From the backline to the vine
Three of Australia’s celebrated Wallabies players have debuted their latest pursuit, their very own wine brand. Canberra local Matt Giteau, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Drew Mitchell discovered their love for wine while playing rugby in France and partnered with winemaker Ben Riggs to create their latest drop, the Backline 295 McLaren Vale shiraz. Full bodied and structured, the 295 shiraz joins Backline’s existing lineup of a 2018 shiraz, a cabernet blend and a rosé. The new addition is a tribute to the team’s rugby careers; the trio collectively played 295 games in the Wallabies’ backline, and only 1,063 bottles will be produced, the same number of points scored by Giteau, Ashley-Cooper and Mitchell in tests.
For more, check out backlinewines.com.au
BWS loves local
Local brewing companies Bentspoke and Capital Brewing Co have been featured in a new BWS campaign all about supporting local, independent companies. More than 600 billboards and digital screens have been rolled out across the country, promoting 92 local, independent Australian brewers, winemakers and distillers.
Aussie classics, reimagined
Chocolate retailer Koko Black has announced a new Australian Classics collection, taking inspiration from beloved Aussie treats like the Golden Gaytime and the lamington. The range includes chocolate creations such as gaytime goldie bars, Koko vovo bars, jam wagons, honey joys, Koko crackles and lamington slice. And, if you can’t decide on just one to try, you can order the whole selection in an ‘ultimate classic collection hamper’. Head chocolatier at the homegrown brand, Remco Brigou, says the range has been designed to transport consumers back to the ‘good old days’, “where milk bars were on every corner, and where summers were filled with memories of birthday parties, fetes and trips to the tuckshop”.
The collection is available online and in stores for a limited time; kokoblack.com
Orange foodie tours
As people opt for local and domestic holidays due to COVID-19, some regional areas are booming with an influx of tourists from within their own state. One of these areas is the NSW town of Orange, with a heaving food and wine scene, under four hours’ drive from Canberra. Foodies have rejoiced with the launch of Country Food Trails – interactive, socially-distanced and eco-friendly food and wine tours of the region that allows visitors to meet local producers and sample some of their products, including cheese, meats, olive oil, hazelnuts and chocolate, as well as gin, wine and beer. Country Food Trails’ Nicole Farrell says the tours give people a deeper connection to the food they’re consuming, and are a “stress-free, fully immersive food and wine experience”.
There are five tour options available as well as custom tours; visit countryfoodtrails.com.au for details.
Inside the gin-dustry
Are you a gin enthusiast? If you’re looking to a deep dive into all things gin, Aussie gin curators Gintonica have produced a podcast to discover the people who work in the Australian gin industry and share their stories. Gintonica’s David Box has teamed up with Channel 7’s John Deeks for interviews with distillers, bars and gin-related businesses across the country.
For more, visit gintonica.com.au
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