Thirsty work for Baptimism of Fire competitors

Meg Power from Bellota wine bar gets hands-on.
Meg Power from Bellota wine bar gets hands-on. Photo: Supplied

The six teams vying for supremacy in the second annual Baptism of Fire winemaking competition are a cheeky blend of hospitality professionals and blogging and social media mavens.

St Ali's Matt Perger and Salvatore Malatesta, wine bar duo Meg Power and Jacqueline Turner, from Bellota, and Rockpool sommelier Wiremu Andrews, who has teamed with Jess Ho, are among a dozen first-time winemakers on a quest to make the best 2014 shiraz.

The teams have been hard at work: they have had access to grapes from Yarra Valley and Grampians vineyards; mentoring from industry gurus including Steve Webber, Mac Forbes and Matt Harrop; and the use of facilities at some of Victoria's top wineries - De Bortoli, Mac Forbes and Bindi.

Their creations are not due for release until spring, but if you fancy a preview, head to the CBD's recently revived Savoy Tavern next Monday, August 4. After a trade preview, there will be a public tasting at 6pm ($10 plus booking fee), then an auction from 7pm, with winning bidders securing the right to receive the packaged product in October. Part of the proceeds go to SecondBite. Bookings: