We’re gearing up for The Australian Wine Club’s spectacular tasting event in Sydney next week, where we’ve enlisted wine-loving comedian Merrick Watts to host 23 of Australia’s leading winemakers showcasing more than 130 wines.

The Halliday Wine Companion Winery of the Year, Bleasdale Vineyards, will be among the wineries, along with other winemakers from iconic producers such as Tahbilk, Thorn-Clarke, Tyrrell’s, Margan, d’Arenberg, Pikes and Taylors.

Your host for the wine-tasting event, Merrick Watts.

Premium reds available for tasting include the Tahbilk Eric Stevens Purbrick Shiraz (RRP $73), Thorn-Clarke William Randell Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (RRP $70), d’Arenberg The Other Side Single Vineyard McLaren Vale Shiraz (RRP $105) and the Heirloom Anevo Fortress McLaren Vale Grenache Touriga Tempranillo (RRP $80).

Some of my favourite whites are in the mix, including Pikes The Merle Reserve Clare Valley Riesling (RRP $55), Tyrrell’s Stevens Semillon (RRP $45) and the Hungerford Hill Dalwood Vineyard Hunter Valley Chardonnay (RRP $38). And I expect my itch for pinot noir will be satisfied by the Big Sky Te Muna Road Martinborough Pinot Noir (RRP $55) and the Domaine Lucien Camus-Bruchon Bourgogne Pinot Noir (RRP $70), among others.

Taylors Heritage Label Shiraz 2022, which last week scored a perfect 100 points and won the International Champion Trophy at the prestigious VINUS International Wine & Spirits Competition, will also be on show.

The night will be about much more than tasting wines though – it’s about hearing the stories behind the wines, directly from the winemakers, and learning a little more too.

“Wine doesn’t have to be serious,’’ Watts said. “Winemakers don’t put up barriers or make people feel silly if you don’t know everything – they just want you to try their wines and find out if you like it.”

The super-fit 49-year-old fell in love with wine in his 20s and is now devoting more time to the pursuit of grape greatness after stepping away from his long-time career as a popular FM radio host.

Watts has been invited to judge at leading wine shows in the Barossa and Langhorne Creek, completed advanced training at London’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust and launched his national Grapes of Mirth comedy festival held at iconic Australian wineries.

“I’m into the latest funky hipster wines but also the classics like a Clare Valley riesling or a Barossa shiraz – you appreciate just how beautifully crafted these types of quality wines are,’’ Watts said.

Our tasting event will be held at Lower Town Hall in Sydney’s CBD on November 15 between 6pm and 10pm. Tickets are available for $55 each or two for $90. Guests will take home a classic Riedel glass worth $60. You can see all the details by scanning the event QR code here:

If you can’t make the big night, The Australian Wine Club has put together a mixed deal this week featuring six of the wines that will be available for tasting. It’s a high quality, well priced selection sure to impress your guests this festive season.

Tahbilk Eric Stevens Purbrick Shiraz 2017

A classic from Victoria’s oldest family owned winery. Aromas of cassis, dried sage and sandalwood lead to warm mulberry and blackcurrant flavours with aniseed, black olives and sweet spice riding on fine tannins to a long, long finish. 95 points from Team Halliday. Superb value in this deal. 14.5 per cent alc; RRP $73 a bottle.

SPECIALS $65.65 a bottle in any dozen; $21.99 a bottle in Tasting 2023 mixed dozen.


Bleasdale Frank Potts Langhorne Creek Cabernet Blend 2018

From Halliday’s Winery of the Year. In a beautiful drinking window now with characteristic soft Langhorne Creek fruit flavours flecked with savoury details: a finely honed fusion of blackcurrants and blackberries, leather, pencil shavings, earthiness and spicy vanillin cedar. 95 points from Halliday. 14 per cent alc; RRP $39 a bottle.

SPECIALS $37 a bottle in any dozen; $21.99 a bottle in Tasting 2023 mixed dozen.


Hungerford Hill Hilltops Tempranillo Graciano 2021

Blend of 70 per cent / /30 per cent tempranillo/graciano that weaves together juicy fruits and spice in a Spanish-influenced fusion. Plums and cherries mingle with bramble, white pepper and clove. Cocoa, vanilla and earthy notes in the background. Raring to go. 14 per cent alc; RRP $45 a bottle.

SPECIALS $38.99 a bottle in any dozen; $21.99 a bottle in Tasting 2023 mixed dozen.


Dandelion Vineyards Twilight of the Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2021

Creamy, nutty and ripe aromas of citrus, peach, nectarine and honey suckle. Palate is rich but fresh. Toasty oak, citrus, stone fruit flavours and quince roll to a nutty, textural finish. Partially fermented in stainless steel and finished in new and seasoned French barriques. Detailing winemaking. 12.5 per cent alc; RRP $30 a bottle.

SPECIALS $23.99 a bottle in any dozen; $21.99 a bottle in Tasting 2023 mixed dozen.


Mountadam Vineyards Eden Valley Riesling 2022

From 50-year-old plantings in Eden Valley’s high country comes this crisp riesling with lifted aromas of lime cordial, grapefruit and white flowers. Thirst-quenching line of acid races to a clean finish with a hint of sea spray salinity and wet stone minerality. 12 per cent alc; RRP $28 a bottle.

SPECIALS $19.99 a bottle in any dozen; $21.99 a bottle in Tasting Event mixed dozen.


Howard Vineyard Block Q Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2022

High-quality sauvignon blanc, with a tantalising mix of herbs and fruits: dill, pears and passionfruits. Zingy and crisp on the palate; mouth-watering acidity powers to a lingering finish. Red star for exceptional value from Halliday Wine Companion; 91 points. 12.5 per cent alc; RRP $25 a bottle.

SPECIALS $19.99 a bottle in any dozen; $21.99 a bottle in Tasting Event mixed dozen.

MIXED DOZEN SPECIAL Two bottles of each wine above for $21.99 a bottle. SAVE $68 a dozen.

Order by simply clicking the links to our online store or telephone 1300 765 359 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm AEST. Deals are available only while stocks last. The Australian Wine Club is a commercial partnership with Laithwaites Wine, LIQP770016550. Stockhead is partnering with The Australian Wine Club on this offer.