Rockstar Chef To Headline Margaret River Gourmet Escape

Margaret River Gourmet Escape 2015 is set to be bigger than ever before, with the announcement of international headline chef, the ‘Godfather of modern cooking’, Marco Pierre White. Marco will take part in the three-day culinary extravaganza, with a full program of events hosted by over 40 of the world’s leading food and wine personalities and showcasing the best of WA and the Margaret River Wine region. Tickets go on sale at midday on Tuesday 28th July (AWST). The 2015 Margaret River gourmet Escape will be held 20 –22 November 2015.

Marco-Pierre White

Marco-Pierre White (supplied)

Marco has built an empire of London restaurants and was the youngest chef to win three Michelin stars and this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of his cookbook, White Heat, “the coolest cookbook ever written”. Known for his fiery nature, the famed British chef, author and restaurateur will engage with Margaret River Gourmet Escape’s audience and showcase quintessential produce and wine from the South West.

One of the most anticipated events across the three-day Margaret River Gourmet Escape will see Marco host a Q&A over dinner at the exquisite Vasse Felix winery with his alumni Jock Zonfrillo, Richard Turner and Patrick Spencer.  These great chefs will re- create signature dishes that the then young chefs had to produce under Michelin starred pressure from the kitchens of Marco Pierre White’s eponymous restaurants.

Margaret River Gourmet Escape

Margaret River Gourmet Escape (supplied)

From all corners of the world, an incredible and unique coming together of global talent, six of whom are from the *S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best list will join Marco on the Margaret River stage to inspire and excite guests through a mutual respect of biodiversity and sustainability making their trip to a region rich in these practices.

To see the full program of events, visit
Tickets available through Ticketek from 28th July (AWST)

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dArenberg 2011 Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon: Wine Review

Just to prove that preconceived ideas can be a dangerous thing, I give you Exhibit 1: d’Arenberg Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon from 2011.dArenberg Coppermine Road

2011 is well know as being cooler and wetter than normal, although McLaren Vale escaped pretty well in contrast to Barossa and Clare Valley.

Given the cooler year I was expecting, green herbaceous and barely ripe fruit.  Instead the 2011 dArenberg Coppermine Road is lush and rich.  Ripe fruit, not overtly sweet but all in balance. On the nose theres white pepper and subtle spice, dark berries, and leathery make me think Hunter Valley Shiraz.

On the palate lovely acid balances the rich dark berries. Hints of menthol/mint and dark rich chocolate. Lively tannins suggest the dArenberg Coppermine Road Cabernet is a quality age-worthy wine. Proving that challenging vintages let great winemakers shine through.

The defence rests, your Honour.

Alcohol: 14.3%
RRP: $65
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

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d’Arenberg 2011 Ironstone Pressings – Wine Review

Much has been written about the 2011 vintage, so its always interesting to see what leading wineries have produced from the year. Especially when its icon wines, and from a ideal region like McLaren Vale. Ironstone Pressings

The 2011 d’Arenberg Ironstone Pressings – a blend of Grenache 70%, Shiraz 25% and Mourvedre 5%. On the nose there’s warm earth, and provencal herbs, a sweeter fruit jube aroma lightens things up. White pepper and spice.

The palate of the 2011 Ironstone Pressings, technically I’d have to say medium bodied, but with surprising depth. Chalky, grainy tannins. Dark fruit edge and more of that warm earth. Given the 70% Grenache I would probably have expected more redfruit lightness.

The 2010 Ironstone Pressings from d’Arenberg really grabbed my attention. The 2011 probably a little less so.

Alcohol: 14.1%
RRP: $65
Region: McLaren Vale
Source: Provided by producer

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Elderton ‘Greenock Two’ 2013 – Wine Review

Continuing along the modern and stylish theme of the Elderton Greenock One Shiraz, the Elderton ‘Greenock Two’ is a modern take on this traditional blend. 49% Shiraz, 41% Mourvedre, and 10% Grenache make up the components. This wine is from vines planed in 1969 in Barossa Western edge, near the small township of Greenock. Elderton greenock-two

On the nose the 2013 Greenock Two shows quite a meaty, savoury character, presumably from the larger component of Mourvedre. Dusty cocoa and a pretty floral waft keep it alluring.

On the palate its silky tannins and well bodied. Ripe blue fruit and a red fruit hint, chocolate and liquorice. Fresh cracked black pepper, and touch of juniper. Ultimately leading to a pleasurable, complex and intriguing wine which from a great vintage.

Alcohol: 14.0%
RRP: $28
Region: Barossa
Source: Provided by producer

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Pinot Palooza Rocks Back to a City Near You

Pinot Palooza, brought to you by the same folks as legendary wine festival Game of Rhones, is back for 2015 and going national. Pinot Palooza will return to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in October after sell-out events in 2014, as well as hitting Perth and Adelaide for the first time in August, featuring Australia and New Zealand’s hottest wine producers.

Touring Australia nationally in 2015, Pinot Palooza is a food, music and wine experience not to miss, featuring the best Pinot Noir from some of the top producers in the Southern Hemisphere. In total there will be 150 of the world’s best, ranging from light, ethereal and graceful, all the way through to the ‘take no prisoners’, in your face, mouthful of flavour wines that this pernicious variety can achieve.

Pinot Noir producers in the Palooza line-up include Australia and New Zealand’s renowned wineries – Ata Rangi, Bay of Fires, Shaw + Smith, Yabby Lake, Kooyong, Mt Difficulty, Giant Steps, Two Paddocks and Pegasus Bay to name just a few. On the day, attendees will be able to vote for their favourite Pinot Noir on roving iPads, putting them into the draw to win some awesome wine-centric prizes.

A new addition for the 2015 tour is the VIP Ticket which includes general admission, sommelier roadie tour (a tour by one of the cities finest somms sampling the finest Pinot’s on show), Burgundy bar tasting and a food voucher for $95, saving $35. These are limited and are sure to fly!

The ‘Back Stage Pass’ is back – a limited pass for those who want to take their pinot obsession to the next level. Pinot lovers will get to know the ins and outs, the who’s who and how of all things Pinot Noir.

The Burgundy Bar is also back with an even bigger range of wines on offer. With the vast majority of these wines retailing for over $150, this is a rare opportunity to try some of the best wines in the world at cost. The best sommeliers in each individual city will be on hand to take Burgundy fans through these exceptional wines.

Tickets are now on sale and include a take-home Riedel ‘Heart to Heart’ Pinot Noir glass (valued at $30), as well as access to all the wines on tasting – no pesky tokens! Early Bird tickets are on sale until end of July, saving $10.

Details for the 2015 Pinot Palooza series. $60, includes take-home Riedel ‘Heart to Heart’ Pinot Noir glass:

Saturday 1st August, 1pm till 6pm
Whipper Snipper Distillery
139 Kensington Street, East Perth

Saturday 8th August, 1pm till 6pm
Published Arthouse
11 Cannon Street, Adelaide

Monday 5th October (public holiday), 1pm till 6pm
Carriage Works, Blacksmith’s Workshop
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh

Saturday 10th October, 1pm till 6pm
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Bay 3 & 4
1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf

Sunday 11th October, 1pm till 6pm
Light Space
30 Light Street, Fortitude Valley

Tickets available at

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Noosa Long Weekend Festival gears up

The countdown is on to the 14th annual Noosa Long Weekend Festival. The 9000 tickets are selling fast to the 75 live music, dance, theatre, supper clubs, cabaret, literature, food and visual art events being held between 14-26 July 2015.

Festival director Ian Mackellar said the response to this year’s line-up had been overwhelmingly positive, with a number of events having sold out weeks in advance.  There are 260+ nationally and internationally acclaimed actors, writers, artists, musicians, performers, film makers, environmentalists and commentators heading to the event.

An Evening with the Queensland Ballet led by artistic director Li Cunxin (author of autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer) has been so popular that we have scheduled another performance, Dusty Live in Concert starring Monique Montez has sold out, as has a number of food related events and the premier seating for the Opera Australia production The Magic Flute,” Mr Mackellar said.

“Last year’s festival was undoubtedly a hard act to follow with more than 10,000 visitors to 35 venues and locations, but we’ve worked hard to lift the bar even higher in 2015 and are thrilled to have Opera Australia perform a fully staged production of its acclaimed opera The Magic Flute — the last opera ever written by Mozart — to the Sunshine Coast for the first time,” Mr Mackellar said.

“The cast and orchestra will open the festival on Tuesday, 14 July, and will set the stage alive with an Egyptian-themed set and costumes straight from the 1930s.”

Noosa Long Weekend

Catherine Alcorn credit Alex Makeyev (supplied)

Mr Mackellar said other festival highlights over the 13 days, included an exclusive performance by internationally acclaimed concert pianist and Steinway artist Julian Gargiulo, direct from New York’s Carnegie Hall and David Williamson’s brand new comedy, Dream Home, boasting an all-star cast from Sydney and Queensland based on the true cost of buying property in Sydney.

Mr Mackellar said the 2015 Noosa Long Weekend Festival features more than 75 events at various locations around Noosa including literature events, forums, live music, theatre performances, interactive art, films, cabaret and supper clubs.

To find out more about the 2015 Noosa Long Weekend Festival or purchase tickets, please visit, call The J booking office on (07) 5329 6560 or visit The J at 60 Noosa Drive, Noosa Junction.

Special festival accommodation packages can be found on the website or at

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