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Summer sessions, new year celebrations and more

Food & Wine Events

Upcoming food and drink happenings, including New Year’s Eve dinners and drinks in the CBD, summer sessions in the vines, and a thirst-quenching line-up of craft beer, wine, whisky and cocktail events throughout January.

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Summer sessions in the vines

Twilight Friday Nights at Lazy Ballerina (located opposite Kuitpo Forest) give visitors the opportunity to experience the winery’s garden in a new light. It will be open for dusk bookings on December 20 and 27 and January 3, with a $40pp ($20 for kids) “feed me” menu of starters, platters and pizzas, plus acoustic music.

Golding Wines at Lobethal is hosting a twilight session from 4-9pm this Saturday (December 21), when you can enjoy a vino in the gardens, a selection of woodfired pizzas, salads and gelati, alongside acoustic tunes, lawn games and kids’ activities.

Hot weather forced the cancellation of Gemtree Winery’s first planned Up Late | Summer BBQ event but it’s now pencilled in for Friday, January 17, from 4.30-8pm. The McLaren Flat winery will be serving up organic lamb on the spit, grilled veggies, pita and tzatziki, plus regional platters, wines by the glass or bottle, and live acoustic music. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates.

Beresford Wines (McLaren Flat) is presenting its Lavish Lawns sessions on the first Sunday of each month throughout summer, with the next one scheduled for January 5. The 11am-5pm sessions include live music and lawn games, with gourmet pizza and paired tasting experiences also available.

Lavish Lawns at Beresford Wines.

McLaren Vale winery Wirra Wirra will kick off its summer sessions on January 3, with two food trucks – Soza’s Sri Lankan street food and Signor Arrosticini’s Italian char-grill – live music and wine. Tickets for the 5pm-9pm session are $20, including tasting glass.

New Year’s Eve

Here’s a taste of some of the CBD dinners and parties planned to see in the new year:

Mayfair Hotel: The hotel’s lower-ground floor “Night of Nights” ($199pp) includes dinner, a French gateaux buffet, three-hour drinks package including Champagne, and live jazz-blues music. Guests can expect to be dining on dishes such as lobster and crab cocktail, venison carpaccio, beef wellington with truffle mushroom duxelle, and marron thermidor with samphire, saffron rice and Champagne butter sauce. New Year’s Eve in the Hennessy Rooftop Bar is $99pp, including a grazing table, roving cocktail food, oyster stand, dessert and a glass of champagne.

Singer Emma Gordon-Smith and the Empire Band will perform at the Mayfair Hotel’s ‘Night of Nights’ celebration.

Sean’s Kitchen: Sean’s is ushering in the new year with a five-course degustation starting with kingfish ceviche and including Coorong mulloway, Jack’s Creek wagyu striploin and chocolate tart. Dishes will be matched to SA wine, with the cost ranging from $198 to $238, depending on your choice of beverage package. See the full menu here.

2KW Bar & Restaurant: Doors open at 7pm for 2KW’s NYE celebrations, which will kick off with a glass of Bollinger Champagne and include “roaming canapes”, food stations, DJs and a prime vantage point for the 9pm and midnight fireworks. Tickets are $150.

Adelaide Convention Centre: You’ll also score a good view of the Riverbank fireworks from the Convention Centre’s $199pp New Year’s Eve Gala, which includes a four-course dinner, all-inclusive beverage package and live music by Acoustic Juice.

Leigh Street Wine Room: This is the latest hotspot on the always popular Leigh Street, and it’s presenting a NYE event with six courses plus Champagne on arrival for $100. See the Facebook page for booking details.

Leigh Street Wine Room. Photo: Julian Cebo / CityMag

Regatta’s Bar & Kitchen: Riverbank restaurant Regatta’s is hosting a NYE party with savoury and sweet canapés like gazpacho shooters, salmon terrine, beef tartare, pork-cheek bao, cannoli with salted caramel cream and red velvet slice, alongside SA wine and beer from the likes of Alpha Box & Dice, Tscharke, Coopers and Pikes. Tickets (here) are $140pp.

Hains & Co: Gilbert Place small bar Hains & Co has teamed up with Never Never Distilling to host a New Year’s Eve Gin Party, with a $20 Sailor’s Package ticket guaranteeing you entry, a gin cocktail on arrival and late night snacks, while the $99 Captain’s Package includes a five-hour drinks package.

Electra House: NYE 2019 @ Electra House also comes with two options – for $50 you’ll get express entry, late-night snakes, an espresso martini and two drink tokens, while the $135 “I Want It All” option includes a four-hour drinks package including Mismatch Lager, Hills Cider, and select wines and spirits.

Pouring Ribbons: Breakfast Cocktails – January 8

The Pouring Ribbons tasting club for women is making a new year pledge to “upgrade your weekend routine with killer drinks for a great morning start”, with its first session of 2020 to be presented by mixologist Kayla Grigoriou and focus on breakfast cocktails. Pouring Ribbons is held from 7-9pm on the first Wednesday of each month at Hains & Co in Gilbert Place. Tickets are $39, with bookings (here) essential.

An Introduction to Whisk(e)y – January 15

NOLA in Vardon Avenue is presenting this introduction to whisky tasting via the great whisky regions of the world, with participants getting to taste drams from Ireland, Scotland, America, Australia and Japan, “plus something a little special”. Tickets (here) are $60, including snacks, and the tasting begins at 7pm.

Lucky’s Rosé Party – January 18

Photo: Meaghan Coles /

Lucky’s Beach Club in Camden Park will be transformed into a “summer cellar door” for this event, with Rosé tasting stations featuring wines from more than 30 wineries, including Dowie Doole, Grant Burge, Pike & Joyce, Chapel Hill, Golden Child, Riot Wine Co, d’Arenberg, Petaluma and Paulettes (see the full line-up here). It’s on from midday until 9pm, with live music throughout the day.

Fleurieu Beer Festival – January 25

This inaugural event at Willunga Recreation Park will showcase eight Fleurieu craft brewers: South Coast Brewing, Shifty Lizard, Goodieson Brewery, Swell Brewing Co, Mephisto Brewing, Smiling Samoyed Brewery, Fork Tree Brewery and Victor’s Place. There will also be local food – including burgers and a barbecue – live music, “giant games” and market stalls. Entry for the 4pm-9pm event is $20, including a complimentary beer glass. Details here.

Crush Festival – January 24-26

Crush at Howard Vineyard.

The Adelaide Hills’ annual Crush Festival promises an array of cellar-door events, from picnics and parties, to tastings, leisurely lunches and long-table dinners. The full program is online, but a few highlights include a $145pp long-table dinner by the team from Orso restaurant, served on the terrace of Shaw + Smith and paired with current and vintage releases; a five-course, $120pp “Hidden Treasures” dinner with locally grown and foraged foods at Ngeringa; an Alfresco Tomato Crushing Festival at Somerled Cellar Bar; Fiano Fridays with oysters, tapas platters and pizza at Barristers Block Wines; Shakespeare in the Vines at Deviation Road, and a hawker-market-inspired weekend with Asian street food at Golding Wines.

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