Best Food and Wine Festivals in Australia
By Katherine Houston
Nestled in our corner of the world, Australia can often be overlooked on the world stage. But what locals and travellers know, is that Australia's food and wine scene is extremely competitive. Melbourne is renowned for its progressive dining hub, Brisbane has had an increasing demand for quality cafes and restaurants and as such, has been pinned as an up-and-comer, and Tasmania is notorious for its beautifully fresh, local produce, and don't even get us started on the wine!
We've summarised a list of what we think are Australia's best food and wine festivals for all the foodies and winos out there. Grab some friends, grab your tickets, and go check out what's on around the country.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Melbourne and Regional Victoria
Every March, talent from around Australia gather to put on some of the best wine and dining experiences for food and wine lovers. Some 250 events are held across the state, with Melbourne at the core. There's something for everyone, whether it's a free-to-attend wine walk along the Yarra River or splurging on a decadent lunch collaboration with world-class chefs like Peter Gilmore (Quay, Bennelong), Kate Reid (Lune), Ben Shewry (Attica) and Karen Martini (mr wolf).
Explore the annual festival and stay tuned for next year at the MFWF website.
Good Food and Wine Show, Around the country
The Good Food and Wine Show lands during autumn, just after harvest for our wineries. The event goes around Australia, starting in Melbourne at the end of May, before heading to Sydney, Perth and Brisbane, to showcase Australian wine. If you're a wine lover, this show is for you. Simply pick up your tasting glass and head around the room, talking and tasting around the country. You'll find delightful accompaniments to wine, too, and we highlight recommend you take a walk down the dedicated cheese area. Make sure you try the triple cream brie from Udder Delights!
There are a bunch of masterclasses available – masterclass being a term we use loosely, as most educators will be just as keen to dive in and explore the wine as you are – that you can use to structure your day. Riedel has advertised a collection of free classes in its 'Drinks Lab' to give you a taster, otherwise the additional prices will start at $20 and go from there. You could start the day at a Champagne morning tea with Maggie Beer, or break bread (from a distance) with the likes of Miguel Maestre, Colin Fassnidge or Matt Moran. Find your tickets here.
Sea and Vines Festival, McLaren Vale
Taking place in the famed wine region of McLaren Vale, South Australia, Sea and Vines is a fun three-day festival in June. When it comes to Australian wine, McLaren Vale is always on the tip of the tongue as a world-class wine region. Many wineries will put on special events for the festival, whether it's a fine dining degustation dinner, winemaker tastings, or winery tours, there's something to suit every interest. Live music and family activities keep the vibes going, while food trucks feed the masses. If you're in the mood for a dance, d'Arenberg is hosting a special edition party on the top floor of the notorious d'Arenberg Cube - imagine the views!
Visit the Sea and Vines Festival website and check out the program to find your events.
Western Australia Gourmet Showcase, Swan Valley, Perth and Margaret River
In Western Australia, Margaret River's wine offering has improved year on year, so what better way to highlight its successes than with a triple-part gourmet showcase? Taking place from 8th-17th November,visitors can take their pick of 10 days of gourmet food and wine experiences. Starting in the Swan Valley, the food and wine festival runs until the 10th before moving to the capital on 11th-14th November, and then journeying to Margaret River for the final three days. The star line-up and program of events are released closer to the event date, but have previously included culinary superstars like Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal, Curtis Stone and Nigella Lawson. The chefs give rave reports of the event and the stunning region, but you'll need to visit Western Australia and experience it for yourself to truly appreciate the gastronomic wonders of the west coast.
Find out more about the Western Australia Gourmet Showcase here.
The Taste of Tasmania, Hobart
This year The Taste of Tasmania is celebrating its 30th anniversary! Every December the city of Hobart is taken over by winemakers, local producers and hungry visitors. In 2019 the festival is due to run over 28th December to January 3rd. There's always a stellar line-up of entertainment, live demonstrations, activities, cooking workshops and more. Having grown from a mere 22 stalls, the festival now attracts well over 220,000 visitors, including interstate and even international guests. Entry is free, unless it's New Year's Eve, and you can explore the culinary treats that hero Tasmania's fantastic local produce and delicious wines.
The food and wine festival, like the city, is centred around the heart of Hobart: the harbour. What better place to watch the fireworks and ring in the New Year than on the waterfront with friends and family?
There's a plethora on offer when it comes to Australian wine and food. Whether you're lucky enough to live locally or you plan your next trip around it, these culinary events provide a fantastic window into Australia's food and wine scene.
If this article has inspired you to find new experiences to enjoy with your family and friends, check out what's available in the Infinity Rewards store or, read our article on these 5 Restaurants You Can Visit with Your Infinity Rewards.