Review: A Game Of Rhones

Saturday afternoon the wharf was deserted. Walking towards Shed 10 on Queens Wharf, men in black stood at the entrance. Upstairs, the mezzanine with its wide plank floors, exposed rafters and oak barrels the perfect backdrop for a Game Of Rhones – 25 New Zealand, Australian and French producers and more than 70 wines awaited us.

The Barrel Hall

The Barrel Hall

Game of Rhones, a themed wine event already well ensconced in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane, the inaugural Auckland event was a celebration of the classic wine varieties of the Rhone Valley, France – think Shiraz or more commonly known as Syrah in New Zealand, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier and more.

Wine tasting underway

Wine tasting underway

Our challenge along with 350 other social wine drinkers on a wintry Saturday afternoon was to make our way around the barrel hall tasting one wine then the next; casting our vote for “the crowd favourite”. Our booklet provided ample space for notes – the serious tasters scrawling tasting notes, production methods and contact names.  Others simply enjoyed amazing wines, talking to the wine producers and noting both the affordable and more aspirational (price-wise) favourites.

Enjoying a wine or two

Enjoying a wine or two

Costumes were optional.  A few brave ones entered into the spirit while wine producers were whole-heartedly in character.  People were whisked away by maidens for blind tastings.  Other indulged in sumptuous food from Bird on a Wire. Everyone was in great spirits and without a doubt, there would definitely be a few sore heads Sunday morning.

Trinity Hill WInes & friend

Trinity Hill WInes & friend

Man O War - Waiheke men of war

Man O War - Waiheke men of war

Planet Wine - beyond the wall

Planet Wine - beyond the wall

So if wine is your passion then keep your eyes peeled for Bottle Shop Concepts – Pinot Palooza, coming to Auckland 2016.  Love their tagline too, "we take the wank out of wine”.

Cheers

Michelle

Oatcakes, Wine and Cheese

Navigating spaghetti junction and the harbour bridge to get across Auckland in peak hour traffic is something one tends to avoid unless out of absolute necessity. Wednesday night, clear skies and no major traffic jams, it was only 50 minutes door to door.

The Foodie Inc loves connecting with food producers so was excited to discover ‘AucklandMade’.  A collaboration between Alex from Yelp Auckland and Hannah from Auckland in a Box, it’s a series of events showcasing an Auckland food producer – the people behind the brand, their story and their vision.  Sarah and Otis Frizzell from The Lucky Taco headlined the first event and tonight it was Morgan Maw from Bonnie

Auckland in a Box - artisan food and beverages

Auckland in a Box - artisan food and beverages

Bonnie Oatcakes
Bonnie oakcakes 2

A cosy venue on a chilly night The Cheese Room, Milford was the perfect location for the second AucklandMade event. Standing room only, a glass of handcrafted Huia Brut from Huia Vineyards (Marlborough) greeted us at the door.  I enjoyed a chat with Morgan from Bonnie before we indulged in a decadent cheese, oatcakes and wine pairing while Morgan and her husband Nic shared their journey – the Huia Brut and Huia Chardonnay a perfect match for the Evansdale Cheese  from Hawksbury Village (half way between Oamaru and Dunedin).

Huia Brut

What started with a love of baking and an Edinburgh “baking club” – a foodlovers book club of sorts and a perfecting a traditional recipe’s taste and texture, Bonnie Oatcakes are now available in 60 stockists nationwide. Handmade, rolled and cut the Scottish style oatcakes use locally sourced New Zealand ingredients including South Canterbury linseeds from a family farm, Bonnie oatcakes are currently available in three flavours: original, smoked paprika and Canterbury linseed.  With plans to extend the range, Morgan might need a few extra pairs of hands to keep up with demand.

A lovely welcome from Alex,Yelp Auckland

A lovely welcome from Alex,Yelp Auckland

Morgan and Alex pairing cheese and oatcakes

Morgan and Alex pairing cheese and oatcakes

Yelp Auckland participants

AucklandMade events are a fabulous opportunity to meet food producers, mingle with like-minded foodies and of course taste some amazing New Zealand food and wine.  To find out more about these events go to the Yelp Auckland or follow them on Facebook Yelp Auckland.

Cheers

Michelle

Gastronomic Tourism Residential

Back in Auckland after an amazing trip to Adelaide, South Australia today’s post is a photo journal of the highlights of the first ever residential programme for Le Cordon Bleu Master of Gastronomic Tourism, a post graduate online course.

Fifteen of the one hundred students came together in Adelaide from across Australia and New Zealand for four days of immersion in food, wine and tourism:

  • Workshops and lectures
  • Excursions to farmers markets, wineries and artisan producers
  • Behind the scene tours and tastings
  • Wining and dining at leading bars and restaurants  
  • Exploring South Australia’s gastronomic tourism industry

DAY 1

Adelaide Farmers Market

Adelaide farmers market
Elena talking us through the production process

Elena talking us through the production process

Masterchef Australia's Poh and her new venture Jamface by Poh

Masterchef Australia's Poh and her new venture Jamface by Poh

DAY 2

Peel Street Kitchen for lunch

Enjoying lunch at Peel Street after a morning of lectures

Enjoying lunch at Peel Street after a morning of lectures

Udder Delights - cheese tasting at bronze winner in 2014 National Tourism Awards

Udder Delights

ChocoVino - Hahndorf Hill Winery - chocolate and wine pairings

IMG_5717.jpg

Press* food & wine - shared dinner at the end of a long day

Entree - smoked salmon and beetroot

Entree - smoked salmon and beetroot

Flaming Baked Alaska

Flaming Baked Alaska

DAY 3 - Barossa Valley Tour

Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop

The kitchen from The Chef and The Cook

The kitchen from The Chef and The Cook

Fabulous outlook from Maggie Beer's farm shop

Fabulous outlook from Maggie Beer's farm shop

Tour of Seppeltsfield Winery, Barossa Valley followed by lunch at FINO

Seppeltsfield
Seppeltsfield - The Distillery

Seppeltsfield - The Distillery

Fino @seppeltsfield
Fino At Seppeltsfield

Tour of vineyards and tasting at Jacob's Creek Wines

Jacobs Creek
Jacob's Creek wine tasting
Penfolds Magill Estate VIP Cellars

Penfolds Magill Estate VIP Cellars

Penfolds Magill Estate tasting room

Penfolds Magill Estate tasting room

Penfolds Magill Estate tasting room 2

Farewell Lunch at La Bonne Table

Networking lunch with Alumni at Le Cordon Bleu's own restaurant

Networking lunch with Alumni at Le Cordon Bleu's own restaurant

La bonne table - cerviche
La Bonne Table tomato consumme

What I enjoyed the most was getting to know the other participants – students past and present, lecturers and guest speakers – people as passionate about food and local tourism as I am. With varied backgrounds from teachers, lawyers and marketers to tourism officers, winery and event managers to chefs, caterers and even a wagyu farmer, the desire to learn, grow and promote local food tourism was at the heart of our programme.

While going back to university was a shock to the system, I’m very much looking forward to the next paper or unit as the Australians call them. If anyone would like to know more about the course or has any questions then please get in touch.

Michelle

de la terre Winery

Last Friday, Waitangi Day, we decided to head out towards Taihape, along picturesque country roads bound for de la terre winery, a 20 minutes drive from Hastings.

‘de la terre’ literally translates as ‘of the earth’.  As we pulled into the car park, with horses in the front paddock and Gracie the dog bounding out to meet us, the name seemed so apt - a perfect reference to the earth brick constructed winery and cellar door, and the fruits of the vineyard’s soil.

Horses grazing in de la terre's front paddock

Horses grazing in de la terre's front paddock

Interestingly, the buildings are less than 10 years old but look like they have been part of the landscape for much longer.  The craftsmanship and detail are incredible, from the mud bricks, handmade in Tony’s onsite rammed earth workshop to the handcrafted furniture made from recycled timber - virtually all the building work including roof tiling and joinery was done by the owners, Kaye and Tony Prichard.

The tasting room and cafe at de la terre

The tasting room and cafe at de la terre

We discovered that Tony the builder, is also Tony the winemaker, with more than 30 years wine making experience.  De la terre was established in 2005 as a boutique winery and while the grapes are grown at Hills Estate, Kaye and Tony’s vision was to create somewhere to share their love of wine and wine making - their passion for wine and sustainability is very evident.  Providing an opportunity for guests to not only enjoy wine tastings but to also learn about their wine making techniques - some might even be lucky enough to taste the next vintage straight out of the barrel.

Tony, the winemaker taking guests through a wine tasting

Tony, the winemaker taking guests through a wine tasting

With a cafe open since December 2014, delicious farm-style platters are available for guests to enjoy with wine either inside or under umbrellas out in the garden. Armed with a bottle of de la terre rosé from the tasting room, this partnered perfectly with a platter crammed with salads, marinated mushrooms, ham, brie, and a delicious homemade cranberry and cardamom relish - and not forgetting the freshly baked bread rolls.

Farm-style platter from de la terre's cafe

Farm-style platter from de la terre's cafe

De la terre winery is open 10am – 5pm weekends and public holidays 1 September – 30 June or by appointment. It is a boutique winery and some varietals only produce 1500 bottles each vintage, with much sold offshore to clients in China and USA. To purchase their wine in New Zealand or for more information: de la terre winery

It’s definitely a winery worth the drive, whether you are a visitor or a Hawke's Bay local. 

Enjoy

Michelle