Lots to explore as food festival returns
ON Sunday, October 10, Wells Food Festival is making a welcome return to the city.
What began nine years ago as a celebration of Somerset’s rich farming and culinary heritage has evolved into a showcase for some of the county’s finest food and drink producers.
The Artisan Market, with more than 150 stalls at the last count, is a star attraction with an amazing array of regional produce. It is a melting pot of cuisine, and in addition to local specialities such as cheese and cider, visitors can eat their way around the world. A thriving street food scene is in evidence with everything from macaroni and cheese through to Tibetan dumplings on the menu.
There is lots to explore with something for all ages. Younger visitors can pick up the Gingerbread Man Trail from the entrance to the festival and follow the clues hidden in each of the main areas, with a prize for all correctly completed sheets. There are also four free cookery workshops for children taking place in the Fun Kitchen pop-up cookery school. Suitable for ages 3+, childrens can get cooking and create their own Apple Scone Bread Twist.
Also in the Recreation Ground is a new marquee celebrating English wine. It will feature local vineyards such as Fenny Castle Vineyard, Perch Hill Vineyard, Pink & Co and Road Green Vineyard, as well as some from further afield.
Ben Franks, of wine merchant Novel Wines in Bath, will be sharing his passion for the subject with three exclusive wine tasting sessions, each lasting approximately 45 minutes.
The first tasting is of Bacchus wine. Ben explained his choice: “Bacchus, a German grape, ripens easily in the UK. Most importantly, it has a similar palate and style to Sauvignon Blanc, the most popular white variety amongst UK drinkers.
“But whereas Sauvignon Blanc struggles to ripen and get fruity in the English weather, Bacchus consistently manages to reach a pleasant balance of acidity and sugar with fresh fruit and floral aromas.
“Most excitingly, it isn’t found to the same quality anywhere else in the world – including Germany – which gives us the opportunity to create a truly English wine.”
Ben will also be holding a tasting of English sparkling wine. He said: “England is diving headlong into this world, competing with Champagne on quality but experimenting endlessly with new grapes, styles and lees-ageing. The market of English fizz is very exciting to explore with an almost unanimous pursuit of quality from all winemakers.”
To book a place, and to find out all the details of the festival, visit www.wellsfoodfestival.co.uk