The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Wine is coming…to a festival of Dionysian delights

rsz_game_of_rhonesGame of Rhones, a fun-first, facts-second wine festival will be held in Auckland on Saturday, July 2, 2016 and Wellington on Saturday, July 9, 2016. Both events promise an explosion of the senses as guests enjoy a combative celebration of the classic grape varieties of the Rhone Valley in France.

30 of the best producers from New Zealand, Australia and France, including Villa Maria, Craggy Range, Babich, Trinity Hill, Pask Winery, Giesen, Elephant Hill, Man O’ War, and more will converge first in Auckland’s Shed 10 on July 2 and then The Atrium at Chaffers Dock in Wellington on July 9. Tickets for each event are $60 and include tastings of over 100 wines (with no tokens, guests can enjoy an unlimited amount of pours). Food will be available to purchase as will cider and beer from Good George Brewing. Wines can be bought on the day at cellar door prices and all attendees take home a PLUMM VINTAGE RED wine glass ($35RRP).

Guests are encouraged to taste their way around the room and cast their vote for the People’s Choice award by pitting variety, style, house and region against each other to see who will reign supreme. The legendary blind (folded) tasting ‘torture chamber’ will be running, and wine producers are enthusiastically encouraged to dress in theme, as are attendees for that matter.

The Royal Pass, a new addition this year, is also available for purchase, giving a limited number of wine-loving VIPs exclusive pre-event access to the wineries between 11am-1pm. The pass also allows access to extra special bottles kept aside by the winemakers just for royalty, a food voucher for any one of the food producers, and 3 wine tastings from the Rhone Bar. ($85)

Game of Rhones (Auckland) – July 2

1 p.m. – 6 p.m. (Royal Pass entry from 11:00 a.m.)

Level 1, Shed 10, 89 Quay Street, Auckland

General Admission tickets are $60 (Royal Pass $85) and available from:

Games of Rhones (Wellington) – July 9

1 p.m. – 6 p.m. (Royal Pass entry from 11:00 a.m.)

Chaffers Dock, 1 Heard Street, Wellington

General Admission tickets are $60 (Royal Pass $85) and available from:

Games of Rhones is part of a series of events Bottle Shop Concepts will produce in New Zealand this year, with others including industry event Wine Day Out (July 1) and flagship event Pinot Palooza (September 3). Founded by wine commentator and educator Dan Sims, formerly a sommelier at some of Australia’s most renowned restaurants, Bottle Shops Concepts will host 30 events across seven cities and two countries this year.