Imminent Bushfire Threatening My Wine Cellar, what should I save?


My house is in Mount Riverview, Blue Mountains, Australia and to be more exact it is the blue dot in the picture and the dark patch is bushfire.

Just a few days ago the fires were way too close to my house as you will see in the video clip below.  Of course it was a surprise and fortunately we received warning, so I grabbed the kids, dog and rushed for safety… but as I drove away I thought ‘AAGGHHHH, WHAT ABOUT MY WINE CELLAR!!!!  Fortunately that fire didn’t reach us and we went back to the house.

However, high winds and high temperatures means ‘RIGHT NOW’ there is a very severe bushfire threat and AGAIN my house is in danger…  I know this as the bushfire brigade are not coming around asking for donations but to tell me ‘please leave now if you don’t need to be here’.

My neighbours have either gone already or desperately clearing their gardens, filling their gutters with water or trying to fit temporary sprinkler systems to the roofs of their houses.

photo (3)My BUSH FIRE PLAN

  1. Wife – check
  2. Kids x3 – check
  3. Dog – check
  4. Invite from The Queen – check
  5. Best wines from cellar – check
  6. Car & running shoes – check


  1. Fill the car with as many sentimental objects as possible until the axles give way!

Now please note, I do not expect that the fire will come back to my house, not today at least (touch wood).  But I am looking out of my window a lot and I do have the ‘fires near me’ App on my iPhone which is constantly updated.  BUT in all this confusion I have a dilemma..  I can’t save my whole wine cellar so what do I save?  What would you save and why?

I did not have time to grab anything last time, but this time I have had time to think about it and have decided to grab six wines (plus one for the road), based on emotional reasons, cost and what I feel I should keep.  All have less than 10 years bottle age.

  1. Cold Stream Hills – Yarra Valley Pinot Noir
  2. Tatachilla Foundation – McLarean Vale Shiraz
  3. Charles Menton ‘Nine Popes’ – Barossa Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre
  4. Kreglinger ‘Pipers Brook upper slopes’ – Tasmania Riesling
  5. Mount Pleasant Elisabeth – Hunter Valley Semillon
  6. Penfolds bin 8 – Cabernet Shiraz
  7. Penfolds Grange – No need to state anything 🙂

Interestingly all of the wines will go into building a new wine cellar, puzzlingly strange but true.  The rest of my wine cellar is either easily replaced or I don’t want to move them in case they get damaged from moving ‘back and forth’, plus if they survive it will make for an ‘epic drinking story’.

My wife joked last night on ‘Facebook’ with our friends:

Meliss facebook 2

…  AND just to pack more danger into the day I’m expecting a wine delivery TODAY from a recent wine auction… what I am going to tell the wife?  Oops, I did it again, sorry…  I best go hide the rolling-pin, again!

As I write this post I am trying to make light of the situation for my own sanity, so I hope I do not offend.  I know people who have already lost their homes and I fear many more will too…  for me as important as wine or other material items can be, if you have the opportunity to leave early, please please do.  

Please ‘stay safe’… 

me on deck



  1. I think you should dig a bunker… an underground vault!! That way all will be well…
    On a more serious note… I hope you’re all OK! Good luck and lots of rain!


  2. I am sorry about the fire and hope you are safe now. But this post, and especially your wife’s FB post made me laugh (sorry!!). However, why don’t I see a lot of French wines!?


  3. Well written under trying conditions. After ensuring the safety of family and pets I see nothing wrong with also loading a few bottles of preferred choice. Good luck and I hope the fire stays away from your neck of the woods.


  4. Wow. I didnt know about bush fires there. Im sorry for anyones loss and am glad, as of now, you and your family are unscathed. Your post tickled me though. I love wine also. Thats kinda how Id feel about my book and movie collection….


  5. It’s certainly been an horrific time but I’m glad to hear your house is safe. Don’t apologise for having a laugh.. if we didn’t laugh at times like this, we’d go crazy. I’d be out trying to save Dan Murphy’s in Katoomba if it went close lol.


  6. It is a talent to create humor out of an extremely serious situation. I’m not sure which is scarier fire or flooding. Why don’t you follow your wife’s lead and grab the one or two that are dearest to your heart. Thank you for the like of my post “Eerie” and “Stump Growth”. Stay safe!


  7. Humor is the best medicine in times of chaos/stress … and glad things seem to have settled down. Best wishes to you and yours! ( Loved your wife’s FB post! :D)


  8. someday I would love to share a bottle or three with you… I volunteer to cook. I enjoy your writing and wish I commented more but my professional life, 2.5 year old son and wife take up most of my life… thanks for being! I tip a glass in your general direction and to your health… p.s. My uncle lost his entire cellar due to a gas leak. The gas permeated all the corks. I will never forget the trip to France where we had legendary bottles of Petrus, Haut Brion, Margaux, Palmer, etc that were opened and all undrinkable… We had to hide sharp implements from him for a while after…


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