WIN! Tickets to Wine Festival Winchester

Local FoodTeaLife readers may have heard the buzz about Wine Festival Winchester, the exciting new initiative by BBC1 wine experts Susie & Peter taking place right here in Winchester. Tickets are selling fast – but lucky for you I’ve got two tickets to give away worth £25 each! Read on to find out more…

Team behind Wine Festival Wichester

The team behind Wine Festival Winchester – BBC1’s wine experts Susie & Peter

The event, which is being held in Winchester Guildhall from 21-23 November, will feature hundreds of wines from around the world, all free to taste as part of the entry price. There will be local food, music, masterclasses featuring cheese and chocolate, prize draws and a free wine glass worth £12.50 for all visitors.

I particularly like the fact that so many of my favourite local producers and retailers are involved too. There are six Hampshire sparkling wine producers, including Hattingley Valley, Hambledon and Jenkyn Place, alongside local retailers Toscanaccio, Stone Vine & Sun, The Naked Grape, Caviste, Berry Bros. & Rudd and Wine Utopia.

Here’s the interesting bit that makes Wine Festival Winchester a little different – in order to help you find wines you like at the festival, Susie and Peter have devised a colour-coded system called ‘Follow Your Taste’. Wine is broken down into six flavour styles and bottles at the event will have coloured neck tags to indicate their style. Sounds like a great idea to me and takes away some of intimidation that can surround wine tasting.

Winchester Wine Festival Colour Code

Fab Idea! The ‘Follow Your Taste’ colour-coded system that will be in place at Wine Festival Winchester

The festival is supporting local charity Naomi House and launches the same weekend as Winchester’s Christmas market just round the corner – what a weekend! You can find out more about the festival by visiting the website www.thewinefestival.co.uk.

HOW TO WIN TWO FREE TICKETS:

For your chance to win two free tickets for the Sunday at Wine Festival Winchester simply tweet me: “@franini_daze I want to win tickets to @WineFestWinch

You can also email foodtealife@gmail.com. The winner will be drawn at random and notified within 28 days. Terms and conditions can be found here.

Good luck!

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Magnificent Mediterranean at Woodfire, Stockbridge

I recently paid a visit to Woodfire, the Mediterranean-themed pizza and mezze restaurant in Stockbridge. I was looking for somewhere a little different, and dare I say, outside of Winchester for a change. So I booked up a table after hearing good things and the news that Woodfire was celebrating its first six months in business with extended opening hours, a new Italian pizza chef and a special ‘Pizza and a Pint’ offer.

Woodfire Stockbridge

Woodfire is situated on Stockbridge High Street

It was lovely to visit Stockbridge again, I’d not been in quite a few years despite it being so close. The high street and surrounding area were as picturesque as ever. Once inside Woodfire, the atmosphere was pleasantly busy and staff were very welcoming too.

We enjoyed a long and leisurely lunch for a family member’s birthday treat, so naturally that meant three courses for me (not everyone around the table was as greedy!). The menu had mixture of Greek style mezze dishes such as hummus and flatbread and other Mediterranean favourites like halloumi and cured meats, as well as main dishes and a delicious pizza menu. The pizza menu was brand new, devised by Italian master pizzaiolo, Luciano, from Naples, alongside Woodfire’s French Head Chef Alex Thomelin. The tempting sounding new pizzas on the menu included: Broccoli Salsiccia with Italian fennel sausage, broccoli, chilli, tomato and mozzarella and Calzone with prosciutto cotto, spinach, wild mushrooms, parmesan, tomato and mozzarella. And of course, all the pizzas were hand-made and baked in a wood-fired oven.

We opted a for a mix of breads and dips to start with including hummus and baba ganoush and received a lovely selection of small plates to nibble on between us. The hummus was divine, one member of the party who previously claimed not to like hummus actually enjoyed it – so it must have been good!

Having already done my fast days that week, I was definitely up for a large lunch and opted for a pizza for my main course. I chose the Melanzane Parmigiana pizza, which came with aubergine, paremesan, tomato, mozzarella and I added some extra prosciutto.

pizza at woodfire stockbridge

A close up of my scrummy pizza

I thoroughly enjoyed my pizza, polishing off pretty much the entire plateful! Most of the table also enjoyed a pizza for their main course too, one member of the party had a lamb tagine dish though – which looked very tasty (I do love anything with cous cous!)

Main Course at Woodfire Stockbridge

Lamb, squash and apricot tagine with almond cous cous and coriander yoghurt

Yes…I was pretty full by this stage but they had affogato on the desserts list, which is essentially espresso and ice cream, so I thought I could probably find room for that. Woodfire’s take on this classic dessert came with amaretto (my favourite!) and biscotti – it was just perfect finish to the meal, I loved the mix of coffee and amaretto together.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon’s eating and I would highly recommend a visit to Woodfire if you’re in the mood for some Mediterranean cuisine.

For more information or to make a reservation, you can contact the restaurant on 01264 810248 or visit www.woodfirestockbridge.co.uk. Woodfire is open Monday and Wednesday 9am – 5.30pm, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9am – 11pm, and Sunday 10am – 4pm. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.