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Alternative Variety Showcase @ The Kent 30th September 2021 Featuring XO Wine Co

September 30, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm

XO Wine Co Dinner at the Kent

XO Wine Co has been a bit of a find for me. In a sea of great wine in Australia, they are one of the producers nailing the alternative wine varieties.

It is funny how we label some grapes as “alternative varieties”. Tempranillo is to Spain what Shiraz is to Australia. I’ve got as much Temp in my cellar as I do Shiraz. Nebbiolo is one of the greatest grape varieties. For me, it rivals Pinot Noir for quality red wine. And then Fiano is the grape we should have planted everywhere instead of Chardonnay.

Spotlight on the “alternative varieties.”

For this dinner at the Kent, we’re giving these “alternative varieties” the spotlight. With each course, one grape from three distinctly different origins will take the spotlight. This will prove that they are, in fact, quality grapes in their own right and worthy of your attention. The Kent has prepared a stunning menu, which I am looking forward to enjoying with the wines.

The food and wine menu for the night

On Arrival – Natural oyster, Yarra valley shiraz caviar.
Gougere parmesan cream lemon, thyme.
Brawn croquettes, bread and butter pickle.

Kilikanoon Sparkling Vouvray (Chenin Blanc) NV

Entree – Poached fish, garlic velouté + asparagus.

XO Fiano Adelaide Hills 2021

La Zona Fiano King Valley 2018

Masso Antico Fiano Puglia (Italy) 2020

Main Course – Venison loin, roasted cauliflower puree + sprouting cauliflower.

XO Nebbiolo Adelaide Hills 2020

Trentham The Family Nebbiolo Murray Darling 2019

Piazzo Armando Nebbiolo Langhe (Italy) 2015


Cheese – Cuardo Cabra semi al Pimento, smoked almonds, saffron pears.

XO Tempranillo Adelaide Hills 2020

Hither & Yon Tempranillo McLaren Vale 2020

Bodega Enguera Castillo Reserva Valencia (Spain) 2016

The Details

The Kent Hotel 370 Rathdowne St, Carlton North VIC 3054

Thursday 30th September. Arrive at 6.30pm for Canapes and Vouvray. Seated at 7pm for dinner.

$135 per head, including food, wines, notes, everything.

Featuring XO Wine Co

Our feature winery is XO Wine Co. A small winery near Meadows in the Adelaide Hills. Owned and run by Greg Clack and Kate Horstmann.

XO Wine Co produces small-batch wines from the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. Some batches are only just enough to fill a single barrel.

I enjoy the XO Wine Co because Greg and Kate craft wines that express varietal character and are deliciously (maybe even dangerously) drinkable from release. They achieve this by using a mixture of art, science and sometimes by doing nothing.

Disappointingly for me, the ‘X‘ and ‘O’ refers to when everything lines up as in naughts and crosses. Not hugs and kisses. But when the elements align – the growing season, vineyard, winemaking – the outcome is spectacular.


September 30, 2021
6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
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Kent Hotel
370 Rathdowne St
Carlton North, Victoria 3054 Australia
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03 9347 5672
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