By Andy Young
Hundreds of Australian wines have been showcased to a group of 50 sommeliers from some of the world’s best restaurants as part of a Wine Australia program which coincided with the recent World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 event in Melbourne.
The Somms of the World program took the sommeliers, hailing from the UK, US, Thailand, Japan, Spain, China, Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, on a experiential visit around Australian wine.
The extensive wine program began in Sydney with the sommeliers participating in a master class introducing the history, evolution and revolution of Australian wine. After travelling to Melbourne for the World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards and day trips to Victorian wine regions, the group selected an interstate trip to visit wine regions in South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and ACT.
Andreas Clark, CEO of Wine Australia said: “Experiencing the regions, the culture and building a connection with winemakers is so important for sommeliers who are selling the stories behind the wine in their restaurants.
“We have received fantastic feedback from the sommeliers already, with many saying they’ve never had so much exposure to so many different wines and regions on a visit. We hope this converts to a greater presence and more diversity of Australian wine in their restaurants.”
The program proved successful, with Seamus Sharkey, Head Sommelier at The Ledbury in London saying: “I am already thinking about how I can bring in some producers that I tried in Australia which aren’t currently represented in the UK off the back of this trip.”
Fahara Zamorano, Sommelier at Curtis Stone’s restaurant, Gwen in LA added: “It’s exhilarating what’s going on here in Australia, it’s like a renaissance that’s happening right now; it’s inspiring.”
As the official wine partner of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Wine Australia provided all the wines for the program of events and more than 2600 bottles of wine from 42 regions were tasted and enjoyed by the international sommeliers, chefs and media during the 10 day program.