My earliest memories of New Year’s Eve at the legal drinking age are a little hazy, my memory taunted by random flashbacks of tequila slammers, party whistles, and passing out before the fireworks.
More than a decade on, my wild ways have tamed, I’d like to say from common sense and maturity, but becoming a mother to two sons under three is closer to reality. These days it’s all about staying in on New Year’s Eve, and inviting our other “with kids” friends over for a night of gourmet food, fine wine, and forcing ourselves to stay up til midnight.
If you’re in the same boat and are planning the night in this New Year’s Eve with the family and friends, check out our top gourmet food and drink picks to guarantee a splendid end to 2012:
Poacher’s Pantry Gourmet Smoked Meats
Perfect for cold meat finger treats, Poacher’s Pantry in Canberra boasts a mouthwatering selection of smoked meats using traditional curing and smoking methods, great for a festive season platter. Slice up a loaf of succulent Sicilian Chicken Breast or Thai Smoked Chicken Thigh, perfect with a glass of Grant Burge bubbly as a starter – add some crackers or lavash to the table if your guests feel weird just eating a piece of meat. The Smoked Duck Breast is in a league of its own. Tip: don’t share.
Munch Crunch Organics
Fresh, local and certified organic – you can’t go wrong with Munch Crunch Organics delivered to your door. Chose from a range of veggies, fruit, herbs, meats and breads from their online store, or chose a pre-selected seasonal fruit and veg or salad box filled with the week’s freshest produce. Perfect for making gourmet fruit and meat platters, salads and snacks for NYE.
The Margaret River Dairy Company
Margaret River pumps out some of Australia's best gourmet produce, their cheeses being no exception. The Margaret River Dairy Company produces a luxurious selection of cheddar, feta, brie, camembert and baked ricotta, yielded from unpolluted, fertile fields and the finest dairy cows. Sold at select shops around Australia, their cheeses make a fine accompaniment to any fruit platter and cold festive wines.
Beer and Wine
Cape Grace Wines
This boutique winery in Margaret River celebrates some of the region’s best hand-crafted luxury wines, with a bag of awards to prove it. The Cape Grace Chenin Blanc is just the drop to go with your smoked meats and rich cheeses – an easy drinking wine with tropical fruit aromas spiked with passionfruit and pineapple, and a long, crisp finish.
Established in 1838, Victoria’s first vineyard Yering Station produces beautiful wines in the stunning Yarra Valley region. The 2011 Pinot Noir Rose’ is our pick to go with fresh King Prawns or a mango salad, giving off a subtle cherry scent with savoury and strawberry notes. The dry, smooth finish lingers on the palate – a nice addition to any NYE house party.
Stone and Wood Brewery
Shedding the corporate garbage and getting back to basics, the three owners of Stone and Wood Brewery took their years of beer industry experience and opened up their boutique brand in the heart of Byron Bay. Beer drinkers will love Stone and Wood's full malt Lager Beer, with its classic gold hue, this one is great for kicking back on the deck with close friends. Match it with a plate of chilled Moreton Bay Bugs and enjoy the crisp, refreshing taste of this Bavarian inspired lager.