Melbourne Food & Wine Festival: six must-do events

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Think you’ve left it too late to snap up tickets to this year’s Melbourne Food & Wine Festival? Think again. Kicking off on Friday 27 February, this stellar foodie fest offers a jam-packed calendar, from hands-on masterclasses to wine-tasting sessions and celebrity chef dinners. We’ve rounded up six standout events you can still score tickets to. Get cracking!

What: Matt Abergel at Northern Light
When: Tue 3 Mar, 7pm, $140
Why: I’ve been mad for Matt’s mod Japanese ways since my stint in Hong Kong, where I was a regular at his rock ‘n’ roll yakitori bar, Yardbird. For this intimate event, Matt’s teaming up with Northern Light’s chef Adam Liston for an evening of inventive Asian flavours.

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Rodney Scott

What: Rodney Scott at Rockwell and Sons
When: Sun 1 Mar, all day
Why: You’ve heard me wax lyrical about the double-patty smash at Rockwell and Sons, and now North Carolina native Casey Wall is taking on South Carolina pitmaster Rodney Scott (above) in a barbecue showdown. Entry is free for this one, and there’ll be a specially crafted menu to choose from on the day. Pack the wet wipes – things are going to get saucy.

What: Crawl ‘n’ Bite bar crawl
When: various locations and dates
Why: Go on a bar-hopping tour of the city’s finest haunts, sampling signature drinks, knockout cocktails and matching snacks. Take your pick of the Whisky Crawl through the CBD, a Northside amble, Laneway excursion or Mystery Bar session.

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival Mike Bennie

What: Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience
When: Sat 28 Feb and Sun 1 Mar, 3.30–5pm
Where: Melbourne Hotel Hall
Why: Are you a non-negotiable cabernet evangelist or someone who’s happy to dip their toe into touriga and co? Wine lovers, take your pick of the Max Allen-hosted Classics experience, or the boundary-pushing Not-So-Classics option with Mike Bennie.

What: The Essentials
When: various dates and times, $50
Where: The Langham Hotel
Why: Want to learn how to mix a cocktail with bar whiz Matthew Bax? How about getting your kimchi on with Benjamin Cooper of Kong? Or making charcuterie with Tammi Jonas of Jonai Farms? Learn these artisan crafts and more at the hour-long Essentials sessions, a bargain at $50 a pop.

What: Acqua Panna Perfect Match
When: Sat 28 Feb and Sun 1 Mar, $85
Where: Melbourne Town Hall
Why: Food and wine matching gets funky as Mike Bennie and Raph Rashid team up for Beats and Burgers; the Moon Park crew and Brad Higgins marry new-wave Korean with new-wave wine; and William Downie of Thousand Candles and Victor Liong of Lee Ho Food go rogue with their Renegade Masters pairings.

For more last-minute tickets and event details, visit

Sarah Gamboni is an Australian food, drinks and travel writer. Sarah writes for leading lifestyle magazines and websites, and produces content for a range of clients spanning tourism bodies, beauty products, food and fashion. She is currently based in Dubai with her husband, Simon, and daughter, Francesca.

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