Since opening in 2013, Surry Hills restaurant and urban cellar door Nomad has been expanding Sydney’s knowledge about Australian wine. It launched with an Australian-only wine list (apart from a couple of bottles from Champagne) and followed up with a wine club in 2017. Now it’s launching a wine classes.
Once a month from July 21 the classes – run by Nomad’s director of wine Simon Howland – will "highlight the breadth of wines around Australia" and "broaden what [people] would be open to drinking.”
The five-and-a-half-hour guided classes will be held at China Heights Gallery, above the restaurant, and involve tasting a dozen or so wines semi-blind in order to demonstrate how geography, climate and the winemaker can impact the end result.
“The typical misconception about wine classes is they are quite stuffy and formulaic,” says Howland. “The way I run them is to not tell [people] what they are tasting … but to let them formulate their own ideas.”
As with the restaurant’s wine list, the wines included in the classes are from small growers and producers. Howland says he wants to take guests on “a journey around Australia” using classic wines, such as shiraz from Barossa, as well as some lesser-known local varieties.
“We put a hell of a lot of work into sourcing our wines and we just wanted to share that,” he says.
Attendees will be served lunch and an afternoon cheese course prepared by Nomad. Dishes will change each season but expect options such as slow-roasted lamb shoulder with chermoula and jersey yoghurt, and barbeque eggplant with black garlic, pickled chilli and herbs.
Over lunch there will be a discussion about food and wine pairings, and Howland says the course will also teach guests “where you can get more bang for your buck” when it comes to buying wine.
The course runs from 11am to 4.30pm, but if you can’t commit to that much time, Nomad is also offering a monthly 90-minute weekday evening masterclass. Each session – from 7 pm to 8.30 pm, kicking off July 24 – will have a specific theme. Topics include winter wines; what is natural wine? (August 14); spring selection (September 3); and winemaker or vineyard, who really makes the wine? (October 9). Punters will taste six different options and snack on charcuterie and cheese.
Saturday Nomad Wine School begins on July 21 and Evening Masterclasses start July 24.