Introducing the Hot 100 Wines Stewards

The stewards are usually unsung heros of Hot 100 Wines but this year we’ve decided to put the behind-the-scenes players, who will be led by Mark Reginato, into the spotlight.

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TIM OWEN — EAST END CELLARS

What inspired you to be involved in Hot 100?

I was at the Wheatsheaf and ran into Reggie (Mark Reginato). He asked if I was keen to be involved in stewarding this year. I’ve always been a fan of the Hot 100’s approach to wine, and it’s a great opportunity to meet like-minded crew and look at many different wines, so I said yes.

Name a Hot 100 wine that blew your socks off.

Ochota Barrels 2013 Fugazi Grenache. It’s a bloody tasty wine!

If you were a grape varietal, what would you be and why?

Nebbiolo – strong, perfumed and ageing beautifully.

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GILES FULTON — EAST END CELLARS

What inspired you to be involved with Hot 100?

It’s a pleasure to work with Mark and this great team he’s put together. I’m hoping we can put together the best Hot 100 yet, and help make life easier for people when selecting a great bottle of wine.

Name a Hot 100 wine that blew your socks off.

Vanguardist Wines 2015 Grenache, a superb and modern example of why McLaren Vale Grenache is up there with the best in the world.

If you were a grape varietal, what would you be and why?

Negroamaro, because I’m dark, brooding and bitter but always bringing alcohol to the party.

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JONATHAN BROOK — SOMMELIER, PRESS* FOOD AND WINE

What inspired you to be involved with Hot 100?

I’ve been passionate about the Hot 100 since my mentor Gill Gordon-Smith mentioned her involvement as a judge several years ago. The idea that the awards are about drinkability is very close to my heart as a sommelier. Although the wines are judged on technical merit, the question that is usually asked by judges is, “Would I go back for a second glass?” That makes sense to me as a sommelier because wines should be drunk for enjoyment and pleasure. I also love the fact that the wines are judged in environments that wines are usually drunk in. There is music playing and food available for judges to nibble on. That’s the way most people drink, with food and music.

Name a Hot 100 wine that blew your socks off.

There are heaps – from Fall from Grace’s Arneis to Ochota Barrel’s I am the Owl to The Other Wine Co’s Grenache. But if I had to name one: The Gentle Folks’ Blossoms. That wine was amazing. It was still drinking well last year. A stunning wine from one of my favourite winemakers (and all round nice bloke).

If you were a grape varietal, what would you be and why?

I would be Pinot Gris (actually Pinot Grigio). It’s a bit simple but it makes people smile.

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SHAWNA DOMINELLI — WINEMAKER, SALENA ESTATE WINES; BREWER, GRAMPIANS ALE WORKS

What inspired you to be involved with Hot 100?

Hot 100 Wines is always seeking the underdog.

Name a Hot 100 wine that blew your socks off.

Loved the Brash Higgins 2016 NDV. Love an American in McLaren Vale.

If you were a grape varietal, what would you be and why?

Pinot noir, true and true. I’m so damn fickle.

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DAVID STEPHEN CURRIE — FREELANCE

What inspired you to be involved with Hot 100?

I have been inspired by previous years of the Hot 100 and have been keen to participate for a while.

Name a Hot 100 wine that blew your socks off.

2014 Gentle Folk Blossoms. An outright delicious wine that sits left of centre from what traditional judging often entails. It’s what makes the Hot 100 so much fun.

If you were a grape varietal, what would you be and why?

Riesling – I can be sweet but I can be racy and vibrant. Depends on the situation.

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GEOFFREY HUNT — SOMMELIER, FERMENTASIAN

What inspired you to be involved with Hot 100?

I believe it’s important for people who are passionate about a subject to share their passions with others. The Hot 100 provides a great opportunity to do that from behind the scenes.

Name a previous Hot 100 wine that blew your socks off.

Damon Koerner’s Pigato 2016. Not only is the wine juicy, refreshing and delicious, I love Damon’s use of the various synonyms of Vermentino. It’s a quirky, fun way to present the wine not-too-seriously.

If you were a grape varietal, which would you be and why?

I find this a tough question, but maybe I’d be Poulsard: thin-skinned, over-inflated and a bit acidic.

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VAITE TERIIEROOITERAI — ASSISTANT SOMMELIER, FINO SEPPELTSFIELD

What inspired you to be involved with Hot 100?

My employer and mentor Sharon Romeo, who has been a judge in previous years, encouraged me to get involved. My curiosity and passion to learn about Australian wine is what inspired me to join Hot 100 this year.

Name a Hot 100 wine that blew your socks off.

2014 Gentle Folk Blossoms. It was also the first time that I got introduced to the Hot 100 when I was new to Adelaide.

If you were a grape varietal, what would you be and why?

Cabernet Sauvignon. I love Bordeaux wines.

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MINHUA (EVA) YU — WINE AMBASSADOR ASIA, PERNOD RICARD WINEMAKERS

What inspired you to be involved with Hot 100?

It will be a once in life experience, and a great opportunity to familiarise myself with exciting local wines.

Name a Hot 100 wine that blew your socks off?

The Gentle Folk’s Blossoms, absolutely delicious and especially impressive for a seaweed scientist with only three years self-taught winemaking experience.

If you were a grape varietal, which would you be and why?

Gewürztraminer, it’s exotic and pretty.

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Meet our Tafe SA Student stewards for the 2017/2018 season: Jacob Pilcher, Ognyen Olujic, Dylan Chan, Shaun Herrick, Beth Adams, Sanjeet Thapa, Madoka Sano, Sim Hee

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