After five successful instalments of the fun, free-wheeling Wine Playground in its hometown of Adelaide, the event makes its west coast debut in May.
Perth, as most drinkers will be aware, isn’t short on food and wine events. What makes this event different, though, is a specific South Australian focus, and that it has removed the middlemen between makers and drinkers.
“There will be no stand-ins or reps of any kind: we engage consumers directly with winemakers,” says Wine Playground organiser, James Hopkins. “It’s a wine party but everyone leaves with a deeper connection, hopefully with a bottle to take home and a few things to consider next time they're about to hit their favourite independent bottle shop.”
Hopkins says there are parallels between the wine cultures of Perth and Adelaide.
“Once thought to be parochial, our eyes are now set on the horizon, searching out gems regardless of where they’re made,” he says. “The best thing we ever did for South Australian drinkers was invite the neighbours in for a bit of show-and-tell.”
It says much about the spirit of Wine Playground that Perth’s maiden event is being held at renegade small bar and live music venue, The Bird (Hopkins: “a bit grungy, a bit obscure”). The line-up sports a similar renegade spirit and includes maverick producers such as Crft, Koerner and Murdoch Hill. The event will also include the launch of the SAWA SAWA project, a joint winemaking venture between South and West Australian winemakers.