Long and win­ing road

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Wine - With John Jens

THE life of a wine lover in the wine in­dus­try ap­pears idyl­lic to those pas­sion­ate wine peo­ple who are not in the in­dus­try.

The re­al­ity is – for some­one who re­tails seven days a week, has a com­pre­hen­sive tast­ing pro­gram, uses data­bases and so­cial me­dia, is a som­me­lier on the floor five nights a week (with reg­u­lar tast­ings to keep up to date and 250,000 per­sonal tast­ing notes) – quite dif­fer­ent.

For ex­am­ple, on Mon­day, May 15, and Tuesday, May 16, I hosted four tast­ings on Bur­gundies and the Rhone Valley’s pre­mi­ums with two vis­it­ing in­ter­na­tional Ne­go­ciants.

I started in the of­fice at 7am and fin­ished as the som­me­lier on the restau­rant floor at Lamont’s in Cottes­loe be­tween 10-11pm on each of Wed­nes­day, May 17, Thurs­day, May 18, and Fri­day, May 19.

I com­pleted Satur­day evening’s reg­u­lar eight-hour Som­me­lier shift be­fore do­ing Sun­day’s 12 hours with Moss Wood’s 56-per­son 4pm mas­ter­class and 70-per­son 6.30pm din­ner.

I flew to Mel­bourne overnight and then, with lit­tle sleep and while work­ing re­motely, vis­ited the marvellous new Kisume Ja­panese (with Bur­gundies up to the 2010 Ar­mand Rousseau Gevrey-cham­bertin) for lunch and Chin Chin for din­ner, be­fore off to Syd­ney for a Lu­cio’s (Padding­ton) din­ner (including the 1990 Hill of Grace.)

On Wed­nes­day, May 24, we vis­ited the won­der­ful and re­laxed China Lane for lunch and then Neil Perry’s Spice Tem­ple for din­ner.

Up at 5am, back to Perth and fin­ished as the som­me­lier at 10pm.

I was at work be­fore 6.30am on Fri­day and hosted Heather and David Watson’s 15-vin­tage Jack Mann caber­net lun­cheon be­fore be­ing the som­me­lier in the packed restau­rant un­til 11.30pm.

Then it was up at 4.45am for Lance Parkin’s 9am 42-wine Pre­mier and Grand Cru White bur­gundy tast­ing in Mar­garet River be­fore be­ing ‘the wine man’ at a 5.30pm-mid­night se­ri­ous wine din­ner party for 46.

Mon­day, May 29, saw a 7am start and 11pm fin­ish – including a 12 bur­gundy tast­ing (mostly over $250) of Hum­bert Fr­eres Pre­mier and Grand Crus.

Ex­hausted? Yes. All too much? Yes. Love it? Yes. Idyl­lic? Per­haps.

Wood­lands Win­ery hosts 15 Jack Mann caber­net vin­tages.

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