The Top 5 Food & Wine Events in New Zealand

12th December 2019

The Best Food and Wine Events in New Zealand

It’s no secret that we are big food & wine lovers at MajorDomo. Give us a gourmet experience and we quite quickly reach our happy place – we adore seeking out new restaurants, we get inspired by tasting new vintages, and love nothing more than the knowing excitement of settling into our favourite table at our favourite go-to restaurant.

New Zealand has a fantastic food and wine culture, with some amazing produce and a real emphasis on quality authentic flavours. A diverse community of international chefs across the country help to keep our food scene exciting, and despite being reasonably new to the wine scene in comparison to some countries in Europe, New Zealand wines are renowned around the world.

New Zealand’s food and wine scene is celebrated throughout the year with special events, and we’ve put together a list of our:

Top 5 Wine & Food Events in New Zealand.

So as the new year quickly approaches, it’s time to get planning!  If you are looking for an excuse for a long weekend away, or you are planning a New Zealand Holiday and hoping to tick off a few flavourful festivities during your trip, we have you covered:

Toast Martinborough

Toast Martinborough is scheduled on the 3rd Sunday of November every year in the beautiful Martinborough, which is a boutique wine village situated approximately 90-minutes drive from Wellington in the South Wairarapa Region..

This one day event is spread across around 10 gorgeous vineyards, offering wine, food and live music throughout the day – your ticket will give you access to all of the participating wineries, and you can travel between them via either complimentary shuttle or by walking, meaning you can experience more than one on the day. You’ll even get a tasting glass as part of your entrance, so that you can take away a little memento of your experience.

Take part in this celebration of local wines, winemakers and local produce which has been running now for over 20 years – the hardest part of your day will be choosing which wineries you’d like to visit!

Ensure you book your accommodation early, with limited options available, you will be restricted with your choices if booking too late.

Annual event on the third Sunday of November each year.

Bluff Oyster Festival

In the deep, deep south of the South Island you’ll find the salty coastal town of Bluff, which comes alive every year with a taste of some of the best Oysters in the world.

Bought to you by the locals, and offering a uniquely Southland flavour, this festival showcases the famous bluff oysters and an array of other locally caught fish fresh from the ocean – but don’t worry if you’re not a seafood lover! Other delicious wild foods from the region including mutton bird, venison, lamb, pork and beef are all on the menu at this low key yet delicious event.

Wash your food down with a hearty Southern Ale, or New Zealand wine.

Held annually in May – check the website for dates

Wellington on a Plate

This month long festival is one of mass participation in what is arguably New Zealand’s top culinary city.  Enjoy exclusive special menus from hundreds of participating restaurants, cafes, bars and food trucks throughout the city, and trial some of the entries for Wellingtons best burger or cocktail competitions.

WOAP also offers a series of over 150 events to choose from, with everything from hands-on masterclasses to, drool-worthy international chef collaborations,  to multi-course degustation menus and everything in between. 

This creative event sprawls across the city, and it’s really does have something for everyone – whether you are a pie and pint person, fondue fanatic or wild foraging wonderkid, there is an event, menu or pop up that will pique your interest.  Be warned, ticketed events do tend to sell rather quickly.

If you are planning to visit Wellington for this event, why not take a look at our blog ‘48 hours in Wellington’ to see how you can really maximise your time in the city!

Normally runs each August.

Marlborough Food & Wine Festival

Marlborough is known for its gorgeous produce and stunning world-renowned wines so it’s no surprise that one of New Zealand’s longest-running (over 35 years!) food and wine festivals is held in this region.

Take this opportunity to taste a unique selection of world-class wines, indulge your taste buds with some delicious local cuisine and tap your feet with live music from some of New Zealand’s top bands, all set in the pretty-as-a-picture Brancott Vineyard.

This one-day event feels very festive, and as it runs in February, visitors normally get to enjoy the flavours of Marlborough with a side of sunshine!

Normally runs annually for one day each February – check the website for dates.

Taste of Auckland

This festival is your opportunity to get fully immersed in the best of Auckland’s food and drink scene. Wander Auckland’s waterfront, dine on signature dishes from some of the city’s best restaurants, get up-close and personal with some fantastic chefs, sip delicious wines, craft beers and cocktails, and discover pop up food stalls and fresh artisanal products – the market stalls are a great opportunity to meet the winemaker, chat with the brewer and get tips from the growers.

Taste of Auckland operates a little like a restaurant with two sittings – a lunch sitting and dinner sitting, with each session lasting 4-5 hours (session dependent).

This should give you plenty of time to enjoy a nice harbour-side wander and some culinary delights!

​Normally held annually at the end of October – check the website for dates.

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