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'King's Vault Pop Up Bar - Darlinghurst'

Wednesday, 29 August 2012
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There were a lot of corks popped, that’s for sure. The stunning, purpose-designed King’s Vault bar popped into action last night – with Australia’s (we reckon) first prosecco masterclass and first prosecco party. Talk about an easy way to get the fun rolling.

MC Nick Stock kicked things off by reminding the assembled throng that King Valley prosecco has been labelled the next big thing in Australian wine. It’s light and bubbly, crisp and fruity – purpose-built, itself, for the way Australians eat and drink today.

‘When I was young, living in Italy,’ Otto Dal Zotto, of Dal Zotto wines (the pioneer of Australian prosecco), said, ‘we would go to the café at 10am in the morning – not to drink coffee, but to open a bottle of prosecco. A bottle of prosecco was never too far away – it was part of our everyday life.’

A point his son, Michael Dal Zotto, picked up on. ‘The one thing about prosecco is that you can drink it almost any time. Before a meal, during a meal, after a meal – it always seems to fit.’

At this point Nick Stock mentioned that he was planning on waking up, the next day, at 9.55am ‘so that I can open a bottle of prosecco by 10, just to see how it goes’.

Rounds of laughter, eating and drinking. The rolling signature of the night. All this early-evening discussion took place around a beautiful, long, dressed-to-impress table – littered with the profound cheeses of the Milawa Cheese Factory, and other assorted antipasto. ‘I reckon,’ Sam Miranda said, ‘that prosecco is a great drink because it’s something you have without really thinking about it. It’s an easy, fresh wine and it’s only after you’ve had a few glasses that you ask, Hey, what’s this? It’s not a wine to be fussed over or picked apart – it’s a wine for enjoying yourself around the table.’

Of course when the ‘masterclass’ closed the bar fired up – as did the food of noted north-east Victorian chefs, Patrizia and Anthony Simone. By the end of the night a number of people had said to me – That’s the best food I’ve ever had at an event like that.

Slow roasted goat, home made salami, zucchini flowers stuffed with fetta before being lightly fried .. it was elite cooking with a homely, personal, touch. The perfect match to the wines of the King Valley … or the odd cheeky chestnut beer from Beechworth, or witbier from nearby Bright.

And so the King’s Vault “pop up bar” – in a beautiful old ex-art gallery in Darlinghurst – burst into the life. Tonight – dedicated to sangiovese, with Rocco Esposito of the famed Warden’s Wine and Food directing the food – should be just as exciting … as should the next week. If you’re able … you’d be mad not to arrange a visit.