27th October – 2nd November 2014

Monday 27th October

  • Pol Roger Intimate Dinner at Vue De Monde (525 Collins St, Melbourne) – Black Events in association with Champagne Pol Roger & Langton’s Brokerage invite you to an intimate dinner hosted byPol Roger Managing Director Laurent D’Harcourt & International Champagne Writer of the Year, Tyson Stelzer. Ten Cuvées culminating in a mini vertical, including the launch of Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Cuvée 2002 alongside a vertical tasting of 1996, 1999 and 2000, intricately matched 7 courses by Vue de Monde. Tickets are $595 a head and you can fill in a ticket registration form here.

Tuesday 28th October

  • Wines of the USA at Estelle (243 High St, Northcote) – With all things American the hottest thing in town at the moment, Estelle thought they would let their curiousity run wild and exhibit the best of wine from ‘The Land of the Free’. On pour will be top quality Californian Chardonnays and Oregon Pinot Noir, as well as Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. They will also be opening some less seen East Coast wines. Dinner is $180 a head for 6 courses with matched wine. Email enquiries@estellebarkitchen.com.au to book your spot.
  • Puglia Dinner at Sarti (6 Russell Place, Melbourne) – Join Sarti for an exclusive wine dinner this month exploring the magical region of Puglia. Flying in all the way from Puglia, Italy are the owners of Cantina Menhir Salento to tell the story and produces of the native wines; Primitivo, Negroamaro and Fiano. The winery is located in the heart of the historical centre of Minervino di Lecce, situated in the Apulia region of south-east Italy in the eastern part of the Salento peninsula. Chef Paolo has created a beautiful degustation dinner which will showcase these remarkable wines. Dinner is $100 a head and can be booked by calling 9639 7822.
  • Prestige Champagne Masterclass at Rathdowne Cellars (348 Rathdowne Street, North Carlton) – The opportunity to taste, super-premium vintage champagne doesn’t come along very often.  But how about tasting ten in one night? Indulge yourself at our Prestige Champagne Masterclass.During this 1 night course, you’ll learn about: The secrets of the Grand Marque houses, how they create their incredibly rare and expensive wines and what makes them so special. Taste through the greatest of the Grand Marques including Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill, Krug Vintage, Dom Perignon and Roederer Cristal and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, and more. All complemented with an entree sized dish from La Luna Bistro. Masterclass is $190 a head and can be booked online here.
  • Gourmet Traveller “Going Gris” Tasting at The City Wine Shop (159 Spring Street, Melbourne) – With the popularity of pinot gris and grigio still gaining momentum, the tasting panel at GT Wine focused their attention on the oft-confused styles of this grey-skinned white grape. Join The City Wine Shop in the Tea Room to look at the star performers and taste for yourself the different styles this grape is capable of showing. Tasting is $55 a head and can be booked by calling 9654 6657.

Wednesday 29th October

  • Champagne and Oysters at The Tasting Table (1219 High St, Armadale) – There’s no better match than Champagne and oysters, so come and learn a bit about bubbles and how well they match up against a couple of different oyster varieties. With 8 different lesser know and growers Champagnes to taste including some delicious vintage offerings, there’s no better way to enjoy this fabulous wine and get into the spirit of the spring racing festivities. *NB: If you don’t eat oysters they can happily replace with cheese. Tickets are $55 a head and can be booked online here.
  • Lunch with Michael Dhillon & his Bindi Wines at the Botanical (169 Domain Rd, South Yarra) – Any opportunity to catch up with Michael Dhillon is a pleasure. To share an intimate lunch with whilst tasting the latest, and back vintage releases from his iconic Bindi winery is a rare treat. Established in 1988, the shattered quartz over volcanic soil Macedon vineyards of Bindi produce some of the most hyperbolically described Pinot & Chardonnay in the land.  Michael’s theory that his wines need some time to drink superbly will be tested at the lunch, when we enjoy flights of back & current vintages. Lunch is $110 a head and can b booked online here.
  • Champagne Masterclass with Kate McIntyre at The Prince Wine Store (177 Bank St, South Melbourne) – Kate McIntyre, MW, has been accused of being a ‘Champagne apologist’ more than once, mostly by people who find most Champagnes boring and overpriced.   Kate finds charm and enjoyment in many different styles and quality levels of Champagne. In 1998 Kate was the inaugural winner of the Negociants Working with Wine Fellowship and in 2001 was the Professional winner of the CIVC Vin de Champagne Award.  In July 2003, Kate was inducted into the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne. Kate will share her knowledge and passion for the French fizz in a two hour Masterclass at the Prince Wine Store. The class is $60 a head and can be purchased online here.
  • Tap Take over at Meatmaiden (195 Little Collins St, Melbourne) – Part tap takeover, part food pairing and a whole lot of fun featuring the latest seasonal releases from Six Point Brewery (Brooklyn, NY) and tasting plates from Meatmaiden head chef Riki Day. Sixpoint founder Shane Welch and adventurous new Sydney brewer will be here to guide you through the journey. Tickets are $50 a head and can be booked by calling 9078 7747.
  • Grand Cru Burgundy Dinner at Ezard (187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) – Have you ever wanted to try a line-up of Grand Cru Burgundies? Well here is your chance. Enjoy 10 different Grand Crus – one from each of the communes producing this top echelon of Burgundy (well, two from Corton as they produce White and Red Grand Crus). This very special dinner will start with a trio of 2012 White Burgundies from Corton, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet and then move along to 7 different communes producing Red Grand Crus including the outstanding and very expensive Richebourg from Domaine Anne Gros. Perhaps it is not the dinner of a lifetime but it is certainly a rare opportunity to taste and compare some outstanding and valuable wines. You will start with canapes accompanied Drappier Champagne, followed by three courses showcasing the 10 Grand Crus.  There are only 10 Seats for this dinner. Each bottle will be shared 10 ways so you will receive quite a substantial glass of each to enjoy. The value of the wines to be opened is over $3700.00! Dinner is $420 per person and can be booked online here.

Friday 31st October

  • Wine and Cheese Night at Cafe Vue at Heide (7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen) – This is a marriage made in heaven. Wine meets cheese in a showdown for the ages. For eons the two have gone hand-in-hand and lucky Café Vue at Heide patrons will get to experience all the splendour over three courses and a cheese buffet curated by Raphael Tuil from artisan fromagerie Cheese Culture.  Delectable wines will be matched to each course and will be sourced from local vino enthusiasts, Boccaccio Cellars in Balwyn. Dinner is $120 a head and you can book by calling 9852 2346.
  • Meet The Wine Maker: Chalmers Wines at The Tasting Table (1219 High St, Armadale) – The Chalmers family’s commitment to innovation and excellence has made them a pivotal force in the Australian wine scene for over 20 years. Their work in the field of alternative, particularly southern Italian varietals – in both the vineyard and marketplace – has been a substantial contribution to the growth and success of this movement in recent years. The Tasting Table are planing on  opening up some of the Chalmers wines including their 2 sparkling wines to taste. There’ll also be someone on hand from Chalmers to talk through the wines and answer any questions you may have. This tasting is free so feel free to pop in and have a taste any time between 6:30 and 8:30pm.
  • Tahbilk Cafe Girls Night Out (254 O’Neils Rd, Tahbilk) – You are invited to celebrate Spring with a ladies night out at Tahbilk Cafe. Visit Victoria’s oldest family owned winery and enjoy an evening of sparkling wine inspired food, light music, and a relaxing setting. “Everyone deserves a treat now and then”. Abhi (Tahbilk Cafe Manager). Dinner is $55 including 3 courses and drinks. To book, call 03 5794 2555.
  • Oktoberfest at Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder (48 – 50 Bridge Road, Richmond) – Beer, sausages, sauerkraut and lederhosen.What more do you want in life. You don’t have to go all the way to Bavaria to celebrate this unique event just come to Richmond Hill for a fun and German themed night. Offering a cocktail on arrival, 3 course German themed dinner & large mug of beer for $95 a head. To book, call 9421 2808.

Saturday 1st Novmber

  • “If it A’t Dutch…” At Merricote (81 High Street, Northcote ) – Merricote explores the Dutch heritage of chef Rob Kabboord with a playful twist on some classic and staple dishes from the Netherlands. Over six courses, learn all about Dutch ingredients. Before you know, you’ll be ‘gezellig’ in Northcote. Dinner is $95 a head, $155 with drnks. To book, call 9939 4762.
  • Breakfast and Bus from Munich Brauhaus (45 Southwharf Promenade, South Wharf) – Heading to the track?  Book in for Munich’s Derby Day Breakfast and Bus Package at only $40 per person.  Ticket includes a sparkling on arrival, a Bavarian breakfast buffet and return transfers to Flemington Racecourse. Bus departs at 10am sharp and returns to Munich Brauhaus at 6pm. Book your ticket online here.
  • Derby Day Breakfast and Ride from The Stokehouse (7 Alfred Pl. Melbourne) – The Stokehouse are taking care of your ride to the races on AAMI Victoria Derby Day! Start the day with breakfast and a glass of sparkling, escape the taxi queues and train crush via a return bus to Flemington and continue the party at the Stokehouse City with a drink on arrival in the evening. Tickets are $50 and can be booked by calling 9525 5555.
  • Murrys Beer Academy at BBC (5 Riverside Quay, Southbank) – You’ve heard it all before: some things just get better with age, and beer is no exception! This month BBC are delving deep into their cellar and breaking down the common beer misconception to examine how much influence aging can have on a beer. They’re putting your favourite vintages head-to-head, showcasing beers best suited to cellaring, and discovering the complexities and flavour development that resting a bottle for several years can create. Plus, learning some expert tips of creating your own cellar along the way. Join certified beer nerd and Master Zymurgist Murray Robinson for this unique aged extravaganza, with five courses of slow-cooked food to match. Tickets are $65 a head and can be booked by calling 9690 5777.
  • MoVida Solera at MoVida Aqui (Rear of 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne) – Celebrate the launch of MoVida Solera, the new book from hosts Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish, which recounts tales of their travels through Frank’s native Andalucia. Enjoy a five-course dinner specially crafted to showcase the many flavours of this food-rich region. Dinner is $120 a head including matched beverages. to book, call  9663 3038.
  • Surprise Long Saturday Lunch at Syracuse (23 Bank Place, Melbourne ) – Syracuse is having lunch on Saturday. Bring family and friends to share in a six-course degustation featuring Victorian tuna, duck, oysters and lamb, all matched to premium wines. Finish with a local cheese platter and a chocolate dessert. Lunch s $105 per person with matched beverages included. to book, call 9670 1777.
  • Toast To The Coast (Bellarine wineries) – More than 30 wineries in the Bellarine, Moorabool Valley and Surf Coast pull out all stops to showcase the Geelong winery experience in a weekend of wine, food, music and fun. The weekend pass includes a wine glass, your passport to tastings at all wineries. Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased online here.
  • Gasolina Texas BBQ (25 Dukes Walk, South Wharf) – Get ready for an old-fashioned Texas barbecue extravaganza by the Yarra. Chef Wylie Dean is throwing down the goods and bringing the smoke to the promenade. Barbecue packs come with a Pabst Blue Ribbon tall can, and the Texas pie with a Coopers Pale Ale. Food starts from $8 and you can get full tasting plates from $35 a head. For more information, call  9696 1169.

Sunday 2nd November

  • The Fourth Emperor at Vue De Monde (Level 55 Rialto, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne ) – This will be a modernisation of the classic “Three Emperors Dinner” that Shannon Bennett orchestrated in 2002. They will be retaining its history but bringing it into 2014 and beyond with modern culinary techniques, ingredients and nous in the kitchen to provide 22 diners with a moment in time. There is still a nod to the 19th century cuisine but nouveau dishes the likes of wallaby skewers brushed with truffle and mountain pepper honey, parson’s nose caviar and crispy Salmon wings blast us into the future. Multiple degustations will be served with luxuriously matched wines with Executive Chef of Vue de monde, Cory Campbell and Wine Director, Rocco Esposito talking guests through the 21st century banquet philosophy. Dinner is $665 per person with matched wines included. To book, call  9691 3800.
  • Sunday Family Lunch at Little Collins Street Kitchen (Level 1, 27 Little Collins Street, Melbourne) – Start new family traditions with the Little Collins Street Kitchen spring offering. This farm-to-plate, Sunday family buffet lunch features a carving station with saltbush lamb shoulder from Vic’s Meat, accompanied by roasted fresh spring produce such as asparagus, young carrots and beetroot of all colours from Peninsula Organics. Gather for a delicious meal, and finish with an after-lunch beverage on the Terrace Bar. Lunch is $85 a head and can be booked by calling 9290 1056.

24th November – 30th November 2014

Monday 24th November

  • Some Young Punks at Ladyboy Dining (394 Bridge Road, Richmond) – LadyBoy Dining and winery Some Young Punks bring you a night of Thai food and wine. The banquet features the season’s premium produce combined with LadyBoy’s signature Thai spices and aromatic flavours. Winemaker Colin McBryde explains the wine matches. Dinner is $100 a head and can be booked by calling  9421 3206.

Tuesday 25th November

  • Spice Smackdown ‘Round 2′ at Maha (21 Bond St, Melbourne) – The sequel to last year’s no holds barred Spice Smackdown. The ring is set at Maha, where five signature moves leaves one chef tapping out and the other grabbing the glory. Benjamin Cooper and Shane Delia go head to head, packing their flavour-filled punches with sweet, salty, sour and spice. Dinner is $95 a head and can bebooked by calling  9629 5900.

Wednesday 26th November

  • Gnocchi Festa at Cafe Italia (56-66 University Street, Carlton) – Celebrate lucky gnocchi day at Cafe Italia. At the end of each month, having little money or food left, Italian families would cook up what they had left into a gnocchi feast. Folklore had it that travelling missionaries, in thanks for sharing their gnocchi, would leave gold coins under their plates for the families. It became known as lucky gnocchi day and is still celebrated at the end of each month. In the same spirit, Cafe Italia is offering an all-you-can-eat feast of five freshly handmade gnocchi flavours. Dinner is $20 a head and can be booked by calling 9347 0638.
  • Spanish Galician Wine Evening at The Tasting Table (1219 High St, Armadale) – Situated in the North West of Spain just above Portugal on the Atlantic coast, Galicia’s winemaking history dates all the way back to the Romans and then looked after by the monks throughout the middle ages. Today Galicia is best known for Albarino and the region in which it is made; Rias Baixas but there’s also a lot of other great wines being made in Galicia’s other classified areas; Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra, Monterrei and Valdeorras. Join The Tasting Table for an evening exploring the diversity of Galicia’s wine regions, there’ll be 8 wines to taste matched to delicious artisan cheese and meat boards. Tickets are $35 a head and can be purchased online here.

Thursday 27th November

  • An Evening with George Calombaris and Sat Bains at Press Club (72 Flinders Street, Melbourne) – The Press Club presents an exclusive eight-course degustation menu created by George Calombaris and renowned Michelin-starred chef, Sat Bains. The chefs go head to head to create a one-of-a-kind degustation menu with drinks to match. Dinner is $295 a head and can be booked by calling 9677 9677.
  • Vinifieds Top Wines of 2014 at Swan Street Social (177 Swan St, Richmond) – Join Vinified for an introductory master class and wine tasting. Vinified’s Luke Campbell will guide you on how to taste, what to drink and what to put in your cellar while tasting his top five wine discoveries of 2014. Enjoy an evening of sensory pleasure, education and fun. Wines will be expertly matched to food. Tickets to this event are $69 for 1 or $120 for 2. You can book your spot online here.
  • Movember Annual Dinner at The Turf Club (131 Queen St, Melbourne) – The Turf Club are holding their annual Movember Dinner with is a 5 course meal with a glass of Redbank wine or a Pint of beer. Dinner is $50 per person with $20 of that going to the Movember charity (menu here). To make a booking call 9670 1271.

Saturday 29th November

  • A Reymond Family Feast (32 Commercial Road, Prahran) – Renowned chef Jacques Reymond takes you through a five-course lunch featuring some of his famous classic French dishes. With a rotisserie taking centrestage in the open kitchen, diners can watch Jacques work his magic again. Lunch is $95 a head and can be booked by calling 9939 7870.
  • 4 the Love of Riesling at Longrain (44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne) – This event, now in it’s 3rd year will showcase the best Rieslings in world. Come and taste local heroes, global icons and experimental Riesling from across the country. Your ticket includes canapés from Longrain and bucket loads of Riesling to help kick off the Summer of Riesling in the Southern Hemisphere. Tickets are $55 and can be booked online here.
  • Willy Beer Fest (82 Nelson Place, Williamstown) – The Williamstown Heritage Beer and Cider Festival is back for its second year on Saturday November 29, 2014. It will be held at Seaworks, 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown. There are over 20 different Beer, Cider makers and Wineries that will be on hand to showcase their portfolio’s. That will mean around 70+ products for you to try. Tickets start at $44.90 a head and go to $85.70. You can book tickets online here.

Sunday 30th Sunday 

  • Urban Hangi at Meat Market (53 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf ) – Come to a New Zealand hangi with an urban twist on the banks of the Yarra. Chefs apply traditional cooking practices to the finest Victorian produce, including seafood, boar, sweet potato and fernheads, for a memorable cultural and culinary experience. Dinner is $75 a head and can be booked by calling 9008 8953.

17th November – 23rd November 2014

Monday 17th November

  • No. 8 by John Lawson & the Great Ocean Road (Crown Riverside, Southbank) – John has teamed with Victorian Great Ocean Road suppliers to bring to you an interactive dining experience as Chef’s come out from the kitchen to present Victoria’s finest produce in a series of Chef Stations. On arrival guests will enjoy a Tanqueray cocktail whilst mingling amongst the Chef stations located on the Riverfront terrace. These stations will feature a decadent selection of Sea Bounty mussels and oysters. The following courses, served in the restaurant dining room, will feature John’s famed chicken liver parfait as well as the renowned Nigel Thomson’s Barwon River bred lamb served with spring pea and sheep’s yogurt. The evening closes with a dessert delight, teamed with a Tanqueray lemon meringue martini. Dinner is $155 with matched beverages.
  • Alpaca Head to Tail at Pastuso (19 ACDC Lane, Melbourne) – Pastuso and chef Alejandro Saravia present a unique opportunity to taste the Peruvian Andes with this six-course head-to-tail alpaca dinner. Dishes include slow-roasted neck rillettes, slow-cooked short ribs and braised alpaca shoulder with carrot and cumin puree. Dinner is $85 a head, $125 with matched wine. To book, call 9662 4556.
  • Phillipas Home Baking Masterclass (1030 High Street, Armadale) – Join baker Phillippa Grogan and food writer Richard Cornish in this two-hour baking masterclass. Learn secrets to the perfect puff pastry, cake and bread. After supper, take home a signed copy of Phillippa’s book. Masterclass is $99 including a glass of wine. To book, call 9576 2020.
  • Beaujolais Dinner at Bar Luxembourg (2/157 Fitzroy St. St Kilda) – Bar Luxembourg are hosting a dinner to celebrate the French tradition of Beaujolais Nouveau and the release of the region’s annual vintage. Though far away from the valleys of Burgundy, it’s an excellent excuse to celebrate some young crowd pleasers matched to a classically inspired menu by head chef Chris Watson. They’ve teamed up with Living Wines to bring you the exciting new releases from a true Beaujolais legend Jean-Paul Brun from domaine Terres Dorées. Staff will be on hand on the night to guide you through the pairings and we’ve even managed to include a unique Beaujolais Blanc that we’re particularly excited about! Tickets are $130 a head and can be booked online here.

Tuesday 18th November 

  • Old Shanghai, New Shanghai at Davids (4 Cecil Place, Prahran) – For a taste of old and new Shanghai, wander down to David’s for a special dinner that highlights the different cooking styles and ingredients that you may find in the Chinese city. Traditional dishes are reimagined for contemporary tastes, and are perfect to share. Dinner is $75 with matched wines. To book, call 9529 5199.
  • Altair Hot and New Dinner (152 Yarra Street, Warrandyte) – Altair head chef Kelvin Shaw presents a seven-course dining experience that features indigenous ingredients from our sunburnt land, paired with local ingredients. Dinner is $90 a head and you can bookby calling 9844 5548.

Wednesday 19th November

  • The Brewers Local Craft at The Coppersmith Hotel (435 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne) – Sample five craft beers matched to complementary food by chef Daniel Southern, and learn how you can incorporate beer into your home-cooking. Discover how certain flavours go with particular craft beers. Masterclass is $65 a head and can be booked by calling 8696 7777.
  • Tea Time at Hammer and Tong (Rear 412 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy) – Co-owners Simon Ward and Dennis Ferreira present a four-course degustation celebrating Australia’s appreciation for the revered cuppa. Experience four tea-inspired drinks complemented by a perfectly matched menu. Dinner is $95 including drinks. To book, call 9041 6033.

Thursday 20th November

  • A Heavenly Pairing: Matching Beer with Food at The Local Taphouse (184 Carlisle Street, St Kilda East) – Ever wanted to know what style of beer would perfectly suit a vegetarian curry, roast pork or chocolate cake? This introductory beer and food pairing features five craft beers expertly matched to five different bites. Learn about contrasting or complementary flavours that make for matches made in heaven. No prior beer knowledge required; this is open to beer novices through to food enthusiasts. Masterclass is $75 including 5 matched beers. To book, call 9537 2633.
  • Tahbilk Pop Up Cellar Door (133 Queensbridge St, South Melbourne) – This is your opportunity to try the latest Tahbilk and Dalfarras releases as we bring our Cellar Door to you. A full range of wines will be on tasting including the new 2006 ‘1927 Vines’ Marsanne, our exciting inaugural ‘Winemakers Selection’ 2012 Shiraz each of the 2009 ‘Eric Stevens Purbrick’ Reds and much more! Whites, Reds, Sparklings, Tahbilk, Dalfarras, you, your friends – it’s sounding good to me! This event is free but RSVP’s appreciated on wineclub@tahbilk.com.au or by phone on 03 5794 2555.

Friday 21st November

  • A Dinner Worth its Weight in Nutmeg at Merchant Osteria Veneta (465 Collins St, Melbourne) – Venice was built on the spice trade, as a port trading in rare and expensive spices such as cardamom, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and saffron. Experience a three-course Venetian dinner that highlights these once rare spices. Dinner is $160 a head including wine. For bookings, call 9614 7688.
  • Lamb & Sangiovese … It’s an Oldie but a Goodie at Carlton Wine Room (172-174 Faraday Street, Carlton) – The Carlton Wine Room are offering a four-course menu to celebrate new season lamb. Each course shows off the meat, paired with a different sangiovese. Dinner is $115 a head including matched wines. To book, call 9347 2626.
  • Arthur Boyd: Brides Exhibition Opening Dinner at Cafe Vue Heide (7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen) – Arthur Boyd’s series ‘Love, Marriage and Death of a Half Caste’, more commonly known as the Brides, represents a defining achievement in the artist’s career, and is one of the most significant paintings of twentieth-century Australian art. After a sneak preview of the exhibition, enjoy a three-course dinner with matching wines. Dinner is $120 a head and can be booked by calling 9852 2346.

Saturday 22nd November

  • The Jimmy Watson Sumptuous Spring Spit (333 Lygon Street, Carlton) – Times may have changed but some things stay the same at Carlton institution Jimmy Watson’s. Join Jimmy’s son Allan as he fires up the spit for an afternoon of culinary delights matched to Jimmy Watson wines and some ring-ins. Lunch includes a taste of a recent Jimmy Watson Trophy winner, and dessert comes with tokay, port and liqueur muscat from the late 1940s. Take home a bottle of Jimmy Watson shiraz or chardonnay.Lunch is $99 a head and can be booked by calling 9347 3985.
  • Get Ready for Christmas with George Calombaris at Hellenic Republic (26 Cotham Road, Kew) – Join George Calombaris as he helps you unlock the secrets to a delicious and easy festive lunch! With the silly season well and truly upon us, it’s time to start creating your Christmas menu. Join us as George demonstrates some of his favourite festive Greek inspired dishes over a relaxing afternoon in our function rooms at Kew. Later you can sit back and relax as the dishes are served up for you to taste and enjoy and find some inspiration for your festive table. You’ll also receive a little gift from George to take home with you! Lunch is $130 a head and can b booked online here.
  • A French Journey with Jacques Reymond at Bistro Gitan (52 Toorak Road West, South Yarra) – It’s a family affair when Jacques Reymond returns to the stove to prepare a special lunch that is served by his kids. The five courses of French bistro-style dishes may include salmon with champagne and sorrel. Lunch is $95 a had and can be booked by calling 9867 5853.
  • French Revolution: New vs Old at Paringa Estate (44 Paringa Road, Red Hill South) – Chef Philippe Mouchel heads to the Mornington Peninsula to take on Paringa Estate’s Head Chef Julian Hills as they prepare a six-course French degustation menu. The evening starts with canapes and champagne. From here each chef prepares three dishes matched with top wines from France (Philippe) and Paringa Estate (Julian). Dinner is $160 a head and can be booked by calling 03 5989 2669.
  • Morrexico at Flinders (Cnr Cook & Wood Streets, Flinders) – Terminus marries modern Mexican cuisine with the flavours of North Africa to create Morrexico, a vibrant five-course fiesta. Bring the amigos to try the Morrexican pancake filled with chermoula and tequila-marinated slow-roasted lamb shoulder, which has balance and bite. Dinner is $130 a head and can be booked by calling 03 5989 0201.
  • Barossa, Be Consumed Long Lunch (64 Sutton St, North Melbourne) – Maggie Beer shows off the gastronomic delights of her home, the Barossa Valley, at a long lunch. Barossa-inspired dishes are paired with fine Yalumba wines from some of the most distinguished vineyards throughout the region. Lunch is $200 a head and includes matched wines. To book, call 08 8561 3563.

Sunday 23rd November

  • Cream of the Crop Dairy Festival at Ormond Hall (557 St Kilda Road, Melbourne) – The best of Australia’s dairy produce is available at Melbourne for the first ever Cream of the Crop Festival, hosted by the Dairy Industry Association of Australia. The event showcases Australia’s amazing cheeses, ice-creams, yoghurts, butters and other dairy delights. Admission includes unlimited tasting as well as entry into dairy masterclasses throughout the day. Kids under 12 are free. Wine, beer and cheese platters are available for sale. Tickets are $20 a head and can be purchased online here.
  • River and Ridges Winery Ride at Mitchelton Winery (470 Mitchellstown Road, Nagambie) – Ride alongside world renowned Orica GreenEDGE Cycling team throughout the picturesque Nagambie Lakes wine region, and enjoy one of the most spectacular rides of the season, just 90 minutes from Melbourne. Tickets range from $49 – $119 and you can register online here.
  • Victorian Wine Show at Mitchelton Winery (470 Mitchellstown Road, Nagambie) – Join the wine show at Mitchelton Wines to sample the Best of Victorian wines. It’s your opportunity to  taste the results for yourself. The Wine Show Tasting is occurring in conjunction with the River to Ranges Winery Ride. Tickets are $20 a head and can be purchased online here.
  • Spring Sunday Family Roast at The Local Taphouse (184 Carlisle Street, St Kilda) – Book your spot in the Locals beer garden terrace and enjoy a classic spring Sunday roast with friends and family. Choose between pork or lamb, and enjoy duck fat chat potatoes and seasonal sides. Enjoy the sun, great company and a delicious communal feast with all the trimmings at one of Melbourne’s leading craft beer venues. Two-for-one tasting paddles of outstanding craft beer are available to accompany your meal. Wet weather option inside: the event runs rain or shine. Lunch is $38 a head and can be booked by calling 9537 2633.
  • Nourish at The Builders Arms (211 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy ) – Upstairs at the Builders Arms Hotel, brilliant young winemakers James Erskine of Jauma Wines in South Australia and Patrick Sullivan of Victoria will make a mighty team with Andrew McConnell and Josh Murphy to present a very serious selection of things that are very good fun to eat and drink. We’ll be serving some of our favourite new local and international wines alongside food to match, with the sole purpose of nourishment, fun and you feeling good. James and Pat will present some of their favourite, happiness inducing wines while Andrew and Josh prepare matched dishes from the open kitchen. Join us upstairs at Builders Arms Hotel for what we know is going to be an unbelievably fun day/night. Lunch is $140 with matched drinks. To book , call 9417 7700.
  • Morris Jones Wine Club: Champagne and Sparkling of the World (163 Chapel St, Windsor) – Morris Jones presents Champagne and sparkling for your drinking pleasure. Hosted by Hayden Burbank with guest speaker, the Red and White Brand ambassador, Matt Talbot. The night features a selection of wines with matching canapes. The masterclass is $60 a head and you can book by calling 9533 2055.
  • Bingsoo Expert: The Snowball Effect at Patbingsoo (128 York Street, South Melbourne) – Balls of snow (shaved ice) topped with delicious sweets are a popular Korean treat. Patbingsoo are running a snow workshop, where snow mountains can be decorated with traditional sweet red beans and ricecake pieces or fruit, jellies, meringues and crumbles. Most creative entries receive a dinner for two. Workshop is $30 a head and can be booked by calling 8060 5771.
  • Fiesta Noviembre at The Richmond Club Hotel (100 Swan St, Richmond) – Say hola to summer and get to this rooftop party celebrating everything about Mexican culture. Eat favourite Mexican dishes such as tacos, mini burritos and more, washed down with margaritas and other Mexican drinks. Tickets are $50 pre sale or $60 on the door and include drinks and nibbles. To book, call 9428 6722.

10th November – 16th November 2014

Monday 10th November

  • MoVida Iron Chef at MoVida Aqui (Rear of 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne ) – Five chefs. Five dishes. You decide. Frank Camorra and his head chefs from the MoVida kitchens face off to see whose cuisine reigns supreme. Can they beat the boss? Or will Frank still show them how it’s done? Dinner is $135 with matched wines. To book, call 9663 3038.
  • IDES at Persillade (150 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne) – IDES a movement by Peter Gunn Jnr. sous chef of Attica, which is ranked #32 of the list of San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World. Hosted at Persillade in East Melbourne, serving a tasting menu reflecting their take on produce, technique and flavour. IDES is crafted by the minds of today for a concrete tomorrow, in pursuit of creation not perfection. Dinner is $100 a head, $150 with matched wines and you can book by emailing eat@idesmelbourne.com.au or you can book online here.
  • Show Your Buns at Orient East (348 St Kilda Road, Melbourne) – Show us your buns!  Baos, filled Asian buns, are the perfect beer food. Orient East offers a choice of five baos and two craft beers from boutique breweries throughout the land. Enjoy 5 bao with 2 matched beer for $50 a head. to book, call 9685 2900.

Tuesday 11th November

  • Taste of Sichuan at The Point (Aquatic Drive, Albert Park Lake) – Take a sensory journey over a four-course meal that draws on food influences from Australia and the Sichuan province of China. Taste dishes traditionally enjoyed by rulers of the ancient dynasties, and over the course of the meal, learn about the origins of the dishes to better understand their complexity and preparation. Accompanied with sommelier-matched wines as well as traditional Chinese spirits, this is an evening to remember. Dinner is $140 a head including beverages. To book, call 9286 5566.
  • 10 Years, 10 Dishes at Tutto Bene (Mid-level, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank) – Help Tutto Bene blow out ten birthday candles and celebrate Italian cooking and its culinary history. The ten-course tasting menu featuring artisanal produce and traditional techniques revisits the past, savours the present and peeks into the future of Tutto Bene and its love of all things Italian. Dinner is $100 or $170 with matched wines. To book, call 9696 3334.
  • Lessons From the Butcher at Bar Nacional (727 Collins Street, Melbourne) – One for the carnivores: learn how to butcher a whole pig with resident meat-lover, head chef Alex Drobysz, who shows why pork is his preferred meat. Finish with four porky courses. A selection of Spanish beverages is offered throughout the class and dinner. Dinner is $120 a head including matched drinks. To book, call 9252 7999.
  • Wonton 3 Ways at Orient Teahouse (455 Chapel Street, South Yarra) – Everybody loves dumplings. Learn from Oriental Teahouse how to make beautiful wontons the traditional way and use them in a soup or even a salad. Leave with ideas to create your own at home. Includes a meal after the hands-on class. Tickets are $55 and can be booked by calling 9826 0168.
  • Henschke Wine Dinner at No.8 by John Lawson (Crown Riverside, Crown Casino, Southbank) – With a legacy of wine production that has been built over 140 years through 5 generations, Henschke is known for pioneering single-vineyard and varietal wines. Set across Eden Valley, Barossa Valley and the Adelaide Hills, Henschke is most famous for its Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone Shiraz, but constantly strives to create new innovative styles. Join us at No. 8 by John Lawson for a 5 course culinary journey, where you’ll enjoy a perfect pairing of Barbeque Yarra Valley Venison loin with the 2009 Hill of Grace. And for dessert? Delight in the combination of a vanilla panna cotta with the 2012 Noble Rot Semillon. Dinner is $300 a head and bookings are essential, call 03 9292 5777.
  • DiGiorgio Wine Dinner at Taxi (Federation Square, Melbourne) – Join DiGiorgio for a very special dinner at Taxi where they will match their wonderful range of wines with Taxis amazing food. Dinner is $140 a head and can be booked by calling 9660 9909.
  • The Great Chefs Lunch at Matteo’s (533 Brunswick St, North Fitzroy) – William Angliss Institute and Matteo’s are thrilled to announce a special lunch to be held as part of the William Angliss Great Chefs Program. A former Angliss student himself, Matteo will host a lunch in his restaurant, welcoming 12 apprentice chefs and 12 front of house William Angliss students to work on site at Matteo’s in North Fitzroy. Under the guidance of Matteo & Executive Chef Brendan McQueen, the apprentices will produce and serve a seasonally inspired three course lunch matched with wine. As one of Melbourne’s most respected restaurateurs, Matteo believes in training the next generation of hospitality professionals. The lunch will provide an invaluable opportunity for the next generation of young chefs and waiters to gain hands on experience in one of Melbourne’s finest two hatted restaurants. Lunch is $75 a head and can be booked online here.

Wednesday 12th November

  • Gastronomique at Peninsula (Central Pier, 161 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands ) – Gastronomique is Anglicare Victoria’s gala food and wine charity night, which supports vulnerable children. More than 25 of Victoria’s top chefs create a unique evening of food and wine, including spit-roasted goat shoulder and Finders Island suckling lamb. Chefs include Adam D’Sylva from Coda & Tonka, Scott Pickett from Estelle & Saint Crispin, Gabriele Olivieri from Bottega, Oliver Gould from Stokehouse, Perry Schagen from The Graham, Colin Wood from Cumulus Inc, Tony Twitchett from Taxi Kitchen, Olimpia Bortolotto & Daniel Kranjcic from Cecconi’s Flinders Lane, Barry Davis from Montalto, Mathew Macartney from Eleonore’s at Chateau Yering, Nicky Riemer from Union Dining, Ludo Baulacky from Oscar W’s & Daniel Wilson from Huxtable. Dinner is $150 + $150 donation including matched wines. Email dinner@anglicarevic.org.au to book.
  • The Laotian Experience at The Orchard Room (31 Artemis Lane, Melbourne) – Embark on an authentic dining experience to the Kingdom of Laos over seven traditional and authentic plates. Laotian cuisine is known for its freshness, seasonality and regionalism, with a strong emphasis on the elegant use of herbs and spices, its harmonious arrangement of contrasting flavours and textures through carefully balanced infusions of lemongrass, basil, fresh chilli, tamarind, ginger, kaffir lime leaves. The meal comes with matched Chalmers wines, a sustainable vineyard that has embraced Mediterranean grape varieties and is at the forefront of grape-growing in Australia. Dinner is $120 including beverages. To book, call 9603 1601 or go online here.
  • Twenty-five Centuries of Flavour at Bar Idda (132 Lygon Street, Brunswick East) – Twenty-five centuries of foreign occupation by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Spanish and French have influenced Sicilian cuisine. Over a six-course menu, Bar Idda uncovers the flavours of Sicily’s rich history through its ingredients, dishes and culinary traditions. Each course explores a key period of Sicilian history: aperitivo features modern-day street foods of the urban population, followed by twentieth-century primi and the peasant foods of the immigrants. The mid-course is a portrayal of the seventeenth century when French chefs were brought to the island to prepare elaborate and refined dishes in the palaces of wealthy aristocrats. Discover the fourteenth-century Spanish occupation with secondi, and the opulence of the baron’s feast tables. Two courses of dolce showcase Sicily’s iconic sweet tooth. Dinner is $125 including beverages. To book, call 9380 5339.
  • Nihon Nights at Sake Bar and Restaurant (Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne ) – Learn about the history and the evolution of Japanese alcohol. Taste Japanese whisky, and get an introduction to Japanese boutique beers, sake and umeshu, matched to Sake’s contemporary Japanese cuisine. Dinner is $120 a head and can be booked by calling  8687 0775.
  • Butcher, Baker and Wine Maker at The Great Den (Argyle St, Fitzroy) – Yalumba winemaker Kevin Glastonbury unlocks the 165-year-old winery’s cellar for a gastronomic journey featuring Melbourne’s top butcher and bakers, paired with award-winning wines. Dinner is $125 including matched wines. To book, call 08 8561 3563.
  • Meat for Alcotarians at The Noble Experiment (284 Smith Street, Collingwood) – Air, sand, foam and liquid nitrogen. Here’s a chance to experience the best of global drink trends: a five-course cocktail degustation, with food to match. Think martini with sous vide onions in juniper and gin, or a smoked foam that features in both drink and dish. Chef Cameron Bell, cocktail master Linus Schaxmann and venue owner Daniel Lemura challenge the way you think about food and drink matching, with the finest of ingredients sourced from across Victoria and abroad. Dinner is $125 with matched cocktails. To book, call 9416 0058.

Thursday 13th November

  • The Rocks Kung Pow Dumpling Dinner (1 Schnapper Point Drive, Mornington) – Head chef Xavier Nalty and Taiwanese chef Yi Ting Chu have created a seven-course Taiwanese-inspired dumpling banquet of savoury and sweet courses. Begin with a steamed Taiwanese scallop bun, then share in an assortment of prawn, pork, chicken, salmon, vegetarian and Wagyu dumplings. Finish with a Taiwanese dessert. Dinner is $40 a head and can be booked by calling 03 5973 5599.
  • Flinders Mixer at St Crispins (300 Smith Street, Collingwood) – To celebrate spring, Saint Crispin is offering a five-course dinner highlighting Flinders Island produce, paired with fragrant spring cocktails. ‘In spring, the grass is greener on Flinders Island,’ says head chef Joe Grbac, who sources many ingredients from there to create a dish such as Flinders Island lamb, nettle puree, baby leek, poached radish. The dedicated mixology team from Saint Crispin’s upstairs bar, Thomas Olive, headed by bartender Alan Mulvihill, matches cocktails to the Flinders Island menu. Drinks to include Death in the Afternoon, Ernest Hemingway’s infamous hangover cure, composed of absinthe and champagne. Dinner is $150 including matched cocktails. To book, call 9419 2202.
  • Talk and Taste – A Word From Our Coffee Experts at Sensory Lab (297 Little Collins Street, Melbourne) –  A tutorial on the perfect cup, showing all the tips and tricks for espresso, plunger and pour-over coffee. Take home 250g of single-origin coffee and a home-brewing guide of popular methods. Masterclass is $25 a head and can be booked by calling 0409 165 164.
  • The Artists Palate at Woodland House (78 Williams Road, Prahran) – The Artist’s Palate celebrates the close links between the culinary arts and the visual arts by taking in elements of colour, form and texture while weaving in taste and smell to achieve their effects. Woodland House chefs offer a five-course menu inspired by the iconic artists and movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries such as Cubism and Pop Art, and artworks like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles. Over dinner, admire artworks by local artists Vivienne Binns, Mark Wingrave, Paul Knight and Lynne Baines. Dinner is $250 a head which includes matched wines. To book, call 9525 2178.

Friday 14th November

  • Talk and Taste – A Word From Our Coffee Experts at Clement Coffee (Stall 89/116 Cecil Street, South Melbourne Market) – A tutorial on the perfect cup, showing all the tips and tricks for espresso, plunger and pour-over coffee. Take home 250g of single-origin coffee and a home-brewing guide of popular methods. Masterclass is $25 a head and can be booked by calling 0409 165 164.

Saturday 15th November

  • Colour Your Palate at Collins Quarter (86 Collins Street, Melbourne) – An event offering a sensory surprise: an eyeful of colour, a zing for the palate, textures to tease and aromas to delight. Chef Nikki Smith has drawn menu inspiration from the colours and flavours of seasonal fruit. Guests will experience a five-course menu exploring sweet and savoury flavour combinations, perfectly matched to wines from Mac Forbes, a winemaker James Halliday calls one of the ‘young guns of the Yarra Valley’. Mac takes a ‘terroirist’ approach to his vines, bottling wines from single patches of vines rather than blending vineyards or regions, and guides the personalities of each into the glass. His philosophy to ‘look after the detail, keep it simple and respect the fruit’ is one that resonates at Collins Quarter. On the day, Mac explains how and why Collins Quarter’s food and his wine work so well together. Lunch is $90 a head and can be booked online here.
  • Be a Wine Judge for a Day at Union Dining (270/272 Swan St, Richmond) – Be a wine show judge for a day with James Halliday, AM. The tasting will be at Union Dining from 3.00pm – 5.30pm. James Halliday will host as the top wines from the Western Victorian Wine Challenge and the North East Victorian Wine Challenge are assessed. Following the judging you have the option to stay for a beautiful four course meal beginning at 6:30pm, including eight winning wines, and alongside many of the winning winemakers as votes are counted and the final winners are announced.Whether you come to judge or just to eat, it is a truly rare wine experience, not to be missed. Wine Judging is $30 a head, dinner only is $95 a head, wine judging and dinner is $120 a head. Book by calling 9428 2988.
  • A Feast of Fusion at Nobu Restaurant (Crown Riverwalk, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank) – With 30 locations around the world, and three of these holding Michelin stars, Nobu’s name and food has become an institution in the restaurant world. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is famed for his innovative New Style fusion of Japanese and South American flavours, brought on by his emigration to Lima, Peru, and his inability to find traditional Japanese ingredients locally. This is a rare chance to experience the full flavour of his signature dishes as a buffet-style lunch, and taste what it means to have the highest standards in Japanese cuisine. Relax and be treated to a feast of the menu, with famous dishes such as yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno and black cod in miso. An event you won’t want to miss. Lunch is $190 with a glass of Yalumba Sparkling or $220 with a glass of Moet. You can book online here.
  • Friends with Vegetables at Town Mouse (312 Drummond Street, Carlton) – Bring some friends for a multi-course meal based around vegetables, accompanied by wines made especially for the occasion by Patrick Sullivan and Anthony Fikkers, and see how vegetarian food can be just as delicious as meat-based ones. Please note the restaurant uses dairy and egg products: this is not a vegan lunch. (Sorry, vegans!) Lunch is $60 a head which includes a glass off wine. To book, call 9347 3312.
  • La Tavola Italiana ‘The Italian Table’ at Savoia Restaurant (71 Wellington Road, Wandin North ) – Indulge in delicacies from Roma to Piedmont, Milano to Sicily within the elegant surrounds of Savoia. Locally sourced, organic produce and wholefoods are transformed into a sumptuous five-course degustation that is a true experience for the senses. A range of iconic Italian and local wines are expertly matched to each course for the ultimate indulgence. If you wish to spend the weekend in the stunning Yarra Valley, return transfers can be arranged from your local accommodation; contact the venue for further information. Dinner is $85 a head, $125 with matched wines. To book, call 03 5964 2409.
  • Cider and Pork Extravaganza at Magnolia (190 Mt Buller Road, Magnolia) – Magnolia’s Travis Boltong prepares a three-course European-inspired menu of local free-range pork to accompany handcrafted Tin Shed cider. Dinner is $80 with matched ciders. To book, call 03 5779 1000.
  • Fitzroy Foodies for Homelessness (165-169 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy) – A food and wine tasting masterclass with UK wine expert Matthew Jukes. 10 wine tastes with 10 matching canapés. All wine and canapés donated by wineries and restaurants that are friends of St Mary’s. Following the masterclass, a plate of food will be served and we invite guests to stay for a drink. Wine sold by the glass after the masterclass. This event is organised by St Mary’s House of Welcome; a community support service offering meals, showers, emergency relief and a safe place to be for people experiencing homelessness, poverty and mental illness. Tickets are $60 a head and can be booked via zoe.lake@smhow.org.au or call 9417 7985.
  • Eat your Ethics Sausage Making Workshop at Jonai Farm (129 Morgantis Road, Eganstown) – At ethical pig farm Jonai, ethicurean farmer and meatsmith Tammi shows how to bone out a shoulder, cut, mince and stuff a variety of sausages, including Jonai’s signature Toulouse and a spicy chorizo. Feast on freshly made sausages with locally grown and organic produce from Angelica Organics and Captain’s Creek organic wines. Workshop is $100 a head including organic wine. To book, call 0422 429 362.
  • Sake Glass Tasting at The Chefs Armoury (422 Church Street, Richmond) – The flavour of Japanese sake covers a wide spectrum and in terms of the best vessel to drink from there is no one size that fits all. Fragrant or fruit driven styles of Daiginjo, for instance, can be decimated by serving it in a tiny ochoko. Likewise serving a steely, lean style of sake in a cup with rim that is too broad makes it appear flabby.  Experience first-hand how sake can be enhanced by the correct choice of drinkware. Includes take-home sake cups worth $100. Led by certified sake sommelier Leigh Hudson. MAsterclass is $65 a head and can be booked by calling 9429 1139.

Sunday 16th November

  • The Ezard Sunday Lunch (187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) – Sunday lunch at ezard means good times with family and friends while enjoying the classic Australian dishes, wine and beer that inspire the chefs, who have recreated a five-course degustation menu to highlight these classics in a contemporary fashion. There is a full wine list to explore, and the choice of matched wines with each dish if you desire, plus a couple of little extras on offer on the day. Lunch is $95 a head and can be booked online here.
  • The Long Table Lunch at The Point (Aquatic Drive, Albert Park Lake) – Pull up a seat at the long shared table on picturesque Albert Park Lake for a Sunday barbecue lunch with family and friends. Executive chef Andrew Harmer’s contemporary take on Rangers Valley beef and Flinders Island lamb is served with all barbecue favourites and sides. Desserts such as lemon tart and cheesecake are sure to satisfy those with a sweet tooth. Share dishes and stories with fellow diners as you listen to live music and while your children are transformed into princesses or jungle lions by our talented face painter. A relaxing afternoon out for all ages. Lunch is $75 or adults, $28 for children 12 and under. Book by calling 9682 5566.
  • The Polish Festival at Fed Square (Fed Square, Melbourne) – Now in its tenth year, the Polish Festival is again bringing a taste of Poland to Melbourne. Traditional Polish fare is a blend of Slavic influences, and also shares roots with French and Italian cuisines. Stalls offer pierogi (dumplings filled with mince, brined cabbage, mushrooms, potatoes, onions or cottage cheese) and popular pastries, including the Polish doughnuts, paczki.
  • Pig in a Warehouse (97B Smith Street, Fitzroy ) – Jabili Mchawala from The Voodoo Jerk Truck combines the flavours of Jamaican food with some not-so-common ingredients. Rare-breed pigs are transformed into pulled pork and spit-roasted pork belly with jerk spices, accompanied by cornbread, red beans and rice and other Jamaican favourites. Boutique beer and wine varietals are on offer from Yarra Valley winemakers. Lunch is $55 a head and includes 2 glasses of wine and a microbrewed beer. To book, call 0424 446 585.
  • Fluid Festival at Daveys Hotel (510 Neapean Hwy, Frankston) – For one day only, Fluid Festival will showcase some of the world’s finest beers, wines, bourbons and ciders at Daveys Hotel, Frankston. The event will feature stalls from over 20 local and international suppliers, offering the chance to sample a huge range of flavours and styles. Crowd favourites at the festival will include Australian International Beer Awards winners Feral Brewing Company and Thunder Road Brewing Co; Champion of the Show winner at the 2013 Australian Cider Awards, Hills Cider Company plus many more. In addition to tastings, you will have the opportunity to meet some of the best in the business at the ‘Meet The Brewer’ master classes featuring some of the world’s leading brewers, cider makers, distillers and wine makers. Entry is free with tokens for tastings to be purchased on the day.

3rd November – 9th November 2014

Monday 3rd November

  • Hats off for Cup Eve at Epocha (49 Rathdowne St, Carlton) – Launch your spring racing season on Melbourne Cup Eve at Epocha. Begin with free-flowing champagne in Hannah’s Bar from 6pm-7pm, then thrill to an extravagant six-course degustation paired with thoroughbred wines. Dinner is $160 a head including matched wines. To book, call 9036 4949.
  • Ambassador Travel Cup Eve Dinner at Crown (River Room, Crown Casino, Southbank) – Crown Melbourne will once again play host to Ambassador Travel’s exclusive Emirates Melbourne Cup Eve Dinner in 2014. What better way to prepare for “the celebration that stops a nation” than to attend this special event in the company of fellow racing enthusiasts and our special guests.Hosted by well-known racing identity Bryan Martin and duel Melbourne Cup winning jockey John Letts, this event is exclusive to Ambassador Travel and open to the public for the first time. Tickets are $225 a head and can be booked online here.
  • The Charles Heidsieck Cup Eve Dinner at Bistro Vue (430 Little Collins St, Melbourne) – In honour of the iconic 19th century French Champagne merchant affectionally nicknamed”Champagne Charlie”,  Vue have devised an entire Charles Heidsieck champers match for you to enjoy this Melbourne Cup eve. Curated by Japan’s Master of Wine: Asia-centric commentator and Champagne ambassador to the stars, Ned Goodwin MW, alongside the Bistro’s wine director Rocco Esposito and head sommelier Gavin Wraith, this will be a night for the ages!  A cleverly constructed seasonal Bistro menu will feed into the Champagne varieties that will offer you balance, spark and that high society feel synonymous with the man, the myth, the legend, “Champagne Charlie”. Dinner is $220 a head and can be booked by calling 9691 3838.
  • Clase Azul Ultra & Anejo Launch at Circa, The Prince (2 Acland St, St Kilda) – Join Casa De Vino for the launch of Clase Aazul Tequila presented by master distiller, Arturo Lomeli and matched with the divine food at Circa. Dinner is 5 courses with 5 matched tequilas and is $159 per head. To book, call 9681 8006.
  • Melbourne Cup Eve Mixology at Cafe Vue (430 Little Collins St, Melbourne) –  The time has come to giddy up with Mixology! Watch in awe as Lui Bar mixologists team up with gun Vue de monde chefs to present 5 unique dishes matched to 5 cocktails. Working to a Spring Racing Carnival theme, kick your heels up on Melbourne Cup Eve in a place where originality and innovation go hand-in-hand with a cracking DJ score. Tickets are $95 a head and can be booked by calling 9691 3899.
  • Melbourne Cup Eve Pop Up Champagne Bar at Eureka 89 (Level 89, Eureka Tower, Southbank) –  Eureka 89 are hosting a special Champagne pop up bar on the night before cup. For $30 a head you get, entry, entertainment, and a glass of French Champagne on arrival plus one of the best views in Melbourne. To book, call 9693 8889.

Tuesday 4th November

  • Melbourne Cup Day Venues Here

Wednesday 5th November

  • 5 Top Young Chefs at Estelle (243 High St, Northcote) –  In conjunction with Good Food Month 2014, Scott Pickett continues to support the next generation of Melbourne chefs by hosting a young chefs dinner in association with his Head Chef of Estelle Josh Pelham, The Age Good Food Guide Young Chef Of The Year 2015. Throughout Josh’s already illustrious career he has worked along side chefs of note including Philip Howard from The Square, George Columbaris from The Press Club, and a stage with Thomas Keller at the French Laundry.Josh has invited George Tomlin The Town Mouse, Vanessa Mateus Pope Joan, Jake Kellie The Commoner and Daniel Rahilly Saint Crispin to create a spring themed 5 course tasting menu. To book, call 9489 4609.
  • French Cheese and Wine Degustation at The Tasting Table (1219 High St, Armadale) – Cheese and wine has always been one of the most fantastic matches, whether it’s Sauternes and deliciously potent blue cheese or creamy cheeses such as Brie with White Burgundy, it’s certain they compliment each other amazingly well. Culturally-speaking, wine and cheese are central elements of a French meal and the history between them is a very long one. If you love cheese and wine join The Tasting Table for their French Cheese & Wine Degustation Evening and learn a little more about which cheeses match perfectly with which grape varietals. They’ll be matching up 6 different French wines to 6 delicious farmhouse French cheeses. Tickets are $40 a head and you can book online here.
  • Martini Masterclass at The Gin Palace (10 Russell Pl, Melbourne) – Wet.. Dry.. Dirty.. Olives or twist? If you don’t know how you like your martini then the martini masterclass is for you! Explore the history of the martini and ‘taste’ the different varieties to find your favourite. Classes are $50, to book, call 9654 0533.

Thursday 6th November

  • Indochine at Saigon Sally (2 Dukes St, Prahran) – Jacques Reymond and Saigon Sally’s Adrian Li tip their culinary caps to the history of French influences on Vietnamese cuisine. Jacques steps behind the pass to mentor and work alongside Adrian, serving up fresh and aromatic dishes that demonstrate the osmosis between French and Vietnamese cuisine, drawing on a longstanding passion for Asian ingredients. Dinner is $165 per person and includes matched wines. To book, call 9939 5181.
  • Decanter World Wine Award Launch Party (1219 High St, Armadale) – Decanter Magazine is one of the most respected magazines in the world, with one of the biggest circulations it’s produced and read in over 80 countries. The Decanter World Wine Awards is one of the biggest and most comprehensive tastings you’ll find with 200 industry professionals tasting 130000+ wines and giving 7500 a commendation, bronze, sliver, gold or regional medal. These include wines from many different areas of the globe from Canada to New Zealand and everywhere else in between. Join The Tasting Table for their Decanter World Wine Awards Global Tasting Launch Party where you’ll get to taste all 16 award winning wines for just $15! There’s also 10% off any purchase of Decanter award winning wines on the night, so if you find something you really love it’s a great excuse to buy a bottle or two. You can book your tickets online here.
  • Oaks Day at World Restaurant (4/2 Riverside Quay, Southbank) – The drill here is pretty much the same as cup day except there is no public holiday for it. You get a 3 course lunch, champagne on arrival, manicures, and a massage plus you can watch the race on the big screen. Tickets are $70 a head and can be booked by phone on 9690 6999 or via functions@worldrestaurantbar.com.au
  • Oaks Day at Lamaros (273 Cecil Street, South Melbourne) – Lamaros are throwing a do this Oaks day with live screening of all races in the bar, bar specials plus full a la carte menu available in the bar or you can go the 2 course set lunch menu plus glass of Pommery Champagne on arrival, only $55.00 per person. To book your spot, call 8644 4000.
  • Oaks Day at The Stokehouse (7 Alfred Pl, Melbourne) – Get a group of girls together, don your finest racing attire and join us at the Stokehouse City to celebrate Crown Oaks Day. Enjoy canapès and a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rose on arrival, followed by a two course menu and petit fours especially designed and executed by restaurant Head Chef Ollie Gould. In addition to live screening of the races, there’ll be a Stokehouse City Sweep and the Stokehouse City Style Awards celebrating the day’s best dressed. Lunch is $80 a head and can be booked by calling 9525 5555.
  • Oaks Day Breakfast and Bus at Campari House (23-25 Hardware Lane, Melbourne) – Join Campari House for an Oaks Day buffet breakfast including a champagne or beer on arrival and return coach transfer to and from the races plus you get a complimentary Mumm Champagne Cocktail upon your return, all for just $30 a head. Bookings can be made via info@camparihouse.com.au or on 9600 1574.

Friday 7th November

  • Fermentation Masterclass at St Ali (12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne) – Learn about the processes and benefits of this ancient preservation technique, including for making beet kvass, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchee, apple and rose cider elixir, yoghurt and more. The masterclass is $30 a head and can be booked by calling 0409 165 164.
  • Harajuku Pop-Up Bar at Saké (Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne) – A taste of neo Tokyo returns to the Saké Melbourne terrace just in time for summer. With Harajuku-inspired cocktails in hand, nibble on izakaya-style skewers, grilled fish, sashimi salad, sushi rolls and deep-fried cheeseburger gyozas. Entry is $45 and includes 3 cocktails. To book,  call  8687 0775.
  • Bellarine Penisula Vs The Golden Plains at The Vue Grand (46 Hesse St, Queenscliff) – Enjoy five courses cooked and presented by two amazing chefs, Jesse Hughes from Vue Grand, & Matt Dempsey from the 2 hatted restaurant, Gladioli. With incredible 2012 vintage wines to match, representing both the Bellarine Peninsula & Golden Plains. Starting with drinks and seafood on the roof top bar, guests will make their way to the Grand Dining Room for the remainder of the evening.This is one of those classic events that don’t come around too often. Dinner is $150 a head, book by calling 03 5258 1544.

Saturday 8th November

  • The 7 Deadly Spices at Mankoushe (323 Lygon Street, Brunswick East) – Feast like a Persian prince, indulge with treats from the Garden of Eden and eat the Plates of Damascus. If you think you’ve tried Middle Eastern food, think again. The Choucair family share their culture and cuisine with a buffet-style lunch featuring more than 15 sweet and savoury dishes that have travelled across Persia, Babylon and the Levant. Lunch is $20 a head and can be booked by calling 9078 9223.
  • The Press Club Kids Only Lunch (72 Flinders St, Melbourne) – Strictly no adults. Children aged 6 to 14 get an opportunity to dine with George Calombaris, as he takes them through their first five-course degustation from The Press Club with matched drinks. Lunch is $90 including matched drinks. To book, call  9677 9677.
  • City Cellar Door at Cumulus Up (45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) – Running from 12pm on the first Saturday of every month, City Cellar Door will be showcasing wine makers from the a different Victorian wine region, This month it’s the Mornington Peninsula. As a bonus, Cumulus Up will also be roasting a whole pig and offering crispy pork bun rolls. Wine tasting is free with roast pork rolls at $10 a piece.
  • A Taste of Sicily in the High Country (190 Mt Buller Road, Mansfield) – Politini winemaker Luis Simian and Magnolia chef Travis Boltong present a Sicilian inspired dinner, matched to Politini’s hand-crafted boutique wines. Share the passion: listen to the heart of the winemaker and taste the enthusiasm of a local chef. Dinner is $100 a head including drinks. To book call 03 5779 1000.
  • Bodegas Vermut at Bomba Rooftop (103 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne) – Much more than just the ‘other’ ingredient in a martini, vermouth is enjoying a resurgence in Europe and America as an easy drinking aperitif. Bomba is at the forefront of that movement in Melbourne. Enjoy a range of vermouths in the classic style – perhaps in a carafe of sangria, a Spanish Spritz (aperol and white vermouth) or Bomba’s own Casa Mariol Vermut Negre – the perfect balance of sweet and savoury with light herbal notes. Spanish beer and cava are also available. Lunch is $110 a head and can be booked by calling 9077 0451.

Sunday 9th November

  • Pranzo della Domenica at Italico (173 Barkly Street, St Kilda) – Indulge in a true Italian Sunday lunch that combines flavour, love of food and family over a traditional two-course feast. On offer are a choice of pasta or handmade pizza that evokes the streets of Naples, followed by a traditional Italian dessert. Lunch is $30 a head and can be booked by calling 9537 5300.
  • Duck Three Ways at The Yarraville Community Centre (59 Francis Street, Yarraville) – A workshop for all things duck: Peking duck, crisp and crunchy duck salad and comforting duck soup, all with Asian flavours. Ingredients and recipes are provided, just BYO apron and a container to take samples home. Masterclass is $45 a head and can be booked by calling 9687 1560.
  • Cumulus Up Wine Makers Lunch (45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) – Cumulus inc will celebrate the end of the City Cellar Door series with a family style lunch at Cumulus Up. Join Tod Dexter of Dexter Wines, Darrin Gaffy of Principia and Jayden Ong of One Block for a personal tasting at 12.30pm followed by a classic long Sunday lunch. Lunch is $55 a head and can be booked by calling 9650 1445.
  • South Wharfs Toast to the Spit Roast and BBQ (35 Dukes Walk, South Wharf) – Celebrate all the goodness of barbecued grills and spit roasts at this event that combines the Argentinian asado and the Spanish parrilla with the good, old-fashioned Aussie barbecue. With beef, pork, goat, lamb, house-made chorizo, morcilla sausage, empanades and more on offer, there is something for everyone. This street market-influenced barbecue pop-up brings together South Wharf residents Bohemian, Meat Market and Common Man, with San Telmo from across the river. $95 a head for a shared menu.