Stories &
Articles

The Explainer: Rose

October 28, 2017

Rosé is the sexy red head who shows up first, leaves last and entertains everyone effortlessly in the middle with their perfectly seasoned guacamole & pop hits playlist. Safe to say we have a crush. Seriously, what’s not to like? Generous, supple, delicious. Loves gossip. And kittens. Best find yourself a verandah and settle in. Rosé is generally made by bleeding ...

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Five Things You Can Do This Week to Improve Your Cellar Door

October 28, 2017

WE KNOW ABOUT YOUR TO-DO LIST... We know it's long, but we think adding these five things to it will improve your cellar door...give it a shot and let us know what you think. 1. Clean Up : Top to bottom. Front gate to tasting bench. Is your signage visible, are your rubbish bins hidden, is the lawn mown, bathrooms sparkling ...

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Get Your Tasting Notes Right: A Quick Guide

October 28, 2017

ARE YOUR TASTING NOTES OUT-OF-DATE, BORING & FULL OF WINE JARGON? Consider this piece of paper an incredible opportunity to connect with, impress and inform your customers. Cleverly designed, engaging and interesting tasting notes can take the pressure off the staff, facilitate sales, encourage social media interaction, build brand awareness and even be educational. This list details the basics, so ...

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Research Review: How Does A Cellar Door Visit Impact Future Sales?

October 28, 2017

PROVING THE LINK BETWEEN POSITIVE EXPERIENCES & FUTURE SALES... For those who read the WBM, Wine & Viticulture & Grapegrower magazine, you'll be familiar with the brilliant work of Professor Johan Bruwer & Marketing Expert Larry Lockshin - (among others), with regard to researching the dynamics of cellar doors and how they can impact on overall business performance. Wine & Viticulture ...

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Five Tips to Promote Social Media Engagement at Cellar Door

October 28, 2017

CLEVER SOCIAL MEDIA CAN GIVE YOUR BRAND ANOTHER VOICE... But how do you make the most of it? Encouraging visitors to post while they are at the cellar door can increase longer term brand engagement online and contribute to word-of-mouth. It's also a great way for staff to interact with customers and bring a bit of fun into the tasting. Use ...

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Tasting Fees: On Obligation, Reciprocation & Expectation

October 28, 2017

INSIGHTS FROM THE STELLENBOSCH TOURISM CONFERENCE In the last 14 months I’ve been to the Hunter Valley, Mudgee, all over Victoria, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Central Otago, Oregon, Napa, Sonoma & Stellenbosch visiting wineries as a tourist to try and understand where we're at when it comes (amongst other things) to the practice of charging for tastings. I also attended ...

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Napa Valley: A study in status

October 28, 2017

Driving past one impressive looking place, we stopped in to enquire the tasting booking procedure. ‘We offer three Cabernet based wines in a vertical tasting from our latest vintage back to 2001’ say the concierge. ‘Its $75 per person’. ‘Oh’, I say – ‘how much wine is there in each glass?’ ‘30ml’, says the woman. Unflinching in the idea that ...

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The Explainer: Wines of France

October 28, 2017

France is  super power when it comes to wine production: over 300 AOC’s (regions or places), at least 200 varieties, an endless array of styles and a unique quality control system which governs the whole industry. The country is incredibly varied in climate from north to south and east to west, along with dramatic changes in soil, aspect and altitude. ...

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The Explainer: Wines of Portugal

October 28, 2017

Here at Humble Tumbler HQ, we LOVE Portugal! Portuguese wine has an individual character shaped by a complex combination of an enormous array of native varieties (reportedly over 250!), traditional techniques and tumultuous history. THE WHITE WINES OF PORTUGAL The range of Portuguese wines in Melbourne is relatively limited, with only a couple of major importers – although it appears ...

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Preservative use in BD, organic & conventional wines

October 28, 2017

This article tries to shed some light on farming & wine making practices in relation to the use of the preservative sulphur dioxide (referred to in this article as 220 or sulphur) and attempts to clarify some of the confusion in wine labelling. I say attempts because there is plenty of grey area when it comes to preservatives, organic, biodynamic ...

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Buying wine at Christmas….

October 28, 2017

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Five great wines under $20

October 28, 2017

This post was originally published over here at the fantastic Five of the Best site. 1. Monte Tondo Mito  Soave $15 The north-eastern Italian region of Soave grows two grapes mainly, Trebbiano and Garganega. This wine, by Verona producer Monte Tondo is 100 per cent Garganega. It’s bone dry with lip smacking tension, a little texture and altogether pretty wonderful for ...

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Discovering Central Otago

October 28, 2017

If you’ve ever flown into Queenstown you’ll know how the descent looks like a Bond movie – the plane weaving through these almost-vertical shards of mountain, the wing tips looking like they might clip the edges. Its mesmerising. The airport is on the valley floor, and when you exit at the base of said mountains, you might be forgiven for ...

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Roadtripping through Canberra

October 28, 2017

The ACT regions are firmly established these days from an industry point of view  – yet for the average Victorian wine drinker they barely rate a mention. We’re collectively spoilt, we’ve little reason to leave our diverse, mountainous, cool climate, coastal state. It reminds me of the lake we have at my parents’ farm – we can never catch any ...

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The Explainer: Sake 101

October 28, 2017

If sake was a lady, she’d be exotic, quietly spoken, be wise beyond her years and have an endless capability to surprise you – even after years of dedicated involvement. She’d represent the ultimate intersection of traditional and modern, progressive and ancient. She’ll probably seduce you too – so just keep that in mind ok! Sake has much in common ...

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The Explainer: Natural Wine 101

October 28, 2017

If you’ve been to any cool wine bar lately you might have noticed a new category of wine sneaking its way onto the list: natural wine. Related terms you might be seeing: sulphur free, wild yeast, skins contact , biodynamic, organic, low intervention. A little while ago I was driving home with a friend after dinner, attempting to explain why ...

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Thoughts on Wine Day Out

October 28, 2017

Dan Sims – the boss guy behind Wine Day Out - convinces us in his opening address that it’s all fucked. Currency issues, distribution woes, downward price pressure, the limitless power of chains, the bureaucracy/staleness/inefficiency of our national industry organisations, saturation across the board, snobby sommeliers, licencing. LICENSING! Everything is fucked. Then he backtracks: Is it fucked? Really? No, our ...

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Agriculture, Connectivity & Joy: Why We Do What We Do

October 28, 2017

The 2014 vintage has come and gone: quite frankly it was quite a terrible season. A frost in October (our first one ever) destroyed perhaps 50% of our crop. We had four days of smoke - which thankfully didn’t taint the grapes but oh! the waiting. In late February we had 3 minutes of vicious hail which tore the skins ...

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Another story about smallgoods

October 28, 2017

Smallgoods: A clever name now that I actually consider it: small and good. Brilliant. In French they call it Charcuterie, in Italian they call it Salumi. In Melbourne we seem to have adopted the term charcuterie despite a strong Italian edit on most menus. These words both refer to the practice of preserving fresh meat through drying, curing, fermentation & ...

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The Alchemy of The Assembly: Our First Sparkling Release

October 28, 2017

In anticipation of the release of our first sparkling, and exploiting my day  job as a wine educator – I thought it might be appropriate to share the process we’ve gone through to make our 2010 sparkling. It truly is an alchemy – and I’ll endeavour to explain why. Firstly, an introduction to the idea of complexity and the origin ...

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Recipe: Gin & Tonic Cake

October 28, 2017

I make no apologies: this is one boozy cake... I've had a long, industrious history of baking without recipes (and plenty of failures too!)  but I never write them down. However,  this seemed so particular (and with so much liquid) it did require the bastardisation of a lemon cake recipe torn from an old Delicious magazine. It is quite strong ...

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Mind The Gap: Women in Wine Media

October 28, 2017

This week, a groundbreaking survey  of women in the wine industry highlighted some truly dismal stats around the big issues of pay gaps, sexism, maternity leave and advancement. Participation wise, women are a minority in viticulture and winemaking (~10% according to Wine Australia) and there are no reliable statistics for other areas like research, marketing or tourism. We can however look at ...

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A Rant…In Response to a Rant…

October 28, 2017

I’m no social media guru. I’m pretty shit at it actually – I don't really understand it fundamentally, so for my businesses it always feels like a bit of a chore. I have an Instagram account with just over 700 followers, but each pic might only get 20-50 likes. I have 1000 odd followers on Twitter I hardly ever talk to. ...

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The Explainer: Food & Wine Matching 101

October 28, 2017

Interested in food and wine? Me too! I do regular classes and talks on the topic through The Humble Tumbler, and over time have developed what I think are some nifty ideas to help clarify some of the main points. Importantly, I am certainly not someone who believes wine goes with everything - overall I seem to find the best ...

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Who’s Pinot Reigns Supreme?

October 28, 2017

The Melbourne Food and Wine festival is something that Eminence has been part of one way or another for the last couple of years – teaming up with other wineries to put on what we always affectionately called ‘wine parties’. This year though, I committed to actually attending a few events, two of which I wanted to write about here ...

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A little story about small goods…

October 28, 2017

Many years ago I packed a bag and moved to Italy. It seemed like a romantic idea at the time, and in the weeks before I left I daydreamed about wearing red lipstick, impossibly high heels and wonderful flowy dresses everywhere. I dreamed about sunflowers, wine, pasta, pesto and fresh curd cheeses, and somewhere in there I probably also gave ...

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Whitlands: Where the bloody hell are ya?

October 28, 2017

As far as wine regions are concerned, Whitlands barely exists. Your mobile phone will not work, there are no signs, no post office, no shop and most concerning of all: no pub. The inconspicuous 'Burders Lane' street sign is on a blind corner and it's almost a guaranteed that you will drive straight past it. Most conversations end with "if ...

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Fizzy Wine – The Explainer

October 28, 2017

Bubbles are magical! Where do they come from? All wine produces carbon dioxide as it ferments, so for it to become sparkling, the carbon dioxide created during fermentation must be forced back into the wine under pressure. Winemakers do this by sealing the container that the wine is fermenting in – usually a bottle (méthode champenoise or Champagne method), or on ...

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