Some people are lucky enough to be born into wine and inherit a pedigree that moves with them through life which, in turn, automatically opens doors to the magical experience of wine. Others first experience with wine is as a teenager drinking a cheap Aussie red contained within a “goon bag” removed from a box that was mislabelled “Claret”. Conrad would like to think he falls into the first category, but he doesn’t.
Conrad really didn’t get into wine until his early to mid twenties when he began hanging out with a group of friends with slightly more wine pedigree than himself. He still remembers his first real wine tasting experience when he and his friends attended the legendary Jazz In The Vines at the Tyrell’s Vineyard in The Hunter Valley in the mid 90s. On the Friday before the big day the group got on a little mini-bus and went wine tasting and he has never looked back since.
One of Conrad’s friends had a father who was an avid collector and drinker of fine wine and who had bought a case of Penfold’s Grange each year for decades. He’d often pop open a bottle in Conrad’s presence and ask Conrad what he thought of it. Now these were early days and Conrad’s best response would be, “it’s a nice red wine”. Oh how he’d like to be able to transport back to those Grange drinking moments.
Conrad gained an appreciation for old wine about a decade ago when Stuart was lucky enough to be given a whole lot of unwanted aged wine. But it wasn’t until only recently, when he started buying old wines at auction, that he got to truly enjoy an array of old wine. Conrad and Stuart have also done a few wine courses together, mainly just as an excuse to drink more wine. They’ve also annoyed many people with their incessant talking about wine, a passion they’ve learned not everyone appreciates. And this is how they rightfully earned their nicknames Frasier and Niles, the Wine Wankers.
Conrad took his love of wine to a new level when he married his beautiful wife Debbie at the Tamburlaine winery in the Hunter Valley. Again, partly as an excuse to drink more wine. And wherever Conrad and Debbie travel they always have to drop into a winery or two, or sample the local wines on offer. He is lucky to have a wine drinking buddy that at least humours him in his passion. She is Irish after all.
Conrad has known Neal for over a decade and has had many a wine drinking session with him, not to mention a few beers at the pub at lunch. After being invited by Neal to some great events recently, like the Brokenwood Graveyard 30th anniversary lunch, and the new release wines from Yarra Yering, he decided that Neal perfectly fits what it means to be a Wine Wanker.
And this whole blog came together when Stuart convinced Conrad that it would be a good idea, but he still isn’t too sure. After all the work Stu put into this he thought he had better give it a go!
Oh, and Conrad also enjoys a good beer, especially if he’s spoilt with something all crafty and boutique like, a wanky beer that is. He finds beer and wine fit for different occasions, and might even have a shot or three when he’s forgotten he likes beer and wine.
And Conrad’s Gravatar? Conrad has no hope of looking even half as good and stylish as his Gravatar, who happens to be his own man and part of our PR team.
Conrad also finds it weird writing about himself in third person.