In honour of International Women’s Day, online wine marketplace and creator of bespoke events Cellarmasters hosted a two-day festival celebrating women in beer, wine, and spirits from Australia and New Zealand.
Cellarmasters gathered many of the “fearless females” working in typically male-dominated industries to share their craft and stories at the inaugural event.
In addition to free tastings from all the producers, Meet the Makers attendees were offered a range of masterclasses held across both days on various tops from Rum, to beer, and Gin. For wine, Cellarmasters held a Natural vs Conventional wine debate and a chocolate and wine pairing class dubbed A Dark Art: Wine & Chocolate. I managed to get a spot in the chocolate and wine class, to my utter delight.
Before the masterclass, we started off with the beers. Sampling offerings from Two Birds, Philter, and Modus Operandi. Favourites included a delightfully fresh and zesty Two Birds Passion Victim Summer Ale, the Philter XPA (truly tasty sessionable brew), and Modus Operandi’s Former Tenant Red IPA.
The masterclass was hosted by Cellarmasters’ own Cellar Director Christine Ricketts and Senior Wine Advisor Rhonda Doyle.
We were given the general run-down of how to taste wine and chocolate, nose pinching and all. Take a sip of the wine, place the chocolate in your mouth, pinch your nose, allow the chocolate to melt and then let go of your nose and allow the cascade of flavours in.
We were encouraged to share our opinions on the combos, especially if they were negative. We moved from Sparkling paired with salted caramel dark chocolate — my go-to chocolate of choice — to Sauvignon Blanc, then Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, and more. These were paired with a myriad of Lindt chocolates, including some questionable mango and strawberry chocolate balls that I personally would not reach for again.
After the masterclass — and a quick trip to the VIP area to load up on cheese and meats from a beautiful spread laid out by The Deli Erskineville — we moved onto the wines.
There were too many to give an in-depth review. All the female winemakers and Cellarmasters staff who were (wo)manning the various booths were friendly and approachable — not least because they had delicious wines — and happy to share their knowledge and debate on hot button topics. Topics like Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough Vs. Central Otago and whether cold Shiraz is a deliciously refreshing beverage or an incredible slight to wine-lovers the world over.
We finished off with some delectable limoncello liqueur from Manly Spirits Distillery and unfortunately had to forgo the rest as it was time to leave.
Although this Meet The Makers event has run its course, Cellarmasters run numerous events throughout the year. Find out more here.
F&B Specialist. Usually seen with a flat white in hand or on her way to a craft beer or whiskey tasting. Needs to stop buying books and start reading them.
More information regarding Cellarmasters’ events can be found here.