Tasting Australia is just around the corner. The eight-day celebration of all things SA-made kicks off on Sunday April 30 and runs until Sunday 7 May. Some of the more-coveted events have sold out but a jam-packed program means there’s still plenty to appease late-bookers: from Japanese izakaya-style dining and long-table dinners to single-vineyard wine tastings and off-the-cuff culinary trivia with celebrity chefs. Here’s the cream of the (remaining) crop. Get booking.
Chesser Street Picnic
Chesser Street has a long history as a host of culinary events in the CBD. Celebrate its revival with iconic Chesser Cellars maître d’ Primo Caon. The Henry Austin chefs will curate a long-table dinner that revolves around South Australian produce. It’s also an opportunity for diners to connect with producers and winemakers under one roof.
Saturday May 6, 6pm–11.30pm
The Henry Austin, Adelaide
Spend an hour at Red Cacao Chocolatier, one of the Adelaide Hills’ premier chocolate-makers. The event will hone in on founder Marcus Booth-Remmers’ brand of single-origin chocolate and how it’s produced. Each growing region has its own flavour profile that’ll be explored through tastings. Learn how their products incorporate local dairy producers, berry growers and coffee roasters.
Wednesday May 3 to Saturday May 6, 6pm–7pm
Red Cacao Chocolatier, Stirling
An Evening With Nic Watt
This is a rare opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with Nic Watt, Madame Hanoi’s internationally acclaimed head chef. Accompanied by stories of his travels and culinary experiences, the long-table dinner will lean on French-Vietnamese flavours. It’ll also feature interactive Vietnamese-inspired cooking techniques presented at the table. Your ticket includes a drink on arrival and a three-course, “share-style” meal with matched beverages.
Wednesday May 3, 6.30pm–10.30pm
Madame Hanoi, Adelaide Casino, Adelaide
An “izakaya” is where you’d go for an after-work drink and a few small plates in Japan. Experience something similar with a 12-course meal at South Australia’s first yakitori bar, Yakitori Takumi. Recipes from the Japanese cities of Nara and Kyoto will inform the menu but local produce will be the hero. There’ll be six accompanying sakes and rice wines.
Tuesday May 2, 6.30pm–9.30pm
Yakitori Takumi, North Adelaide
Taste of the Earth
The Schild Estate team has a passion for single-vineyard winemaking. Sample one of its new release wines at a pop-up cellar door in the vineyard where its grapes are grown. Pair with seasonal Barossa Valley produce and a view of the region’s southern highlands. Entry is free, with food and wine available to buy on the day.
Sunday April 30, 11am–5pm
Schild Family Vineyard, Rowland Flat
Great Wine Voyage
The Fruitful Pursuit goes “beyond the cellar door” to curate intimate South Australian wine experiences. The “blind” tasting will pit SA-made wines against their acclaimed global counterparts to see how they fare. Each of the nine city stops will be pouring two (50ml) tastings; one locally produced and the other from an international wine region such as the Napa Valley or Bordeaux.
Sunday April 30, 3.45pm–8pm
Adelaide East and West End, Adelaide
DJ Driller Jet Armstrong will host a night of pub-style culinary trivia. See how you stack up against chefs like Jock Zonfrillo (Orana, Blackwood), Paul Carmichael (Momofuku Seiobo, Sydney), Mitch Orr (ACME) and Sean Connolly (Sean’s Kitchen). There’ll also be “pay-to-play” games raising funds for OzHarvest, with prizes including a retro meat tray and a Pizzateca experience. Round up a table of 12 or join a table on the night. Your ticket includes a 12-inch Pizzateca pizza and four drinks.
Friday May 5, 7pm–10.30pm
Town Square, Adelaide
East End Cellars Masterclass: Skinny Dipping
Tom Shobbrook (Shobbrook Wines) and Anton Van Klopper (Lucy Margaux Wines) will head up an afternoon that delves into the part grape skins play in winemaking. Be introduced to “orange wine” and experience wines fermented in amphorae (terracotta vessels used by the Ancient Romans and Greeks). The tasting includes matched local cheeses.
Tuesday May 2, 4.30pm–6pm
Glasshouse Tasting Room, Town Square, Adelaide
East End Cellars Masterclass: Seriously Sparkling
Put sparkling wine under the microscope with a look at its production in Australia and overseas, featuring varieties like Krug Cuvee, Pol Roger, Deviation Road and more. Winemakers Kate Laurie (Deviation Road), Simon Greenleaf (Simon Greenleaf Wines) and wine writer Mike Bennie (Gourmet Traveller Wine) will make up the panel. They’ll host a casual one-on-one tasting after the masterclass.
Friday May 5, 5pm–6.30pm
Charred Tasting Room, Town Square, Adelaide
Feasting in the Garden
The Botanic Gardens Restaurant uses fresh vegetables and herbs harvested daily from its nearby kitchen garden in an effort to “minimise food miles travelled”. Explore this mentality with an expert-guided kitchen garden tour. Taste produce direct from the ground while learning about its history and how its use differs between cultures.
Monday May 1, Wednesday May 3 and Friday May 5, 1.15pm–2.30pm
Adelaide Botanic Garden, Visitor Information Centre, Adelaide
Tasting Australia runs from Sunday April 30 to Sunday May 7. The full program is available on the Tasting Australia website.