Raise a Glass
With a huge selection of 119 Festival Events, 140 Dine Wellington exclusive set menus, 123 unique burgers, 40 craft cocktails and 19 food trucks revving up, Visa Wellington On a Plate is a 17-day region-wide celebration of the most excellent food and beverage grown, made, crafted, produced and cooked in greater Wellington.
During Visa WOAP, what's in your glass is just as important as what's on your plate. Wellington boasts a thriving craft beer and brewing industry, more coffee roasteries than you can shake a long black at, a whole lot of killer cocktail spots, a world-class wine region just over the hill and even boutique spirits distilleries, and all of this is explored heartily during the second two weeks of August.
Pour yourself a drink and imbibe with some of these bevvy-based events:
L'affare and Wellington Chocolate Factory are cracking open their vaults and sharing some unique and rare varieties for the ultimate exploration of coffee and chocolate snobbery. You'll get stuck into a flight of pairings of these super rare and delicious products, with intel and yarns from industry leaders. If you want the bragging rights of saying you've tried varieties that nobody else in NZ ever has, including a rare cacao variant that was previously thought to be extinct, this is the event for you.
The Lobby Lounge team know how to take high tea to the next level. They've taken Hendricks gin and infused it with even more of its own botanicals for eight hours to amp up the flavour, then turned it into a tea punch with TWG Tea. This delicious concoction is matched with a tiered array of sweet and savoury treats for a very swanky afternoon tea experience.
Do you have the feeling you have the potential to become NZ's hottest home brewer, if only you had a little help? In the spirit of collaboration, Dockside and Lord Almighty's Waterfront Brewing Beer-gustation is here to help. Combining a hands-on brew day with a sit-down five-course beer-matched feed, you get the best of both worlds from this night out. Learn the tricks of the trade and the hard work that goes into creating the perfect brew and get stuck into some of Dockside's always-excellent kai on a stunner of a waterfront location.
This event is the only exception to that classic adage about never mixing the grape and grain. Local brewery Fortune Favours will be pitted against Martinborough winery Nga Waka in this battle of the fermented beverages. The folk behind these bevvies will be on hand to chat through what makes a great food match, with the matches themselves provided by Muse.
Beer and sweet treats might not seem like the most natural friends, but Brewed is here to prove that they're natural buddies. Local photographer Bridie MacInnes's mum is journeying down from Russell to Wellington to produce her famed baked goods, and Tuatara is taking care of the beer match side of things, with some old favourites as well as some tea-themed new brews.
I am a huge fan of all things pie, from the filthiest petrol station mince and cheese to the highest bastion of pie quality: Siggy's Pies from Waikanae. A pie made by Siggy is a pie enjoyed, and the only thing better than a pie is five pies. Grab your ticket to Beer No Evil, Pie No Evil and rock up any time during the Sprig & Fern's opening hours to exchange it for five beers matched to five mini pies, all introducing a bit of Eastern flavour while remaining true to the greatest of Kiwi culinary iconc.
When you grow vegetables and grapes from the same soil, magic things happen when you eat them together. Three different Wairarapa vineyards are popping up in the city, and Noble Rot head chef has been tasked with designing a menu using only ingredients sourced from within 30km of the wineries. The commitment to locality even extends to the tableware - everything will be served on ceramics by Carterton potter Paul Melser. Taste the terroir of Wellington's wine country with six courses of pairings proving that locality matters.