After the disruption of the previous couple of years I am so excited to be heading to Mildura this November as the AAVWS Fellow. It is fantastic to feel like things are slowly returning to normal.
I am a wine educator and retailer based in Adelaide. My business, Wine Academy, has been teaching WSET courses to both wine lovers and those in wine-allied industries since 2009 and our online store opened in 2016. I love talking about wine and, aside from the WSET courses, the growth of the store has allowed me ample opportunity to talk to the wine loving public – through virtual masterclasses (thanks COVID), to online and in person corporate sessions, as well as private tastings. My own preferences in wine are highly eclectic so I relish the opportunity to squeeze something new and different into any tasting. In South Australia, it is almost obligatory to feature a Barossa Shiraz in any line up but alternative varieties almost always make their presence felt.
What I try to communicate with all wine lovers is the courage to try something new and to move outside their comfort zone – even if it’s only ever so slightly. It is so interesting to see how people react to wines made from grapes like Aglianico, Barbera and Saperavi when they have never heard of them before.
As a South Australian, I know that sometimes my window on the world of Australian wine can be a little parochial! I am looking forward to the AAVWS and gaining a much greater understanding of the Australian alternative variety wine scene – and bringing that back to wine lovers in South Australia.