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Like a kid in a candy store…


The day didn?t start with childish excitement. It took an hour to drag my other half out of bed and into the car. Even the lure of free food couldn?t wipe the tired, ?I?m only just tolerating this to make you happy? expression from his face. But by the time he?d tried some olives, grilled capsicum and realised there was also beer sampling in the next room, his tired expression was replaced with a look of unanticipated enthusiasm. Aah men, they?re so easy to please?

We made our way through the mammoth 3 halls of delicacies. Samples of cheese and organic olive oils were followed by mini cups of gourmet yoghurt washed down with spicy teas. Asian noodles were accompanied with fruit and nuts and then swiftly followed by blue cheese pizza. Each stall elicited a new sense of childish curiosity as we sampled our way to inevitable indigestion. Oh well, sacrifices must be made to satisfy curious minds. Between eating spurts, we watched others making more delicious looking meals. Celebrity chefs including Bill Granger, Donna Hay and American Tyler Florence demonstrated their cooking in the Celebrity Theatre. Also dotted around the halls were countless cooking exhibitions with a huge range of delicious dishes. Anything from spicy Asian stir fries to rich chocolate puddings were whipped up and then sampled by the crowd.

To complement our elaborate feast, we headed into the ?World of Wine and Beer?. The best bits of the vineyards and breweries of the Hunter, Mudgee, Yarra, Barossa and Margaret River were all tucked into the one room, and what a room it was. We joined the throngs of seasoned wine drinkers quaffing the best of Australia?s Chardys, Sauv Blancs and Cab Sauvs as well as less common grape varieties. Of course, following each patient explanation, a small (and sometimes not so small) sample was poured. The breweries were equally varied: large, established brands had beer served en masse from taps whereas brewers from smaller niche brands poured their beer from bottles as they explained each variety. At some point we both managed to part with some hard earned cash for the privilege of joining wine and beer clubs where quarterly cases are delivered to our door. It has since occurred to me that we were probably a little too under the weather to be making rational decisions but I?m sure we?ll appreciate it when the cases arrive!

It soon became apparent that our burgeoning stomachs did have a limit so we decided to take our leave. After a quick stop past the Alcohol Breathalyser display to check that we hadn?t indulged too much to drive (you can never be too careful!), we carried our significantly heavier bodies out into the sunshine. At some point, I realised how many calories I?d consumed and I made a resolve to do an extra run during the next week. Good thing there?s a whole year to recover until the Good Food and Wine show returns to Sydney!

Bliss Baker – Freelance writer and food and wine devotee. The Good Food and Wine Show is next in Brisbane in November 2005.