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A perfect Pinot Palooza
Approaching the World Heritage listed Melbourne Exhibition Centre at 11am on a Saturday, I felt like a child entering the Royal Show. With 4000 tickets sold prior to the day, there was a great sense of expectation about the quality of this event. 250 winemakers and only seven hours to try them all. Melbourne's pinot lovers flocked to learn about the different wine regions and taste the offerings.
Winemakers and representatives from the Mornington Peninsula, the Yarra Valley, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Macedon Ranges, and the Adelaide Hills in Australia, and from Central Otago in New Zealand, have been touring cities in Australia and New Zealand, showing off their craft and sharing their product.
Bottle Shop Concepts, the organisers of this fabulous wine tasting event, had clearly made an effort to encourage responsible drinking. The hall was lined with delectable food offerings to soak up the alcohol. We were enticed by the meat donuts and quite enamoured by the salt and pepper squid or pork buns, but in the end we couldn't go past the four cheese gnocchi with truffle, served straight from a cheese wheel. Delicious, nourishing cheese goes so perfectly with pinot noir.
The coffee cart set up right outside the door was a thoughtful and responsible addition to the day. As participants left the building they were handed a paper bag in which to place their glasses for protection.
Free bottled water from the Hepburn Mineral Springs Company was available at regular intervals around the stands, ensuring that drinkers were reminded to hydrate with something other than wine.
By 4pm, the pinot had worked its magic on the inhibitions of strangers and the DJ had the dancefloor tunes pumping out at full volume. Dancers partied and wooed each other, their wine-stained teeth evidence of their commitment to the tasting challenge.
It was a happy day of drinking at the Pinot Palooza at the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings.
Don't miss it next year!
If you're super keen, this event will also be held in Brisbane next weekend.