Pop-ups still appeal to me. We've had pop-up bars, pop-up restaurants, pop-up shops. Poppity pop pop. Go pop yourself. If I had a shrink he would probably say they appeal to my relentless desire for the wacky and my inability to commit (ask any ex-boyfriend). No-one will ever be able to put a ring on my finger but by dang I'll dance a jig for as long as you can hold my attention.
Last night a friend and I visited The Blocks, a 3 week pop-up by Penfold's showcasing their wines in an artistic, kooky, break-it-down kinda way. A pop-up hasn't captivated me quite like this since Joost last year. I miss it.
Once we entered their surreal world we were, wine in hand, invited to sniff sculptures. 5 wooden tiki-like forms permeated with scent reflective of the varietal they represented. Behind each, an artwork that did the same. Our gorgeous sommelier Zoe then quizzed us as to which category they belonged to, and am proud to say Jess & I did quite well - we knew the reds from the whites and the Shiraz from the Pinot. Knowledge born from years of drinking experience. Yet, we still had much to learn and this was the most refreshing, exotic and memorable way to do so. If you've ever been daunted by the obtuse vernacular of the wine connoisseur (I was once seated next to a pair of them at a foodie lunch and yes, they said 'this wine has a distinct flavour of gasoline tempered with topnotes of oyster sauce and unripened guava') then this event is for you. It makes it special, yet radically accessible.
After sniffing, pondering & guessing we were seated to taste our favourite 'bracket' (we mutually chose No.4) and dined on cockles (moi) and wagyu (Jess). All the senses were engaged: sight (the art), sound (the music), smell (the aromatics), touch (the wood), taste (the food). We were in touchy feely sniffy heaven. And then...our cheese platter was delivered by the most delicious French boy we've ever laid brain on (c'mon we all know it's the sauciest of our body parts). We asked our sommel if the presence of hot waiters was yet another layer of the sensory overload, and she suggested - off the record - that perhaps the staff were chosen for that special sparkle in the eye. We were duly grateful.
Then suddenly, an alarm went off. A LOUD one. Repetitive blasts, ascending in speed and then urgent. We figured it to be another assault on the senses, until we were told everyone had to evacuate. Seriously. It was a fittingly wacky end to a surreal experience, enhanced by the light rain on our skin as we re-entered the outside world (I could really 'feel' it) and the arrival of some seriously hot firemen (one who sexily asked Jess & I if we had started the fire as he jumped from the truck). But of course...
Oh yeah and then I went to Kit 'n Kaboodle and kissed Ron. Mum if you're reading this it wasn't me I didn't do it you can't prove anything.
Disclaimer: it was a 1 second peck whilst we were mugging for the cameras. I'm a nice girl, really.
Book your spot at The Blocks before it's gone forever: www.theblockslive.com.