SUE CRAM Reports; Choosing a Drop of Something You Fancy

Article excerpt

Marcel Verhage and Tracey Craft are best known in their home village of Lennox Head for establishing The Seven Mile Cafe/Restaurant in 1999 as a fine dining venue.

The restaurant soon developed a loyal clientele and became renowned for its wine list and good service, ultimately winning many awards including aBest Regional Wine Lista in Australia in 2000 and 2002.

After seven years the couple sold Seven Mile to concentrate more on their expertise in wine. They now run Wine 2 Share, a business which focuses on public, corporate and industry related wine education.

For the past few years, they've been working in Asia, giving industry classes in Bali, India and the Maldives, training food and beverage staff for Alila Resorts.

Now they're back, they're keen to help those who love wine, but don't feel super confident about ordering wine in a restaurant, or telling the waiter to take the wine back.

The pair have adopted a relaxed approach to wine appreciation, aiming to take the mystique and snobbery out of wine.

aWe like to explain wine in layman's terms, so that people feel comfortable and not intimidated,a says Verhage.

Subjects covered include how to taste and evaluate a wine properly, and what to expect in a restaurant from a professional wine waiter.

A good waiter should be able to match wine with food, discuss the wines on the menu and make sure everyone at the table always has wine in their glass.

Another thing the wine waiter needs to watch is temperature.

aWine should never be brought to the table at the wrong temperature, especially in our climate, where red wine can be a little too warm if not stored correctly.a

To evaluate a wine, you need to know your regions and your grape varieties, says Verhage.

aA 2010 Clare Valley riesling should be a pale, clear colour, for example,a he says. aIf it were deep yellow that would be a bit suspicious, not what you'd expect that wine to be.a

The next step is to test the aroma or sniff the bouquet. Swirling the wine in the glass will aerate it and open up the wine. …