Last Wednesday, 20 February, we went to see the The Wine Science Show at the National Wine Centre. This show is a part of the Adelaide Fringe and its season is now finished.
Luke Morris greets us at the entry to The Gallery Room, where his show is taking place. On the projection screen, it is written that people show sit at the front are the kindest – encouraging people to sit up the front, something that people often avoid.
Luke is clearly passionate about wine and he has even published a book of his research whcih he uses for his show. He has a background as a comedian, wine lover and now, science student. All of that could have made for a wonderful show, but unfortunately The Wine Science Show needs some work.
Firstly, the part of The Wine Science Show where Luke talks to us about his problem of excessive sweating and shows us the problems that it poses, for example his inability to use phones with touch screens. His mobile cannot display emojis sent by friends, colleagues and family. When you start to make jokes around the poo emoji, you know that the show has taken a wrong turn. This is meant to be about wine, isn’t it? He brings us back by explaining that the reason he drank at the time was to try to stop the excessive sweating.
Yes, it is important to have conversations around medical conditions as well as mental health; he explains to us that his excessive sweating is caused by anxiety. But it seems to me that The Wine Science Show is perhaps not the right moment to start this discussion. Or otherwise, you could perhaps bring up that people drink to excess to escape problems in their lives. This is, for some people at least, true.
We were able to see fermentation happening live on stage when Luke mixed sugar, yeast and tepid water in a plastic bottle and closed it with a balloon. He also made pertinent comments about the language used to describe wines “fruity and grassy” for example. He then demonstrates just how vague this language is being that he could mix tomatoes (after all they are fruits) and asparagus (it’s from the grass family) with the fermented liquid.
In summary, in The Wine Science Show Luke makes interesting and relevant remarks and explains things to us. Who knew that champagne corks caused so many eye injuries in Hungary, for example? It has promise and the idea is good, but The Wine Science Show needs some tinkering in order to be a seamless show.
Matilda Marseillaise was a guest of Adelaide Fringe
Don’t know what shows to go see at Adelaide Fringe? Here’s our 22 must see shows.