Jake Smyth (owner of Mary’s and The Unicorn) isn’t interested in comparing the astringency or expressiveness of Cab Sauvs. As the co-founder of Mental Notes (with DRNKS and Brooks & Amos’s Joel Amos and Mary’s and The Unicorn’s Kenny Graham), a wine show centred on the talents of Australian natural winemakers, Smyth is much more interested in just having a chat.
“There are heaps of wines to try but it’s not necessarily about a formal conversation with the wine,” he says. “It’s alive, it’s fresh, it’s vibrant, as opposed to standing there with your fucking nose in a glass and saying, ‘Oh, I can smell gooseberries’.”
30 Australian winemakers and wine importers will convene on Paddington Town Hall next weekend to celebrate their spring/summer releases. A handful of winemakers will be releasing their wines exclusively at the event. Expect lots of rosés, whites and sparkling wines, Smyth says.
But as for keeping track of your favourites? Don’t worry about it.
“The idea is come in, leave your paper and pencil at home, enjoy what you enjoy, and take mental notes,” he says of the inspiration behind the name. “It’s all about the moment.”
Food will be catered by Mary’s, but Smyth says food’s just there for the in-between moments. The wine’s the star.
“There’s such a vibrant wine culture in Australia that these guys aren’t buying fruit and putting wacky fucking labels on bottles; they’re in the field every fucking day,” Smyth says. “We’re just doing our best to honour that.”
Here are five wines Smyth and Amos suggest keeping your eyes peeled for:
2016 Patrick Sullivan Pink Pound Rosé
“Patrick Sullivan is probably leading the young Australian winemaking pack at the moment. I'd love to smash this wine in a park in the sun.”
2016 LattaVINO ‘Lat Pet Nat’
“Owen Latta grew up growing grapes and making wine with his old man. He's now taken over the family business. This is a little side project he works on. I like to drink it as much as I can wherever I can because it sells out really quickly.”
Two Metre Tall Farmhouse Dry Apple Cider
“Ashley from TMT loves a chat. I doubt there is anyone more passionate about organic beer and cider anywhere in the world. It doesn't matter where you drink this, it's always gone in two seconds.”
Rizza, by Brian
“The love child of Mike Bennie, Joe Holyman and Peter Dredge, this is an extraordinary homage to the ordinary folk who make wine possible. I’d pair it with family, or friends who behave as such.”
Cosmic Blend, by Manon
“A blend of every wine, white and red, from the vintage, it's a fresh look at what wine can be. Drink it cold with Neil Young playing.”
Mental Notes is at Paddington Town Hall on Saturday October 15. Tickets are available here.