The Wine Bluffs: Decanted opens with the two comedians Damian Callinan & Paul Calleja dancing onto the stage at The Queens Theatre. Damian wearing his furry Eastern-European style winter hat. Paul pouring some red wine onto a tray and snorting it.
To break the ice and find the wine wankers in the audience, Callinan and Calleja (aka The Wine Bluffs) outline the 5 criteria for being a wine wanker. One of those is that your wine is held off-site. One audience member puts his hand up owning up to this – when asked if it is a climate-controlled environment in a disused railway tunnel in the Adelaide Hills, he says no – it’s at his place – pointing to his friend sitting next to him. Audience participation is gentle (and probably thankfully due to COVID-19 rules) no one is forced up on stage. Jokes sometimes come back to the few wine wankers in the room but were fleeting moments.
The various wine blends that the Wine Bluffs have created are very clever including Keanu Reevesling, Vermentina Arena and Tony Barberesco (after the host of Sale of the Century and Wheel of Fortune). The idea of three doors off the stage (one left, one right and one at the centre back where the barrel is) was amusing at first but lost relevance after a while and the joke felt like it had been done. That said, the 80s and 90s jingle “door” was a hit with the audience.
Much mockery was made of craft beer makers and their often ridiculous craft beer names. Callinan takes on the hipster craft brewer character of Declan wearing a beanie and crocheted face mask.
From the blurb saying that “To get home, the sommeliers of premium reserve laughs, must country hop their way through the old wine world” I had expected perhaps we would hear of France, Italy and such regions. Instead, it was Bulgaria, Russia and mentions of Greta Thunberg (so perhaps Sweden).
Damian Callinan took the lead as the funny man while Paul Calleja sometimes appeared to be left behind at times perhaps a little lost.
While this is a show broadly making fun at wine snobbery, I don’t think I could imagine any other wine show, or perhaps any other show, in which jokes are made about Greta Thunberg going rogue and harming dolphins, Putin’s infamous Novichok, Irish dance and porn films being made in the Adelaide Central Markets.
An entertaining hour about wine, wine snobbery, craft brewing (and some completely from our of left-field topics).
Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Adelaide Fringe 2021.
The Wine Bluffs: Decanted has 4 more shows at The Queens:
Thu 18 Mar: 7:45pm
Fri 19 Mar: 9:30pm
Sat 20 Mar: 4:15pm
Sun 21 Mar: 6:30pm
Tickets to the show cost $40 or $30.75 if you’re a BANK SA cardholder. Concession prices and premium seats are also available.
Buy your tickets to The Wine Bluffs: Decanted here: https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/the-wine-bluffs-decanted-af2021
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