By Member Stephen O’Halloran

On Wednesday the 16th of November 2022, the Tattersalls masked wine challenge took place with 16 keen competitors on the starting line ready to try their hand at this complex, but exciting event.

There were 12 Wines on display ranging from Australian Riesling to Malbec from Argentina. The evening was great fun, but at the same time, all competitors applied themselves assiduously to the serious business at hand. The challenge is to identify the grape variety, where it came from and the year of vintage. By no means an easy task!

There were four categories of wines, the first three being Australian and the fourth being the International ones, AKA the Graveyard of Dreams Division for reasons that will become clear.

Looking at the 12 wines on display, my personal favourites were the Tyrrells  Hunter Semillon 2014,  the Franklin River Ferngrove Estate WA Riesling 2017, the Bird in Hand straight Merlot from Adelaide Hills 2014, the Seppelts Grampians St Peters Shiraz 2014 & finally the Jim Barry Macrae Wood Shiraz from the Clare 2017. All silk purse offerings.

After three rounds the points were very close between the three leading competitors with Russell Debney ahead with 38  Points but with other competitors snapping at his heels, with only six points difference between the top three contenders.

But as alluded to, the last bracket is a potential nightmare for all. Sadly Rus fell victim to this curse, and crashed to an all too common outcome, thereby allowing the eventual Winner David  Baynham to come storming home with a most impressive 20 points for this category, giving him a total of 52 points overall. An exemplary finish, allowing him to claim Victory by a comfortable margin. David then received the winner’s prize, a Magnum of Tyrrells Vat 1 Semillon 2019.  A wonderful wine that will last for many, many years.

Overall, a great night enjoyed by those attending. My thanks to Tatts staff Mario, Popi, Esmond & Josefa for their invaluable assistance in allowing this event to be such a great occasion.

Hopefully, same time next year.

-Stephen O’Halloran