Adam and I have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day, but this year we were lucky enough to be able to secure a babysitter for a couple hours, so we treated ourselves to an afternoon out. One of favourite pre-baby holidays was a mid-summer’s trip to South Africa where we hung out at the beach, drank wine in the mountains and indulged in some amazing food. Obviously recreating that trip is out of the question at the moment, but our little date felt very reminiscent of those lazy South African days…
The focus of our afternoon outing was to partake in a gin tasting, organised by a new event planning service in Wagga Wagga, Coincidentally, and hosted by local food and beverage expert, DJ Pieroway, aka the Drinks Professor. Now full disclosure, although Adam and I paid full price for our tickets, the mastermind of Coincidentally, Serena, is a neighbour and we have known DJ for years – so for us, part of the appeal of going to this event was to hang out with friends for a few hours!
Adam and I started the afternoon with a glass of wine (I’m a fan of the winery’s rosé pet nap) underneath the shade of the aforementioned olive trees. With a slight breeze blowing, summer dress and sandals on, it felt almost holiday-like.
We then were ushered towards a beautiful set-up, involving white cloth covered tables decorated with fresh foliage, gleaning glasses and a selection of tonic waters. Over the next couple of hours DJ talked us through seven gins, educating us on the history of the drink and getting us to really analyse what we were tasting. We were encouraged to take notes throughout and struck up a friendly banter with a couple of the people who were seated beside us. The maker of one the gins we sampled, Jake Eaglesham, also gave a brief presentation about the stilling process and what it’s like starting a business during COVID.
To accompany the drinks we also had a platter of some of Serena’s homemade breads and dips. And being the good neighbours that we are, we made sure that she wasn’t left with an oversupply of bread and went back for seconds… possibly thirds.
Overall we had such a fun afternoon. I find group activities can often be a bit hit and miss, but there were a diverse range of people at the event and everyone was there to enjoy themselves. There was no pressure to consume everything in front of you and you could drink as much, or as little as you wanted.
DJ mentioned the possibility of future events, with different styles of drinks, and I’ve got to say even though I’m not a huge drinker, I’d definitely be interested in doing another similar gathering. I enjoyed working out what I liked and why. If I’m going to have a drink, I’d rather have one and really enjoy it as opposed to many and only like half of them. If this sounds like the sort of afternoon out you’d be interested in, I recommend checking out Serena and DJ’s Facebook pages for future events.
Have a wonderful week.