By blogger Steph Berndt for Inside South Australia
This weekend the Barossa Valley region will once again come alive to celebrate all things in good food, wine and music at the Barossa Gourmet Weekend. What makes this years event even more special? It’s celebrating it’s 30th year.
What began as a way for local food and wine producers to showcase their wares, has now developed into a three day extravaganza of the best in local wine, cuisine and entertainment.
I remember as a young girl heading along to this festival with my parents. I have memories of twirling on the dance floor to a cracking cover band (I actually vividly remember a particular shimmy to Walking on Sunshine), eating far too much chocolate mudcake with raspberry coulis and whipped cream and not really understanding what the big deal about wine was, but just knowing it made the grown ups happy.
20 years on, I get it. I TOTALLY get it.
While the child inside me reminisces about the chocolate cake, the adult in me is now drawn to events like ‘chocolate masterclass’ and ‘dessert pairings with fortified wines’ upon perusing the program.
So what’s to see and how to do it?
Kicking off on Friday through Sunday, the festival will feature over 30 events ranging from casual, free and family friendly affairs through to long table lunches and degustation dinners.
First step is organising how to get there and how to get around, and there are a few options to choose from.
If leaving from the city or suburbs, venues such as Republic in Norwood, or The Lodge Hotel in Brahma Lodge are offering packages including transport to and from the event inclusive of food and drinks throughout the day.
If you’re not keen on locking yourself in to a scheduled tour, Link SA are providing a shuttle bus at a mere $35 per person per day (including your Barossa GoVino wine glass) with numerous pick up and drop off locations throughout the Barossa.
Other options include hiring a bike through the Barossa Visitors Centre, organising a private bus or charter or nominating yourself a designated driver for the weekend.
If it so happens you are the one who draws the short straw in the driving department, the RAA are giving a you showbag for your sacrifice –Register now.
If you’re wanting to make a weekend of it, there are plenty of accommodation options in the area.
So you’ve arrived. What’s next? Well the drinking and the eating of course! Depending on what time you get there, you could begin with breakfast, accompanied by bubbly if you’re so inclined. Many venues are offering tasty treats from as early as 8am. Remember to always line your stomach before a big day of wine tasting. There’s nothing sexy about red wine teeth, tumbling out of your Des’s mini bus or stacking it on the dance floor mid-Nutbush.
From here the world is your oyster. You have the choice between buying a ticket to a sit down or scheduled dining or wine tasting experience, or merely sampling your way through the day. I could ramble on forever about the vast array of options but my suggestion is to have a thorough read over the program, get a pen out and circle your favourite destinations.
Some cellar doors and restaurants will also be hosting meet and greets with their winemakers and chefs if you wish to add some education to your experience.
If you have the little ones in tow, one event not to be missed is the Greenock Gourmet on Sunday located at the Greenock Town Oval. Here they will be offering not only handcrafted wines and local beer for the adults; but also plenty of food, music and a bouncy castle and face painting for the kids.
While your gastronomical senses are being delighted by seasonal food and produce, and you’re partaking in tasting the best booze in the Barossa, your ears and dancing shoes are in for a treat as well. Live bands playing genres from jazz to classic covers will be in attendance at many venues throughout the festival.
You may call yourself a wine connoisseur or a self proclaimed foodie. You could be a seasoned veteran or a first time attendee. Either way, Barossa Gourmet Weekend is sure to bring 3 days of solid entertainment, and will show off some of the many reasons we are so lucky to have such an incredible region on our South Australian door step.
Rug up, plan your journey and I’ll see you there, Shiraz in hand.
For full details visit barossagourmet.com
To hear more of Steph’s adventures visit her blog at stephinthecityadl.com