The very best of Italian wine, food and culture
Since 2013 Sydney has hosted three hugely successful Sydney Italian Wine + Food Festivals. This year the festival has expanded to include Melbourne and it was their opportunity to experience the very best of Italian wine, food and culture at this highly anticipated event. The Melbourne festival was also Smeg’s fourth foray as presenting partner – a wonderful opportunity to share the Smeg brand and products with the Australian Italian community, Italian aficionados and lovers of Italian wine and food.
The stunning Melbourne venue, Royal Exhibition Building, a heritage space in the heart of Little Italy’s, Carlton, proved to be a gorgeous backdrop for the delights within.
The heart of the festival, The Wine Garden, complete with chic industrial style furniture and Smeg’s red small appliances dotted about, was where guests gathered to listen to live Italian jazz, soak up the wonderful atmosphere and feast on an array of wine and food.
There were hundreds of Italian and Australian wines made from Italian grapes for tasting, divided by region. Wines from Emilia Romagna, the Northern Italian region that is also home to Smeg, were very popular. Along with wine, guests had a choice of authentic birra at the Menabrea Birra Bar, Italy’s oldest brewery and authentic Italian cocktails, including perennial favourite Aperol Spritz, at the Bar Americano pop-up. Celebrated Italian chef Stefano Manfredi also served his intensely flavoured coffee, Espresso di Manfredi.
If the Wine Garden was the heart of the festival, the Smeg Stage was the centrepiece. It was here that some of Melbourne best Italian chefs demonstrated their signature dishes to delighted audiences. The Smeg products on the stage – Victoria Thermoseal Pyrolytic oven, FoodService ALFA150 refractory stone oven, SmartSense Plus induction cooktop and Smeg’s 1950s style stand mixer with pasta roller and cutter attachments – were in constant use creating the delicious dishes.
World Champion Pizza maker, Johnny di Francesco from the celebrated 400 Gradi group of restaurants, entertained with his pizza dough twirling moves.
To pair with the wine, there was an assortment of premium producers serving artisanal Italian food, including Pasta Classica, Melbourne’s best filled pasta; Saluministi, traditional salumi; Dolcetti, nougat, cannoli and biscotti; and Floridia Cheese, handmade ricotta and mozzarella cheese.
We can hardly wait for the next Italian Wine + Food Festival – in Sydney on 21 August.
Click here for more info on the Sydney Italian Wine + Food Festival.