Lizzy wanted to excite her new boyfriend. Steve suggested she bring out the blindfold and whip him.
After 15 years in the dating wilderness, Lizzy knew there was no such thing as the perfect man. But she did think she had come pretty close with Jamie. The only fly in the ointment was he was a wine snob (which she thought was a small price to pay for a lawyer who wasn’t afraid of commitment, monogamy or reproducing).
As a result, when she first invited Jamie home for dinner she started having a panic attack over what wine to serve. Her best friend saved the day by suggesting she see Steve Perry at Liquor Barons in Swanbourne.
In wine circles Steve is a legend. When billionaires want to track down a ’59 Lafite or visiting supermodels want to splurge $1000 on a Bordeaux, Steve is their go to guy. However he gets just as much pleasure by helping people find the $10-15 gem that punches way above its weight. Steve sits on Liquor Barons wine tasting panel so if a wine says Panel Approved, he’s given it the thumbs up.
When Lizzy told Steve she was going to cook beef and mushroom filo parcels (lawyers are always carnivores), he suggested she serve a 2008 St Hallett Gamekeeper’s Shiraz. Its ripe plummy flavours and subtle hint of oak work beautifully with red meat.
Lizzy protested, “You don’t understand, he won’t drink a $12 wine.” Steve suggested she decant the wine before serving so Jamie would judge it on taste alone. He guaranteed Jamie would think it was a much more expensive wine.
Lizzy went one step further and blindfolded Jamie (she was hoping it would come in handy later on). After much swirling, sniffing and sipping, Jamie declared the wine to be a Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz (RRP $59.99). Lizzy cooed, “You’re amazing” while inwardly gloating she had just whipped wine snob butt.
Once the relationship was established, she did confess her deception. Jamie was so impressed with Steve’s suggestion he started trying more Panel Approved wines. He’s yet to be disappointed. Which is no surprise when you consider whom the wines have to get past. In addition to Steve, The Panel includes leading wine educator Rod Properjohn and Paul Mc Ardle, one of the few people in WA to have passed the international ‘Masters of Wine’ tasting exam. The Panel meet fortnightly to taste and debate the latest releases. They have such a golden palate they regularly identify award show winners before the judging circuit does.
Liquor Barons then use their buying power to secure The Panel’s favourite wines at the best possible price. Because Liquor Barons is a co-operative of independent WA retailers, we can support boutique wineries that are too small for the national chains.
We’re happy to report Jamie and Lizzy are still taking The Panel’s advice and will be toasting their anniversary with a bottle of Perrier-Jouet Champagne NV.