The City Lane was recently invited to cover Qantas’ ‘Sips and Sliders’ night in Melbourne. Usually, these types of invites never get beyond the desk of our editor-in-chief, Paul, but as he was busy, the invitation was foolishly given to me.
Held at Collingwood artist space, Second Story Studios, ‘Sips and ‘Sliders’ is a paid Qantas epiQure event offered to Qantas Frequent Flyers, but on this occasion also had a selection of corporate clients, such as travel agents, and people like me, who aspire to travel enough to be frequent flyers and be invited to things like this. On the outset, this event was about two things, wine and sliders, with a little bit of gin thrown in.
Let’s start with the wine. This carefully selected group of wines from wineries such as Red Claw and Penfolds offered attendees a taste of the types of wine served as part of the first or business class experience. Some highlights? I favour reds so the Clonakilla Shiraz is a good place to start, but throw in a Lake Breeze Shiraz Cabernet, and finish it off with a Baileys of Glenrowan Muscat and you’ll see me throwing my savings away to be one of those flyers. I could talk about wine all day, and really, depending on your taste, at this event you would be bound to find something to your liking. But what is more important is the overall feeling you get from the event, and this leads me to my next point, the sliders.
I debated with a fellow guest over their merit. To me, as the event wasn’t specifically about these tiny burgers, but about the wine being tasted and sold, then the focus didn’t need to be placed on them. After all, the main aim for the burgers is surely to ensure the stomach is suitably lined so the alcohol can continue to flow. But to my fellow guest, a self-confessed spice connoisseur, the sliders were equally important to the event. His angle was biased of course, but his point that the tiny burgers were anything but on-trend, there was no macaroni and cheese burger to be seen anyway, made me realise that the food was a poor country cousin to the wine that accompanied it. Did it matter to the experience of the wine? It probably didn’t. Did it impact on the on the clear goal to encourage people to buy wine fit for a first class lounge experience? Well that’s a possibility.
Overall, Qantas’ ‘Sips and Sliders’ is a worthy event for the wine lover, but perhaps it lacks the right punch to give attendees an overall first class experience.
Is the quality of the food at an alcohol-tasting event important to you? Tell us in the comments below.