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Drinks with the girls: the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society comes to Canberra

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Not even torrential weather and flight delays could keep Jane Thomson, founder of the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society (FLWS), from Canberra. Jane was in town for the inaugural Canberra Fabulous Ladies Wine soiree held at A.Baker and attended by around 50 local women all keen to explore the world of wine without any boys around.

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Established in 2012, the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society is a website and online club created to provide women (and the odd man who might stumble across your search history!) with wine information and reviews without the male centric focus that often dominates the industry.

“Wines have traditionally been described with a male audience in mind, even the bottle shops are named after men (Dan Murphy’s!),” says Jane.

“But saying that a wine has tobacco notes doesn’t really resonate with women. Our tasting notes break away from this traditional language and we use all sorts of references from fashion to pop culture to help women better understand what they’re drinking. We once described a wine as buxom like Kate Winslet which sounds so much more interesting than calling it ‘robust’.”

With her father running a vineyard in the Hunter Valley, Jane has long been a keen enthusiast of the grape and is passionate about giving women the confidence to talk about wine and showing them that they don’t have to be intimidated by the traditional jargon.

“We want our members to have fun and we give them a platform to talk about wine in the same way they might talk about shoes,” she said. “Fifty-four per cent of all wine sales in Australia are from women so it make sense to include them in the conversation.”

The Society has had its critics with some accusing them of dumbing down wine appreciation but with 13,000 members and growing, more and more wineries and industry experts are starting to take notice. And to truly answer her critics, Jane was last year awarded Digital Wine Communicator of the Year from the Wine Communicators of Australia.

Membership to the FLWS is free and starting your own wine club with Jane’s recommendations and tasting notes is a great way to begin or expand your wine knowledge. When asked about her favourite tipples, Jane said it was like asking her to choose between her children (of which she has three) but with Spring in the air, she recommends it’s time to think pink and get on the Rose. I’m personally not a big fan of Rose but Jane recommends I forget about the sweet lollywater that dominates the market and instead look for Pinot, Tempranillo or Grenache based wines that tend to be drier and more refined in style. The Willunga 100 Grenache Rose 2014 from South Australia is her suggestion so I’m off to try it, all in the name of research of course…!

the essentials

What: Canberra Fabulous Ladies Wine soiree
When: 6:30pm Thursday 2 July 2015
Where: Parlour Wine Room, Kendall Lane, New Acton
How much: From $95
Book: Buy your ticket online
More: Get all the details at our Events page.

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