Oct 24 2013

It’s festival time in Sydney – but don’t ask for a glass of wine

Karumba-sunset2Sydney’s gearing up for summer, and festival season.

I love Sydney in summer. I love the heat, the beach lifestyle, drinks in the beer garden,  barbecues, the Sydney Festival and, of course, the New Years’ Eve fireworks.

The only thing I don’t like is the choice of wine at festivals.

Every January my friends and I go along to shows at the Sydney Festival. We particularly love going along to anything at the Spiegeltent, and having a drink before and after in the Festival Garden in Hyde Park. There’s nothing better than sitting outside, under the fairy lights, watching the people coming in and out, and having a nice glass of wine.

Except it’s really difficult to get a nice glass of wine at festivals in Sydney any more. If you went by what’s on offer at festivals in Sydney you’d never know Australia makes some of the best wines in the world.

Chinese lanterns portraitNow don’t get me wrong, I love Sydney. I was born and bred here and I still think of it as home.  And one of the things I love about it is that it’s so flashy. I used to introduce myself as a “typical Sydney girl – give me style over substance any day”.  Sydney’s always been a bit like that. Style over substance. Always quick to take up and run with the latest trends. So maybe it’s me rather than Sydney, but it’s starting to piss me off. At least the wine bit.

I’m a sauvignon blanc drinker. Always have been – right back to when it was called white burgundy. While everybody else was drinking chardonnay in the 80s my drink was always Houghton’s White Burgundy. When it wasn’t called burgundy any more I moved on to Chablis, and when that stopped being made, I went to sauvignon blanc, with the occasional side step to a good Hunter Semillon.

And Australia makes the best sauvignon blancs in the entire world – right there in the Adelaide Hills. So I’m spoiled for choice.

Which is why I can’t understand the piss poor choice of white wines at festivals in Sydney.

P1040622 (1280x960)I went to the Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park last night, one of the first ventures of the summer festival season. It was lovely. After walking through the grotto of Chinese lanterns, we sat on a blanket under a jacaranda in flower, with lights casting coloured shadows on the trees, and nets of fairy lights creating exotic beer gardens. We ate Vietnamese rice paper rolls, dumplings, Thai noodles, and Cambodian prawns and pork rolls (well, the others did, I’m vegetarian).

It was a beautiful summer’s night even though it was only spring. Warm and still. It would have been perfect if I could have got a decent glass of wine.

One of the sponsors of the market was Brown Brothers wine, so of course they supplied all the wines. And the only whites that they made available were a pinot grigio and a moscato/sauvignon blanc blend. How trendy! And how disappointing.

fairy lights gardenMcGuigan wines are one of the sponsors of the Sydney Festival, so this is a plea to them. Please, please, please can we have a decent white wine? It doesn’t have to be your top of the range, just a decent sauvignon blanc. I know you make them because over the years I’ve bought a lot of wine from you. Always sauvignon blanc.

Oh, and a bubbly. You have to have bubbles sitting outside in the garden like that!

Surely that’s not too much to ask?

 

 

 

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