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Sydney

When sip happened, Merrick saw the riesling for life

“If wine is so serious, then why is a clown being asked to judge at some of the country’s most prestigious wine shows?”

Comedian and radio star Merrick Watts laughs as he ­explains how his mission to ­demystify wine for the masses has turned serious.

The super-fit 49-year-old fell in love with wine in his 20s but he is now devoting more time to the pursuit of grape greatness.

He has been invited to judge at leading wine shows in the Barossa and Langhorne Creek, completed advanced training at London’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust and launched his national Grapes of Mirth comedy festival held at legendary Australian wineries.

Later this month, Watts will host The Australian Wine Club’s major tasting event in Sydney in partnership with 23 leading winemakers, showcasing more than 130 wines.

“It’s all about demystifying wine – it’s about taking away the barriers,’’ he said.

“Winemakers don’t put up barriers: they just want you to try their wines and find out if you like it.”

Watts carved out a 20-year career in radio, hosting Sydney breakfast shows and national drive programs before plunging into the wine game.

He also writes a drinks column for Delicious magazine and is about to finish preparing a second season of his series An Idiot’s Guide to Wine.

In the sellout first season, audience members tasted six wines, while Watts unleashed his comedic patter, combining nuggets of wine knowledge with punch lines.

“People are sometimes scared to ask a silly question but this cuts through that. We can all taste things. I am the idiot here and if I can appreciate wine, anyone can,” he said.

Some of Watts’ favourite wineries are taking part in The Australian Wine Club tasting on November 15.

“I’m into the latest funky hipster wines but also the classics like a Clare Valley riesling or a Barossa shiraz – you ­appreciate just how beautifully crafted these types of quality wines are,’’ he said.

The Australian Wine Tasting 2023 is on November 15, from 6-10pm, at Sydney Lower Town Hall. Tickets: start at $55. BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/merricks-mission-to-demystify-wine-for-masses-has-turned-serious/news-story/9afce887dc1f6d5b5162dd824e13e1c1 When sip happened, Merrick saw the riesling for life

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