Embark On A Gourmet Escape to Margaret River, Western Australia

Margaret River Gourmet Escape_Festival Tents

 [Credit: Margaret River Gourmet Escape]

Mention Margaret River and most people will say, “Great wines!” And they are right. Home to over 200 vineyards and 187 wineries, the Western Australian destination—about a 3-hour drive south of Perth—is one of the world’s most famous wine regions. Hence I was chuffed when Musings on the M49 was invited to attend the media event introducing the highlights of this year’s Margaret River Gourmet Escape (gourmetescape.com.au) that will take place from 16-18 November.

Now in its 7th year, the popular food and wine festival is a great way to savor Margaret River’s fine wines, quality local produce, and natural beauty all at one go. Featuring internationally celebrated chefs, food producers and winemakers, 45 food and wine events will be held in over 25 unique locations in the region including wine-tasting at award-winning wineries, BBQs at secluded white beaches and feasts in the scenic Karri forest.

Festival Headliner: Culinary Celebrity Nigella Lawson

Margaret River Gourmet Escape_Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson [Credit: Margaret River Gourmet Escape]

And new events are still being added it seems. As announced by Western Australia’s Tourism Minister Mr Paul Papalia at the wine and canapé reception held at the National Gallery of Singapore, renowned food celebrity and festival headliner Nigella Lawson will host Supper with Nigella at Xanadu Wines on Saturday 17 November. This is in addition to her other events including the Westpac Gourmet Beach BBQ (16 Nov, Lunch and Dinner), Nigella’s Tea Party at Howard Park Winery (18 Nov), as well as book signings at the Gourmet Village at Leeuwin Estate (17 and 18 Nov).

Margaret River: Great Wines & Food To Be Expected

Margaret River Gourmet Escape_Pouring Red Wine

Red, red wine… [Credit: Margaret River Gourmet Escape]

Truth be told, you simply cannot not try the wines at a Margaret River event. (Deepest sympathies to those who drove or who can’t drink.) For reds, I started with a 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon by Vasse Felix, said to be first red wine produced in Margaret River and has been made every year since 1972. Deep maroon in color, it has flora notes with a medium-bodied taste. I liked it but I preferred my second more which was a 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot by Cullen Wines as it has a very strong flavor and intense finish.

My first white was a Chardonnay by Pedestal (above left) and it was light with much floral notes that tasted really nice on the palate. I would have missed my second if a fellow guest didn’t gesture to me saying, “Try that now, it’s the last bottle!” Glad he did as the 2017 Art Series Riesling from Leeuwin Estate (above right) is crisp and bubbly, with distinct flavors of lemon and lime. Small wonder it ran out so fast! Add to that, it has easily the most artistic and eye-catching label too.

There was also a special stand where a bartender was mixing Seedlip’s distilled non-alcoholic spirits—comprising spice, garden and grove components—with tonic water and garnishes ranging from pepper pods to peas. It’s not exactly a “gin and tonic without kick” as it was actually quite tasty and refreshing and welcomed by those who had to drive or not into alcohol.

Let’s not forget the canapés. The evening’s food fare comprised Western Australian inspired delights prepared by Chef Seth James from Margaret River’s Wills Domain and Jake Kellie from Singapore’s Burnt Ends, both of whom are part of the 45-strong culinary line up for Margaret River Gourmet Escape 2018. The delicious items this writer managed to get her hands on included Margaret River Wagyu with Manjimup Truffle (above right), Amelia Park Lamb Rib with Wheat Beer Glaze and Toasted Buckwheat, Mario’s Artichoke with Beef and Scampi, Parfait Tartlet with Fermented Blackberry, and Potato cooked in Wattle Seed, Lemon Myrtle, Salted Egg and Manjimup Truffle (cutely served in a bark-like wrap, see above left.)

Additional Tickets & Exclusive SQ Promo Available

Margaret River Gourmet Escape_Table setting (640x427)

[Credit: Margaret River Gourmet Escape]

There’s no denying that there’s good wining and dining to be had at Margaret River. If you are a food and wine lover, and have time to spare in November, go and check out the programs for Margaret River Gourmet Escape 2018 which will highlight world-renowned wines as well as cuisines ranging from Italian to Chinese, Mexican to Japanese. Besides Nigella Lawson, other leading culinary talent appearing include Rick Stein, Skye Gyngell and Julien Royer, just to name but a few.

Most events are apparently sold out but additional tickets are now available for the following via gourmetescape.com.au:
* Westpac Gourmet Beach BBQ
* Feast in the Forest
* Cape on a Plate
* Chow’s Table Chinese Feast
* Caves Road Cantina at Black Brewing Co.
* Smith & Daughters 90s Trattoria Dinner
* Cape Mentelle International Cabernet Tasting and Long Lunch
* Cullen Chardonnay Tasting & Lunch

In addition, Singapore Airlines have an exclusive promotional offer just for Gourmet Escape subscribers – Return Economy Class fares to Perth around the Gourmet Escape weekend from SGD538 available now till 30 Sept 2018.

For more information on Margaret River Gourmet Escape, visit gourmetescape.com.au.

No text or photos from this post are to be reproduced without permission of the blog author.

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