I have a connection with Brown Brothers. It may have been the first winery I ever visited with my parents as a child. I remember the three hour roadtrip to Milawa with my siblings on hot leather carseats and the dense scent of resin-soaked oak barrels once we arrived. But mostly I recall the little bowls of olives and cheddar cheese cubes that I managed to get my grubby little hands on in lieu of under-age tastings. Thinking back that may have sparked my lifelong salt addiction. Once I turned 18 (and by 18 I mean probably 16) my parents would bring back half bottles of Brown Brothers’ Orange Muscat and Flora from their as gifts for my developing palette.
As part of the new generation (‘Brown daughter’ I guess) Katherine Brown’s connection is obviously more personal than mine. I bumped into her at Brown Brother’s recent Springtime Soiree at Flinders Lane’s The Trust. “It was my job to fill up those olive bowls!” she laughs when I recount my childhood memory. Brown Brothers transformed the indoor bar into a full-on garden party complete with photobooth, competitive croquet, cake pops and wine-infused ice-cream. It was to celebrate the launch of something that is very much intended for the sisters rather than the brothers; compact versions of their wines. These “minis” are destined for picnics, the races or for (rare) times you just don’t want to open an entire bottle. Simply add a straw and sip. The winery’s Vintage Sparkling Moscato, Vintage Sparkling Moscato Rosa, Moscato and Cienna have all had the petite-ifying treatment. The strawberry fields burst of the Moscato Rosa was the crowd-pleaser at this particular rainy, not-so-springtime evening. Now, where’s my straw?