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Enjoy autumn and Easter food, wine and travel news, reviews and ideas

Hello,

Melbourne food and wine festival MFWF

The equinox has just passed, bringing autumn to the southern hemisphere and spring to the north. Another reason to celebrate! One subscriber in Ottawa just let us know that it's snowing there, so I hope blossoms are on his way soon. Here in Australia (and New Zealand) the grape harvest is well underway – and has finished in some states – and 2013 looks like a fantastic vintage across most of the country.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for the cooler-climate regions who have yet to pick their grapes, and hope that this run of extraordinary weather holds. Meanwhile, this second March newsletter focusses on food around Australia – what to cook, read and match with your wines.

And then of course there are hundreds of food and wine events coming up in April and May, prizes to win (including a fabulous dinner worth A$250) and plenty to check out on your travels. For Auto Club members there are exclusive cellar door savings »

We'd like your feedback please, to help us craft a style you enjoy. Please take a minute or so to to tell us which image(s) you like in this newsletter, or which one(s) you don't (and why)! You'll go in the draw to win a copy of In Search of the Perfect Partner, a wine and food matching book by Ryn and Cordie as a thank you »

Food news and reviews

Sydney Seafood school - cookbook

With Easter coming up fish and seafood are high on many cooks' minds. But don't stress about cooking it!

You can't go wrong with any of the chefs' tested recipes in this practical, well-designed and truly excellent Sydney Seafood School Cookbook by Roberta Muir »

Looking for a fish recipe for Easter that's also healthy? Perfect for autumn, try Janella Purcell's Smoked Trout, Sweet Potato and Macadamia Salad, rich in good oils »

Or for something a little more hearty and warming, should your weather be cold at Easter, try Janella's seriously delicious Seafood Lasagne, washed down with a semillon, chardonnay or pinot noir.

Whether or not you're a MasterChef fan, there's not doubt that cravatted host and critic Matt Preston knows his food. But unlike some, he can also cook, and we were very pleasantly surprised with Matt Preston's 100 Best Recipes – a great all round cookbook »

Another treasure trove of cherished family recipes from around the country, edited by Channel 9 personality Leila Mckinnon, is Australia's Favourite Recipes, each with its own introduction by the contributor. From it comes our new favourite recipe, called 'I can't believe I'm enjoying Brussel sprouts!', just in time for autumn »

Melbourne has just wound up its 21st fabulous Food & Wine Festival. But how did Melbourne's food scene evolve to where it is today? In Melbourne by Menu, acclaimed food writer Rita Erlich charts Melbourne's burgeoning restaurant scene during the 80s, in a collection of menus, wine lists and recipes that chart the beginning of Melbourne's food revolution »

Food news:

The judges were impressed with the high standard of entries in this year's Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show the Oscars of dairy – and tasted their way through 1,007 products including butter, milk, ice cream, gelato, cultured milk products, yoghurt, dips, dairy desserts, sheep, goat and buffalo milk products and chocolate, to identify the best dairy produce in Australia »

Anticipation for Savour Tasmania 2013 continues to build with announcements that Giovanni Pilu will bring an authentic taste of Italy to the Long Table Dinner on 1 June and that some of the state’s leading chefs will be sharing their food and beverage inside secrets with visiting chefs and locals alike »

Your special VisitVineyards.com subscriber food offers:

The Art of Tea has over 130 loose leaf tea and herbal varieties available, all to help improve your health and well-being. Buy online or in person at Salamanca Market and receive a 10% discount »

Food to Go eBook: go beyond two-minute noodles and boring old dried food packs with this excellent ebook on preparing food for bushwalking (hiking), camping or for just generally being in the great outdoors. As a VisitVineyards.com subscriber you'll save 25% »

 More on food at VisitVineyards.com/food » 


 

Food and wine events around Australia and New Zealand

Kangaroo Island Feastival

As the leaves change colour, there's no slowing of festivals and feastivals showing off local food, wine and beer around Australia and across the Tasman. Here's cheers to them all!

NSW: the gastronomical celebration and extravaganza that is Orange FOOD Week is on again – 12-21 Apr »

WA: celebrity chef Miguel Maestre dishes up a Spanish Fiesta in the courtyard of Settlers House in historic York 20 Apr »

SA: showcasing local food and wine through the stories, locations and people behind them, Kangaroo Island Feastival 26-30 Apr »

Vic: the new signature event for this world class food and wine region is the Yarra Valley Food & Wine Festival, including the Ultimate Yarra Valley Chardonnay Tasting on the 13th and Pinot Noir on the 14th 12-14 Apr »

Or you can meet the people behind the labels and taste some Serious Shiraz in the Grampians wine region 19 Apr »

NT: enjoy a five course meal matched with premium wines at the Taste of Harmony Winemakers Dinner in Darwin – 12 Apr »

Tas: lush, fertile surrounds against the majestic backdrop of Mt Roland are the setting for the Taste of the North West 6 Apr »

Qld: celebrating the rare and tropical produce from Far North Qld is the Innisfail Feast of the Senses 12-21 Apr »

ACT: autumn in the vineyards and time to rejoice in the local wines at the Canberra District Wine Festival6-7 Apr »

NZ: Marchfest is Nelson's hop harvest festival, celebrating craft beers, fine wines, eclectic music and regional cuisine – 6 Apr »  

NZ: from produce boxes to edible garden tours, Wellington Local Food Week promotes healthy, sustainable and delicious food – 2-7 Apr »

PLUS: more of Savour Tasmania's exciting program in late May has now released. Be quick, tickets went on sale 20th March »

April has been proclaimed Aussie Wine Month by Wine Australia, encompassing over 100 wine-related events around Australia, from sophisticated city-based wine tastings, spirited regional festivals, sumptuous food and wine dinners to a range of entertaining vineyard activities. Check out some more of these April events in our calendar below: 

 Find more events near you: VisitVineyards.com/calendar » 

 

 Read more about what's on: VisitVineyards.com/events » 

 

Event organisers and marketers (including those in New Zealand!), you can quickly and easily list your food and wine events on our calendar for FREE. To reach our subscribers, simply go to VisitVineyards.com/MyLogin and enter your event details.

 

Food and wine travels

Fresh fish on the Hobart waterfront

Are you thinking of travelling to Tasmania to taste fine food and need a little extra incentive? How about saving over $300 on accommodation, or getting two nights for the price of one?

With accommodation specials like these at some of the best venues in the state, we think you'll soon be visiting Tasmania to stock up on gourmet delights! »


If you're thinking of spending some time in and around Hobart, this five-day itinerary from Tourism Tasmania takes in Port Arthur via the bushfire-affected town of Dunalley, where Tasman first landed in 1642. The locals are struggling to get back on their feet, but they'd love to see you – drop into the Dunalley Bakery (already rebuilt) for a coffee and cake en route to Port Arthur.

On another day you might take a cooking class at the Agrarian Kitchen, sample whiskies at Nant Distillery near Bothwell, or do a short walk in Mt Field National Park, and – if you time it right – see the only decidious native in Australia in full autumn glory – it's a photographer's delight »

Speaking of Orange, get onboard the fabulous Orange Food Train, leaving Sydney on Fri 19th April, for a trip hosted by Lyndey Milan, for a long weekend of local food and wine, part of Orange FOOD week »


Cycling and walking trips through Tuscany or the Loire Valley are increasingly becoming must-do elements of a ‘complete’ European holiday. A delightful taste of that same salubrious experience can now be had right here on our own doorstep, with Rail Trail Cycling Tours in north-east Victoria »


Or plan your own culinary adventures based around any of the delicious sounding events above and more in our calendar »

For more culinary travel adventures click here: VisitVineyards.com/tours » 


 

WIN wine, food, dinner tickets and fab books

Domaine Chandon, Yarra Valley - as appears in Produce to Platter Yarra Valley & the Dandenongs

This is your last chance to enter for these fabulous prizes before we draw them next Tuesday. Make sure your name is in the mix:

And the wine, we'd never forget the wine! Three cases of superb Tasmanian wine, each showcasing a region: north, south and east Tas, and one could be in your wine rack soon ! »


We'd like your feedback please, to help us craft a style you enjoy. Please take a minute or so to to tell us which image(s) you like in this newsletter, or which one(s) you don't (and why)! You'll go in the draw to win a copy of In Search of the Perfect Partner, a wine and food matching book by Ryn and Cordie as a thank you »
 

We have all these competitions to draw on the 1st April so don't be an April Fool and forget to check our winners' page – good luck!


PLUS: make sure you're entered in these competitions, drawn in May:

  • You could be donning your suit or cocktail dress and joining the key industry players with double tickets to the Awards Dinner for the International Cool Climate Wine Show (ICCWS). Enter now for these tickets worth $250 a double! »
More competitions:VisitVineyards.com/win » 

 

  Are you a winner? Find out now » 

 

Savings for Auto Club Members

Boyntons Feathertop

Autumn in wine regions has its own special appeal with the changing colours and the cooling of the air. If you're heading out to experience these in Victoria, Tasmania or Queensland, make sure you pack your motoring organisation's card*. You'll receive a warm welcome and save at selected wineries and producers 

Here's a small selection with links for further details:

VIC:

TAS:

QLD:

  • Summit Estate: enjoy truly hand-crafted wines of the Granite Belt and save 10% »
  • O'Reillys Canungra Valley: boutique vineyard and historic homestead dedicted to fine wine and food.Save save 10% »
  • Mayfield Chocolates: tempting delights and a 10% saving in two locations Mt Tambourine and Spring Hill »

* ie RACV, RACT, RACQ, RAA, RAWA or NRMA, and all AAA members from overseas.

 

 50 more places to save at: RACV.VisitVineyards.com/save » 

 

 Find out more: RACQ.VisitVineyards.com/save » 

 

Happy and safe Easter and holidays

Savour Tasmania - Feast of chefs

With Easter and school holidays coming up, there sure is plenty for everyone to choose from, so whatever you do and wherever you go, for those taking time off, we hope you all have a fabulous break and a safe and happy holiday.

All the best and cheers from Robyn, Kerry, Laura, Andrew and the rest of the VisitVineyards.com team, and see you again in April. With all the holidays on, we'll only be sending one newsletter next month, so stay tuned on the 16th.

 

Keep up to date with the latest news from VisitVineyards.com, share your experiences with us, or just drop by for a friendly chat you can find us on Twitter and Facebook, Google+ and also on Pinterest (yes, we love social media!)

 



Did you miss your last newsletter? (March Wine edition)  Check it out here »

* Wine samples for review and publication can be sent to
VisitVineyards.com, PO Box 488, North Hobart. Tas. 7002.
Please include price information and tasting notes, and food matching suggestions and recipes if you wish.