Taste buds put to the test in food and wine festival

SUNNY CONDITIONS: The weather played its part providing an ideal day for festival goers.
SUNNY CONDITIONS: The weather played its part providing an ideal day for festival goers.
RELAXING: Fiona Bolden, left, and Dave Burbage of Hamilton take in the atmosphere.
RELAXING: Fiona Bolden, left, and Dave Burbage of Hamilton take in the atmosphere.
THE BIG CHEESE: Miel Meyer grabs another wheel of his Meyer gouda at the Waikato Food and Wine Festival,  Claudelands.
THE BIG CHEESE: Miel Meyer grabs another wheel of his Meyer gouda at the Waikato Food and Wine Festival, Claudelands.
HAPPY VISITORS: Wanda Shen, left, and Monique Virture of Auckland enjoy the food and wine.
HAPPY VISITORS: Wanda Shen, left, and Monique Virture of Auckland enjoy the food and wine.
Festive sounds: Nigel Masters on the double bass and Derek Jacombs of Kokomo Blues Band entertain the crowd.
Festive sounds: Nigel Masters on the double bass and Derek Jacombs of Kokomo Blues Band entertain the crowd.
NEW FRIENDS: Sisters Rita Powell, Lesley Welham and Dianne Oldham make friends with 16-month-old Edward Dai of Hamilton.
NEW FRIENDS: Sisters Rita Powell, Lesley Welham and Dianne Oldham make friends with 16-month-old Edward Dai of Hamilton.
CHEERS TO THAT: Kim Varga, Manu Rosier of Forrest Wines with Deb Denby and Carolyn Akerboom, sample Forrest  products.
CHEERS TO THAT: Kim Varga, Manu Rosier of Forrest Wines with Deb Denby and Carolyn Akerboom, sample Forrest products.

Delectable wine and the aromatic flavours of exquisite food enticed close to 6000 people to the annual Waikato Food and Wine Festival over the weekend.

The festival, which is in its sixth year, hosts a number of food professionals including cafe's and restaurants as well as show casing local and imported wine over two days. The event was held at the Claudelands Lawn on Saturday and Sunday.

Aucklander Susan Frost admitted she was no wine connoisseur but said with over 20 years experience of drinking wine she could attest to the brilliant wine available at the event.

"The selection of wine here is great. I like to close my eyes while I taste so I don't become a label snob, I know my personal favourites and I'm trying to expand," she said.

Huntly local Graham Martin said that although he was not drinking he could vouch for the "great" food at the event.

First time stall holder, Miel Meyer from Hamilton's family owned Meyer Cheese said the event had been great for business and planned on returning next year.

Stall holder Jacob Nooyen, from Vilagrad Wines, has been a stall holder and sponsor of the event for over six years.

Mr Nooyen said the event was a "huge success".

"The new layout is a bit more compact and it gives everyone that festival feeling, it's been wonderful," Mr Nooyen said.

Festival director Paul Blomfield described the two day event as "fantastic" and paid tribute to the stall holders and public for creating a "lovely atmosphere."

From the 6000 that entered the premises only two people were evicted for drunken disorder and two were "yellow carded" for their behaviour.

St John Ambulance who have actively patrolled the festival said it had been a quiet event on the injury front.

Waikato