Andrew Roper from Wines to the Stars specialises in supplying Australian wines to the green rooms of the world’s biggest stars while on tour. Not just any wines, but the best, the most expensive and the rarest! If ever there was a list of the best wines Australia has to offer, these babies would definitely be on there. [Read the original article here]
Drew: You tailor your wine selection according to the city the artist is playing – what are your recommendations?
When in Australia & NZ, most of the artists rely on my wine judgement and I always conduct a bit of wine & spirit investigations on each artist I have not looked after beforehand. I try my very best to ensure that all on tour get to taste the wines from the regions they are performing close to,
for example; when in Perth we will bring them our discoveries from boutique producers from Western Australia, mainly those from Margaret River, Swan Valley, Pemberton or Mount Barker regions – wines like Cape Grace, Moss Wood, Cullen, Domaine Naturaliste, Robert Bowen and Lamont Wines are all great examples I like to show off with.
If they have any time free, we will take them to selected wineries in the Swan Valley or if more time allows to Margaret River.
Same with Adelaide with wines from boutique producers in the Barossa Valley as Rusden Wines (The Black Guts and Sandscrub Shiraz’s with their sheer power & style always work well), Langmeil Wines with their great range as well as the Freedom Shiraz from the claimed oldest producing Shiraz vines on earth are always well received, then to spoil them with a taste of their birth year ports from Seppeltsfield is always a highlight, wines especially from the hands of the Ashmead family’s Elderton Wines and from Murray Street Vineyards are always beautiful to open backstage, The Old Bastard Shiraz from Reid Bosward of Kaesler Wines always wins hearts from those who love the BIG Powerhouse wines we love. Wines from down South in McLaren Vale are also wines we love to show; with wines from Serafino Wines where their Sharkstooth Shiraz is always loved, Kay Brothers, Samuel’s Gorge Wines with their beautifully created Shiraz, Grenache and Tempranillo are adored by Bride Wars Actor Kate Hudson who we introduced, as well as the larger producers of Molly Dooker who always make us feel welcome with a barrel tasting of their Velvet Glove Shiraz for the likes of KISS, PINK! and others.
Melbourne, we absolutely love the cooler styles from the beautiful and classy Yarra Valley with world class wines from the hand of Sarah Crowe of Yarra Yering, Mount Mary, Yeringberg, Soumah and the larger producers like DeBortoli who make some of the best top end Cabs and Pinots money can buy! The food and wine from Oakridge Estate is always welcomed and Dave Bicknell produces some of the great styles of Chardonnay, Pinots and Cabernets I have seen in recent vintages. We also love the uprising of boutique Yarra Valley producers as Mac Forbes, Dom Valentine and the quirkiness of William Downie and his Thousand Candles.
Sydney we are always tight with time to get to the Hunter Valley, so if we can get them out of their hotels we try to squeeze in the best we can with the likes of visits at Lakes Folly (with their two stunning wines – Chardonnay & Cabernet) as well as Peppertree Wines, Brokenwood and Tempus Two we can’t really go too far wrong. I also bring in backstage the wines from Andrew Thomas who makes some of the best Sems and of course his now “cult following wine” KISS Shiraz.
Is to some of the acts a fantasy Island still, with some even saying they thought it was a Disney land fictional land still! I love exploding that myth with bringing some of the best renditions of Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in the world for them. The quirkiness of names such as “Sailor Seeks Horse” and Frogmore Creek, and the beautiful Sparkling Pinots of Arras and Cabernets from Bay of Fires are just devine to showcase.
Even when in Brisbane we will get them a taste of wines from Granite Belt Region to show that wine actually does happen in Queensland!
We like to bring them to Waiheke Island when in Auckland and bring them to the likes of Destiny Bay Wines, Mudbrick, and as far away as Man O War Wines. We also bring in wineries backstage to showcase their wines such as Villa Maria, Dry River, Herzog Wines, Escarpment as well as tiny producers with the most beautiful and regional reflective Pinots and white wines such as Elder wines and Shaky Bridge Wines.
I have trademarked it the “Wines to the Stars Backstage Cellar Door” and really focus on getting the best from each region to showcase as they tour the land. I really am passionate about showing off our great wines of this part of the world, and especially passionate about pushing the boutique and genuine artisan wines in front of the big brands that anyone can access the world over. They always thank me for the voyage of wine discovery around Australia & New Zealand, and more so in that they have now tasted wines they never knew existed! The small producer needs a face and a voice, and with me they get this fantastic exposure as well as possible endorsement that money just can’t buy!
Not all great wines have to be expensive I say!
Drew: What’s your top five Australian wines you always try and impress a big name celebrity with
My top 5 wine that represent Australia best and will impress first go I feel are:
- Yarra Yering Underhill Shiraz or Carrodus Cabernet Sauvignon (Yarra Valley)
- Jasper Hill Emily’s Paddock (Heathcote)
- Giaconda Chardonnay (Beechworth)
- Rusden Black Guts or Sandscrub Shiraz (Barossa Valley)
- Elderton Command Shiraz or Ode to Lorraine – Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot (Barossa Valley)
- (sorry there are 6) Cullen Wines Diana Madeline
- (sorry there are 7) Moss Wood Cabernet
and my top 5 for pure value and true Aussie style there are the wines from
- Tim Smith Wines (Barossa Valley)
- Oakridge Wines Pinot Noir (Yarra Valley)
- Mac Forbes (Yarra Valley)
- Tellurian Estate (Heathcote)
- Moore’s Hill (Tasmania)