This year, the Hot 100 Wines SA celebrates a significant milestone: a decade of discovering this state’s most drinkable wines.
The Adelaide Review-run wine show will mark this milestone with some exciting new events including a two-day publicly-invited celebration in the heart of the city called Hot 100 Harvest in February, an awards gala on Thursday, December 1, as well as a masterclass event in Singapore on Monday, July 25.
These new additions to the Hot 100 signify the growth and recognition of a wine celebration that gets bigger every year and which is now embedded in the state’s wine calendar as an important and innovative event.
The Hot 100 started quite humbly in 2007; a wine show that featured three judges tasting local wines in a room at the Hilton, which was followed by a publication that listed the top 100 wines.
The inaugural winner was S.C. Pannell’s 2005 Shiraz Grenache. This wine show has grown to include a national panel of 19 judges (led by chief judge Banjo Harris Place) who experience the best of South Australian culture while tasting more than 1400 wines over four days. Some important figures who have helped turn the Hot 100 into the event it is today include inaugural judge and editor Nick Stock, former Adelaide Review editor Keith Barrett, winemaker and former chief judge James Erskine, chief steward Trevor Maskell as well as the project manager Tamrah Petruzzelli.
Over the past 10 years, the Hot 100 has introduced some innovative (and controversial) aspects. Wines are judged in classes of taste rather than variety, plus the judges are immersed into the culture of South Australia by experiencing local food (cooked by this state’s best chefs), local music through curated events and playlists, as well as tours of significant cultural institutes.
Over the journey, the Hot 100 has captured the zeitgeist of this country’s change in wine tastes, as the show is a celebration of drinkability: wines that are perfect to drink right now. Aside from the show and publication, other exciting awards will be part of the Hot 100 season.
These include the return of the Howard Twelftree Award, which rewards an innovative figure in this state’s gastronomy scene and was last year awarded to Fino’s Sharon Romeo while Africola’s Duncan Welgemoed was the inaugural winner the year before.
The JamFactory Drink Dine Design award also returns. Drink Dine Design recognises an emerging designer (who must have completed a design training or study program in South Australia) who has designed an excellent product that enhances the experience of consuming food and/or wine.
Liam Mugavin was last year’s winner with his Hamra Chair. One of the biggest changes to this year’s Hot 100 program is the addition of the Hot 100 Harvest. This two-day event is the first dedicated public event the Hot 100 will hold. It will bring the wine regions to the heart of the city to encourage South Australians to participate in the Hot 100 Wines experience.
Another significant event is the Singapore Masterclass, a collaboration with Department of State Development, University of Adelaide and Brand South Australia, where chief judge Banjo Harris Plane, former Singaporean judge Lim Hwee Peng and Andrew Cameron will discuss the drinkability and business of wine at an all-day event at Pollen.
This is an exciting venture that will showcase this state’s unique and brilliant wines and winemakers to Asia.
This year’s Hot 100 partners and ambassadors include: Food ambassadors: Karena Armstrong (Salopian Inn), Jordan Jeavons (Happy Motel), Rebecca Sullivan (Warndu), Kenji Ito (Kenji Modern Japanese)
Industry Ambassadors: David Danby (Hains & Co) and Paola Coro (Apothecary 1878), Caitlin Macpherson (Press* Food & Wine), Patrick Madden (Mother Vine)
Music ambassador: Music SA (they will prepare music playlists featuring artists from each of the wine regions)