Whew, I’m stuffed! Too much good food….. for others too much good wine topped with too much good food…. and a little more good wine. Of course those same people may say “too much!, no such thing.”
We’ve just sat down to relax after another successful 4gs get-together. 4gs – otherwise known as the Greymouth Gourmet Guzzlers Group. This is local wine club for the Greymouth district. It actually encompasses members from Hokitika all the way through to Fox River in the north. Each month the group have a get-together at a different member’s home for a wine and food tasting. Each month the number of members alters depending who can make it on the day.
This weekend was the turn of Jan and Stephen from Breakers. The weather was shocking to say the least – would anyone turn up. Personally I’d be staying at home, warm and dry. This is a wine club though remember and any excuse to get out and meet up with like-minded people. As such we ended up with a great turnout of around 30 people. A great group of people, great wine and great food.
We did something a little different this time round and had Trevor from Forrest Wines in Marlborough come and do a formal wine tasting. As this is a wine club full of wine enthusiasts, Trevor brought all the good wines from Forrest. Not that any of their wines aren’t good, but these were not the main stream wines – we’re talking Semillon, Chenin Blanc, Doctors Riesling, award-winning Chardonnay, Malbec, Pinot Noir – just to name a few. The crew were going to be spoilt for choice this get-together that is for sure.
The members of 4gs aren’t just wine buffs though, they also enjoy good food. Part of the challenge of the evening is to come up with some great food ideas. Each month’s get-together is given a theme by the host eg: Spicy wine, spicy food (Riesling, Gewürztraminer etc), French – french food, french wine etc. Breakers theme this month was “a walk in the forest”, in recognition of having Trevor and Forrest Wines and allowing the members to use their imagination with the food with examples given of goat, rabbit, venison, wild mushrooms, berries etc. We were looking forward to seeing what was going to turn up.
After a successful tasting and then the fun of the informal wine challenge over, it was time to eat. Some wonderful starters had been shared while the tasting and challenge was happening but now it was time for “dinner”. It had been all go in the kitchen getting everything reheated and plated up. Before we eat, everyone has to explain their dish, why they brought it and how it related to the theme of the evening. There were some great laughs – one couple going into great detail how they hunted the deer themselves to get the venison for the stew and the stealing of the bird eggs from the trees in the forest (joking of course!).
We all dig in – it seems there is enough food there to feed us all for the rest of the week. Being a gourmet group too though, we all seem to have pretty good appetites and are keen to try a little bit of everything – it all looks and sounded so good! I don’t think anyone is disappointed – certainly given the fact that nothing is left! Every bite is savoured, there is some seriously good food and it’s all cooked to perfection – venison and goat stews, mushroom casseroles, stuffed mushrooms, wild rice mmmmmm yummy.
It’s not over yet though….. there is still dessert! The table is cleared from round one and out comes round two. It just seems to get better. While the desserts are being brought out, there is of course more wine flowing. Again the desserts have to be explained by their creator and again there are lots of laughs – one couple spinning a story of coming across Arthur’s Pass and their light beams catching a glimpse of red in the snow so they investigate to find fresh berries in the snow-clad forest that would be ideal for on the pav…….remember, we did say use your imagination! There was blackberry crumble, chocolate log, berry pav, penguin waffles and rain forest cake.
Food is all gone, dishes are all packed away in the dishwasher and most of the wine is now finished. Slowly the group starts to disperse. It’s been a great evening with a great group of people with some great wines and great food. Thanks to Trevor and Forrest Wines – fantastic opportunity to taste some wonderful wines. Oh, and did I mention “I’m stuffed”!