The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is one of our city’s most cherished events. It is, after all, based around two things we Victorians do so well! But with 17 days of food and wine events, the festival can be a bit daunting to navigate.
To help you carve your own path through one of our top things to do in Melbourne, we’ve created this handy event guide of must-dos for the festival depending on your area of foodie fandom. So, which Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Foodie are you?
The Meat-Crazed Carnivore
You’re heart starts to race at the smell of smoked brisket. The sight of a juicy barbequed rib gets your salivary glands going. The mere mention of slow-cooking makes your palms sweat. Here are the events that will have you drooling in no time!
The Smoker & The Butcher, 64 Sutton
7pm – 11.30pm, Friday 27th February & Tuesday 3rd March, $125 pp
Gary’s Meats, Prahran, and chef, Gary Mehigan, join forces with Kansas City Pit Master (what a job title!) and BBQ expert, Andy Groneman, at 64 Sutton for a masterclass in smoking and barbequeing meat.
Rocking Ribs & Sizzling Sliders, Royal Botanical Gardens, South Yarra
6.30-10.30pm, Fri 13th March, $120 pp
Join Andrew Blake and a team of Browns Brothers wine experts for an evening of ribs, tacos, sliders and desserts, all served with paired wines and live music by the Intrepid Hounds. Better yet, it’s in the beautiful surroundings of the Royal Botanical Gardens—the perfect event for both meat and sun worshippers!
Suckling Pig Banquet, La Luna Bistro, Carlton
12noon-4pm, 1, 7, 8, 15 March, $95 pp
All the pork you can eat at La Luna’s Carlton restaurant, along with tasters of their hand-made sausages, salami, and prosciutto served with local craft beers.
Beasts from the Bush, The B.east, Brunswick East
12noon – 11pm, Saturday 7th March
American BBQ meets Aussie delicacies! Enjoy smoked wallaby, fresh yabby po-boys and slow-roasted wild boar, seasoned with bush finds including lemon myrtle, wattle seed, bush pepper and homemade spicy bush tomato relish.
The Cheese Fiend
The bigger, bluer and more pungent the better! You’re not afraid of indulging in dairy delights, and at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, you’re going to be found checking out the following:
Still Life with Cheese, The Johnston Collection, East Melbourne
6pm – 7.30pm, 7.30pm – 9pm, Tuesday 10th & Wednesday 11th March
Spring Street Grocers team up with the Johnston Collection art gallery to celebrate cheese, art, wine and 18th century works that combine all three! A must-go for cultured cheese-lovers.
Will Studd: A Life in Cheese, University House, Parkville
12noon-2pm Saturday 28th February - Sold out
Get yourself on the waiting list for this one, Listers! Join cheese expert, Will Studd, (of TV series Cheese Slices fame) as he shares his life-long passion alongside tastings and wine pairings.
Celebrate French Cheese & Wine, Milk the Cow, St Kilda
Mon 2nd, Tue 3rd, Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th, various session times, $70 pp
French 75s, cheese and wine pairings, and a supper of rustic French onion soup—how could we resist! Find out what makes the French so special from Milk the Cow’s expert cheesemongers and sommeliers.
Fromage a Trois – Cheese & Cider Festival, Werribee Park, Werribee South
11am – 5pm, Sunday 15th March, $35 pp
Enjoy two of the best things in life, all within the stunning lawns of Werribee Park at Fromage a Trois. Discover more about the cheese and cider finds on your doorstep, as well as participate in masterclasses on how best to make your own.
The Booze Hound
Food? What food? You’re Melbourne Food & Wine Festival experience centres around delicacies of the drinkable variety! Leave the car at home and make a plan to visit:
Whisky’s Floral Flavour Wheel, Whisky & Alement, Melbourne CBD
2pm-3.30pm, 4.30pm - 6pm, Saturday 28th February, $35 pp
Experts of their craft, Whisky & Alement will be transformed into a florist where visitors can ‘nose’ flowers and whisky side-by-side while learning about the chemistry of both.
Barrel Bottle Plate, The Noble Experiment, Collingwood
6.30pm – 10pm, Wed 11th March, $125 pp
Celebrating the best of the bottle-rested and barrel-aged world, The Noble Experiment presents a five-course evening of molecular cocktail fun. Nibbles will be provided, but the main event here is the drinks, which are as inventive as they come!
Absinthe: The New Golden Age, Swamp at Bar Ampere
6.30pm – 8pm, Thursday 5th & 12th March, $65 pp
Bar Ampere celebrates one of the spirit world’s most notorious mainstays. Discover the history of the green fairy while trying some top-shelf absinthe alongside paired bar dishes.
Mornington Versus Yarra, Montalto, Red Hill South
12noon-3pm, Sunday 1st March, $150 pp
Take a trip to established vineyard and restaurant, Montalto, and weigh in on the debate on which local region tops the wine charts. Lunch and wines will be provided with a focus on single-vineyard chardonnays and pinot noirs.
Your dentistry bills are astronomical, but not as outrageous as your monthly expenditure on chocolate, cake and pastries. When you dine, there’s always room for dessert! At the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, you’ll find it at:
Sweet Decadence, Chiara, Docklands
6-9.30pm, Wednsaday 11th March, $70 pp
Executive Party Chef, Maria Lantelme, presents no less than five dessert courses that celebrate the creativity of the sweeter side of life. You won’t go thirsty either; cocktails will accompany, making for the perfect dessert experience in Melbourne.
Italian Sweet Temptation, ZaZa’s Cucina Italiana, Richmond
10am-4pm, Sat 28th, Sun 1st March Sat 7th, Sun 8th March, $35 pp
Learn to satisfy your own sweet cravings! Italian pastry champion, Dario D’agostino, shares his cake decorating, and dessert making skills in this masterclass for all skill levels.
Ciao Gelato, Terra Rosa, Flinders Lane
6pm-10pm Wednesday 4th & Wednesday 11th March, $70 pp
Learn the secret to making Sicilian gelato with Terra Rosa’s chefs, who will also be whipping up a two-course savoury menu with matching wines on the night.
The World Traveller
When it comes to food culture, you work your way around the globe rather than around your plate. Trying new dishes from far-flung places fuels your love for foreign food in Melbourne, so make sure you bag a ticket to:
Flavours, Grattan Gardens, Prahran
11am – 4pm, Saturday 14th March, free
Flavours food festival brings together the best foreign food vendors on Melbourne’s southside for a day of street food, music, cooking schools and more. Make sure you skip breakfast if you’re heading to this one!
A Global Gathering, Bridge Road, Richmond
11am – 4pm, Sunday 1st March, free
Pick up your food festival passport from Richmond Town Hall and pace the streets to discover Bridge Road’s rich offering of South American, Vietnamese, Greek and other food styles. There will be musicians and performers from different world cultures, too—the perfect street party for global foodies.
Mr Lawrence & the Bedouin Camp, Mr Lawrence, Port Melbourne
12pm, 3pm and 6pm sessions, Saturday 28th February, $25 adults, $18 children or $80 family (two adults and two children)
Port Melbourne beach will be transformed for one day only into a Bedouin-style village, complete with a Middle Eastern feast at Mr Lawrence! Enjoy typical dishes including charcoal-grilled spiced lamb, spit-roasted goat, pulses and flatbreads.
The Spanish Experience, Crittenden Estate, Dromana
1.30pm – 4.30pm, Saturday 14th March, $40 pp
Spanish wines, tapas and entertainment turns Mornington’s Crittenden Estate into a European haven as winemakers Rollo and Zoe Crittenden explain the uniqueness of their Spanish wines.
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival runs from Friday 27th February until Sunday 15th March at various venues in and around Melbourne. For a complete listing of all events, visit the festival's website.
Image credit: Honestly Yum