So I’m about a week behind in writing about this show, however, I really wanted to get through my bevy of recipes before I did this post so we are finally here! The Gaborone Food and Wine show was brought to us by Airport Junction, Lapologa, Builders World, The Gazette and Gabz FM. Luckily I did not have to pay for my ticket, Lapologa hooked me up through a competition they ran in the weeks leading up to the event. However a ticket was 120 pula including a free tasting wine glass and 60 pula worth of tokens.
When I arrived and first saw the location it looked very small and I began getting worried that I had mislead the friends that I had insisted come along with me. Tentatively I entered, bought my tokens (my ticket, being complimentary, did not include tokens) and walked around a little while I sipped some wine from the Lengau Wine Company stall.
I then realised that though the wine stalls were a few, there was quite a large selection of wines and if you had attempted to taste every single wine there you would have needed to call a cab to take you home. In addition to the wine stalls, there was a confectionery stall by Bella Pastry, a Glendiffich whiskey stall, a biltong stall that also sold burgers, a Spur stall, a cheese stall set up by Checkers supermarket and an Olive oil stall. They also put out some chairs for attendees to sit on while they sipped or ate and enjoyed the music being played by Dj Oneal and later Gareth Cliff from 5fm.
Highlights of the event? The Wine, slice of red velvet cake, blue cheese and chili biltong. I am not a ‘wine person’ and if I’m drinking alcohol, I favor cocktails. However, I am now a member of the wine brigade. I fell in love with the Neethlingshof Gewurztraminer (we just call it ‘the German wine’) from the Lengau Wine company Stall. I eventually gave up trying to find a suitable competitor and made friends with the ladies at the stall who would replenish my glass whenever I appeared. The main reason I loved it was for its litchi flavor. I love litchis! I also managed to ‘sell’ the wine to my friends. After a glass or two my buddy Michelle declared that the Lengau stall was officially our bar for the day!
At the Bella pastry stall there was an assortment of Cupcakes, brownies and rolls. The pièce de résistance was undoubtedly the red velvet cake. A slice of it cost 3 tokens which was the equivalent to 3 wine tastes. So when my sister in baking, Gorata, bought her slice, we were very worried the cake would not live up to its cost. However we were quite impressed! It was very moist, rich, not too sweet and the acidity of the vinegar did not overwhelm the taste. Having struggled with Red Velvet cake myself (and I am still yet to perfect it) I know what an art it is to get it right.
The Checkers stall had a selection of cheeses for tasting including brie, Gouda and blue cheese. I think the blue cheese I have been buying is of the cheaper variety because when I had their blue cheese, it was a completely different experience! Incredibly creamy with that characteristically blue cheese bite at the end. If one was not staring at the mold, one was very happy. I ended up buying a whole platter just to take a chunk of that cheese home. Sadly I have not been able to track down that cheese in Checkers yet…but I shall!
And finally, the chili biltong from the Butcher Shop stall. By far the best I have had, mainly because it’s more suited to people who do not like excessive amounts of chili in their food. It does not leave your mouth on fire. As far as I’m concerned, that criteria settles it for me. They also had the most tender lamb burgers at the stall. It was so tender it might as well have been polony. Whatever they did to it, they need to do to all meats on earth.
Lows of the event? The sun. Good lawd the sun! Drinking wine by hells doorstep is really not ideal. But of course organizers can only do so much, the weather cannot be controlled. For next time though a location with excessive amounts of shade would be more appropriate. Another low, Gareths 5 second appearance. Ok, so it wasn’t literally 5 seconds but he did not stay long. I would have liked to see him playing more of an MC role and in fact that’s what I expected. However, I did get to meet him and he is incredibly friendly! A far cry from his Idols persona.
Next time I hope to be amazed by the talents of a chef, any chef, local or international. That, I would pay for! For the wine or food suppliers/restaurants that missed out, they should really consider showing at next years event. What better way to advertise your wares than through samples? Yes some people just want to drink or eat, however if your stuff is really good, they will turn into long term customers (Lengau Wine company will most definitely be seeing me again!).
Overall a great time was had and the only reason I left before the show ended was because I had work to do. However, had I none, I would have been dragged out kicking and screaming at 6pm. After all, there is a direct correlation between time, wine and fun. As wine consumption increases,so does fun and time spent in the relevant location. Looking forward to next years for sure! And I hope to catch more of you there next time!
And lastly, below are some photos of the fabulous people I ran into.