Snapshots from Oktoberfest Brisbane

by Christine Salins on October 24, 2014

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Okotberfest Brisbane, Oktoberfest celebrations, Brisbane events, Emily Loo, German community in Brisbane,

Last weekend we answered the call to embrace our inner German and popped into Oktoberfest at the Brisbane showgrounds. We’d been told it is one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations outside of Germany and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

It’s been held in Brisbane since 2008 and has expanded to the point where it now attracts about 40,000 people over the six days of the festival (Fri, Sat & Sun over 2 weekends). We got there on the last Sunday afternoon but there was still plenty of thigh slapping, yodeling and beer flowing, and lots of people getting into the German spirit.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au, Okotberfest Brisbane, Oktoberfest celebrations, Brisbane events, Emily Loo, German community in Brisbane,

Many of the food stalls had sold out by the time we got there. There were still sausages and schnitzels available, but all the pork belly and pork knuckle dishes had gone. There’s generally a great array of German fare including pretzels and desserts such as Black Forest cake, Bavarian cheesecake and apple strudel. The lesson here: don’t leave it till the last minute!

It was a pleasure to meet passionate foodie, Emily Loo, an entrant in the 2014 MasterChef series. She was demonstrating her take on fusion cooking and later we had a chat about our shared philosophy on how food brings people and cultures together – well, as much of a chat as we could manage given that the volume in the Oktoberfest tent was pretty high once the Münchner Buam swung into action (they’re a traditional Bavarian band flown in from Germany especially for the event).

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We also caught up with Oktoberfest director Reimer Moeller (pictured here with Emily). He’s from one of the two Australian-German families that organize this massive event – what an incredible job they do in putting this event on for the people of Brisbane. They are proud to have raised more than $125,000 for Brisbane charity, Youngcare, since 2008.

Keep an eye out for next year’s Oktoberfest, and in the meantime, here are some 2014 snapshots. Prost!

 

Related post: Oktoberfest Brisbane

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Friday Food Tip #78

by Christine Salins on October 24, 2014

FoodLogoAdd roasted banana and chopped macadamia nuts to some slightly softened vanilla icecream, then refreeze. It’s a lovely combination.

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Canberra Wines present Tasting 101

by Christine Salins on October 22, 2014

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I’m an unashamed supporter of Canberra wines, not just because I lived in the National Capital for so long but also because the winemakers are doing such great work. There’s an incredible diversity in the region thanks to the wide range of soils, altitudes and microclimates, or as the French would call it, terroir.

As well as doing classic varieties like Shiraz and Riesling exceptionally well, there’s also a great deal of innovation going on. I’m thinking here of wineries such as Lark Hill with its Grüner Veltliner, Mount Majura with its Graciano, and Surveyors Hill with its Touriga Nacional, varieties that are not often seen in Australia.

And that’s not even scratching the surface! The Canberra District wine region has really come of age in recent years, with excellent cool-climate wines and wonderful cellar doors, including many that offer dining and other experiences.

It can be hard work getting around them all, such is the spread-out nature of the region. What a wonderful idea then to bring a lot of them together for one big tasting. It was done for the first time in 2013, Canberra’s Centenary Year, and was so successful that it is being done again tomorrow evening (Thursday).

I was privileged to attend last year’s “100 Years – 100 Wines” tasting and thought that the region’s 2013 Rieslings in particular looked outstanding. 2013 was a good vintage across the board in Canberra and you can be sure of seeing plenty of evidence of that at tomorrow’s Tasting 101 at the Hotel Realm.

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The event is being hosted by the Canberra District Wine Industry Association and will include new releases and medal winners from 20 Canberra District wineries.

Participating wineries include Barton Estate, Dionysus Winery, Four Winds Vineyard, Granitevale Estate, Helm Wines, Jeir Creek, Lerida Estate Wines Canberra, Lark Hill Winery, Little Bridge Wines, Long Rail Gully Wines, Mallaluka Wines, McKellar Ridge Wines, Mount Majura Vineyard, Murrumbateman Winery, Pankhurst Wines, Shaw Vineyard Estate, Surveyors Hill, Tallagandra Hill Winery, Wily Trout Vineyard and Yarrh Wines.

The $30 entry fee includes a tasting glass, cheese plate and tasting of 100+ local wines. There’s also an opportunity to win one of six 6-packs of Canberra wine.

I urge you to go along and see what these very talented folk are doing, and also, save the date for November 1-2 when the ever popular Wine, Roses and All That Jazz Festival gets underway in Canberra.

Fact file:

Where? Hotel Realm, 18 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600

When? Thursday, October 23, 2014; 5.30pm – 8.30pm

Cost: $30 plus booking fee. Entry includes a tasting glass, cheese plate and the opportunity to taste almost 100 local wines.

Visit: www.canberrawines.com.au

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