After months of countdown, Summer F.A.W.C! is set to kick off tomorrow with the F.A.W.C! Launch Party in the Black Barn Market Round.
More than 300 people will line the fairy-lit marquee to graze all night on lashings of fresh Hawke's Bay bounty while sampling locally brewed craft beer and wines from 12 top wineries. It will set the scene for an exciting 10 days and left those without tickets with a severe dose of F.A.W.C! FOMO (fear of missing out).
A quick scout of the website reveals there is still a number of enticing events to get along to including a great selection of "walk up" events (great for those with commitment issues) as well as a number under $50.
If you are at a loose end today and feel like being spontaneous we recommend you get along to Art in the Olive Groves at Telegraph Hill Olivery. Entry is a gold coin donation and you can snack on tantalising tapas, try the gourmet hangi or just stroll through the olive groves admiring the impressive collection of local art on display.
Over in Havelock North, the cult drive thru party at Advintage Wines gets under way. (No ticket required, just pay as you go) Wellington based chef Martin Bosley has bought the Veuve Clicquot Oyster Bar with him.
From 4pm-8pm he will be shucking to order while the Advintage crew pour the fizz. Havelock keeps the party going on Sunday with another walk up event, this time at Deliciosa Tapas & Wine. Collaborating with Beer Appreciation Day, Session Ales & Sliders beer lovers can sample the latest offerings from local Hawke's Bay breweries whilst munching on a menu of gourmet sliders backed to tunes from DJ Ben Wright.
On Monday night, F.A.W.C! steps up to the plate with a Meatlovers Masterclass in the F.A.W.C! Pop Up Kitchen inside Masonic Hotel. Gary Grootelaar, chef from luxury B&B The Manse is cooking five mouth-watering courses of different beef cuts with side serves of truffle, mushroom, lentils and everything in between, all expertly matched to Hawke's Bay red and white wine selections.
And just when you think you can't eat another bite, out comes course number six - elderflower syllabub dessert! Tickets are $200 each and include a demonstration on preparing and cooking each cut.
Perhaps the quirkiest event in the F.A.W.C! line-up is Yappie Hour at Trinity Hill Winery this Tuesday 4pm-6pm. Yes, that's right, for one afternoon only they are going to the dogs so grab your pooch and get along for a wine for you and a whine for them. Owners can snack on Trinity Hot Dogs while the canines enjoy a Dog-estation dinner. Entry is $10 per dog and you can pay on the day.
Napier is a hive of F.A.W.C! activity for next weekend. Starting the party is Linden Estate in Eskdale with A Melody of Flavours. Chef Greg Miller is cooking up a BBQ of succulent seafood and game meats, washed down with Linden Estate wines, craft beer and cider. There is a talented array of artists set to entertain so you are guaranteed good value at $75 per ticket which includes return transport from Napier and Hastings.
Neighbouring luxury lodge, Kiwiesque are also offering their own unique F.A.W.C! experience with "Baa Baa Black Sheep Have Ewe Any Wine".
Hosts Justine and Bayden Wilson know how to throw a good party and this long, lazy alfresco lunch will be no exception as Bayden pops the cork on his own brand of wines plus a selection of local favourites.
Zeelandt Brewery are also on hand to serve a drop or two and back for a cameo appearance is none other than Terry Lowe, former chef of Black Barn Bistro. Terry has a stack of culinary awards and is one of the chefs you don't want to miss this F.A.W.C! Tickets are $150 per person.
Now, this is just a taster of what is left for Summer F.A.W.C! 2016, for the full schedule go to www.fawc.co.nz. F.A.W.C! is one of Hawke's Bay's "must do" events so don't succumb to the FOMO, get out and celebrate our food and wine, chefs, winemakers, brewers and beautiful locations.