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Your guide to the "virtual" Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend

The Forager

The 2020 iteration of the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend will be unlike any other, with virtual tastings, live cooking demos, and gourmet grazing boxes to be enjoyed from the comfort of home.

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Over 35 years the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend has become an institution on the South Australian food calendar.

Up until now, food and wine aficionados have made the pilgrimage to the wine region, where more than 40 venues put on a smorgasbord of events over three days.

But, in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers have reinvented this year’s Gourmet Weekend to be held entirely virtually.

Clare Valley Wine & Grape Association general manager Lucy O’Brien encourages people to get a group of fewer than 10 friends together, and pre-purchase food and wine to celebrate all things Clare Valley from the comfort of home.

With limits on regional travel lifted this week, it’s also an excuse to take a drive to the Clare Valley and pick up one of the wine packs or grazing boxes on offer.

Events run from May 14 to 17 and The National Wine Centre’s “At Home Clare Masterclass” has sold out for this Thursday night.

Kirrihill Riesling virtual tasting — May 14

Join Kirrihill owner Rob Stanway, chief winemaker Susan Mickan, and 2019 Clare Valley Viticulturist of the Year Dick Bryksy as they host a Facebook Live tasting on Thursday, May 14, at 4:30pm. Participants can pre-order a limited-release four-pack of Kirrihill’s award-winning Settler Riesling for $120, with each bottle from a consecutive vintage of 2016 to 2019. Conversation will focus on the vineyard, the vintages, and how that transpires in the glass.

Gourmet In A Box – May 15 and 16

O’Leary Walker Wines’ head chef Brendan Leslie has prepared a DIY pizza and wine kit. There is also a Gourmet Grazing Box. Pre-order cut-off is 12:30pm, Thursday, May 14, with kits to be collected from the cellar door Friday and Saturday.

Gateway to Gourmet – May 15

Pre-purchase a Gateway to Gourmet Hamper and enjoy a virtual tasting via Facebook Live, presented by Eldredge Wines and the Clare Valley Wine, Food and Tourism Centre on Friday, from 5.30pm. For $68, including freight, the hamper includes three Eldredge Wines, Pangkarra Pasta and more.

Live Cooking Demo – May 15 and 16

Join Pikes Beer Co and Slate Restaurant head chef Tim Bourke for a live cooking demonstration and wine pairing on Friday and Saturday at 7pm. The menu and ingredient list will be posted to social media prior to the event.

Fri-Yay Frock Up Fiesta – May 15

Claymore Wines and the Watervale General Store present a Spanish-themed food and wine tasting evening, combining Louise Haines’ famous paella, married with Claymore’s Miseducation Tempranillo, and To Pimp a Butterfly Shiraz Mataro. To be held via Facebook on Friday at 6pm.

Knappstein Virtual Tasting – May 15

A tasting of selected Knappstein Wines will be presented via a virtual cellar door on Friday at 6.30pm, showcasing the Clare Valley Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasting packs are available for pre-purchase.

Virtual tasting and cooking demonstration – May 16

Matriarch & Rogue wines have curated a tasting pack of four bottles that have been wrapped up so participants can participate in a blind tasting on Saturday at 5.30pm. Cook along with a recipe from Seed Street Diner, and even enjoy live music along with the conversation.

A Taste of the Clare Valley – May 17

Join Jim Barry Wines’ Tom and Sam Barry for a virtual tasting on Facebook Live. Wine selection includes four bottles for $99, including shipping.

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