Sure, you can find some of the country’s — and the world’s — best comedians in the city during Mad March.
But Merrick Watts, who is bringing his wine and comedy event Grapes of Mirth to the Adelaide Hills this weekend, wants people to embrace alternatives.
“I want people to see comedy in a different realm, a different space and a different setting,” Merrick, the event’s founder, says.
“It’s a whole day of comedy, quality wine and people being with their friends and family and it’s just a really nice, relaxed atmosphere and I think it’s a great alternative. We even bring along DJ Pedro Moshman to fill in the gaps around comedy sets with some great music.”
“It’s outside of Adelaide but it’s got premium-quality talent you would normally have to drive into Adelaide for, so I think it works well for people who just want to do something outside of the city and being entertained outside of the normal places they would go.”
Comedians including Georgie Carroll, Dilruk Jayasinha, Mel Buttle and Lehmo will take to the stage at the picturesque Howard Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills town of Nairne on Sunday, March 13 from 12pm to 6pm.
There will be several wines on offer, including Howard Vineyard’s very popular sparkling rosé sauvignon blanc and sparkling rosé being poured all day, as well as a few cans of Pirate Life Beer and Lobo Craft Cider on ice.
The vineyard will be cooking Korean “food favourites” as well as avocado salsa loaded fries, and gourmet hampers.
“We tried to get Georgie up there for a while but she was unavailable so it’s been great to get her this time around,” Merrick says.
It’s the third time the event has been held in the Adelaide Hills, growing in popularity every year.
For Merrick, the changing backdrop of Grapes of Mirth feels very much like his growing relationship with wine over the years.
“I’m just a massive fan of wine, but to be honest I’ve been connected to South Australian wine and wineries for well over 20 years,” he says.
“It started with a trip to the Barossa 20 years ago to Rockfords and then more recently a really deep connection to McLaren Vale and I’ve got friends who make wine in all parts of South Australia.
“It’s amazing how much of my extended friendship group is based in so many different regions of SA, it’s fantastic.
“And wine people are just terrific people and they are just great people. A lot of them live on the land and have real pride in what they do and I just really like being around them.”
Merrick will be enjoying his comedian pals from back in the bleachers this year, with a glass of rosé in-hand.
“It’s such a good little natural amphitheatre,” he says of the venue.
“Where they have the stage positioned just creates this nice little lay of the land there and to perform on it’s fun and to watch people from it’s fantastic as well.
“I’m there spending more time in the audience this time and enjoying the comedians but the spot is just magical.”
Head to the website for more info and tickets.