Sydney is slowly warming up to the new concept of "secret dinner" which a group of strangers will be randomly selected for a dinner party where the venue will only be revealed on the exact date via SMS or email. I am a sucker for surprises; if I was a cat, I definitely the first one to be killed by my own impulsive curiousness. I received an invitation through the mail which looks like a booklet with red stiches, inside is full of questions and the first question was - "Where is King's Vault?" Which King are we talking about? Let alone where?
It definitely drives the inquisitive me to look for answers at their website and soon realised that it is actually a very clever marketing idea by the Victoria Tourism to launch a pop up bar somewhere in Sydney where wine lovers can taste some of the best drops from the King Valley region in Victoria. I finally received an email the day before the launch date and the King's Vault secret venue is revealed - an old building in Darlinghurst that is awaiting demolition has been transformed into a cosy stylish wine bar by capitalising on the features in the existing building.
The guests started arriving at 6.30pm sharp but we are asked to wait outside while they are still busy cleaning up all the glasses from the wine tasting session early this evening. Once we are inside, I was in awe with how they have transformed an old building into an edgy rustic wine bar which looks almost too good to be demolished in two weeks time. The featured wall on the left is a quirky 3D map of the King Valley region showcases where all the wineries are. Variety of cheeses, biscuits and olives are abundance spread across the long table for everyone to enjoy with their wines. A few bottles of different wine that we are tasting tonight had been capsuled in glass cases like the most precious specimens on display.
On the right is where the action is - wine tasters are gather around the luminescent green glowing bar counter sampling some of the best wine behind the King's Vault including two variety of sparkling Prosecco. It is my first time heard of Prosecco, a dry, refreshing sparking wine that uses Prosecco grapes which brought back from Italy and now happily grown in King Valley by the Dal Zotto family. The Dal Zotto prosecco is sparkly just like champagne, refreshing with a peculiar sweet taste at first but slowly I found myself liking it on every sip. My body system simply can't handle champagne and usually my face will be flush like a red baboon's backside after just one glass, but I seem to have no trouble with the bubbly prosecco and dare I say that I probably had a few glasses too many that night.
I had some brie and blue vein cheese and both seem to pair pretty well with the prosecco and really enhance the sweetness of the wine. Well, if sweetness is your cup of tea (or glass of wine) that is. Canapes are also circulating the crowd which we are happily accepted. The prosciutto ball is surprisingly good which packs quite a punch in the heat department, and nicely balanced out with a short of soothing asparagus and pea soup. But my favourite has to be the home made salami (sorry, forgot where they came from) - the velvety smooth layer of fat on the tongue simply out of this world and works extremely well with the prosecco I must say.
The King's Vault pop up bar will be open from 18th - 27th November, between 6.30pm - 11pm. A selective of wine from King Valley are available for tasting at $10 a glass. Oh I forgot to mention there is an in-house DJ on the opening night too, but don't hold my breath on it because I am unsure whether he will be there spinning the records every night. Good Italian wine from King Valley, lounge music, cheese platter, socialise with cool people in funky outfits or you are simply intrigued by the Prosecco sparking wine, I'd suggest you to get down there soon.
* The King's Vault is an one-off event and only available in Sydney.
Here's the wine list available at the King's Vault:
- Dal Zotto Pucino Prosecco NV
- Christmont La Zona Prosecco NV
- Brown Brothers Pinot Grigio 2008
- Dal Zotto Arneis 2008
- Sam Miranda Arneis 2009
- Pizzini Verduzzo 2009
- Chrismont La Zona Barbera 2008
- Sam Miranda Barbera Shiraz 2008
- Brown Brothers Sangiovese 2006
- Pizzini Neiibolo 2004 * ($15/glass)
Where is King's Vault? 20 McLachlan Avenue
Darlinghurst (Rushcutter Bay)