The Interview Series #9
In this Interview Series #9, Alex Camatta chats with Tasting Room personality, Sam Little. Sam joined the team as Assistant Tasting Room Manager in 2020.
Sam, can you tell us a little about your career before joining the Shaw + Smith team?
I actually fell backwards into the wine industry, to an extent. I studied Media at university and majored in journalism before moving into freelance work for local music and lifestyle blogs. After discovering a passion for all things fermented, I began working casually at the S.C. Pannell Cellar Door in McLaren Vale. I quickly fell in love with the wine industry and moved into a permanent role at SCP. I spent a great three years there, learning the craft and developing a keen interest in complex grape varietals like Nebbiolo and Chardonnay. I left Pannell early in 2020 due to musical opportunities which were sidelined by the pandemic, but was lucky enough that an opportunity came up here at Shaw + Smith. Chardonnay in mind, I jumped at it, and here I am.
What do you consider to be unique about the Shaw + Smith tasting experience?
I think it’s the purity of it. It’s truly all about the wine. It forces people to slow down and immerse themselves in the experience. I love the balance between conversational and informative – it’s what I look for when I venture out into the wine world. We’re also incredibly blessed with our team; the level of knowledge is encyclopaedic. The wine and cheese combination is brilliance in simplicity. It just works.
When you’re not pouring wine or navigating the Tasting Room Spotify List, what will we find you doing with your spare time?
You’ve hit the bullseye with music. My band and I have been lucky enough to tour a considerable part of Australia over the past couple of years. If I’m not pouring wine, there’s a good chance I'm drinking it somewhere sunny or making an idiot of myself on-stage – sometimes all at once.
Do you have a favourite wine/song pairing?
Sheesh, this is a tough one. If we’re going classy, it’d have to be 2016 Vietti Barolo Castiglione and Frank Sinatra’s cover of Blue Moon. Of an afternoon, though, 2019 Cobaw Ridge Chardonnay and the Go Farther In Lightness record by Gang Of Youths, in its entirety – it’s a long album so let’s chase that bottle with a 2019 S+S M3, thanks.
Tasting Room remains open 11-5, daily. Sam and the team are working hard to maintain a safe environment for you to enjoy our wines, while navigating current restrictions. If you’re planning to visit, we recommend booking here.