It seems its wine-o-clock time again.

Greytown, Martinborough and Gladstone are waking up from winter and preparing for Toast Martinborough next weekend.  The tickets are all sold for this year other than some packages with Rydges if you’re super keen (bear in mind that does mean a sloshy old bus ride over that hill and back…), but there’s another (maybe better?) option coming soon if you missed out.

The Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival will be held on 15 March 2014 in the Gladstone area.  This one is still a bit more in its infancy and is at ‘The Cliffs’ riverside domain so all the offerings are conveniently in one place, but still includes some of the Wairarapa’s best wine and food providores, including some of the newer Gladstone offerings.  If the music is similar to last year’s line-up (recognize some of these – Way out West, The Shenanigans, The Noodles, Barry Saunders?), then it’s guaranteed to produce a lively atmosphere and be a fun day out.

Tickets on sale 27 November.

And in honour of ‘waking up from winter’ yours truly and Mr yours truly had a weekend jaunt around the Wairarapa this weekend.  Delightful.

Deserving of mention in the food and wine stakes were (and apologies up front for using Trip Advisor links for some of these smaller establishments who don’t have their own websites, but they’ll give you a taste):

  • The 2012 pinot gris at Murdoch James in tandem with a tasty chicken liver pate, apple jelly and crostini.
  • Murdoch JamesA couple of Salute’s tapas in Greytown – porcini roasted and truffled duck risotto with caramelized onions, thyme, green peas and crispy duck quackling (yep quackling), and crispy fried lamb with warm chickpea puree, almonds, currants, pickled quince and char grilled flatbread.  Do book as they get really busy.
  • The Greytown Main Street Deli’s famed pies – a wild boar and a beef and burgundy one came along home with us, as did a few delicious-looking deli goodies (purely for Christmas gifts you understand).
  • Everest cix saladThe Greytown French Baker’s almond croissant – crispy flakey layers of deliciousness and not over-almonded.
  • An asian-style teriyaki chicken salad at Everest Café in Featherston – delicate and flavourful honey ginger chicken on fresh and crispy cabbage, radish, sprouts and cherry tomatoes.  These guys also bake all their own breads and pastries, as well as stocking Killinchy Gold ice creams for afters (liquorice and black currant anyone?).  And in waffle cones (no self-respecting decent ice cream should be seen dead in anything less in my book).  And okay, I confess.  An orange and white chocolate brioche fell into my bag too.

Boy there’s a lot of deliciousness right on our doorstep when we find our way out of the city.