It was a sweltering evening at Sydney’s Hyde Park and the oasis that is Meriton Festival Village — the heart of the annual Sydney Festival. With so much going on in the Village, it’s easy to get distracted, but we were there for one reason — to drink wine, courtesy of James Estate.
Hailing from the Hunter Valley, James Estate began harvesting grapes over thirty years ago. Today, they pride themselves on experience and innovation in creating their wines. As the Exclusive Wine Partner for Sydney Festival, they’re responsible for quenching the thirst of the many festival go-ers at the James Estate Wine Bar. It’s a serious task, even for such established winemakers, so of course we were eager to see how they were faring.
We started the night off with a couple of Frosés, the only logical choice in 30-degree heat. It was the perfect combination of Estate Rosé, lemon juice and mint, frozen to resemble an adult slushy.
We sat on the grass and sipped our frosty beverages, enjoying the live music and soaking up the dynamic atmosphere of the Meriton Festival Village. The place was packed with throngs of families, couples and work mates, all there for a good time.
After having slurped every last bit of our Frosés, it was time to move on to the whites. I was particularly impressed with the Estate Verdelho, which was perfectly light and dry with just the right amount of zest.
The Estate Series is a new release by James Estate, and also includes Sweet Surrender, which was slightly too sweet for me but thoroughly enjoyed by my partner. Whilst I’m not usually a big fan of Chardonnay, a taste of the Estate Chardonnay converted me instantly. It was crisp and refreshing and just what the doctor ordered.
We agreed that the weather was probably too hot for red wine, but we drank it anyway. The Estate Shiraz was the perfect accompaniment to a hot pie from Sydney Festival’s exclusive Porteno Pie Shop, and a great way to end our session with James Estate. There’s no promise we won’t be back before the festival packs up for the year.
Aobh is currently studying journalism. She is a keen writer and a little bit dog-obsessed.