Food & Wine

Glass half full, winemaker takes tasting online

Dominic Giannini 28 April 2020
Six bottles in Ironcutter Wine's tasting pack.

Canberra’s Ironcutter Wine is selling tasting packs online that include a Zoom session with the winemaker. Photos: Supplied.

Wine tasting in my trackies at home? You had me at merlot.

One Canberra winemaker has decided to keep your glass half full and offer Australians the unique chance to taste wine online.

When bushfire smoke blanketed the region during the past summer, Ironcutter Wine‘s 2020 Riesling and shiraz vintages had to be dumped so the company introduced mail-out tasting packs which include a tasting session with family and friends on video communication platform Zoom.

Ironcutter owner and winemaker Brian Sinclair says keeping socially connected is as important as ever in this age of physical distancing – and that’s all the better if it involves wine!

“Many of us enjoy visiting different wineries and cellar doors and going through a tasting of the wines available,” Brian tells Region Media. “But what if you could do a virtual wine tasting and still comply with COVID-19 restrictions?”

Customers can still enjoy the cellar door experience via Zoom.

Once customers have received their packs in the mail, Brian – who has been winemaking at Brindabella Hills Winery in Wallaroo for almost two decades – will then talk the group through the tasting of six different wines online.

“Everyone kept talking about social distancing but I thought we needed social connections,” says Brian. “People need to communicate and connect to others. It’s what humans do.

“You can stock up on your favourite crackers and cheeses, and settle in for an informal session as we work our way through the wines. You can still do what you love and have fun with your friends.”

Ironcutter Wine's Brian Sinclair pouring red wine into glass.

Brian Sinclair from Ironcutter Wine is bringing the cellar door to the people following COVID-19 restrictions that have temporarily forced him to close his doors.

Brian is a fourth-generation winemaker from Canberra. He says he first came up with the idea during a Zoom call after an increasing number of his business meetings moved online.

“I thought, why can’t I just connect the two together and bring the cellar door to the people seeing as they are all closed at the moment,” he says.

Winemakers across the ACT and NSW have been struggling in recent months due to smoke taint from the bushfires that forced a majority of vineyards in the region to dump the 2020 vintage, or source grapes from outside the region for the first time. Brindabella was also hit by a massive hail storm back in January.

Open-group wine tastings on Zoom are also available for people who cannot get a group together. Packs can be delivered anywhere in Australia for $35 and include free shipping.

To find out more, visit Ironcutter Wine’s website.

Original Article published by Dominic Giannini on The RiotACT.

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