Wine Island – Sydney Harbour
Words & Images by Rose Schleicher
Barely quarter after nine on a Friday morning and we’re at the steps of the ‘Man O War’ pier at Sydney Opera House, keen to board the three-deck ferry along with a large ensemble of wine enthusiasts. Wine Island. It sounds like a magical place, and Dionysus, Greek God of vino and ecstasy, would quite possibly agree. We’re bound for Clark Island, just a 20 minute boat ride from Sydney Harbour, to a popular event now in its third year. Understandably so; who doesn’t want to be stranded on an island with views of Sydney’s iconic skyline while savouring refreshing beverages under blue skies? Exactly. Me too.
As the ferry pulls up to the the island’s wharf, the sun is blasting in full spring glory, so there’s plenty of appreciation for the island staff who present each guest with a fresh bottle of water. Excellent thinking! ‘Holidaymakers’ rapidly disembark and fan out left and right to secure one of the highly-sought-after sun loungers by the water, and of course get first taste of more than 100 new waves and classic wines on offer. Whether you prefer a full-bodied red, a light white or something with a little more fizz – here, you can be certain there’s a hut for it.
Meanwhile award-winning kitchen guru Warren Turnbull from Chur Burger Surry Hills, whipped up some scrumptious bites to go with the liquid diet. The menu featured freshly shucked oysters, assorted cheeses, Hawaiian poke and fish tacos, amongst other delectables. For those who were craving a heartier meal, succulent spit-roasted lamb pitas, plus Turnbull’s signature Chur burgers were on offer too.
If you were looking to fill your stomachs as well as educate your senses, Wine Selectors offered a range of entertaining Masterclasses. You could put your wine knowledge to the test at ‘Vino Trivia’, expand your expertise on Cold-blooded Reds, or dance to Daft Punk and other alluring beats at ‘Silent Disco Drops’. The Dessert Masterclass was a exceptional treat, pairing a selection of curated desserts from the pastry wizards at Barangaroo’s 12-Micron with matching semi-sweet dessert wines.
While we could feel our hearts sink a bit when boarding the Luxe Bubbles boat for the inevitable return trip, it’s fair to say that it was for the best. After all, all good things come to an end. However, a few bottles of our favourite rosé made their way home with us, and will undoubtedly help us cherish this day for some time to come. Or at the very least until the very last drop has been savoured.
**Sydney Food/Wine/Events writer Rose Schleicher was a guest of Wine Island/The Modern Society PR
- Wine Island 2015 was awarded the title of Best New Event 2015 by Concrete Playground (www.concreteplayground.com)
- Wine Island 2016 won the Experiential Award for Best Festival by the Plus Ones & The Socialites
Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News
Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events
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