner: Team Forbes with their "Lobby Lunch Wine"

Young Gun of Wine Awards

2014 YGOW: Fraser McKinley (Sami Odi)
2014 YGOW Winemaker's Choice: Brendan Keys (BK Wines)
Best New Act: Adrian Santolin (Santolin) 
YGOW People's Choice Award Ben Chipman (Tom Foolery)

The Young Gun of Wine Awards, now in its eighth year, brings together the best young winemakers in Australia, and is recognised as the place for restaurants and retailers to spot the best new wines whilst also being a barometer for trends in wine styles.
A mammoth Young Guns of Wine expo, all top 12 winemakers poured the two wines they had chosen to showcase in this competition. Additionally, the 2007 & 2008 Young Gun of Wine winners, Matt Gant of First Drop and Pete Schell of Spinifex, were along to show some of their latest wines.
The Young Gun of Wine is chosen by and a panel of acclaimed industry leaders including, Nick Stock, Rory Kent, Philip Rich and Josh Elias. Creator of both competitions, Rory Kent, suggests that creating a fun culture is the best way for people to gain further appreciation for wine and we couldn't agree more!