For the second time in my life, I made the decision to book in an annual leave day from work so I could head along to the Good Food & Wine Show on a Friday. This year I even convinced GG to come along with me. Now I recognise my GFWS experience may be slightly overdue but I was inspired to wax lyrical about some of the amazing producers I enjoyed and ahh wine….. there were more than a few good wines.
We arrived a touch after 11 on the first day and it was a quick dash around to get the lay of the land because come 12.15 we were getting our pasta on with Casa Barilla for one of their cooking classes. As a food enthusiast, I was pretty excited about acquiring some new pasta skills! We wandered past an ice-cream stand, the ever indulgent Connoisseur I believe, and we tried this really punchy coffee ice-cream wrapped in milk chocolate and it was delicious! I don’t think I’d ever choose a coffee ice cream but maybe I will reconsider after tasting that one. We then ventured to a few winery stands, making the most of our time before our cooking class.
We started with the interesting range at Fermoy Estate, before sampling delicious crisp Rieslings from O’Learys and then headed to Silkwood Estate from Pemberton to try their wares. While there, we totally locked in the idea of one day heading down south to their on-site chalets, which looked beautiful in the brochure and the Great Southern is an amazing region. Silkwood had a very decent range of wines available for tasting so after sampling those it was time to dash to Barilla.
They had an area sectioned off and you checked off your name and lined up before finding a free cooking station. They had aprons for everyone, emblazoned with Barilla and a charming Italian chef worked his way through the recipe we would be preparing at a rather dizzying pace! We were going to be making Barilla’s Casarecce Pasta with Italian Sausage, Pan-roasted Winter Vegetables in Ricotta Sauce & Salted Ricotta. You can actually find the recipe (and a very helpful picture guide) just here. We carefully worked our way through the recipe, meticulously following all of the steps and before we knew it we each had a generous dish of piping hot al dente pasta, dusted with grated Parmesan and it was just the perfect follow up to our morning of wine tasting. Such delicious flavours with the crumbled sausage and the richness from the winter veg, plus I love parsnip. Eating such a filling dish of noods also put us in good stead for a few more vino samples! I’m a fan of Barilla’s pastas. They have some really interesting shapes, like the casarecce, which I think might even be my favourite, followed by the jaunty bow ties that are farfalle.
So after we had cooked up a storm, I had it in my head that I wanted to head back to the McLaren Vale alley to focus some attention on their wines. It was wonderful. From D’Arenberg to Woodstocks to Doobie Dowie, it definitely made both GG and I want to head to South Australia some time in the near future because they had some really interesting wines and it’s a part of Australia we’ve not explored together.
After working our way from the whites through reds and even a few fortified, we headed to the Garden where a fantastic array of food vans were set up. I headed to the Little Caesars van for some of their pizzettes, while GG lined up for sliders and fries from The Merrywell. Rest assured we sat together and had quite the food van picnic 🙂 I’m a long time fan of the Merrywell’s sliders. They pack so much flavour into such a neat little burger sized parcel. And the pizzettes were nice too, but I almost wished I could have ordered a regular sized Little Caesars pizza because I know I love the Greek Lamb variety that much, but I can appreciate that this would be difficult in a food van.
Our next stop was cheese alley. We had been to a dinner that showcased Yarra Valley Dairy so we called in there to relive the wonder of their Persian Fetta before we headed across the way to buy some That’s Amore Cheese buffalo mozzarella. A big favourite in our house and as soon as we spied it, we knew we’d have to go home with some.
So with the cheese alley explored we decided to call it a day. But as we walked through the new addition of artisan lane I got slightly distracted by Chico Gelato…. I’d seen their pavlova gelato on instagram and I couldn’t resist. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had an ice cream in a cone. Growing up that was the go to dessert. It was a really generous scoop and was really lovely and creamy. Plus there was the added bonus of some crunch from meringue pieces and added sweetness from the swirl of raspberry sauce. Delicious!
It had been such a lovely day. With tasty drinks and delicious food, the Good Food and Wine Show is definitely an event I look forward to each year!