With the end of summer looming, there was no better way to spend a lazy afternoon than in Hyde Park at the Sydney Cellar Door Wine Festival.
There were people milling around everywhere, stalls, picnics, people with wine glasses half full (or half empty, depending on how you look at it). Arguably, the main reason why Sydney attends this festival is to taste the rich and beautiful wines made in New South Wales. It is not hard to see why Sydney-siders come back annually; not just for the wine, but also for whole festival.
How was the wine?
Well, with my new Cellar Door wine glass and my five tokens, I took on New South Wales’ finest. In my novice opinion, the spread that the stalls had on show was extensive. A number of the wine estate representatives spoke passionately about their full-bodied, fruity or soft-flavoured wines, convincing you to taste and buy. The amateur wine drinkers tried everything and the more mature tasters tried their palettes at a Merlot or a Verdelho. Almost every store had a Sauvignon Blanc, a Semillon or a Chardonnay, each blend considerably different to the last. Some stalls boasted a particular wine blend or a particular year, but I think in the end it came down to whether or not you drink red or white. I ordered the white, my friend ordered the red and we tried it all. I would be lying if I said we weren’t tipsy by the time we left the festival, but, as students, I think that was only natural.
One could also argue that the main draw card for the festival was the atmosphere. There were hundreds of people there who looked like they were just enjoying the buzz, the excitement of the whole festival. Hyde Park was filled with a combination of laughter, conversations and music from the bands that played. A reggae band, who played on Sunday afternoon, were quirky and fun, with bow ties to match. Lovely company to the rich reds, the soft whites and the cheeses we tried.
The makeshift streets of the festival were lined with people drinking wines as well as tasting baked goods, restaurant appetizers, delicious cheese and salted meats. It was a lovely surprise to see people carrying around pizza boxes, which were actually filled with prosciutto, brie, goats cheese, fresh mozzarella and crisp bread.
I thoroughly enjoyed the selection of wines and appetizers, and now eagerly await next year’s festival. Perhaps I’ll actually buy a bottle.
If I could be so bold as to recommend some wine and cheese…
In a white: “Fume” by James Estate, which is a mix of white Semillon and a Sauvignon Blanc.
In a red: Cherry Tree Hill’s “Cabernet Merlot”, which had a deep-bodied flavour with a fruity aftertaste.
In appetizers: any meat and or cheese assortment by “Salt’s Meats and Cheese”.
– Event Review by Leanora Collett