MARDI GRAS 2019 | Fearless

After a spectacular 40th anniversary in 2018, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is back this year with a fearlessly fabulous program of celebration and diversity. This year’s theme of ‘fearlessness’ aims to reflect on LGBTQI activism of the past whilst acknowledging those who courageously express themselves today.Mardi Gras Arts CEO Terese Casu adds: ‘Being fearless is more than making a lot of noise, it’s also about acknowledging a person’s own vulnerability, and being able to express who they are, even if it’s not bold.’ The festival kicks off on February 15th  with over 100 events and 400 artists scheduled over 17 days, culminating with the annual parade on March 2nd. The Seymour Centre will be transformed into Mardi Gras Central, a festival hub set to host an array of events from burlesque through to cabaret, as well as nightly parties as the official post-show venue for Mardi Gras events.
Among the headliners will be Club Briefs, a ‘trash glamour disco circus’ featuring dance and burlesque performances from cabaret hooligans and mischief makers handpicked from around the queer globe. The inaugural Bent Burlesque is another not to miss, featuring the crème de le crème of queer burlesque artists from New York to Venice, including winning queen of queer cabaret Yana Alana. You can look forward to the return of longstanding favourites like the Sissy Ball where you can vogue battle it out on the runway for titles in fashion and flair. Mardi Gras Fair Day returns with a feast of food trucks, picnics, dancing, community stalls and performances at Victoria Park. The Ivy Pool Party is back on the 25th of Feb, while the Strictly Kaftan Party will also grace this poolside venue with a dress code of glamorous poolside couture.

New events to look out for are Cake Daddy, an interactive cabaret banquet while you witness one queer man’s experience of fatness in a fat-phobic world. Meanwhile, Queer Thinking will bring together a program of talks covering topics like Safe Schools, what it means to be non-binary and the experiences of queer Iraqis.

This annual exploration and celebration of diversity, equality, sexuality and vulnerability will all come to a rise in a glittering explosion of pride during the parade in the heart of Sydney’s LGBTQI district on March 2nd. The team at Darlinghurst Fine Wines are all looking forward to celebrating with the community for another exciting parade day this year – the one day in the calendar where our shop feels more like a dance party than a hard day’s work!


It’s the Year of the Pig & soon Chinatown will be alive with red lanterns, dragon dancers and delicious Chinese food.  With a program of over 80 events from markets, exhibitions, tours and entertainment, we thought we’d share our top picks. Get up close to the action as 12m long Dragon boats each sporting 20 paddlers race through Darling Harbour to the beating of drums on the weekend of the 9th & 10th of February.  Walk along Sydney Harbour to witness giant 13m tall animal lunar lanterns representing the creatures of the zodiac, then head to Chinatown for a feast of noodles for longevity, dumplings for wealth and dessert for a sweet year.
In the heart of Chinatown enjoy lion dancers parading the lanes every Friday and Sunday plus traditional performances and workshops in the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Head to the night markets every Friday along Dixon St for an array of quality Asian street food, desserts and gifts. Don’t miss the canopy of 1000 silk Chinese lanterns spanning across Tumbalong Park. Looking for something more interactive? Step inside the AYAM tuk tuk near Customs House to play Zodiac Roulette and receive your personalised horoscope for 2019, as well as your very own ‘destiny dish’ for free.
Finally, don’t miss the Sydney Fish Markets on the night of the 8th as Lunar New Year festivities take over the premises. Enjoy seafood BBQ, fresh oysters and beautifully cooked lobster and crab as lion dancers parade the boardwalk at 6:30pm. Make sure you get your hands on a red envelope for tidings of good fortune, and enjoy the lanterns illuminating the colour of good fortune along the wharf.


Summer means alfresco dining using the freshest ingredients and washing it all down with a crisp white wine or rosé. This month our recipe is vegetarian, don’t be confused by the name “marinara sauce” in the ingredients…it’s completely vego! but can be substituted with your favourite bolognese sauce if you want meat in there somewhere, and you can use GF breadcrumbs for a gluten free dish.

Recipe from ‘Skinny Taste’
Serving size: 4 people
Time: 30 minsIngredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/4 lbs unpeeled zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp chopped basil, plus leaves for garnish
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (for GF use GF breadcrumbs)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated, plus more for serving
  • 2 cups quick marinara sauce or jarred (can be substituted with napolitana or bolognese sauce)
  • ricotta cheese, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat the oven to 190°F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Place the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot add the garlic and sauté until golden, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook on high heat until all the water evaporates from the skillet, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a colander to get rid of any excess water, then to a large bowl along with the bread crumbs, beaten egg, Romano cheese and chopped basil.
  5. Form the zucchini mixture into 16 balls about 30 g each, rolling tightly and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Spray the top and bake until firm and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Heat the sauce in a large deep skillet to warm the sauce, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Garnish the meatballs with fresh basil leaves and serve with ricotta or grated cheese if desired.

Our wine pairing this month comes from our much loved employee Clio, currently working at our Darlinghurst store.

Renzaglia Stone Wall Red | $29.99 single
This recipe is a classic Italian summer dish using fresh ingredients in a tomato sauce. The wine that immediately springs to mind is a stunning Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Barbera blend recently brought into Darlinghurst Fine Wines from Renzaglia Wines in O’Connell, NSW. With a family history of winemaking that spreads from Italy to America to Australia, the Renzaglia wines have been a joy to discover. This red blend using three Italian varietals is designed to be drunk chilled, so it’s perfect for a light summer dish like this. The wine is extremely fragrant and juicy with aromas of ripe raspberries, fresh red cherries, blueberries and violets. The body is light and shows the same fruits on the palate as you find on the nose. The absence of oak keeps the wine simple and fruit driven and won’t overpower any of the flavours in the food. This is a fantastic summer red – find it chilling in our rose fridge!

Do you have a recipe you’d like to share with our readers?  We would love to hear from you!  We will have one of our team do a pairing for your submission.  Please contact Chrissy – OR speak to one of the team in-store


For those of you who don’t already know, Bestow & Co was founded by Lara Esden & Kylie Dunn, and borne out of a strong desire to support grassroots women’s organisations and take their combined knowledge and experience in fashion, styling and working at the cold-face of community services to creating their own social enterprise.  We featured them in a past newsletter, and you can read more about them here

We are very excited to be hosting a pop-up boutique in our Fine Wine Room soon.  Please stay posted via our FB & Insta feeds for exact date & time.  This will be an opportunity where the girls from Bestow will bring their boutique offline where buyers can come and peruse amongst the racks, try things on, and engage face to face with Lara & Kylie.  We will be holding a special wine tasting during the pop-up. Not to be missed!

BYO Wednesdays @ Bei Amici 

Bayswater Fine Wines has partnered with Bei Amici with 10% off wine or bubbles for ‘BYO Wednesdays’.   

Bei Amici means ‘beautiful friends’ in Italian and is located at 2B Mona Rd, Darling Point. An intimate restaurant known well by the locals, it’s Swiss-Italian run by Chef Felix Rutz. The dining space is friendly, familiar and with staff that have followed Rutz from state to state, it serves up delicious food with excellent customer service.

Don’t just take our word for it, see what the critics say here.

Bayswater Fine Wines
9361 5063
77 Bayswater Rd Rushcutters Bay