What ignited your passion for wine?… mine was started by Mrs Murphy

My passion for wine started with an impulse buy, some great nights with friends and a kind gesture from Mrs Murphy.

My wife told to buy ‘a nice wine’ to take to a friend’s place for dinner (they had dusty bottles displayed on a posh wine rack in the dining room).  In the shop I stood in front of hundreds of bottles of wine pondering what to buy.  I decided to steer clear of the French wine as I could not read labels so had no idea what I was buying, but saying that even the Australian labels made no sense to me.  So I chose by price, $30, surely that will be good… at dinner they said nothing, but I liked it.  To be honest when I think back I really don’t know if I enjoyed the taste of the wine or enjoyed it because I paid a lot, but it started me thinking.

My old wine bottlesMrs Murphy is the mother of my wife’s bridesmaid, she was moving house and clearing out the wine cellar.  “Please take some if you would like, I don’t want it, I am only using it for cooking,’’ and she gave me a box.  I stood there not having a clue what I was looking at but recognised a few wine regions and labels.  I slowly filled two small boxes.

Over the next few months I drank the lot… some got poured down the sink, some were drinkable and some were the best wines of my life!

I have many awesome memories, laughing with Conrad as we stood in the kitchen like surgeons trying to remove the corks which would always break, using fondue forks and tea strainers to remove the small pieces of broken cork that fell into the bottle.  In the background we knew our wives were making jokes as we could hear the sniggers at our incompetence .  With friends Rebecca & Dave we laughed until our sides split, which always led to opening more bottles, dancing (mainly our wives) and talking rubbish until the early hours.

I do remember opening every single bottle and the friends I drank them with (including my beautiful wife Melissa) and I must say that some of those bottles were amazing, including a 1959 Mount Pleasant, 1972 Elieen Hardy, 1971 Penfolds bin 389 and my personal favourite a 1969 d’Arenberg.  At the time I didn’t know why I liked them or how to describe the taste, but I sure had fun trying.  I kept the bottles (pictured above) as every time I see them it reminds me of those ‘Grand Evenings’ with friends.

So to Mrs Murphy I say… “Thank you for your wine, the enjoyment it brought and the memories that were created”.

Author: Stuart



  1. I can’t believe this was almost a decade ago. Thanks so much for the experience mate, this got me hooked on aged wines. That 69 D’Arenberg Cabernet Shiraz was an absolute sensation, as to was the 71 Penfold’s Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz. But for me, the most memorable wine was the 72 Seaview vintage port. I’d never tasted anything like it before. And I’ll always remember how much the old man enjoyed it to, being the port fan he is.


  2. It is so much fun to here how people first had their wine epiphany. For me, it was wine travel. A trip with my then girlfriend (now wife) to wine country in Napa, CA. That place and the wineries are damn beautiful! If you can’t get romantic in that place, your soul is dead. Although the original reason wasn’t wine 😉 it was the first time I had ever tasted a true premium wine. It was the beginning of a very expensive hobby! Bottoms up!


    • ha ha ha.. well I am sure the wine helped along what was inevitable! Napa is a place I am yet to experience, best take the wife!… for me understanding labels and my own plate is key,,, never been much for the experts (their plate is somewhat different, not sure is superior is the word!)


  3. I started drinking wine, beer, liqueur like anisette & Sambuca, when I was a kid, usually at dinner, or when the men would sample new whiskeys or the risolio they just made. It’s a very Italian thing. Had kid sized glasses for the beverages. And now, after all the great wines I’ve had, though I’m no connoisseur, you’ll scoff when I tell you one of my favorites is $8.99 jug of Carlo Rossi Paisano, or the Chianti lol Has a screw cap and everything.


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