Adelaide Food Central was kindly invited to the Coriole Vineyards as part of the McLaren Vale Spring Affair. This is the third year Paxton, Maxwell and Coriole Wineries have combined to put on a festival to celebrate the warmer weather and showcase the best McLaren Vale has to offer. The event is held annually on the Sunday and Monday of the October long weekend. Lucky for us, we went on the Sunday and the sun came out and joined us as we headed South ready for a day of food, wine and frivolity.
Wine glasses in hand we secured a seat in the undercover area. Ample seating was available all over the vineyard so you can choose your view – rolling hills and vines as far as the eye can see or a picturesque country garden in full bloom.
We had two options for lunch. Poh Ling Yeow was set up in the courtyard with her famous Jamface catering. Huge pans of seafood paella were cooking away all day on portable burners. Each generous helping was full of prawns, squid, peas and tasty rice. They were also dishing up their unique signature pizza fritters – deep fried dough topped with neapolitan sauce, parmesan and basil leaves. Dreamy!
Coriole also provided a selection of dishes. Serving crowd pleasers such as Salt & Pepper Squid served with Citrus Aioli, Chicken Kebabs with Cous Cous, cured Atlantic Salmon salad dressed in a light vinaigrette and Conchigle pasta shells mixed with asparagus, peas and a generous sprinkling of parmesan. I couldn’t go past the tender Pork & Veal Meatballs, smothered in tomato sugo and topped with a fresh gremolata. Served in a cup they were easy to eat and carry around.
For those with a sweet tooth the desert buffet was taken care by Pot and Pantry. A satisfying Chocolate & Almond torte with raspberry coulis and a delicate Vanilla Slice were on offer, as well as an incredible Orange and Saffron Syrup Cake, as vibrant in flavour as it was in colour. Finally, a Baked Ricotta Cheesecake that was so light and fluffy I was concerned that with a puff of wind it would take off!
Woodside Cheese took care of those who favour cheese with their wine. Delightful cheese platters were available in different sizes with a variety of cheeses and accompaniments.
Unfortunately, this year Mother Nature is reluctant to deliver us Spring. The crowds however, soldiered on and organisers did their best to provide a weatherproof event. The food and wine shone even though the sun did very little. Be sure to schedule the event in your calendar next year and fingers crossed a little more spring will be in the air.
Words by Kate Wilkinson
Coriole Vineyards – Chaffeys Rd, McLaren Vale
Maxwell Wines – 19 Olivers Rd, McLaren Vale
Paxton Wines – Lot 100, Wheaton Rd, McLaren Vale