The Mudgee Wine and Food Fair isn’t held in Mudgee. It’s held along the esplanade at Balmoral Beach, some 3-4 hours from Mudgee. But a greater mystery would be why they choose to hold this event in August in our coldest month of the year. Last week we had some beautiful sunny days with temperatures in the low 20’s but by the weekend there had been a 50% fall in temperatures that was unexpected and outside of the norm.
Carl wore shorts, a T-shirt and a thin pullover like Spring had arrived. It hadn’t. What the day presented was threatening dark clouds, a vicious icy wind, some rain and temperatures well below the monthly average. I don’t think the temperature rose above 12C (53F) and the wind probably reduced that further as well. I wore exercise pants (that I don’t exercise in) so the bottom half of my legs were bare and then I had two layers on top and a hooded jacket. The problem with people in Sydney is that we pretend it doesn’t really get cold here so when a cold day does strike, we have nothing warm to wear – but Carl does have a few things in the wardrobe more appropriate than shorts.
We walked down to the Esplanade with our third child who is the one we call our only child because we rarely see the teenagers. We discovered the event is so much more about wine than it is about food as almost 80% of the stalls would be wineries. Food can be purchased using money but wine has to be purchased using tokens.
We bought 10 tokens for $40.00 and that included two souvenir wine glasses. And with our glasses in our hands off we went to involve ourselves in all there was to offer.
We bought creamed honey, Carl’s favourite.
Alfie found some chocolate-covered strawberries.
Of course there were things to keep the kiddies amused.
And there was a petting zoo.
Did I mention it was cold?
Then we told Alfie, ‘You’ve had your fun, now it’s our turn so let the wine tasting begin’.
The first wine we tried was from the Well Mannered Wine Company. We sampled the Rose of Sangiovese that is described as being ‘summer in a glass’ – if only. It had flavours of strawberry and watermelon with a crisp, dry finish.
Next we tried Lowe Wines. We met the wine maker and he says only 2% of Australians drink wine more than two hours after purchase. Yes, I’m definitely in the 98%.
We then tried Farmer’s Daughter Wines mostly because I liked the name of the winery.
Then we bumped into friends so it was all becoming quite social but Alfie was whinging saying he wanted to go home so I gave him some more money to have another bungee jump and we carried on with our tasting (heavy drinking). We tried Quilty Wines because I liked the sound of the name. Their motto, ‘Richly textured, painstakingly crafted and gloriously unique’.
I’m sure I enjoyed it. It seemed very posh.
We then moved on to the Huntington Estate Wines. The motivation for trying the wines from this winery is that if you joined their mailing list they gave you a free bottle of wine. Carl and I both joined. Good thing I brought my granny trolley!
This was a very lovely Shiraz. But by now I’d had quite a few wines and I was cold and numb and famished and confused. I’d also tried an $80 bottle of organic wine that had been matured for 24 months in French Oak. With all the drinking and drinking and drinking I somehow forgot to photography that Thistle Hill wine that was by far, the loveliest of the day.
So we were there for four hours in 12 degree temps in inappropriate clothing with an only child who was bored unless we kept handing him money for more bungee jumps, more chocolate strawberries, more snow cones and more squeezing of guinea pigs. But it was great to be out of the house and lovely to be outdoors and it’s always good to support those who supply us with our food and drink, drink and drink.
I pray next year the weather is much better.
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