The Aroma Festival Rocks Sydney

The Rocks Aroma Festival brings together the very best in brewers, baristas and boutique roasters from around Australia for one magical day of caffeinated delight on Sunday 24 July, 2016.

Tantalise the taste buds with more than 60 coffee and gourmet food stallholders, food trucks, latte art competitions and demonstrations, pop-up bars, performers and amazing coffee inspired specials.

Brewing industry leaders are showcasing some incredible offerings at Aroma. Melbourne brand St Ali are popping up with their Sydney outlet, Sensory Lab, to deliver a fuss free speciality coffee experience that focuses on the minimalist magic behind the perfect brew. Rocks Aroma Festival

The Rocks Aroma Festival is about celebrating coffee from every corner of the globe. Malgudi Days bring their South Indian style filter coffee made with stretched milk to the festival.  Djebena Coffees will be brewing coffee the traditional Ethiopian way, in a clay pot called a ‘djebena’.

If hot drinks aren’t your cup of tea, the Aroma Brew Bar is a pop-up bar with a difference. For one day only, the bar is serving up Mr Black artisan cold press coffee liqueur cocktails. Along with a coffee infused beer, poured especially for Aroma by the team at Endeavour Vintage Beer Co.

There’s a whole host of activities planned for when you’re not savouring a warm drop. Breville’s Latte Art Smackdown is back and sees professional baristas battle each other in a knockout competition for who can pour the prettiest cup. Those who feel they’ve got what it takes can also join in – an amateur Latte Art competition. One lucky pouring punter taking home a Breville Oracle coffee machine. People who are new to Latte art, can visit the Breville Marquee for some tips.


After the excitement of watching Australia’s best battle it out for coffee glory, wind down over a latte and relax at the smoothfm Picnic Area. The soothing sounds of classic songs will mix with the scents of roasted beans and be carried on the air through the cobblestoned laneways of The Rocks.

The festival also offers an impressive array of workshops in the two weeks leading up to the big day. Curated by the Australian Speciality Coffee Association, coffee connoisseurs can unleash their inner barista and learn tips from industry experts on key flavour profiles, how to brew great coffee at home and impress with Latte art designs.

The Rocks is one of the most envied heritage destinations in the world. The Rocks’ unique heritage is preserved and celebrated in large scale and intimate quality events, outdoor markets, and educational tours. The Rocks is a perfect blend of culture, cuisine and a myriad of experiences worth savouring. The Rocks attracts over 14 million visitors each year as an extraordinary place in Sydney that the world talks about.

Visit the for more information.

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Calabria 2015 Nero d’Avola: Wine Review

Calabria Nero dAvola

Its good to see more of this variety being grown around Australia.  Originally from southern Sicily, it seems to be gaining traction in Australia’s warmer regions like McLaren Vale (SA) and Riverina (NSW).

This example, 2015 Calabria Nero d’avola, shows lovely bright red fruit on the nose. With hints of dried Mediterranean herbs.

On the palate there is a gentleness with the flavours, while still being medium bodied.  Fresh and juicy red fruit, like cherry and raspberry, with a approachable savoury spine flowing down the middle. A little spice and the herbs appear again.  Soft and supple.

The Calabria Nero d’Avola was matched perfectly with pork sausages, caramelized onions, and paris mash. Another great value, quality wine from the team at Calabria.

Alcohol: 14.0%
Price: $15
Region: Riverina, NSW
Source: Provided by producer

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Calabria 2013 Old Vine Shiraz: Wine Review

The previous Calabria wines which were tasted, Aglianico, Durif, etc have all come from Riverina in NSW.  But the Calabria family also have some lovely old vines around Barossa Valley in South Australia.

Just like the other Calabria Family wines, this Barossa Old Vine Shiraz is sensational value. On the nose there is dark rich ripe fruit, a good sprinkling of vanilla spice and lots of intensity.

Calabria Shiraz

On the palate the Calabria Old Vine Shiraz is medium to full-bodied-traditional-Barossa-Shiraz goodness. Ripe dark fruit, cooked ripe plums, a bit of dusty fennel seed and roasted meats. The tannins are soft and welcoming. Alcohol is noticeable and warming, and ideal for mid-winter catchup with friends.  While there is an absence of refinement and restraint, it makes up for in generosity of flavour.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $26
Region: BarossaValley, SA
Source: Provided by producer

Edited: Amended price.

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Reillys 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon: Wine Review

Clare Valley can experience gorgeous warm summer days. Then in the evening the temperature drops noticeably. So its more of a Continental climate, than a Mediterranean one.  All this leads to ripe complex flavours, without many of the overripe characters experienced by warmer regions.
Reillys Cabernet

The Reillys Cabernet Sauvignon shows subtle aromas of typical Clare Valley menthol, dark berries and hints of warm spices. Generally showing fresh and airy aromas.

On the palate some lovely choc-mint, white pepper, and fresh opulent fruit which is in no way overbearing. The Reillys Cabernet Sauvignon is really quite a restrained style. All rounded out with gentle vanilla oak. Tannis are firm and grippy however. Possibly pairing with red meat (even some Clare Valley salt bush mutton) might tame them at this early stage.

Alcohol: 14.5%
Price: $35
Region: Clare Valley, SA
Source: Provided by producer

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Pinot Palooza, Australia’s largest annual Pinot Noir and music festival, is turning five this year and is celebrating with its biggest and best tour yet. Returning to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, Pinot Palooza will also visit Auckland for the first time, with eyes on the USA and Asia for 2017.

Brought to you by the legends behind Game of Rhones, Bottle Shop Concepts, Pinot Palooza combines love for everyone’s favourite grape, Pinot Noir, with amazing food from some of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, and rocking tunes! 2016 will feature the best in Pinot Noir from over 100 of Australia and New Zealand’s hottest wine producers across the six events.

There have been over 200 wineries involved since the conception of Pinot Palooza, with seven producers having participated in every single event; Curly Flat (Macedon), Dalrymple (Tasmania), Greywacke (Marlborough), Josef Chromy (Tasmania), Moondarra (Gippsland), Mount Difficulty (Central Otago) and Yabby Lake (Mornington Peninsula).  Other Pinot Noir producers in the 2016 Palooza line-up include renowned Australian and New Zealand wineries – Ata Rangi, Stefano Lubiana, Shaw + Smith, Maude, Kooyong Est, Chatto, Charteris, Giant Steps, Craggy Range and Pegasus Bay, to name just a handful.

In 2016, festival goers can upgrade to the full VIP experience. These limited tickets come in the form of a VIP card on a fancy lanyard. The ticket will give attendees exclusive pre-event access from 11am-1pm, a food voucher, specially selected Burg Bar tasting (three wines), and time with the cities best sommeliers (aka roadies).  The sommelier roadies will personally curate your experience by listening to your individual preferences, and then recommend up to six wineries that you should explore.

VIP tickets are $95.

$60, includes take-home Plumm Vintage Redb glass

$50 early bird ticket

Tickets available at

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Singlefile 2015 Fume Blanc: Wine Review

You probably wont see much written about Sauvignon Blanc on Que Syrah. Potentially out of wine-snobbery, but also out of wine boredom.  We see so many, with so little variation on the ‘cats pee on a gooseberry bush’ theme.  Not so with wines like Singlefile Fume Blanc.

The Singlefile Fume Blanc shows aromas of lovely fresh characters, not so much capsicum (as you see with so many Sauvignon Blancs) more fresh spring peas, green apple. Pleasant and subtle tropical pineapple, and mandarin citrus. All restrained by careful oak handling, also adding a little touch of warm spice. Singlefile FumeBlanc

On the palate the body of the Singlefile Fume Blancs shows a touch of fullness, and the acid is balanced with gentle richness. Ripe stonefruit and citrus, with some unripe pineapple.

This is a Sauvignon Blanc for grownups, and shows more restraint and complexity than your usual Kiwi offering. The Singlefile Fume Blanc can even handle richer dishes like roast chicken or roast pumpkin risotto.

Alcohol: 13.7%
Price: $30
Region: Pemberton, WA
Source: Provided by producer

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