Food and Drink


Pinot Palooza Returns

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October 4, 2014
1:00 pmto6:00 pm

Yes, it’s a whole festival of pinot noir… just let that sink in.

You know it’s going to be good. Lovers of the complex drop will again be seduced by the burgundy bounty of Australia and New Zealand’s finest producers (Ata Rangi, Bay of Fires, Shaw + Smith, Yabby Lake, Kooyong, and Rippon to name a few), and this year there are 150 varieties to peruse and pillage.

It’s been brought to us by the fun folk at Bottle Shop Concepts, who give wine the Oktoberfest treatment it deserves. We caught up with director Dan Sims, who admits the festival was spawned by a Pinot-fuelled dinner. “Yes, I was drunk, and thinking about how good Pinot was and how we should do an event to celebrate it.”

Why did you go the pinot? Why not shiraz or merlot… or a white?
Cos it’s the greatest grape on the planet! All jokes aside, the wine world is a vast and complicated one. I think by focusing on a single variety and celebrating the diversity of style within simplifies the message. Plus, Australian and NZ pinots are huge at the moment. It’s also coming into summer so the temperature is getting warmer and temping us away from wintery reds.

What makes Pinot Palooza different to your average wine-tasting event?
What we’re trying to do with Palooza is create that Festival vibe without bringing in the wine wank. We don’t say ‘come and try 150 of Australia and New Zealand’s premium pinot noirs from boutique wineries specialising in cool climate viticultural’ (yawn), we say ‘come to Pinot Palooza!’ It’s possible to go to a wine event, enjoy yourself and learn something.

There will be 150 wines! Which ones should we try to get a taste for?
That many wines can be quite overwhelming which is why we’re running a heap of SOMM ROADIE Tours where you get some of the city’s best sommeliers taking you for a personal tour around the wines on tasting.

You can check out the somms they have lined up here. Dan will be around to clink a glass on the day, which promises to trump last year’s sell-out event with additions like the ‘Back Stage Pass’ – where those in the pinot noir know lead a master class and Burgundy tour. The Burgundy Bar is back (flogging pricey drops at cost price), stomachs will be lined with fare from Burn City Smokers and Acland Street Cantina, and there will be DJs and live street art throughout the day.

Tickets are $60 and include a take-home Riedel ‘Heart to Heart’ Pinot Noir glass, as well as access to all the wines on tasting.

Pinot Palooza
Basement Carpark at Circa, The Prince, 2 Acland Street, St Kilda
Saturday 4th October, 1pm-6pm


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