Where there are Italians, there is passion. There is also an adroit serving of food and wine guaranteed to please. This year, Sydneysiders lucky enough to get a ticket to the sold out 2015 Sydney Italian Wine and Food festival, experienced that abundant serving. The theme for the festival was, “Italians do it better.” But that logo was about to be tested as I walked through festival doors with a crowd of eager attendees pushing past me when they could.
Where there are Italians, there is ‘spirit’. My adventure through festival wine lanes took me to Sicily first. Known as one of the islands from which Italy’s largest wine production comes, Sicilian wines boasted a variety of full bodied and gentle characters. I stopped, concentrated and sniffed out fruity aromas, woody reds and soft flavours. I highly recommnd the 2012 Murgo. The sampling of some of the woodier wines transported me back to my own travels along the Mediterranean coastline where the smell of olive tree bark perfumed the air. Australian wine growers also showcased their products. I managed to sample a few wines from the Dalzotto company who have their vineyards in King valley, Victoria. My second stop took me through Tuscany where I tasted a glass of 2013 Leonardo, Toscana. But there was more than wine to sample. Italian cheeses had their own star moments at the festival.
Where there are Italians, they is an abundance of food. La Stella atticini, a local Sydney cheese factory, generously gave us samples to try. From Ricotta to Buffalo Mozzarello to Burrata – I sampled a bit of everything. Fresh olives and cured meats accompanied the selection of dairy products together with rich cream filled cannoli. Food demonstrations took place around the hour with the likes of top chefs like Danny Rizzo and Alessandro Pavoni taking the cooking stage. They demonstrated easy to replicate dishes too delicious for the home cook to pass on.
The question is, “Do Italians do it better?” Well, when it comes to all things Italian…why…yes, of course! Italians do it better..with passion, adventure and food.
Disclaimer: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Sydney Italian Wine + Food Festival and Gambero Rosso Australia