The #ChampagneSisters *Clink & Chat* with @TravelCorkscrew!

Our @TravelingFlute spearheaded this interview with Casey of the fabulous blog Travelling Corkscrew --she is a bubbly and wine aficionado and a travelista!  *CLINK!* 
  Share with us how you found & followed your passion to get where you are right now...
I was introduced to the world of wine at the tender age of 15 years old. My parents visited one of the local wineries (Cottle Hill Winery in Kerikeri, New Zealand) quite often and on one trip they offered me an after school job of helping out around the winery and in the vineyard.

Once I finished school, I then moved to Auckland to study at The Auckland University of Technology and I began working at one of the local wine shops, Glengarry, part-time while studying. After a bit of travelling with my partner, Mr. Spittoon as I call him (he'll drink anything!) we ended up spending 4 years in Dubai where I worked in the fine wine and luxury spirits industry and studied up to my Advanced Certificate through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.

It was during my time in Dubai that was born. I was selling wine to the richest people in Dubai and I guess I wanted to reach all those other people out there too. I wanted my blog to show people that anyone can drink wine no matter the budget.

After 4 years of living in Dubai my itchy feet got the better of Mr. Spittoon and me and I bought some backpacks and decided to head off. We spent 9 months travelling around Europe. We wandered through the Champagne caves in France, spent 6 weeks in the Penedés learning about Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine and drank and ate our way through Italy. It was an amazing year and I blogged about each and every wine region and wine we drank, all on a backpacker’s budget of course.

On our way home to New Zealand we stopped off in Perth, Western Australia (WA) to visit some family and 2.5 years later we are still here! I fell head over heels in love with WA. The Swan Valley wine region is a mere 25 minutes drive from the Perth CBD then you have the Geographe, Margaret River and Great Southern Regions further South plus many more pockets of wineries around the state. It's truly a wine lovers paradise! 

 Since moving to Perth the Travelling Corkscrew has really thrived and built up a fabulous following of wine-loving people. Despite not working in the wine industry anymore the blog is the perfect way to blurt out and share my passion for the wine world with everyone in my own unique and bubbly way.

Do you have a mantra or motto?

My main aim of Travelling Corkscrew is to encourage people to try new wines, visit new wineries and hopefully in the process learn a wee bit more about wine. Just because Robert Parker says a wine is 100 points doesn't necessarily mean it'll be right for you. Everyone likes different things (thank goodness otherwise we'll all be after the same man!) and we should embrace that. Drink what you enjoy. 

What is your fave Champagne? Wine? Beer?
This is a very hard question, as I find different occasions and situations call for different wines. I have so many favourites, all for different reasons. I love when I can get my hands on some Krug or Billecart-Salmon Champagne though. Champagne really is my weakness! 

When I drink beer I really switch off and relax, which I love. Nothing will beat the 1-litre steins of beer at the Oktoberfest festival in Munich.

I see you love burgers ;) what's your favorite burger toppings and what drink do you like to pair with it?
Where I'm currently living is close to one of the famous roadside burger bars (Alfred’s Kitchen) here in Perth so I do tend to visit it more often than I really should! I'm very keen on the down under burger toppings of beetroot and egg with lashings of sauce. I love my condiments! Burger nights normally call for a nice Aussie red. Currently I'm head over heels for Margaret River Shiraz or a lovely Cabernet from Olive Farm Wines in the Swan Valley.

Do you favor Moët Rose or Moët Imperial with your desserts?
When I was travelling through Cava country in Spain I went on a sensory tour at Cava Berdié where I had rosé Cava with freshly halved strawberries sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper. It was a totally mind blowing experience, absolutely delightful and since then I have had a new appreciate for rosé and dessert, so I'll definitely have to go for the Moët Rosé. 

What notes do you look for in Sauvignon Blanc? Do you like the crispier side of this beauty or the clean citrus side?
I'd be more on the clean citrus side. At the moment I love the Fumé Blanc style Sauv Blancs that may see some oak treatment or spend extra time on the lees. This style of Sauv is more complex, textural and is capable of maturing in the bottle. Some of my favourites are the Giesen The August 1888 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Evans & Tate Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc and Singlefile Pemberton Fumé Blanc.

What's your favorite champagne to pair with shellfish? I ask because lately our friends like to drown out the seafood tower with spending sweet as opposed to us who likes a Veuve Clicquot or Blanc de Blanc...
I try and go for a lighter style Champagne so it doesn't over power the delicate flavours of the shellfish. I'm a big fan of the elegant Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Reserve with shellfish, it's such a pretty, flirty and elegant bubbly. And the Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV is a delicious match too! Shellfish + bubbly literally has me weak at the knees.

One of the last times I visited New Zealand I spent some time with family on Great Barrier Island (just out of Auckland), as Mr. Spittoon was diving for scallops and bringing them up onto the boat, my uncle and myself were eating them right out of the sea, truly delightful!

We see you like to travel occasionally :). Do your taste buds dictate your next destination or wine craving?
Absolutely. Mr. Spittoon and I love to drink, eat and travel so we always try to combine all three. Our travel list gets longer and longer by the day, however I'm finding it hard to stray from WA at the moment as we have so much good wine and food right at our finger tips. I think the next trip will be to the Great Southern Region of WA and to Pemberton as there are some fantastic wines coming out of these regions. 

Is there a charity you support?
I am a big supporter of the RSPCA. This year we actually adopted a brother and sister pair of kittens from our local RSPCA, it feels so good to give animals a nice, safe home. Plus they absolutely love to play with wine corks! The girl is named Fizzy, naturally after our favourite bubbly drink and the boy somehow got the name Crackle.

Who would you like us to *pop the cork* to?
What would you tell yourself looking back to 21 years old?
Don't fret about the small stuff, pour yourself a glass of bubbly, relax and always look on the bright side.

I'm looking forward to keep doing what I'm doing. I love my day job as an Online Marketing Account Manager and I love coming home to my blog. Mr. Spittoon and I are currently building a house in the Swan Valley so there'll be plenty more blog posts to come and plenty more glasses of bubbly along the way!


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