Follow your taste buds with Flavours of Tasmania »

Delicious food, cool-climate wine, craft ciders and beers and world-renowned spirits to enjoy

By Kerry Scambler
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<i>Flavours of Tasmania</i> by Smudge Publishing

Flavours of Tasmania by Smudge Publishing [©Smudge Publishing]


For lovers of exceptional food and wine, Tasmania is an obvious destination. It’s brimming with premium cool-climate wine, spirits and produce that can be bought and savoured as you tour, or experienced in the hands of the many talented cooks and chefs that call the island state home. It might even be cooked up by your Tasmanian friends and family.

Tasmania might be relatively small, but this island off an island is full of choices to make and if you’re visiting for the first time, this can be a mammoth task – it’s hard enough for us locals on occasion! 

Our advice? Do your research – there are a number of great Tasmanian books that can help entice you to travel with tales of the vast array of tastes on offer, and then provide you a palpable memento of your journey.

Flavours of Tasmania from Smudge Publishing is one that could certainly help craft your ultimate culinary itinerary. 

Smudge has been offering guidance on food and wine destinations for many years with their beautifully produced books, firstly in the Produce to Platter series and now in the Flavours of range (see links below for more information and reviews on these). 

First off in the tome Flavours of Tasmania are important overviews of the wine, beverage and travel scenes, each in its own sections covering Tasmanian chefs, wine, seafood, beef and lamb, spirits and the Spirit (ferry), and that perhaps surprisingly essential part of this island life, coffee. 

Just on coffee, Hobart has the highest rate of cafés per capita in Australia!

Expect to see keepcups and BYO mugs from home being presented plus that other natural partner to coffee – conversation. Unlike some bigger cities, there is often more than a simple coffee order discussed, perhaps an indication of the more easy going pace of life.  When working in Hobart CBD for three months last year and doing the morning coffee run, after just a week I only needed to show up at one café counter for my order to be placed correctly matched with my name.  They even commented when I upgraded my keep cup!

After getting the background on these various gourmet goodies, it’s off around the state, starting in Hobart and the south, then heading up the Great Eastern Drive and into Launceston and the north to meet the people and their businesses. As a bonus, you’ll also discover some of their mouth-watering recipes during your armchair journey.

In the south there are some of our favourites plus some exciting new discoveries for me to explore. Venues include:

  • Pilgrim Coffee
  • Jackman McRoss Bakery
  • The Winston Alehouse & Eatery (one of Robyn’s locals!)
  • Frogmore Creek
  • The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery and Store
  • Domaine A
  • McHenry Distillery

VisitVineyards subscribers will know that the East Coast is considered paradise in my household, and any excuse is dreamt up for a few nights away or just an overnighter to refill the wine rack and reconnect with the vineyards, characters and sea air.

Some of our favourites are covered beautifully in Flavours in Tasmania – Darlington, Spring Vale, Gala Estate, Devil’s Corner and our recent bestie, Craigie Knowe.  The images of each convey well their personalities and surroundings – from the stunning, sweeping views from Devil’s Corner to the old world charm of Gala Estate’s cellar door.

Launceston is the next stop and my old home town features award-winning restaurants including Stillwater (love their degustations) and Black Cow plus coffee roasters Provenance.

And while “Launie” may be the home of Boag’s Brewery, craft beer is certainly a highlight, especially at Saint John (bar) with its impressive range of local, national and international beers and just out of town is the unusual craft brewer, Van Diemen, where all the ingredients are grown on site. 

In the section on North Tasmania, from Pipers Brook Vineyard in the North East to Leven Valley Vineyard in the North West and all points in between, 20 of the region’s vineyards, cideries, restaurants, provedores and honey producers are detailed. The colours are intense, from the orange food van at Barringwood and the red apples at Spreyton Cider to the cool green of the Food & Wine Conservatory and golden hues of at Honey Tasmania, there is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.

The recipes I tagged to cook in the coming months include

  • Wood-oven Roasted East Coast Crayfish (Spring Vale Wines)
  • Raw Fallow Deer with Anchovy Dressing & Saltbush Furikake (Franklin), and
  • Braised Lamb Shanks in Puff Pastry (Jackman & Macross).

The verdict on Flavours of Tasmania

This book will remain in my collection of Tasmanian books on food, wine, tourism and history because apart from being a wonderful showcase for our beverages and culinary offerings, it’s also a piece of history. These are the chefs, the foods, the wines and trends of the moment – it’s a snapshot in time of what this space looks and tastes like now.

It also reinforces that this is an exciting time to visit and soak up all the experiences available within a short distance.

Of course, it’s impossible for a book to be fully comprehensive (weight alone would prohibit lifting!) but Flavours of Tasmania is certainly a perfect starting guide for those who love the state and want to know more about it or, like so many now, are planning a visit with taste buds firmly at the forefront of the priorities.

Flavours of Tasmania is published by Smudge Publishing (Melb, Vic; Nov 2017; Hb; RRP A$80). It is available at all good bookshops and from the featured venues. It can also be purchased directly from the publisher »

It can also be puchased online via »

Read more in the press release »

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April 10th, 2018
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