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Kate’s Week in Food: Wine down at a pop up hotel room + empanadas on call

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It was clearly a hit last year, because Wine Down is back for 2020. The Visit Victoria initiative sees luxury container hotel rooms pop up at three wineries across the state over March, April and May. This year, the stylish pods will be placed at Seville Estate in the Yarra Valley (28 February-28 March), Montalto on the Mornington Peninsula (3 April– 2 May) and All Saints Estate in Rutherglen (8 May–7 June). Each winery will offer accommodation in two converted shipping containers plus a hot tub and special wine bar, accompanied by a virtual-reality experience to inspire travel to other wine regions in Victoria. They are super cool, and these are absolutely stunning Victorian vineyards so they are bound to book out pretty quickly. But … if you do miss out, you can still head to these wineries and book an immersive virtual reality wine bar experience – sampling wines and matched foods from each of the state’s newly framed hero wine regions. More details:


Don’t forget, next Saturday 29th February, thousands of Melburnians will flock to Northcote Town Hall to indulge in the best Proseccos on offer from Italy and Australia as part of the Prosecco Festival. There are over 45 different bubbly Italian treat to try, plus John The Oyster Bloke and the team at Oyster Luxe will be shucking up a storm; there’ll be Wine Ice Cream thanks to Zero Gradi & King Valley winemakers Dal Zotto; Osteria Italiana are serving vegan; Yarra Valley Caviar will supply the fancy stuff; and plenty more! Tickets via:


Speaking of booze, BeerFest also returns to Melbourne on Saturday 29 February. It’ll see more than 50 craft brewers, cider makers, winemakers and distillers set up in Catani Gardens to share craft brews and other one-off creations; and of course there’ll be plenty of food offerings from street food vendors. You can also learn about beer and the art of brewing at a range of masterclasses and tastings led by industry leaders.


The collapse of Made Establishment hit hard in the western suburbs where locals had embraced the newly rebadged Hotel Argentina with Argentinian chef Dan Zwarc at the helm. Dan’s Empanada Bar on the balcony of the former Williamstown pub was an instant hit, and, it’s not lost forever. He’s launched “Dan’s Empanada Bar” catering – looking after parties, private events and pop ups. Their first appearance for the public will be at Flemington Racecourse for Super Saturday on March 7th. Get along for some fine racing action, and awesome Argentinian pastries.