MFWF – Wine Retreat with Dan Sims

14 Mar

I’m such a good girl volunteering my only day off in the week to help pour wine. Not just anybody can pour wine, you know? Clearly, that is why sommeliers and other wino people get asked to contribute a small portion of their time to such wonderful events!

Speaking of pouring skills, I might as well just get my doofus actions out of the way immediately!

So I got asked by Dan Sims (of the Wine Guide and Sommeliers Australia) to volunteer for this event during Melbourne Food & Wine Festival at the Langham Hotel Saturday morning. It would be lovely to sit in on the events, help pour and set up and taste the line-up of wines free of charge so of course I said yes!

Where my debacle comes in was at the start of the day when I was out the back opening some Gembrook Hills Blanc de Blanc sparkling with Leanne Altmann (Assistant Somm at Cutler & Co.) who was also volunteering at the event. Picture Scarlett Johannson and her ad for Moet e Chandon…opening a bottle of sparkling seems seamless, right?

Advertisement courtesy of Moet e Chandon

Alas, the opening did not go as planned. You see, the bottles had just come out of the fridge ten minutes prior and were wet…I had untwisted the cage and had pressed firmly on top of the cork as I began turning, with Leanne commenting at the same time on how someone had almost poked their eye out opening one of these…

I laughed…but shouldn’t have!

As she finished saying that, the cork burst from my hand, the bottle flew up, spun three times in the air and sprayed the Langham hotel’s lovely decorated ceiling with Gembrook Hill’s Blanc de Blanc wine… Shit!

I’d say half the wine went onto the ceiling, while the other half soaked into my skirt and through my hair… you could smell the lovely complex doughy notes on me all day! I would love to say I looked just like Elizabeth Taylor does when she’s wet…

Photograph courtesy of Silverbluestar

I wish.

Ahhh well. The rest of the day went according to plan without a hitch. Dan Sims was the presenter and organiser for the event and did a superb job with the three classes that ran throughout the Saturday. First up was David Lawler and Lincoln Riley discussing Wine Lists and the work involved and some basics to wine. The crowd were a little quieter as it was the first session for the day and they didn’t have enough alcohol in them. The subsequent shows had a lot more crowd participation and hence set the atmosphere up to a much more enjoyable level.

Following the boys were four lovely ladies: Kim Chalmers from Chalmers wines who showed her Vermentino, Tessa Brown from Port Phillip Estate, Kate Goodman of Punt Road Wines and Suzie Campbell from Campbells Winery in Rutherglen. Her Merchant Prince Rare Muscat was to die for, dark, glowing, absolute gold. Leanne and I went back to get another dribble into our glasses it was so delicious!

The last session saw Tom Carson of Yabby Lake casually battle it out for Australia versus Helen Masters of Ata Rangi for New Zealand. The discussion was insightful comparing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir’s from the two regions, vintage variations, and essentially terroir.

Speaking of terroir, I shall be attending the Trade Day for the Return to Terroir tasting on tomorrow! A focus on biodynamic producers and their efforts to capture the essence of the vine on their site in the glass in the least obtrusive way.

One Response to “MFWF – Wine Retreat with Dan Sims”

  1. I gave birth to a wino March 14, 2011 at 7:43 PM #

    or was it spin the bottle? you always crack me up.

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