The Wine Selectors Studio at Pinot Palooza Melbourne and Sydney will be hosted by two members of its expert Tasting Panel, Nicole Gow and Adam Walls, who will take your tastebuds through a range of different Pinot styles. We caught up with Nicole ahead of the event, to ask her about herself and her love for Pinot Noir.

Tell us about yourself. Your background, your work with Wine Selectors, etc? 
My wine career started some 20+ years ago in New York with the Australian Wine Bureau, we were responsible for the promotion and marketing of Australian Wine to consumers, trade and press. It was awesome and the start of an amazing wine career. I’ve since worked for Sandalford Winery in WA in Business Development and have had 13 years working with Wine Selectors, mostly as a panel member, wine buyer & wine show judge.

Tell us about the Pinot Sessions happening at Pinot Palooza this year? Which one are you most looking forward to?
The State of Pinot – this will be intriguing and exciting as we discover the Pinot highlights from key areas across Australia made by winemakers that are absolutely killing it!!!

Where do YOU Pinot and why? (Could be a region, wine bar, location – you name it!)
Sounds boring, but if it’s not in a restaurant over dinner it’s simply looking for a sweet (not sweet) bottle of Pinot to match with dinner at home.

Which region produces the best Pinot, do you think? Have you ever been surprised by Pinot from a certain region?
Yarra seems the obvious answer for many, and for obvious reasons mind you! However, I reckon areas like the Great Southern and Adelaide Hills are ones to watch.

Without getting super technical, what do you think the best Pinot and food match is?
Duck always gets the marriage certificate. Soft delicate textures & flavours all in perfect harmony. But who eats duck every night? 🙂 …..enter Mushroom Risotto, now we’re talking!

What’s the weirdest wine Pinot and food match you’ve experienced (that actually worked)?
One of those surprising discoveries. Home made look (Chinese porridge) with a medley of seafood flavours complete 1000 year old duck egg, with soy, shallots, fresh ginger a top and a glass of Wignalls Pinot Noir.

What do you think it is about Pinot Noir that gets people rocking?
Aside from the fact, it’s a bloody delicious drink… it’s versatile (delicate to muscular), soft, subtle tannins, layered and smooth yet plays on the edge of town with funky touches of stalk and the like… it’s like standing in line to get into the hottest club in town only to discover some folk just walk right up to the front door to get ushered in like royalty…. it’s a discovery, a knowing, something you didn’t know you wanted until you found it…

What was the first wine you ever drank? Was it Pinot? If not, can you remember your ‘first time’ with Pinot?
Not sure if you call Passion Pop ‘wine’ but my first one was certainly not Pinot. My first would have been in NYC with either Mount Mary, Port Phillip or Bannockburn I’d say, we had access to some premium Aussie booze rarely seen in the USA at the time.

If Pinot was a music artist, who would it be? Why?
Lenny Kravitz – he’s completely transporting, high, low, rock, smooth, raw – always interesting and bloody sexy from every angle hehe

What do you drink when no one is watching?

What do you think makes the perfect wine drinking play list? Can you give us your top 10 tunes to listen to while drinking Pinot?
Eclectic & not necessarily in this order…

  1. I Dare You – The XX
  2. Murder to the Mind – Tash Saltana
  3. World of our Love – Client Liasion
  4. Ready for your Love – Gorgon City
  5. Praise You – Fatboy Slim
  6. Unfinished Sympathy – Massive Attack
  7. Woo – Erykah Badu
  8. Ali D – Winston Surfshirt
  9. In the Mood – Robert Plant
  10. Tip of my Tongue – Diesel

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