Last year, I talked to Dan Sims, founder & director of Bottle Shop Concepts (BSC) about his food-focussed event, Meat Your Maker and I profiled some of the producers and farmers who were going to be there on the day.But this year, I had to talk to Dan about all of BSC, and all the food- and wine-focussed events that he and his team have put together for 2017. The growth of BSC and the popularity of the events is seeing them open in Singapore, increase the number and types of events they are holding and consistently create environments for those who are curious about wines to cast away any apprehension and simply enjoy the drink.And, a disclaimer: Dan is a mate and I have the heady honour of being an empanada judge at this year’s GauchitoGil by BSC.
1. What’s the plan for BSC events in 2017, bigger than last year? Expanding to different cities?
It’s a big one but I feel like I say that every year. The most exciting news is we’ll be opening an office in Singapore with HK to follow then … ??? As for our portfolio of events, we’ll run Pinot Palooza in eight cities this year adding both Wellington and Christchurch to the mix. Game of Rhones will rock on and Malbec Day kicks off our year with all the empanadas and more. We also have a new event happening in June called ‘Oinophilia’ which is a greek wine and food festival. Oh, and Meat Your Maker will be back as well as a number of smaller Wine Day Out events. Add to that, we’re helping event manage a bunch including Vin Diemen (Melb & Syd), Hot 100 Harvest (Adl) and Barossa: Be Consumed (which is a new event in July). Oh, and no doubt volunteer for Rootstock this year as well. Sheesh … Oh, and I’m super stoked we’re finally able to hold Pinot Palooza at the Royal Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne in October. While the sheer scale of the venue both excites and frightens me, we know it will be a great event and accumulation of years of build up. It will mean a lot to hold it there this year.
2. What’s your favourite event, Dan? Or is that like asking you to choose a favourite child?
Ha. Exactly like a favourite child! It’s hard to pick as, much like children, they have their own personalities. Pinot Palooza is the well behaved one, who does well in school and makes friends with everyone (goodie two shoes!). Game of Rhones is the kinda weird ‘alternative’ one whilst Malbec Day is like (and I say this jokingly) the bastard child. But like all good ‘bastards’ they forever surprise you, prove you wrong and will probably end up taking over the world.Meat Your Maker probably loves food a little too much (can you blame them) and Wine Day Out is certainly the more intellectual and introspective of the family. And don’t get me started on the merry band of misfits who make up Team BSC!
3. What wines are you drinking at the moment?
My wine tastes vary so much and I’m lucky that I get to work with such a broad range of styles. But all in all I’m seeking drinkability. I want wines that refresh and excite me. That have vibrancy and life. And I don’t care whether they’re ‘natural’ or not (whatever that means) or cheap or expensive.But yeah, I suppose I’m drinking a lot of Rose of late. This last blast of summer is calling for it!
4. What can the public expect from BSC’s events this year in terms of food offerings?
We’re really ramping up the food offering this year across all our events. So much so, that we’ve just employed the wonderful Anna Webster who will not only be doing communications / content but food programming as well. We’ll be pushing for a wine and food festival vibe for all of our events.So in short, you can expect a larger, broader and more diverse offering than ever before. And lots of cheese … Mmmm cheese …