It’s Wine & Dine! After a walk around under the blazing sun here’s a few things to enjoy. We can’t say it’s a ‘best of’, there’s over 400 booths to explore taste and savour. Have fun finding your own favourites.
It’s not cheap! While many outlets are offering discounts on their regular shop prices for buying bottles (with many happy to home deliver after the festival). Food is pricey, most places are averaging $50-75 per portion.
In an attempt no doubt to break up the massive crowds this year’s Wine & Dine Festival is laid out in short blocks set at sharp angles. It’s not instinctively easy to find your way back to an outlet/booth so eat /drink what you want when you see/find it. This layout also makes it hard to direct friends to a spot they’d enjoy – take a photo of the booth number.
Wine Whiskey and Beer
There are more wine companies and stands than you can possibly sample… decisions, decisions. Your wine tokens get a tasting portion – not a full glass. Ensure they rinse your glass first! Check out the Riedel tent, the glass manufacturer has an ongoing selection of talks and tastings.
There’s a large, essentially craft, beer area – towards the Admiralty end, far side from the harbour – with a wide range of local and international beers to sample. Several stands have special beers only available at Wine & Dine. Want a bite with your beer? Next to the beer stands at booth E814 you can find a mixed sausage platter of black cuttlefish and traditional German cheese sausages covered in melted cheese for $40.
If you like whiskey there are single brand whiskey stands, most are grouped in the middle of the festival. Except for the Jack Daniels booth which is in the American area. Celebrating it’s 150 anniversary, you’ll be able to taste a wide selection of Jack Daniels.
It won’t mean much to many but one of the booths in the American street is offering a free drink to those who kiss Hillary and or punch Donald 🙂 For for a simple snack try Millennium Seafoods lobster soup.
Enjoy a big tasty sausage? Opposite the stage the 30cm Mega Jumbo Wurst ($75) offers a nice meaty custom made German sausage. Cooked over a massive circular BBQ, the team is organised and ready for the rush, their target to serve you in 60 seconds. There’s also a 15cm version ($65) which is the same type of sausage but sold more like a hotdog in a bigger bun. Wash is down with some Fruh Radler (lemon beer).
Flavabomb (E506) has a lovely light refreshing Gelato di Moscato – a choice gelato ice-cream, topped up with moscato and we added in a few dried strawberry flakes (top photo). A light refreshing option perfect in the summer sun or after dark. They also have a range of bakery products including croissants and pain au chocolat and some tasty beef balls with truffle.
Seafood: Abalone more abalone plus a bit of shellfish. There several booths offering abalone from a variety of different locations, in different sizes and farmed or wild. On the harbourfront edge of festival The Gold Coast Hotel has a bowl of their signature tasty Sri-Lankan crab for $98 and a hearty German sausage with sauerkraut for $60. Both portions sized to be almost a complete meal in themselves. Next door the Panda Hotel has a lobster bun ($40) and salmon, crab, cheese tarts ($40).
If want a change from seafood, U Banquet is offering Grilled Assorted Balls for $20 a portion
While you’re picking up your free cookies from Lucullus check out some of their other offerings the predominantly Kowloon side chain has a range of tasty bakery and desserts on offer including cheese tarts (original, durian or green tea, $30 for 2) and stuffed baked parmesan cheese rolls (chicken, Thai green curry, sichuan spicy pork $35 for 2) and some cute looking chilled offerings.
There are lots of desserts on offer, one of bc’s favourites from last year returns at booth E507. A rich silky smooth egg custard served in a real egg shell. $40 for box of 4, it’s seriously delicious.
Other food booths to check out –pork knuckle specialists Golden Pig, K-Town, Butcher and Baker who are offering hotdogs ($40) and baked chocolate fondants topped with ice-cream $30. And for something a little different, next to the Admiralty entrance, Kwun Tong private kitchen Wines Buddy and Dining at Home.
Basic things: A reminder there is little shade! Sun cream and a hat or expect to boil during the day. Bring water, there’s lots and lots and lots of wine, beer, whiskey – but little water to keep hydrated. There are very few seats.
NO refunds on coupons! In fact, unless you want to sample wine, there’s very little point in waiting in the long lines to buy coupons at a rough estimate over 80% of booths accept cash.
It’s outside, there’s food, wine, beer, whiskey, live music… what’s not to like, have fun!
Wine & Dine Festival 2016
Date: 27-30 October, 2016
Venue: Central Harbourfront