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The Pigs Celebrate Shelagh's Birthday

March, 2018


The Pigs Hard at Work

 February, 2017

 The Pigs February tasting featured some remarkable wines (thanks Howard and Melissa) - the most remarkable of which was probably the 1988 (!) Piper's Brook Chardonnay from Tasmania, which was certainly still alive - although a Penfolds 1993 St Henri Shiraz was pretty good as well!


The Pigs at Brook Eden Vineyard

March, 2016

The Pigs had a great tasting visit to Brook Eden Vineyard near Lebrina, Tas. Huge thanks to owners Ed & Annette Ferrero, who laid on a wonderful tasting of cellared chardonnay, pinot gris and pinot noir (we gave gold-medal scores to them) - along with some of their lovely recent-release sparkling. Annette's home-made camembert-style cheese was a great addition.

At Brook Eden VineyardAt Brook Eden Vineyard

  Congratulations to Flying Pig Tony Walker!!

on winning the Wine Communicators  Australia Award 

for the best wine book of 2015: Vintage Tasmania

'Vintage Tasmania', a book celebrating Tasmania's rich wine history by Tony Walker, is one of three finalists shortlisted for the national Best Wine Book award. Presented by Wine Communicators Australia, this award recognises a published book (print or digital) which best supports Australian wine with demonstrated depth of knowledge, engaging and professional content targeted to its chosen audience. Vintage Tasmania, a high quality 280-page lavishly illustrated book has been written by Tasmanian wine writer and wine historian Tony Walker, with an introduction by leading wine writer, James Halliday. - See more HERE

The Flying Pigs Oenological Society 

Origin and "Rules"

Some time in 1979 or 1980 Howard and Fred, sharing a bottle of wine after squash,  were discussing how few wines they would actually sample at that rate. And with that inspiration they decided to form a wine tasting group to help them in their thirst for knowledge. Figuring that "pigs might fly" before they managed to get it all straightened out, they invited three more couple to join them for regular tastings, and the Flying Pigs Oenological Society was born.

The Flying PigsThe Flying Pigs

The parameters for the group they set up that day were:

  • the Group to comprise 5 couples
  • the Group to meet once a month rotating members' houses
  • the monthly host to provide 5 wines plus some simple nibbles
  • wines to be rated out of 20: 3 points for colour, 7 points for nose and 10 points for palate
  • the tasting to be "blind" but with two options in four categories
  • the categories to be :
    • colour (yes, red or white - so no on would get a zero score) - 1 point
    • grape variety - 2 points
    • region - 1 point
    • year - 1 point
    • a "bonus point" can be gained for a wine if the member names the actual wine correctly (like, for example "Penfolds Kalimna"), PROVIDED that person has got a perfect score (5 out  of 5) for that particular  wine
    • In the case of a tied score after 5 wines, there is provision for a sixth-bottle "taste-off" between the tied scorers ONLY (the others are out of the competition).The PigThe Pig

Over the 34 or 35 years the Flying Pigs has been going (we must learn to keep records one day) the Group has had various members, but Howard and Stan are still among them. For a time the Group expanded to 6 couples (and 6 wines a tasting), but is currently back at the original 5 couples (but we somehow managed to keep the 6 wines per tasting).

Somewhere along the way a "Flying Pig" brooch was made and it has become a hotly-contested trophy for the tasters, with the highest point score for the night (the hosts being excluded from he competition) being deemed Pig of the Month (it sounds better in French) and gaining the right to wear the brooch until it is won by another.


The Pigs' Dinners

It was further decided that the Group would have two formal "Pigs' Dinners" per year, as close to the summer and winter solstice as practical, and, again, rotating the venues among the members. Each member couple would be responsible for a course - hors d'oeuvres, soup, entrée, main and dessert - with the host couple always doing the main. And each couple would provide two bottles of an appropriate wine for their own course.

Also,  there  have been occasional Pigs Breakfasts (well, a weekend brunch, really) just for fun and camaderie, plus the VERY occasional Pigs Outing - with the Group travelling overnight to a regional restaurant - having made arrangements to bring our own wine. Four of the five couples even managed to coincide in a rented house in Mirepoix, France for a vacation.

Pigs’ Summer Lunch– December, 2017



Hors d’Oeuvres

 Salmon Balls with Asian-Style Dipping Sauce and Sour Cream

 Rockford's Pinot Meuniere Sparkling 2005, Barossa Valley, SA

Joseph Chromy Sparkling 2008, Tamar Valley, TAS

Entrée 1

Peruvian Ceviche

Duke's Magpie Hill Reserve Riesling 2017, Mt. Barker, WA

                                                                              Rieslingfreak No. 3  Riesling 2017, Clare Valley, SA

Entrée 2

          Scallop Pancakes with Rocket and Raw Pea Salad

Chateau Tahbilk Marsanne 2011, Nagambie, VIC

Main Course

           Lamb Kofta with Fattoush and Cumin Rice

 Devil's Corner Riesling 2016, Tamar Valley, TAS

 Tamar Ridge Riesling 2016, Tamar Valley, TAS

Penfold's Bin 389 1998, SE Australia


 Cocoa, Banana and Avocado Mousse

Tamar Ridge Botrytis Riesling 2006, Tamar Valley, TAS

Tamar Ridge Botrytis Riesling 2012, Tamar Valley, TAS

The Pigs at Howard & Melissa's Shack - Interlaken

March, 2016

At InterlakenAt Interlaken

"Pig of the Month" after the April, 2018 Tasting:



Wines of the April, 2018,Tasting

 Wines of the April, 2018, TastingWines of the April, 2018, Tasting