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Background

'The Wine Bluffs' first appeared at 'Madden's Rise Winery' at the '2014 Yarra Valley Grape Grazing Festival.' Asked to put on a comedy performance in the heritage listed woolshed, Paul Calleja put his mind to who would best augment his wine knowledge and noticed Callinan drinking straight from one of the barrels and the 'Wine Bluffs' were born.

After that Total Fire Ban Day in February 2014, the boys continued to develop their wine schtick at other wineries & restaurants before taking on the South Australians at the 2015 Barossa Vintage Festival.

Things got serious when they performed to packed houses at North Melbourne Town Hall as part of the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival. Their next vintage will be released at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in February 2016.

Synopsis

Ever wondered what wine goes best with Fairy Bread? Why hasn’t the ‘Champagne Spider’ caught on? These questions and many more will be inadequately answered by the self styled sommeliers of comedy, Damian Callinan & Paul Calleja as these well cellared comedians release a full bodied classic under their new label – ‘The Wine Bluffs.’

Laying spurious claim to a reputation as renowned wine consultants, the duo, fresh from judging the ‘Fruit Wine Section’ at ‘The Rockhampton Show,’ will take the audience through the cellar door experience with a comedic twist. They’ll help you match wine to beer, translate over-written bottle blurbs and identify the biggest Wine Wanker in the room: If you have a Wine fridge set on two temperatures ... it’s probably you.

The union of Callinan [former Melbourne Fringe Comedy winner & 3 time Barry Award Nominee] & Calleja [stand up & writer on Before The Game & countless other TV shows] has everyone’s palate salivating as they prepare to uncork their latest vintage and let the comedy breathe.

Testimonials

Event - Barossa Vintage Festival @ Murray Street Vineyards
Quote - Marty Powell, Marketing Manager

How often do you get to describe someone as professional and fun? The Wine Bluffs, Damian Callinan and Paul Calleja are just that and more! Murray Street Vineyards played host to this dynamic duo as part of our 2015 Barossa Vintage Festival celebrations, where their candid style of humour was perfectly matched to their wine-loving audience. An audience who would emphatically join me in recommending The Wine Bluffs performance, as they help you celebrate the wonderful world of wine.


Event - Australian Tax Institute Conference - Barossa Novatel
Quote - Rebecca Infante - Marketing Coordinator

Our delegates very much enjoyed the Wine Bluffs, the show was both funny and engaging for the audience. Working with Damian and Paul was great. They were both extremely professional and very easy to deal with.
Media

Review - Adelaide Fringe - Elizabeth Harnett - The Clothesline

Have you ever wandered into a cellar door and not had a clue what you were supposed to do (What am I supposed to say? Why do I smell this? I guess it tastes like stone fruit?)? Do you find the whole song and dance particularly pretentious? Well never fear, because The Wine Bluffs are here!

Whether you are a lover of wine or have only enjoyed it from a box, The Wine Bluffs is a show you should take the time to see this year at The Fringe. Comedians Damian Callinan and Paul Calleja act as judges and consultants on all matters wine: food parings (what goes will with a chicko roll?), wine descriptions (lots of words) and label names. They will tell you how to properly aerate a wine (think of Beyoncé) and how Damian Callinan & Paul Calleja - The Wine Bluffs - The Clotheslineto taste it, and what you should or shouldn’t say at the wine cellar. They also give their advice on what they would have paired with the food at the Adelaide Oval’s Hill of Grace.

Even though the audience may mostly be from Adelaide, one of the greatest wine producing regions in the world, Damian and Paul will still teach you a thing or two. While poking fun at the absurdity of the wine industry, they do so with a clear love and knowledge for the subject matter. The two comedians work incredibly well together, as their banter and jokes were very natural and made for a quick hour show.

Go down to the Royal Croquet Club, enjoy a free glass of wine on them, and learn about the ins and outs of the wine industry. For anyone who has been on a wine tour, tried to understand a wine list or just browses the varietals sections at Dan Murphy’s, this is a show not to be missed.

Melbourne Fringe - John Mangan, The Sunday Age

' ... at the North Melbourne Town Hall, The Wine Bluffs [Damian Callinan & Paul Calleja] pricked wine lovers pretensions in a fruity, robust show featuring clean acidity and just a hint of tannins.'
Review - Melbourne Fringe - April Brenner - Bcause Arts

Grab yourself a glass of red, or white if you prefer, and enjoy a entertaining night and some quirky insight into the ideals of wine tasting by The Wine Bluffs.

After touring around various wine festivals, including Barossa Vintage and YarraValley Grape Grazing, comedy duo Damian Callanan and Paul Calleja give a charmingly laugh-out-loud presentation that will make any inexperienced bloke feel like the expert wine connoisseur they’ve always wanted to be. Travel through Callinan and Calleja’s cellar doors to seamless silly antics and complimentary pop culture punch lines that demonstrate the many talents of these veteran comedians.

Our introduction to these wine bluffs' knowledge in wine tasting involved audience participation: to identify the biggest "wine wanker" in the room. Audience members are eliminated in the competition by sitting back down when answering YES to a series of questions by Callinan and Calleja. Last man or woman standing wins the honourable badge of “Wine Wanker.” Next, Callinan and Calleja describe their history in wines, which have evolved over the years from occasional wine sippers to now holding psychic abilities that identify wine types in the audience and the ability to pair wines with food based on grape varieties. To say that “green grapes,” a variety shouted out last night from an audience member, goes well with McDonald’s French fries tells you just how expert these comics really are.

But it’s these special interactions with the audience and abilities to improvise without hesitation that make Callinan and Calleja stand out as truly talented comedians. I was surprised to discover other talents from the comics including Callinan’s well- choreographed dance moves to “Footloose,” “Gangnam Style” and “Single Ladies.” He briefly, but hilariously, busts out to these numbers in order to demonstrate a new technique in releasing more oxygen in the wine before tasting. And Paul’s decision to snort a line of red wine for taste, something he claims he’s never done before, proves just how far these comics will go to earn your laughs.

 I’m delighted to hear that this show continues running throughout the Melbourne Fringe Festival (every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights) because it would be a shame for people to miss this hilarious spin on wine tasting.

One comment

  • Visit site
    February 1, 2017 2:46 amPosted 4 months ago
    Jim Middleton

    Hi Guys

    Last night my partner and I had the pleasure of watching The Wine Buffs. Really enjoyed, had a quick chat with Demo afterwards. Hence this email.
    I run The Mundaring Hotel in Mundaring, WA. I would like to know if the boys are coming back to Perth. If so when and how much it would cost to put on a show. We would run the gig in our beer garden, hence would need to be November through to March to ensure good weather?
    I look forward to hearing from you guys.
    Kind Regards

    Jim Middleton

    Reply

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