It is my pleasure to present the Twist Club Presidents Report for 2023.
Again, it was an outstanding year for dining and wining and camaraderie amongst members. That we come together from varied backgrounds and life’s experiences makes every occasion special in that we can share the common enjoyment of food with matching wines and stimulating conversation (aka Bull). Thank you to all members and your guests for making the experience.
We enjoyed great food from favourite restaurants, Chez Pierre, Juniper & Bay, MaGlda Bay and Lamonts to name just a few.
In March we hosted and farewelled winemaker Wayne Dutschke of Dutschke Wines, Barossa Valley – he has ‘retired’ from wine making – Wayne was named as a Special Honourable Member of the Twist Club in 2014 for his contributions and support of the Club over many years. Happy retirement, Wayne – but we do hope to see you as a guest sometime.
Our Wine Master, Mark Parsons, was instrumental in introducing us to some new wines/winemakers, namely Woodstock of McLaren Vale, Majella of Coonawarra and Dukes of our own Porongorups region. Woodlands and Juniper Wines were welcomed again. It is a mark of high regard for the Twist club that wine makers from interstate will, at their own expense, come over to WA to present their wines as well as local ‘old faithfuls’ coming back regularly.
In July, by way of an enterprising initiative, we presented the Women of Wine Lunch at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. Three WA wineries, Myatsfield, Jilyara and 3 drops, each having women wine makers presented their wines. Whilst those who a]ended had a most enjoyable experience, I am bound to say that greater support was lacking. The lunch was, as advertised, in part subsidised from club financial reserves. The venue and food were outstanding.
In February 2021 we increased the cost of the lunches from $90 to $120. It is the fact that in more recent times the Food and Wine Masters have on occasions struggled to present the lunches within budget. As we all know, cost of living pressures, ie cost of food, wages, etc have impacted restaurant pricing and some preferred venues have moved out of our price range. Similarly we are more often opting to present the ‘middle of the range’ wines rather than the top wines from a vineyard. In some instances cost of lunches has come in under budget and where this has happened that excess and funds from reserves have gone to supplement over budget lunches. It is swings and roundabouts, a juggling act, but at the moment we are losing ground.
During the year a review of costings and finances generally was undertaken by a Life Members sub-committee. They came back with certain recommendations which were discussed with the Executive. A compromise was arrived at. An integral part of that is the desire, as would be the expectation of members, that the standard of lunches and the quality of wines must be retained as paramount - a cheap lunch with just quaffing wines will not do. Together with that, stringent cost controls are to be put in place such that you can be assured that we are getting ‘value for money’.
To ensure that your committee can meet the brief – a bit of elbow room, I call it – I am proposing to put a motion at the AGM to raise the cost of lunch to $140.
On the other hand, the cost of annual membership will not be increased. It will be retained at $180.00 pa.
Finally, I wish to thank the current members of the Executive for their support and willingness to undertake their respective roles. I have enjoyed serving my time as President over these past two years.
Your 2023 Executive comprised –
President Bill Groves
Vice President Andrew Grubb
Treasurer Hugh Watkins
Secretary Ian Harrison
Food Master Gary Timms
Wine Master Mark Parsons
Committee Scott MacKinnon (Fines), John Baxter.
We look forward to another year of enjoyable friendship, food and wine as we Bull ........
Bill Groves President – 2023 Twist Club of WA.