• What is a “Food and Wine Culture”?

    What is a “Food and Wine Culture”?

    Second Feast on East Direct Dinner

    “Rudder and Fin” restaurant in Lakes Entrance on 21/11/15

    Address by Ken Eckersley of Nicholson River Winery

    It is something we often talk about at FOED and aspire to, but what is it really? Aren’t we doing that now just by eating local food?

    I think the answer is No. It’s much more.

    Maybe it is a European thing, but certainly the model is entrenched in French society, for example. Their passion and lifestyle for beautiful things and taking pleasure in food and wine every day, is worthy of a closer look.

    What we can learn I can best sum up with the acronym AESE :

    A is for Attitude: Caring about what you put in your mouth, seeking fresh foods from the producer’s market, and looking forward to the experience. Plan and match[1] the meal, wines and context[2].

    E is for Experience: Food and wine are meant to be enjoyed; understanding and having a concept of quality[3] is paramount. Be informed, read the wine label!

    S is for Sharing: Discuss, exchange opinions with your companions, evaluate, and compare experiences. It starts at the family dinner table.

    E is for Etiquette: Appreciate and be thankful to the many people involved, and whose work and skills have brought such fine fare to your table.

    Tonight, at the end of each course, I will be asking for volunteers to talk about their experience. They will receive a bottle of wine for their courage!

    [1] ‘Match’– as in pairing, being compatible. One can cause the other to almost disappear, or, preferably, they can enhance each other.

    [2] ‘Context’– refers to who you are with, the location and the occasion. They all influence the appropriate food and wine choices.

    [3] ‘Quality’– is about persistence of flavour, as opposed to “short”, where there is an initial impression and then nothing! Wine is best eaten like food. People who “drink” wine miss a lot of what wine has to offer.

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