The Humble

Welcome to the Humble Tumbler Adventures in Food & Drink. Thanks for visiting!

We’re an independent group of educators, here to teach you everything you ever wanted to know about adventurous eating and drinking.


We design, write and host courses, masterclasses and corporate events in Melbourne and beyond. Between us we can teach you about wine, whisky, and gin – all delivered with loads of gusto, a bit of quirk and a distinct lack of pretension. Small groups, cool venues, delicious food and great booze – are you ready for the adventure?


Where to?


Meet your educators

Or, should we say……heroes

Clare Burder
Wine & Sake

Fred Siggins

Caroline Childerley
The Gin Queen

Tom Kline
International Wine


Here at Humble Tumbler HQ we realise you’re pretty busy…

That’s why we’ve put together classes which run in a one-night format. The Dinner Party Hero series focuses on wine, and we also offer gin and whisky masterclasses too. Hooray! 

Each class is hosted in a fantastic venue in Fitzroy or the CBD and is limited to only 14 people. We provide a glorious amount of cheese and charcuterie to complement the drinks selection – its enough to be considered a light dinner. Our masterclasses always sell out months in advance so if you spot something interesting, don’t hesitate to book in…We look forward to meeting you in a masterclass soon! 

Four Week Wine

All the wine, all the cheese, all the fun. So much to appreciate!

When a two hour masterclass just isn’t quite enough, and you’re ready to commit to something altogether bigger, better and more fantastic – the Humble Tumbler Four Week Wine Courses are the ultimate adventure.

Choose from our ‘Introductory’ or ‘Intermediate’ course…’

You Have Options!

Introductory Four Week Course

We teach two wine courses here at Humble Tumbler HQ: the introductory four week course written and hosted by Clare - which focuses on teaching the basics of wine appreciation, wine buying, wine & food matching + a bunch of other useful info to get you super confident when that wine list hits the table. This course focuses almost entirely on Australian wine and Australian regions, with tastings of over 35 wines across the four classes. This is the course we've been teaching since 2012, so if you've done a course with us, it'll be this one. 

Intermediate Four Week Course

The second course is new for 2018. Hooray! It's designed for those who’ve done the first one, or know the basics of wine production, wine appreciation and wine style already. We call it our intermediate four week course but there really is nothing stopping you from diving right in! It focuses on international wine - particularly the main wines & regions of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany & South America; with a few wines from NZ and the USA thrown in for good measure. Written and hosted by Tom Kline, this is the ultimate world wine adventure. See below for the glorious details. 

Written and hosted by Clare Burder

Format: 4 x 2.5 hour classes over four weeks. All classes run 6.30 – 9pm and include enough amazing cheese to be considered a light dinner.

Content Overview: This course focuses almost entirely on Australian wine and Australian regions, with tastings of almost 40 incredible wines across the four evenings. We investigate in detail basic wine appreciation, how to judge quality, food matching – and the main grape varieties, regions and wine styles in Australia. You’ll also learn all about winemaking, how wine pricing works, the key vintages to look out for, how to understand wine labels, how wines are classified on wine lists and bottle shop shelves plus a bunch of other useful info to get you super confident when that wine list hits the table. You’ll hear great stories about the wines and winemakers, get some insight into the wine industry (and how it communicates with consumers) and get loads of fantastic recommendations around where and what to drink in Melbourne and beyond.  

Overall it’s unpretentious, fun, interactive and very much aimed at providing you with insightful, practical & truthful information to help you buy, drink and talk about wine in a way that suits you and your lifestyle.

Who is this course for?: This course has been written specifically to cater to people who love drinking wine but are still quietly mystified by the sheer amount of information out there. As an introductory/101 course, you don’t need any prior knowledge – just an interest in wine! You’ll receive a fantastic little book filled to the brim with all of the course content – including maps, buying guides and all those pro-tips that will make your wine buying decisions easy. And because our courses are super social & interactive, you’ll get ample opportunity to have your questions answered, make new friends and legitimately have cheese for dinner four nights in a month. 

Week one: We kick off this great course with introduction into vineyards, regions, grape varieties & wine regions. Sounds pretty standard huh! It’s true, but you have to start somewhere! Things get more interactive when we teach you how to taste and tell you all about what is going on in your brain/mouth/nose when you taste wine. We move on to investigate the fantastic worlds of riesling & sauvignon blanc and introduce the three main concepts behind food and wine matching.

Week Two: In week two we teach you how white wine is made and the main flavours/styles/categories of the white wine spectrum. We taste a great lineup of Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and finish off with a bracket of ‘other’ white wines – fantastic things like Viognier, Arneis and orange wine. Also in this class we tackle the debate around natural wine, preservatives and labelling – and of course, continue exploring food and wine matching in glorious detail. 

Week Three: This is the big reds week! Kicking off with an introduction to red winemaking, we taste a great lineup of Pinot Noir before delving into the inky worlds of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. We talk all about cellaring, pricing & serving, decanting and any other little bits and pieces that come up, while continuing to talk all about red wine and food matching.

Week Four: We kick off the last class with a bracket of ‘other reds’  – lovely wines like Tempranillo and Sangiovese. After finishing off the reds section with any unanswered questions, we then move onto the world of sparkling wine – learning about how it’s made, the main styles and how to distinguish quality. We finish with an incredible lineup of Aussie sparkling, and a toast to the end of the course with a cheeky little dessert wine.

You should book soon, it’s pretty fun! See you there 🙂 

Wine Courses Schedule

The Ultimate Adventure


''Clare’s knowledge of wine is impressive and she manages to impart this while notdescending into wine wankery. Instead, a chardonnay is described as “having a bit of an ego” while cabernet is “the donut wine because it has a hole in the middle”. Some of the wine mysteries Clare illuminated for me included which wine regions suit which varieties, which wine goes well well with char grilled food, and the difference between pinot grigio and pinot gris.. ''

Cara - Wine Course Student

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Tipsy the Book

Did we mention we wrote a book? Tipsy is your ultimate guide to drinking well.

This is a book for anyone who’d like to know what they’re drinking without wading through the details. It’ll help you pick the right wine for dinner, explain the difference between pale ale and pilsner, and maybe even inspire a new passion for whisky, gin or sake. Written by Melbourne booze-expert Clare Burder, (and edited by the Humble Tumbler A-Team of Fred Siggins, Caroline Childerley and James Smith) Tipsy is a fun and accessible illustrated guide to help you know your way around a bottle shop, cocktail bar, fancy wine list or craft brewery.

Get your signed copy HERE.

Your Teachers

We know about your favourite drinks, and we’re nice people!

Clare Burder – Wine & Sake Educator

Clare has been working in the wine industry for over 14 years. She’s written about wine, made wine, taught wine appreciation, sold wine, drank a lot of wine and in general has spent most of her career talking about wine. That might have been behind a counter at a cellar door, in a wine shop, at public tastings, on stage, hosting corporate events or at one of the wine courses or masterclasses she’s written. She calls herself a wine educator but her passion – really – is to bridge the gap between consumers and wine brands. She runs The Humble Tumbler – a business dedicated to teaching consumers about wine, whisky & gin – and Vintuition – a consultancy practice specialising in training for cellar door staff. She also helps make & sell her family’s wine labels ‘Eminence’ and ‘Nimbostratus’ and in 2016 her book ‘Tipsy’ won the Wine Communicators Award for best wine book. She’s splits her time between Melbourne and the King Valley.

Tom Kline – International Wine Guy

Tom Kline is not your typical wine guy. He’s actually a talented and highly respected musician who just happens to have an absolute obsession with wine. Tom teaches our International Wine Course, which as you might expect is an extravaganza of all things Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany and South America. And this suits Tom perfectly – he loves learning about the world of wine, and passing this super useful & insightful knowledge onto his students. Tom wrote the course from scratch, and with his disarming, humble nature and encyclopaedic wine brain, he was born to teach it. It’s the only course of its kind in Melbourne and we think it’s the bees knees. Get involved!

Caroline Childerley – The Gin Queen

Caroline Childerley founded  The Gin Queen – (which is probably the best job in the world) almost 4 years ago when she began writing about Gin, doing tastings and building relationships with our distillery community. She now runs a crazy successful consultancy, hosts all sorts of incredible events, is the women who together with Gin Foundry, brought the UK’s top Gin festival Junipalooza to Melbourne,  hosts Gin Distillery Tours and in 2017 was the first Australian to be accepted into into the Gin Guild of London. Needless to say, she knows her stuff, is a wonderful host and we love having her at Humble Tumbler for her two masterclasses : Gin 101 and Australian Gin.

Fred Siggins – Whisky

Fred is the Humble Tumbler whisky guy. And as you might have realised, we like to invite only the best of the best to teach our students – Fred is no exception. With almost 20 years experience in bars, cocktails and the business of booze, Fred is  *the* whisky guy. He spends his days as the strategy manager for a little whisky brand called Sullivans Cove, and then moonlights as a whisky educator for Humble Tumbler when time permits. He designs all of the classes, sources the whisky and has a knack for telling all the wonderful/crazy stories around the worlds greatest drink. His classes always sell out so if you see something you like, make sure to nab a ticket.