Toowoomba Test: Queensland Wine Contest Starts This Weekend


The Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland (RASQ) will celebrate 16 years of its yearly wine contest when it kicks off the RASQ Wine Show and Mediterranean Challenge this Saturday and Sunday at the Clive Berghofer Events Centre in Toowoomba. 
The Chronicle’s (Australia) Meghan Harris previewed the wine show yesterday, interviewing an RASQ representative to find out what visitors can expect at the two-day event. 
RASQ CEO Damon Phillips said the 2015 wine show and Mediterranean challenge will center on wines from the Mediterranean region. 
“We focus on Mediterranean variety wines and this year are picking up a number of interesting and unique styles from South Australia and Victoria,” Phillips said.
The wines won’t be for the banal palate, he said. 
“It’s really just a great opportunity for people to try some new and unique wines,” he said. “If you're someone who plays it safe and always drinks the same thing, then this weekend is your chance to try a different variety of wines.”
Over the course of the two-day show, judges will taste and evaluate wines and then award bronze, silver and gold recognition for their top choices. 
The event will be public-friendly. On Sunday, judges will present their awards for the wine show’s best wines and attendees will be able to participate in a public tasting, which, according to RASQ promotional material, will be “an ideal opportunity to get a group of friends together and with you own souvenir glass included in the price you will enjoy a range of award-winning wines.”
Entrance fee for the public tasting is $15.
The tasting takes place at noon, while an awards presentation lunch will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. 
The lunch will include two courses, cheese, a tasting of some of the competition’s award-winning wines and “a tutorial on the judging process from Chief Judge Tony Harper.”
Reservations for the presentation lunch, which costs $50, must be completed by the end of today.
Phillips said he’s proud of the event’s longevity and that the wine show is the first big wine gala on the Toowoomba calendar. 
“We have been running the show for 16 years now and we are the first wine show on the calendar,” he told Harris. 
The 2014 competition featured 15 categories of wines. Shiraz, arguably the strongest varietal in Australia, underwent stringent judging. 
Of the 60 Shiraz entries in the 2014 contest, only three won gold medals. 
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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