A Game of Thrones-themed wine tasting event will discover which wine rules them all.
First held in Melbourne last year, Game of Rhones will spread its wings to Brisbane and Adelaide over the coming month and a bit. The brainchild of Dan Sims (Bottle Shop Concepts), Game of Rhones is a lighthearted take on wine tasting, with winemakers and punters dressing up in costume from the wildly successful HBO fantasy show based on the Song of Ice and Fire series of books by George RR Martin. The event, which includes tasting wine influenced from the Rhone region in France, follows Bottle Shop Concepts’ mantra: “We take the wank out of wine.” Sims explains that it was a friend of his that came up with the title Game of Rhones. “He’s not a wine person at all, which is great as I have to pitch my ideas to him and I figure if I can get him excited, I’m onto something,” Sims says. “But yes, I am a mad Game of Thrones fan and I was keen to do a Shriraz/Grenache event but needed the right angle to make it fun. ShirazPalooza doesn’t quite have a ring to it.” Last year, Sims took PinotPalooza to Brisbane, which gave him the confi dence to send Game of Rhones up there. As for Adelaide: “It’s a logical choice seeing some of the best known Shiraz based wines/wineries are at its doorstep.” Sims said last year’s Game of Rhones event was “hilarious”. “Having some of the winemakers dress up in costume was brilliant and it immediately made people feel at ease. We had medieval music playing as well as actors (in costume) walking about. We also had a torture room where we held blind tastings (blind folded that is) and we put liquids in their mouths. As I said, hilarious! As for being different, it’s a whole package. We want it to be fun and engaging. And yes, it is possible to go to a wine event and actually enjoy yourself.” Then there’s the actual game, where guests get to vote for their favourite wine. “We have some of our ‘staff’ walking around with iPads asking people to vote for their favourite wine on the day, as well as the best dressed producer.” There will be 45 wineries part of Melbourne’s event and just under 30 for Adelaide. Torbreck’s Run Rig was last year’s winner. “Thankfully they’re back to defend the title,” Sims says. “We’ll do the same voting system and have city favourites as well as an overall winner to make it interesting.” As for improving on last year’s inaugural event, Sims says they are looking at better food options for this year’s series, as well as sourcing local beer and cider. “We’re working with local caterers/food trucks to work with us in terms of food. In short, yes, we’re keen to have some fun with food and link it as much as possible to Game of Thrones.” Game of Rhones Published Arts House Saturday, May 24 (1pm to 6pm) bottleshopconcepts.com/gameofrhones