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An interview with Jack Booker, Love and Other Drinks Wine Buyer

Description

I still remember my first orange wine, Alpha Box n Dice Golden Mullet Fury, at the time pouring at NOLA. From there, I frequented some local events like Fruitful Pursuit events and started to understand terms like “whole bunch”, and “wild ferment”.

What’s your origin story? How did you begin your wine journey?

Diving into hospitality at NOLA Adelaide in 2015 my brain was all but consuming craft beer and more importantly, whisk(e)y. Despite that, I actually did enjoy learning about the limited wine list that was on offer. I still remember my first orange wine, Alpha Box n Dice Golden Mullet Fury, at the time pouring at NOLA. From there, I frequented some local events like Fruitful Pursuit and started to understand terms like “whole bunch”, and “wild ferment”. Balancing my knowledge of young, independent producers, I also went to a few events focusing on wineries with a little more of a conventional approach. My uncle is hugely into that stuff, and I think it’s important to appreciate different approaches and interests. It’s fine to like what you like, but I think it’s hard to learn if you’re not open to new things. Not only did these experiences allow me to get a little wobbly, but I met some amazing individuals and broadened my knowledge, to find my own passion and direction for wines/styles/approaches I liked. 2018 rolled around and it was time to create my own wine list, for my own restaurant…What the fuck. I went down local, independent producers using minimal intervention, but maximum care. I think it’s important to align with like-minded people - those that really give a fuck.
PS I still love whisk(e)y.

What do you think the next biggest trend is in wine?

Education
I think people are cued in a little more to what they are drinking.
There’s a heap of buzz words being thrown around because it’s seen as ‘cool’. 

There’s a tonne of ‘natty wines’ that are bloody faulty, out of balance and to be honest, just no good in my opinion. Some people are branding wines this way, somewhat knowing they can get away with it - and it’s lead to giving the little guys a bit of a bad rap. That being said, there’s an absolute tonne of minimal intervention wines that aren’t faulty or full of volatile acid, you just need to find the producers that care enough to do things right…or at least not sell it when things don’t go to plan. Wine makin’ aint easy - especially in the world of minimal intervention. 

Supporting the little guys

If COVID showed us anything, it was how important supporting local is.
But also, how fucking cool the little guys are. Would you let someone else walk your puppy? No? Well these guys won’t let anyone else make their wine. It’s quality control. 

Do you have a favourite wine producer at the moment?


Bryan Martin - Ravensworth
Owen Latta - Latta Vino
The bloody Koerner Brothers. 

These producers couldn’t make shitty wine if they tried. Interesting wines, intriguing stories and just good value drinkies. 

Ok, we have a little game for you. In December’s wine pack, you need to choose three wines to fit the following categories. Smash one, Cellar one Chill one GO……? 

Smash - Edenlfo 2020 ‘Candylane’ Grenache blend.
Cellar - Love and Other Drinks Shiraz
Chill - Moorak 2020 Pinot Noir

We know you’re a man who loves a good pizza pie, so if you had a hot fresh margherita sitting in front of you what wine would you reach for? 

Latta Vino ‘Wildwest’ Sangiovese/Nebbiolo. Maybe even with a very slight chill to counteract that pipin’ hot fior de late. Gluggable Italian varietal dominant field blend from Owen is perfect.
Medium weight, bright fruit (made brighter with a little chill), but with structure and complexity from the Nebbiolo component. It’d be like shaking a tin of nonna’s secret ‘mixed Italian spice’ over your pizza pie. 

Fun, but serious. 

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