The Oaks is not only one of our favourite Sydney pubs, it is also a great venue to learn about food and wine. Each month they put on a range of informative events, that are good value and well worth attending. We attended their wine blending session in partnership with Hentley Wines (from the Barossa Valley). This series is held every Thursday for the month of May in the Garden Pavilion, kicking off at 7pm, don’t be late!
If you’ve ever thought of being a winemaker, then the wine blending session is your opportunity to learn what it takes to make that perfect blend for bottling. This was a great event and was very interactive and enjoyable. Hosted by Hentley Farms head wine maker Andrew Quin, he provided a background on Hentley Farm, their wines and what it takes to get the right blend.
The Garden Pavilion is the perfect venue for such events. The tables were set impeccably, with bottles, glasses, an information sheet to jot down your blends. The tables also included beakers measuring tubes and empty bottles which matched how the event was described – Mad Scientist meets Wine Lover.
With a range of quality reds from Hentley’s to first sample, then ponder what to include in your blend. The range includes The 2016 Barossa Shiraz, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon from the same region and the 2017 Villain and Vixen Grenache.
Then the experimentation begins as everyone gets to make their own blend. Maybe add a little of each, more of one, a little of the others or choose one with a little of the other. The possibilities are endless. Sample and tweak the blend, between sampling the tasty pizza provided by the Oaks.
The favourite blend selected by the table is then bottled. Now the bottle needs a name and a label. Not as hard as it sounds, especially after a few wines. We had the creative Jason King a gentleman and a scholar, from Spooning Australia at our table, to design the label, between talking footy with the guys and discussing the wine making process with Andrew. Our table came up with the 80% shiraz 20% grenache blend called The Hentley Oak Blend. A rich dry herbacious taste up front with a long lingering finish of dark fruit and berries. There were a range of creative bottlings fronted, with Andrew declaring the winner.
Be sure to get to the Oaks for one of their upcoming events, you will be sure to learn a thing or two and have a good time doing it. Bookings are essential and there are limited tickets available so get in early!
The Oaks Hotel