I was reading about the upcoming Tasting Australia Festival in the Weekend Australia on Sunday- I must add whilst drinking a 2007 Adelaide Hills Riesling and eating an ashed chevre, also from the Hills. Sundays should be filled with such acts of hedonism. Amidst my indulgence though, I realised that I wasn’t really tasting either the wine or the cheese. I mean, I could taste them, but I wasn’t really engaged in them to the extent they deserved. Rather I was pouring them at such a gluttonous pace they would have been better served in a trough, together.

Some of us are fortunate to be in a position to enjoy beautifully made produce that yields virtually no nutritional value simply for the sensory pleasure it can yield (anyone who says they drink wine for the health promoting qualities is kidding themself). When fitness types preach on the virtues of moderation, and tell us how many minutes of walking I need to do to burn off that chocolate biscuit, I feel an intense urge to throw a heavy object at them. The joyless sods.  I tend to think if you are going to drink alcohol, or eat chocolate, or cheese, then consume the best damn version of it you can and enjoy every moment of it!
But my cheese and Riesling coupling delivered only fat, sugar and alcohol as I really wasn’t paying attention to the complexity that was available. I was mindlessly hoovering it. That is the behaviour of a pig. Come to think of it, I often divert my attention from what I am eating- the bloody smart phone is usually the distraction. Food is wonderful, and usually a hell of a lot more interesting than what I waste time googling.
I encourage you to check out the events at the Tasting Australia Festival, I’ll even provide you a link to the website here. But do so as a true gourmand, and immerse yourself in the spectrum of sensory stimulation that great food and drink can offer.