My five most memorable wine experiences
My love affair with wine didn’t evolve gradually over time, it was born in a couple of steps, and evolved in leaps and bounds over a series of wine experiences – mostly memorable bottles, sometimes conversations with passionate individuals – but always caught up in a moment. I entered that moment with a certain amount of passion and interest, and left that moment all the more inspired.
I thought I’d share those moments, and find myself recalling not only the occasions, but the taste of the wines, the temperature of the air, the smells and sounds… what an astonishing and marvellous thing!
And so, in some semblance of chronological order…
1. Metala White Label Shiraz Cabernet
As a teenager (I’ll call it 18 for propriety), this was my go-to date wine. I can honestly say that it was the label that did it. I thought it looked French, which meant I would look cool, and I enjoyed the wine. Though in truth the wine was probably not getting an awful lot of attention in those days. Still, wandering the aisles of my local wine store in confusion, I’d seek out this cool little number, with its classic cursive typography, and I’m pleased to say it didn’t often let me down :) Ah, those formative years…
2. Rosemount Show Reserve Chardonnay
Another aspirational wine for me. Early twenties now, and I had three very good mates, and one Sunday morning every month in Summer we’d get together for lunch at Jordan’s seafood restaurant on the water in Darling Harbour (don’t think it’s there anymore). Yelly, Gus, Andy and I would order a couple of bottles of this, sit back in the sun like the world was ours, and make plans for our invincible lives.
3. Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1986
To this day, remains the most expensive bottle of wine I’ve ever ordered in a restaurant. It was Grossi Florentino in Melbourne, I was there with some friends Vlado and Bernadette, and Vlado (knowing my by then growing obsession) generously offered to shout a bottle. The moment itself outshone the wine – I recall tasting only metho and white pepper, and to this day suspect it was badly corked, but I didn’t have the confidence to speak up and send it back!
4. Two Hands Lily’s Garden McLaren Vale Shiraz 2005
Justin and I cracked this bottle at 4am in my garage the night that Qwoff first launched in 2007. Our planned 7pm launch became 4am because of all the bugs, and we were deliriously tired by the time our dream went live, but we savoured that sweet, delicious red, and I’ve still got the bottle on the shelf in the office. Sweet berry fruit and mocha chocolate, this wine shall forever be a symbol of brave beginnings for me.
5. Wynn’s John Riddoch Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
I’ve saved this one for last, for it’s my fondest memory. I bought a magnum of this incredible wine for my engagement party, back in 2003. After dinner, I gathered in a quiet corner my dad, my brother, my father-in-law to be, brother-in-law to be Justin, and my best mates Yelly and Andy, passed out some Romeo Y Julieta cigars and made a solemn toast to the life that lay ahead– one of the happiest moments in my life, and will forever be the greatest wine I will ever taste – for wine is only ever as good as the moment, and the greatest moments create the greatest wines.