Taste of Manly
Food, Wine and Sustainability Festival
We decided to check out the much cheaper option of the Taste of Manly, the Food, Wine and Sustainability Festival in Manly, Sydney. Just $10 per person for a plastic wine cup and $5 per cup of wine. We could remain within our budgets and still have a great time.
The Taste of Manly Festival was a fun, well-organised event with lots of happy, well-behaved people, sampling some amazing wines.
We had the opportunity to sample a 2007 Semillon from Mount Pleasant which had just started to release its aged personality, and also a 2012 Malbec which tasted like something you could really get your teeth into.
We also tried a cerise and a shiraz, a stout and an ipa while enjoying some squid and chips and listening to the music.
A nearby pub also had its own wine festival happening inside so afterwards we bought some oysters and enjoyed a glass of Tasmanian style pinot noir.
The only down side of any event like this in Australia is the necessity to give plastic. What we found was that, even though the first sip of the wine tasted amazing, by the second sip it had become bland and lifeless due to the reaction with the plastic. Plastic doesn’t seem to affect beer too much but with wine it reduces anything to the taste of a basic goon wine within minutes. Plastic is not the right holder for wine, unfortunately.
The Taste of Manly event is annual and this year they celebrated 30 years. Volunteers were in the crowd requesting surveys of people’s responses and the only recommendation I could offer were that there should be more wineries represented. While the wineries that were there were good, the main issue I had were the brands were well known and most could be found at Liquorland, BWS or Dan Murphies. I’d like to attend a festival where the wineries represented were ones that I had never heard of. Certainly, if I could buy a bottle of one of their wines for $10 to $20 at a local bottle shop, why would I want to travel to a festival and pay $5 to taste it. (It meant that we were only choosing the aged and rare bottles to try that we wouldn’t normally see in the bottle shops, but still…) But then, the catch 22 there is that the cost of having a stall could probably only be paid for by big producers and the little ones wouldn’t have the money to promote their wines anyway.
It is one of the reasons I didn’t go to GABS this year. Hundreds of craft beer producers but most I’d tried already and many of them had released their beers through multiple outlets so were easily accessible without going there.
Festivals are great for the new discoverers and to help people learn about the drinks available but I guess once you’ve tried thousands of different types of wine and craft beer, it isn’t as attractive, unfortunately. Which is why the Manly Festival worked hard to make it more than just a wine tasting event. There was an amazing collection of musicians, stalls selling a wide variety of food, and nearby some organic produce. This made it a lot more attractive.
Definitely worth a visit if you’re nearby next year.