We had a chat with Luke about The Wine Science Show that he is presenting at the Adelaide Fringe in 2019.
Luke, you’re bringing The Wine Science Show to the Adelaide Fringe. Tell us about the show
Hey, thanks. Well, the Wine Science Show tells the history of Champagne production, using biology, chemistry, psychology, neuroscience and physics, and I have a bunch of jokes too. So I guess it’s edu-comedy in a sense, or history-comedy. People laugh and learn, that’s for sure.
You’re a wine industry expert, science student and comedian and in this show you will be making use of all those backgrounds. Which was your first love?
Oh comedy. I wrote a lot as a child, mainly to escape bullying and life back then. I’ve always tried to write funny. It makes my University assignments harder than they need to be. I have always asked a lot of questions too, which would explain the science intrigue. Working in wine, which I started because of family involvement, I always asked those extra questions like why does alcohol affect the body and why do we get hangovers, and because I never liked the answers given – they were too simple or non-existent, I did extra research and that’s what makes part of the show.
Who is this The Wine Science Show for?
I think everyone, but that sounds like a generalisation. I guess because of the content you really do have to pay attention, so young kids might not get it. Still, I have had parents bring children. There’s no swearing – well, I say merde a couple of times, does that count? Anyway I’m not mocking anyone, it’s really for people who have a curious mind and a good sense of humour. You’ll laugh, and you’ll learn something. If that sounds like a good mix, then come along.
Can we drink during the show?
Sure. It’s at the National Wine Centre, so I can’t see any reason to stop you. I’m pretty confident they’ll be happy if you drink the place dry. I doubt they’ll have Champagne though. Probably some Adelaide Hills sparkling, but that’s still good.
What’s your favourite wine?
Yikes. To be honest it always depends on what I’m eating. The best wine I’ve had, well, I think there was an ‘86 d’Yquem, and an 80a, and some Mongeard, but the most memorable was a cheap Billi Billi from Mount Langi, back when it was a Shiraz Grenache, I think it was a ‘96, drunk with friends. Good times beat great wines. That’s the point after all.
What wine can you not stand?
Oh, young me would have said sauvignon blanc, but then you have a Didier Dagueneau and your world changes. There’s plenty I won’t drink, but I don’t mock anyone’s wine anymore. People are allowed to have fun… unless it is made from a freeze-dried packet.
What can we expect to learn from this The Wine Science Show?
Everything. I leave no stone unturned. Ha. Narr, there’ll be myths debunked and history revealed. It not only explains what alcohol does, like why we actually get hangovers and what causes the feeling of being drunk, but also explains how the massive mistake and attempted cover-up of bubbles in Champagne wine got transformed into this iconic luxury item we have today. Plus you get to learn a little bit about syphilis in the 1600s.
Anything about French vs Australian wines in the The Wine Science Show?
No. Sorry. It’s all about the French and a bit to do with trade to the English in this show.
Anything else to add?
Not really. It is a fun and interesting show. Come along. You’ll be smarter than your friends afterwards.
The Wine Science Show is on nightly at 6pm from 14 to 20 February at the National Wine Centre. You can purchase your tickets here.
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