Tag Archives: Sommeliers Australia

The Vincast Episode 129 – Mattia Cianca from Dinner by Heston

Despite having grown up in Rome and working in hospitality for a number of years, it wasn’t until Mattia Cianca was working in Perth that he became interested in wine. The added irony was that he was working in an Italian restaurant, learning about Italian wines, in Australia! Since arriving Down Under he has been on a fast track for sommelier stardom, working at Australia’s number one restaurant (Attica), and now with access to one of the most enviable lists in the country (Dinner by Heston). His talent and hard work was recently recognised by Sommeliers Australia, who named him 2017 Sommelier of the Year, and he is on a path to become a Master Sommelier in the next few years.

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Mattia Cianca


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The Vincast Episode 104 – Sommeliers Australia Ball 2016

The 2016 Sommeliers Australia Ball was held recently, and I thought it might be fun to take my recording gear along and chat with a few sommeliers working in Melbourne. The first sommelier I spoke to was Kara Maisano from Masani Restaurant, the second was Tom Beattie who works at Dinner by Heston, and the third was Kayleen Reynolds, who not only works at CIty Wine Shop, but was also named the co-dux of the Sommeliers Scholarship. I asked them about how they got into wine and hospitality, their influences, and the challenges and rewards of being a somm.

Sommeliers Australia

Sommeliers Australia

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Sommeliers Taste Wines Blind

I joined some sommelier friends recently for a blind tasting session. Each of them have been trained using the Certified Sommelier Method, using a grid to break down a wine into its components for the purpose of analysis, then make an assesment about what the wine is. It was quite fascinating to watch them dissect wines blind, but still showed the subjectivity of wine.

Sommelier Kara Maisano Tasting Wines Blind

Sommelier Kara Maisano Tasting Wines Blind

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August 27, 2015 · 2:13 pm

The Vincast Episode 017 – Dan Sims

Dan Sims is a great friend to many in the wine industry not only for his skills as a wine educator, communicator and hospitality professional, but also for his enthusiasm and humour. On this episode he joins me to talk about his beginnings in hospitality into working as a sommelier, then as a consultant, winemaker and finally for his unique and fun wine events. Being so well-connected there are a great deal of names dropped, see if you can count how many.

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Dan Simms

Dan Simms

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The Vincast Episode 013 – Harry Hunter from Rockpool Bar and Grill

Sommeliers Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that is designed to support, educate and provide a network for working sommeliers and other wine professionals around the country. They offer a scholarship that provides an opportunity to benchmark world-class wines and wine professionals and teach scholars how to assess wines in blind conditions. The dux of the scholarship Harry Hunter joins me on this episode to talk about his background and how he made the most of the program.

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Harry Hunter

Harry Hunter

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Sommeliers Australia Yarra Valley Sub-regional Tasting – 17/06/2013

The Wanderer Yarra Pinot Noir 2010
Bright red cherry spicy nutty camembert. Soft smooth silky fresh, pure and light, pleasant yet persistent.

The Wanderer Yarra Pinot Noir 2011
More strawberry almost fairy floss sherbet. More acid tightness, bright very brisk and fresh, a bite on the mid-palate, a touch sharp for now.

The Wanderer Yarra Pinot Noir 2012
More closed and tight on the nose, less overt fresh fruit, still red. Rounder smoother yet still some savoury bite, good acids but approachable fruits.

The Wanderer Upper Yarra Pinot Noir 2010
Earthy slightly leathery forest notes mushroom. Soft but full of flavour, long finish, great balance, a little wild.

The Wanderer Upper Yarra Pinot Noir 2011
A tad muted in comparison . Some concentration of tannin and acid, quite mature and tight, another one bites the dust.

The Wanderer Upper Yarra Pinot Noir 2012
Salad with dressing, I think Greek, some soy balsamic savoury notes. Quite wild and raw almost feral, oxidatively handled, still fresh but no primary fruit notes, very against the grain.

Mayer Bloody Hill Pinot Noir 2010
Tight slightly meaty, mushroomy earth. Sweet core of dark red black fruits, purity freshness yet balance savoury open.

Mayer Bloody Hill Pinot Noir 2011
Tighter more earthy mushroom density. Feral barnyard wildness, as un-Yarra Valley as you can get, dare I say Burgundian? Great acid but intense savoury notes.

Mayer Bloody Hill Pinot Noir 2012
Almost chocolatey black forest cherry. Tightly wound briskness and freshness.

Mayer Close Planted Pinot Noir 2010
Intense dirty earthy yet bright and fresh nose. Clean red fruits, classic Yarra Valley style of pinot noir.

Mayer Close Planted Pinot Noir 2011
Slightly more closed, fresh clean lean friendly and open, atypical of the vintage, full and long.

Mayer Close Planted Pinot Noir 2012
Density and earthy savoury notes. Concentration and intense acids, pow punch bold yet light and fresh.

Gembrook Hill Villages Pinot Noir 2010
Tightr closed pale nose. Fresh pure slightly red fruit sweet, pleasant varietal regional character.

Gembrook Hill Villages Pinot Noir 2011
Meaty red tomato savoury raspberries. Zingy acids very tight light and sharp, extremely fresh.

Gembrook Hill Villages Pinot Noir 2012
Very closed and reductive. Too tightly wound for now, acid a little too forward.

Gembrook Hill Pinot Noir 2010
Exquisitely subtle beautifully balanced. Complete yet tight, needs much time, simply stunning. Even better than the first time I tasted it way back in 2011.

Gembrook Hill Pinot Noir 2011
Meaty red sauce again, more concentrated and a little bit flimsy.

Gembrook Hill Pinot Noir 2012
Tight. Focused bright crunchy acids, will open up nicely in time.

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Sommeliers Australia South America Tasting – 30/04/2013

Colome Torrontes 2011, Salta Argentina
Extremely pretty floral notes, honeysuckle blossom, musky gewürztraminer style, classic aromatics for the variety. Volumous warmth and fruit intensity, mostly on the front palate, dense minerality, nice clean pure expression.

Trumpeter ‘Reserve’ Torrontes 2009, Mendoza Argentina
Slightly more muted darker dried fruit aromas, more struck flint. Less interesting but more carry through on the palate, quite neutral safe wine without much life, but consistent.

Bouza Albarino 2012, Canalones & Montevideo Uruguay
Interesting and inviting, sweet floral honey, generous but not bright and mineralic like those from Rias Baixas. Intense full bold apricot peach, good balance and integrity, broad yet focused, full expression.

Vina Ventisquero Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Casablanca Valley Chile
Grassy fig skin and asparagus. Intense bright and fresh yet simple, crisp dry and friendly, not enough fruit ripeness.

Chacra Pinot Noir 2010, Rio Negro Argentina
Dusty chocolatey black cherries, carob and crushed raspberry. Bold and intense but light dry and balanced, lacking focus but not drive, nice gentle but firm tannins.

Vina Ventisquero Pinot Noir Reserva 2011, Casablanca Valley Chile
Pulverised earthy grainy blackberries, overworked and grainy. Lacking fruit plumpness and sweetness for the amount of maceration and oak.

Carrau Ysern Tannat 2007, Montevideo Uruguay
Dirty funky stinky dark plum earth fruits. Tannins build on the palate, bold fruit juicy intense but surprisingly fresh dark fruits. Warm to be certain but balanced.

De Martino ‘347’ Carmenere Reserva 2011, Maipo Cachapoal & Maule Chile
Very green and herbal olive notes. Slightly cooked maderised notes, dense earthy spicy complex, herbal yet savoury red fruits, unique.

Vina Ventisquero Quelat Carmenere 2010, Maipo Chile
A little flat and dull, earthy. Hot and a little heavy, a bit too oaky lacking elegance.

JED Malbec 2012, Uco Valley Argentina
Very bright and intense. Wonderful core of sweet juicy dark fruit, ripe bold velvety and intense, excellent varietal character.

Vina Ventisquero ‘Quelat’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Maipo Chile
Juicy juby blackcurrant, intense yet fresh, hot out of balance a little. Nice clean finish, dusty and fairly typical soft wine.

Vinicola Miolo ‘Gran Lovara’ Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Tannat 2005, Serra Gaucha Brazil
Quite strange, wild rustic oxidised. Flat bland flabby overworked crap.

Errazuriz ‘Max Reserve’ Carmenere 2010, Aconcagua Chile
Dusty earthy bright black fruit plums. Juicy soft yet structured, bright intense yet not heavy. Classic modern Chilean carmenere.

Rutini Malbec 2009, Mendoza Argentina
VERY interesting. Soft subtle savoury generous haunting elegant restrained.

Achaval Ferrer Malbec 2011, Mendoza Argentina
A little toasty hot and extractive, balanced full structured character, not too hot, still bright.

Vinedo de los Vientos Tanna 2008, Canelones Uruguay
Big blousy bright dark fruits. Tannic grippy a little hot and intense, alcohol blown off, intense a little cooked.

Vinedo de los Vientos ‘Alcyone’ Tannat Reserve 2007, Canelones Uruguay
Like chocolate port.

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