Master sommelier Madeline Triffon describes Pinot Noir as 'sex in a glass', while winemaker Randy Ullom calls it 'the ultimate nirvana'. One of the most challenging grapes in the world of vinification, it's also one of the most surprising and rewarding.
No wonder Bottle Shop Concepts — the good folk who bring Game of Rhones our way — are coming back to town with Pinot Palooza, an epic travelling wine festival celebrating all things Pinot Noir. This time round, Brisbane wine connoisseurs will have the chance to sample more than 100 drops from Australia and New Zealand's best producers over not one, but two full days. Expect drops from Victoria's Curly Flat (Macedon), Tassie's Josef Chromy, and Ata Rangi and Pegasus Bay from NZ — and that's just the first few leaves on the vine.
Whether you're a newbie who wants to start with something light and inviting, or a Pinot pro ready for the biggest, most complex mouthful on the menu, there'll be an abundance of selections at either end — and plenty along the spectrum, too. You'll even be able to vote for your favourite.
If, at any point, you need to take a pause in your tasting adventures, you'll be catered for. There'll be food from Blackbird, beer from Young Henrys and Stone and Wood, frosé and cider. Plus, the epic Burgundy Bar will be back, a kind of Pinot Noir mecca where you'll be able to sample some seriously good (and spenny) bottles at cost price. Expert sommeliers will also be on hand to help you make selections.
What's more, those keen to fuel their brains (as well as their tastebuds) can spot $100 for a VIP pass. The VIP day will be held on Saturday, October 14 and, with your pass, you'll get a food voucher, an extra special glass of wine and a one-on-one with one of the event's sommeliers, who will personally curate your Pinot experience for you.
Pinot Palooza will hit Lightspace in Fortitude Valley on October 14 and 15, with the VIP day being held on the Saturday and general admission on the Sunday. General tickets are $60, which includes tastings and a take-home crystal Plumm RedB glass.