I heart Christchurch… well this weekend I do. We’ve had 3 days of gorgeous weather and finally it feels like summer may be thinking of sticking around, rather than the random one off nice days we’ve had this spring. The weather was perfect timing for a great day out in the sun with the Christchurch | South Island Wine & Food Festival at Hagley Park.
We are so lucky to have this wonderful park in our city and it’s a great venue for many things, along with a great place to walk, golf, cycle. It has been the heart of our city since the earthquakes too – with it being a major venue for Festivals such as the Busker’s, Ellerslie Garden Show, the Arts Festival, Jazz Festival… you name it, it’s been held here at some point. So yesterday was the day for wine and food – two things dear to my heart.
We decided to heard in early afternoon and it was around 2pm when we finally wandered in. Our early bird tickets gave us 3 free tasting tickets – I had drawn Pyramid Valley, Allan Scott and Ataahua wines, my friend got Judge Rock, Floating Mountain and Wild Earth. Tastings after that cost a mere $2 each for a good 40ml pour and most wineries charged between $5-7 per glass. It was a hot day – around 28 degrees so we drank and tasted mainly roses – it was a rose kind of a day. Also, it’s not often you get the chance to sample rose so we put it to good use! However I had the Pyramid Valley sparkling riesling to start my day off, and Floating Mountain’s 2007 Riesling was pretty fine. A Waitiri Creek Pinot Gris (2012) to ensure it’s as good as last year’s was also sampled, and we finished up with Chardonnay from Floating Mountain and bought a take-away bottle too!
Highly rated though were the Crater Rim Rose (always a good one!) and the Judge Rock rose was also very good. For something quite different and VERY drinkable on a hot day was Straight 8’s Fizzy Flapper – a sparkling rose.
The first time I went to this festival two years ago the food offerings were pretty poor – unless you went to the New World tent. The food has only improved over the last couple of years and we enjoyed some fine food this time. We kept our costs down by putting an impromptu platter together with Marlborough Cherries (so sweet!), Whitestone Aged Airedale Cheese and a Cheesey Bread Stick from Breads of Europe. We followed this up with Smoked Bacon & Avocado rolls and a Beef Tortilla from Gorilla.
To top the day off, the music was sublime. We had particularly chosen to go a bit later as we wanted to see Anika Boh & Hollie (who I blogged about here) and The Black Seeds who finished the day off. It was perfect summer’s day music and the vibe was very chilled and relaxed. Although I saw few people staggering around later in the day (mainly due to high heels on grass…?!) everyone seemed so well behaved and it indeed was, a salubrious day out!