Arthur, Liinaa & Frank are set to shake up the cosy world of wine judging with an entertaining format where you the people - everyday and experts - judge the wines they select from Australia’s leading winemakers and regions. This is “State vs State”, at different price points ($,$$, $$$) and all tasting is completed blind.
Series host Arthur is a passionate young French wine explorer with an insatiable curiosity to learn more about the entire wine world. Please also pronounce it “Artur” Arthur is an exceptional wine communicator, able to take the complex and reduce it to clear, relatable and enjoyable. It also helps to be devilishly handsome when you are explaining the intricacies of malolactic fermentation. Discovered in Melbourne on a self funded world wine tour Arthur (always pronounced “Artur”) has a prodigious base knowledge of French wines and now has visited every major Australian wine region as part of his research for “Battle of the Vines”.
Liinaa is the leader of a new style of sommelier who are opening up the wine world to a younger, hip and female audience. When Liinaa describes a wine she draws you into a universe where winemakers are rockstars and all the senses collide as a mere sip becomes a sensory theme park ride. Born in Mauritius, with stints all over the five star hospitality world Liinaa is able to argue, flirt and “wine speak” with Arthur in French. Liinaa also speaks fluent “Instagram” and is a social media monster with her hospitality (and private!) life posted to a growing fan base who are loving that an assertive woman is taking centre stage as a leading communicator on Australian wine.
Frank understands what the people want based on a lifetime of launching gastro pubs and fine dining restaurants. Other than fine food, wine and travel, Frank has a passion for music and after playing in more bands than a Leonard Cohen. Frank just recorded his own album in Nashville, Tennessee. One great line from the 12inch vinyl "Goodbye Cruel Circus" is "Nothing good comes out of temperate ways" delivered with Leonard Cohen like growl. Frank is married to the mercurial Melissa Macfarlane - and this creative coupling run a contemporary art fund, have an uber cool interiors store in regional Victorian food, wine and design hotspot - Kyneton - and are just about to open a "Pop Up" store in Portland, Oregon. In his spare time Frank also makes mirrors!
Our hosts have selected a dazzling array of Aussie winemakers to compete in the series. Emerging stars and established legends cover a field that produces high value wines and fantasy wines across varietals including favourites such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but also introduces viewers to Marsanne, Verdelho and Touriga Nacionale. Each of these winemakers is already a winner as they have been selected by either Arthur, Liinaa or Frank - However, its the Australian people who will decide who goes on to represent the “Green & Gold” internationally.
These amazing “everyday” people and “experts” are the judges - Each state’s “Mixed Dozen” features a range of ages, genders and expertise and every opinion is valid and all are equal to one vote. ‘Battle of the Vines” is the true democratisation of wine - Power to the people! Our oldest judge is Joan at 83 years young from Linfield NSW and our youngest at 18 years old a student Brigitte from WA. Cranky Richard reckons Australian wine is over rated and overpriced, but nearly all the others are in wine drinkers heaven as they get to taste the very best all the states put on offer. Of course all tasting is completely blind and without knowing they are always drinking one wine from their state and one from a rival. Will they support the home team?
We are proud to announce that our exclusive commercial partners for "Battle of the Vines" are Wine Selectors - Australia's leading independent wine retailer. We have partnered with Wine Selectors because they’re passionate about helping wine lovers discover the amazing diversity of Australian Wine and the thrill of finding a new favourite. For over 41 years their family owned business has been handpicking outstanding quality wines from over 500 authentic Cellar Doors right across. Oh and did we mention this is the ONLY place to get all the competing wines in your own “Battle” packs.
Lets Go - Mobile Production Made Easy
How do you move around Australia a production team compromising three hosts (and their egos!), all 36 competing wines, the “Peoples Table” and a dizzying and dazzling range of (highly fragile) Riedel stemware? You need an awesome Lets Go Motorhome which also allows for the crew to meet, chill the wine and even take an occasional nap. Lets Go range of RV’s helped “Battle of the Vines” criss cross Australia and what we found out was that as long as you have a designated driver - Lets Go is the perfect option for winery touring.
Launching the series has been as much fun as making it. On the night of final filming and with all 36 wines opened simultaneously we asked some VIP guests which wine they preferred! Liinaa and 2KW also hosted a pre party at 2KW in Adelaide and a full suite of national launches is planned to time in with the Food Network broadcast schedule.
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