Roman Banquets at the Vineyard

If you’re inclined to try your hand at cooking an Ancient Roman Dinner at home, we would encourage you to start with some of the dishes on the sample menu. Their great virtue is they work, which may not always be the case with ancient recipes. Apart from the grape syrups, most exotic ingredients can be obtained from oriental food shops as is explained on the Special Ingredients page. As the 2012-13 season progresses, we will be making small quantities of Caroenum, Defrutum and Mulsum using our own grapes. For prices and availability please contact us at

Janene and I have been cooking Roman Banquets for friends for some years. We are considering holding one or, depending on interest, two some time in January 2012. Dinner will be served on the riverbank beside the vineyard. There will be three courses, comprising around twenty authentic Roman dishes, accompanied by all the Mount Terrible vintages, a selection of local Australian wines made from the older Italian grape varieties, and also Passito and wines flavoured in the ancient fashion.

While it is not our intention to stage an Ancient Roman Re-enactment with couches and togas and flute-girls, the food and wine will be as authentic as we can make it and slaves will be brought in from neighbouring farms to assist with preparation and service. You will also get a chance to look round the winery and taste recent vintages (including those not yet released) and the various types of Roman grape syrups we have been experimenting with. The cost has not been finalised but will probably be around $250 – the price of slaves has gone up appallingly – and will include overnight accommodation (Mount Terrible is over 3 hours’ drive from Melbourne) and transport to and from the 4 star Jamieson River Retreat.


If you think this is something that might appeal to you, please get in touch by email. In so doing it would also be helpful if you could supply a little information about yourself – age, interests, any experience with ancient cookery, whether you are a barbarian or a Latin speaker – so we can plan our guest list appropriately. We wouldn’t want to sit a Senator next to a good-time girl from the Suburra.

Jamieson Valley, Mount Terrible Winery