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Matt Wenk
7 June 2021 | Matt Wenk

Questions from the Cellar Door

What do you drink at home?, Do you drink your own wine? – As a winemaker at the Cellar door, or at nearly any social situation I can think of I am almost always asked these questions.  The follow up question is often ‘Do you ever get to enjoy wine – or is always work?’.

The first part of my answer can be jarring – sometimes I don’t drink wine at all! After a day of barrel trials, or tasting I’ll often have a cold beer or sparkling water – to cleanse the palate, refresh, hydrate and reset.

Then there are the nights I’ll bring home a trial blend to try with dinner, or dust off an old vintage to see how it is faring – testing closures, storage and generally how it is developing relative to my expectations of that vintage.

Equally, I love trying the efforts of someone else’s blood, sweat & tears. Both locally & internationally, I enjoy comparing vintages, varieties & styles and see how we compare.  Then there are the times we’ll open a special bottle whether it is a cheeky glass of fizz or something else we’ve collected along the way – it might be for a celebration or just because.

I’m also a fan of trying anything I can get that is a little different no matter where it is from or what variety it is. It’s important to me to understand what is happening and not to restrict my frame of reference to what I make,  and like to drink.

More recently after a visit from a generous mixologist at the cellar door I’ve been playing with some cocktail style drinks using wine (currently Muscat) as a base – it’s early days and I’ve had more misses that hits – but I’m enjoying the challenge – Watch out – there’s more to come here.

And to answer ‘is it always work?’ Absolutely not! How can drinking something delicious with good food and good friends be work? As the saying goes - If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life!’.


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