A taste of Vermouth
A relaxing little aperitif to round out the week.
While ‘face-to-face’ encounters are making a welcome return in 2021, Audi virtual experiences continue to provide a wonderful array of exclusive livestreams for customers in the comfort of their own homes.
26 March, 2021
In 2020, Audi Australia came up with an ingenious way of maintaining contact with customers and continuing to offer unique lifestyle experiences through a serious of live-streamed online events
It’s important to always look for positives even in some of the bleakest of situations, and as tough situations go, last year was right up there. But out of the ruins as it were, I’ve found numerous reasons to give a nod to 2020, not the least of which being the Audi virtual experiences. Born out of necessity given the restrictions on personal interactions, Audi Australia came up with an ingenious way of maintaining contact with customers and continuing to offer unique lifestyle experiences through a serious of live-streamed online events, featuring an expert in a selected field with an Audi ambassador operating as the mediator.
These were not recorded ‘classes’ or episodes, but live events, where Audi owners explored everything from French cooking to wine tasting to flower arranging, with noted experts in their fields and armed with the requisite ingredients to participate, all delivered to their homes ahead of time. Participants could ask questions and interact throughout the livestream, making it more of an intimate occasion as opposed to a ‘how to’ or straight masterclass scenario.
So popular were these virtual experiences that as we get back to ‘normal’, Audi Australia has retained them as part of the celebrated Audi Experience program, offering the luxury of online streaming experiences as well as the expansive collection of ‘in person’ experiences in 2021.
Which brings me neatly to a recent encounter brought to life through Audi experiences with none other than Audi ambassador Richard Roxburgh and the founder of boutique vermouth producer, Regal Rogue, Mark Ward. Thanks to Audi Australia and the wonders of modern technology, we were able to get together with a small group of Audi owners online for a private livestream to enjoy an ‘aperitif masterclass with Regal Rogue’ – all from the comfort of our own homes.
With two bottles of Regal Rogue, exotic mixers, tot measure and even accompanying nibbles all delivered to each participant prior to the event, this was a very civilised way of relaxing at home, while brushing up on the finer points of vermouth with a few likeminded souls. Civilised for all participants that is except for Mark Ward, who joined us for proceedings directly from London, where it was seven in the morning.
But despite the uncommon hour, Mark took us through his own voyage of discovery that saw him travelling to Australia in 2002 for a short visit that ultimately led to a 12 year stay. During that time, his work in the wine and spirit industry led him to start looking at perhaps launching a brand of his own. The unique Australian flavours and native botanicals struck a chord, and, given the complete lack of an Australian vermouth at the time, Mark turned his energies and experience to creating what was to become Regal Rogue.
The popularity of Regal Rogue since it was officially established in 2011, and indeed vermouth in Australia in general has been nothing short of extraordinary. From a situation where there hadn’t been a locally produced vermouth Down Under for more than 20 years, to a proliferation of the wine based aperitif where there are now 22 different varieties of vermouth being produced in Australia has happened seemingly overnight. Its popularity as a refreshing spritzer suits the Australian climate and lifestyle perfectly and the wealth of native ingredients and flavours available, not to mention the plentiful wine stocks that make up the bulk of a vermouth make it an obvious drink to be both produced and consumed in Australia.
The popularity of Regal Rogue since it was officially established in 2011, and indeed vermouth in Australia in general has been nothing short of extraordinary
Such is the magic of the Audi virtual experience which allows an entertaining, informative and fully immersive experience in the comfort of home
All of this and of course some recipes to make and enjoy during the event were revealed in casual conversation between Richard Roxburgh, Mark Ward and the rest of the party, with questions fielded by other participants as the event went on. That vermouth is 70 percent wine, and can be consumed more like a wine than a spirit was a revelation to me, and dispelled my belief that it was simply an essential ingredient on a good Martini.
Likewise, the refreshing taste of a Regal Rogue Lively White, mixed with salted grapefruit mixer and a sprig of Rosemary or the Regal Rogue Wild Rosé and Yuzu soda over ice. Both a revelation.
Of course I could regale you with the delicate flavours of strawberry gum, roses and Illawarra plum used in the Wild Rosé with its base or organically produced cabernet from See Saw Wine in Orange. Or attempt to describe the ‘dusty’ qualities of the lemon myrtle, desert lime and native thyme used to flavour the Lively White with its base of organic Chardonnay, but there are just certain things that don’t translate so well to the written or even spoken word, and need to be experienced to be fully appreciated.
Those who were a part of this convivial evening will also now be in possession of some tips to make the perfect Negroni, one of Richard Roxburgh’s favourites, not to mention an impromptu recipe from Richard for Cod and cherry tomatoes that he stole from his wife and I have subsequently stolen from him. All this without so much as stepping outside the front door.
And such is the magic of the Audi virtual experience which allows an entertaining, informative and fully immersive experience in the comfort of home. Sure there were plenty of things in 2020 that are best forgotten, but the advent of the Audi virtual experience is a definite silver lining that very much has a place in the new normal.
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