Sunday, June 07, 2009

June 6, 2009: Good Food & Wine Show

This year's Good Food & Wine Show has earned its share of publicity, most of it owing to a potty-mouthed, misogynist import. For accounts of the rest of the fest, the blogosphere's got it covered - Nutmeg, Ellie, Shellie and AOF have all posted their perspectives. I was lucky enough to score a ticket from Neil of At My Table, which included entry to a Cheesematters Masterclass.

I still haven't worked out exactly who or what Cheesematters are. I gather that they are an organisation devoted to promoting cheese, sponsored by several Australian cheese/dairy companies. Their brief in the masterclass is clearer - a 45-minute tour of cheese, matched wine and other nibbly bits. In addition to several dairy brands, this was sponsored by wine companies, a glace fruit business, a kitchenware company and even a clothing company (who dressed our hosts). This abundance of partners and promotion no doubt explains why we were provided with such a lavish spread for $30 per ticket.

Here's what we tasted:
  • goat's cheese with lemon-infused olive oil, dukkah, olives, crispbreads and a blanc de blanc sparkling wine;
  • camembert, brie and triple cream brie with beetroot and apple chutney, fresh grapes, crusty bread and more blanc de blanc sparkling wine;
  • Swiss-style cheese and walnuts, cheddar with quince paste and green apple, aged parmesan with fresh pear, all washed down with shiraz viognier;
  • one washed rind and two blue cheeses with glace figs, muscatel clusters, truffle honey and botrytis semillon.
It was all utterly delicious. Though the blue cheeses weren't liked by all, my own uneasy relationship with them was on good terms this day. However my slow eating was challenged by the short session, and my low threshold for alcohol was challenged further by the 10am start! Gulping down the bottled water, I managed to maintain my equilibrium, gratefully accept a showbag (including a DVD, glossy book and the inevitable promo brochures), and return to the main show floor.

It was great to unwittingly meet Neil's daughter, say hi to Mellie & EG of tummyrumbles, and hang out with PG for an hour or so, catching up and guffawing over the wonderful, terrible and occasionally nonsensical products being pitched around us. For the most part I happily kept my wallet tucked away.


  1. It's official! I must be the most jaded food-blogger in melbourne :)

  2. The cheese sounds lovely, I'd have paired the blue with the quince (one of my fav ways of having blue). We've avoided the F&W show for a while now, last time we went we were fighting people for samples of still defrosting profiteer rolls, it was like sea gulls on a left open packet of chips. We ended up walking around talking aloud about free samples of food that wasn't there and sending people off on wild hunts. Your photo looks like there wasn't too big a crowd?

  3. Perhaps, AOF, but I think there was plenty at the show to be cynical about. :-)

    Hi Nudbot! The crowd wasn't too large when I arrived but it got a lot denser around lunch time... I had certainly had enough of the jostling by 2pm.