Adina Grand Treasury Adelaide
Until 15 Mar 2020

Review by Lance Jones

“In vino veritas”. In wine, there is truth. Or something like that. The truth being that Anna Thomas has delivered a stunning solo performance reprising her wonderfully entertaining show, combining a typical wine tasting session with an accompaniment of tales to help the wine go down.

Treasury 1860 is a wonderful little bar situated in the old Treasury buildings just off Victoria Square. The venue is worth a visit in its own right. Yet this isn’t a standard wine tasting session. Yes, we hear about the “hints of oak” and those “good legs”, but we also get a running commentary about how each selected wine has figured in Anna’s life. Each bottle has a back story, each one encapsulating a series of events that are poignant and very real.

One enters and is offered a tasting package cheekily posted as an additional cost to the ticket price. No matter; one would buy a wine anyway, and in this instance, the show would not be relevant without it. The red-hot tip is to buy the tasting package. As well as being relevant to both the story and the experience, the wine selection is pretty good.

Anna then takes her audience on the story of her recent life challenges, each one accompanied by her chosen wine. Wank or no wank, Anna knows her stuff. Cheekily poking fun at “wine wankers”, Anna eventually admits to pride at the moment she realised that she finally became one herself.

The most impressive thing about this show is that the audience both laughs and cries with her. The empathy she generates and the relationship she nurtures with the audience is genuine. From the highs of bogans wanting beers at a winery and getting the tasting notes for different wines mixed up, to the lows of some intensely personal experiences of loss and grief, Anna takes the audience with her through the wonderfully cheerful ups and the sad, gut wrenching downs. Tears and laughter flowed in harmony with the wine.

You can drink wine anywhere. You can get told about wine almost anywhere in our wonderful wine state of SA. Yet you cannot find a wine tasting experience like this just anywhere. Sure, you can certainly taste the “dark cherry and hints of almond” but to simultaneously feel the sadness, loneliness, frustration, elation and eventually sheer joy of the stories the wine can tell is an experience not to be missed.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)