The team behind the 3 Winos trade show, Joe Molinari, Paul Stenmark and James Johnston, welcomed new partner and providore Robbie Mayer to the show this year, and it proved a massive hit.

Taking place in early August at the Four Seasons Hotel, the show sees the 3 Winos, representing Combined Wines & Food, Winestock AU and World Wine Estates bring wines from all over Europe, and Australia, for a trade tasting, which has built on its reputation every year.

Molinari told TheShout that himself, Stenmark and Johnston got together to use their individual strengths and build a trade show that would attract a wider audience than they could on their own. He also said that the trio realise the importance of making each show and each year different and also making it better, which is why they decided to invite F. Mayer Imports to join them this year.

“A few years ago James, Paul and I got together and each of us was doing a one-man trade day, but the three of decided that we really needed to give these days something extra, so we decided that we should get together and do one trade show,” Molinari said.

“We’ve all got different strengths, each of us have a number of boutique wines from different places around Europe and across Australia. We decided that if we got together then a combined trade show would have more appeal by having all of these brands, rather than having three different shows and maybe not really getting enough people along.”

Molinari said that with over 500 people in attendance from across Australia’s off- and on-premise this year’s show “went brilliantly”, and that the planning the team puts into every aspect of the show, in particular its masterclasses helps make it such a popular event.

“The show does attract a lot of really good people, not only because we’ve got a great range of world class brands there, but also because we do some really creative masterclasses. This year we had a truffle test, with Australian truffles taking on truffles from Italy, and it was really interesting for restaurants to go through those; we also had chocolate being tasted with incredible wines.”

He added: “This year we decided to include Mayer, because we decided that we need to keep that creativity going and have something different every year. Even though Combined Wines distributes food, we just thought that Robbie Mayer has got things like Belgian chocolates and he’s got some different cheeses from around the world, so we included him to get a bit more of a theme happening with the masterclasses.”

Joe Molinari, James Johnston, Robbie Mayer and Paul Stenmark, the 3 Winos and a Providore
Joe Molinari, James Johnston, Robbie Mayer and Paul Stenmark, the 3 Winos and a Providore


This year’s show featured wines from across Europe, with the range of Italian wines on pour proving particularly possible, as the trade investigated how much elegance is a part of so many Italian wines and the increasing popularity of regions such as Sicily and Sardinia.

Paolo Orso, Area Sales Manager for Combined Wines said: “The Australian consumer loves Italian wines. They still sometimes stick to Sangiovese and Chianti, but there is a lot out there to try. We’ve got wines coming from all over Italy and there are lots of different styles. Montepulciano is getting very popular now and Nero D’Avola is picking up really well. But with something like the Amarone, people don’t know what the grapes are in these wines, they just know Amarone, but that’s what we are here for, to help people understand everything about these wines.”

Talking about the 2012 Piccini Brunello di Montalcino, Orso added: “This is a lovely wine, it has a lovely structure, lovely tannin, good dryness, there is a great elegance to this wine.”

Cantina Mesa, whose wines are new to Australia, had just arrived in time from Sardinia and the spokesperson told TheShout that the winery worked with its unique position on the coast in Sardinia to create special wines.

“We are a small winery, on the beach, vineyards on the beach, breathing salt. So yes we work with the fruit, but much more the minerality and we try to enhance this with the wine’s elegance.”

“Our Carignano wine is a lot more approachable than people will be used to for a wine from Sardinia, but it is still full-bodied.”

Molinari added: “Exhibitors come every year, they are all happy, a lot of them tell us it’s the best show they go to in Australia. I always have four or five of my Italian wine suppliers come every year, which is a big commitment from them and they tell me it’s one of the most professionally put together shows they go to anywhere in the world. So we’re doing something right.”

And the planning for next year’s show will start soon as well, as Molinari explained” “We have a meeting after the show to discuss what the wow factor is that we’ll bring next year, because you’ve got to keep people coming back every year. The minute people drop off it’s hard to get them back, so we’ll be meeting again soon to talk about what next year’s wow factor will be.

“The onus is on all of us to bring our own piece of wow factor.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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