Published on 13 October 2021
Nathen Doyle is all about good food and booze. As co-owner of Heartattack & Vine in Carlton he also knows a thing or two about choosing a wine. Most days of the week you can find him front of house, laughing with the locals and enjoying the energy that comes with running a lively wine bar in Melbourne’s inner-north. The locals range from Gen X natural-wine loyalists to what he terms “a more mature customer” with a cultivated palate for wine. “Neither trumps the other. That’s not what it’s about. But it is about having fun with wine and learning what you like.” Which brings us to Doyle’s new project, Good Booze. Blind – a game for grown-ups to teach them more about wine.
Who are you and what are you all about?
We are Good Booze. Blind and we are all about teaching people how to get more out of drinking wine. Good Booze. Blind came out of wanting to make wine education less intimidating and more fun. I’ve worked in the wine world for more than 15 years and the biggest hurdle I see people face when it comes to learning about wine is confidence. It’s like another language, and there’s also the aura of prestige around wine that can sometimes be intimidating. This keeps people out, but there so much good stuff once you’re in. The project has been in the works for over a year now and we’re so excited to get it out there.
Give us the elevator pitch, what is Good Booze, Blind?
It’s a card game that teaches simple skills around tasting and discussing wine so that anyone who likes to drink it can then learn to talk about it (and maybe find some new favourites along the way). Along with the card game, GBB also hosts live ticketed events (online for the moment) where we deliver a tasting pack to your door, I chuck on a tux, and together, we go on a journey of consumption and self-discovery. It’s for people who know they like a chilled red, a dry white, a sparking natty, but might not have the vocab to know what is it about those wines they like, and what other wines might be up their alley.
Explain like we’re five, how does it work?
We take the fundamentals of classic wine training and break them down into digestible and engaging bites. We teach the basic skills around how to taste a wine and how to pick different textures and flavours and wrap it up in an entertaining format so that the info actually sticks. With the card game, it’s through playing a fun drinking game with your mates. With the events, it’s being led through delicious drinks by me and another professed wine-enthusiast in a light-hearted, personable way.
Who’s your customer?
Anyone who likes drinking wine but feels like they don’t know how to talk about it. People who feel like wine lists and bottle shops are overwhelming. People who always drink the same wine because they’ve been burnt by choosing something different before.
What excites you about this project?
Widening people’s horizons and getting people excited about wine. People who didn't like white wine start to find ones that they like. People who hate chardonnay realise they love it. People who only drink pinot noir find five other varieties that tickle their fancy. The world of wine is vast, it seems a shame to only dip your toe in one kind of drop.
What are the perfect conditions to enjoy Good Booze. Blind?
The first is through the Good Booze. Blind events, where you’re invited to join a guided blind tasting where we walk through a range of different wines. We explore things like acid, tannin, body, flavours and how to assess them on your palate. You leave with a better understanding of your palate, what you do and don’t like, and how to get what you want.
The second is through the Good Booze. Blind tasting packs where you’re able to take a blind pack home along with a deck of cards and do it yourself. Whether you’re on a weekend away with a group of friends of just having dinner at home with your partner, you can open a blind wine, crack out the cards and try to pick the grape variety. The cards guide you through a series of categories like appearance, structure and flavours and help you sort through the many varieties by a process of taste and elimination.
Is it here for a good time or a long time?
We’re here for both! Like a good wine, GBB has legs. We’ve released our first stream of live events which is super exciting. So far we’ve run events with Willow Humphreys of Spensley’s and our next one is with Tony Armstrong from the ABC. If you want a taste of what Good Booze. Blind is about, we’re streaming live every Friday until the end of lockdown and our tasting packs and cards will be rolling out at the end of November.
Where can I get into it?
All you need to know about Good Booze. Blind can be found at goodboozeblind.com. Sign up to our mailing list to stay up to date with everything as we release new products and events. Tickets to the live events are on sale now so get in quick.
Good Booze Blind, tickets start at $100 for two, goodboozeblind.com
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