Q&A with Halliday

Fast Five: Alice Chugg

By J'aime Cardillo

5 Dec, 2022

In this series, we ask industry members to share the five drinks that shaped their lives.

Alice Chugg is one of Hobart’s brightest young stars. She has over 15 years’ experience working in some of the city’s best restaurants, including Franklin, Ettie’s, Aloft, and currently, Templo. She has been nominated for young sommelier of the year and was a part of the Sommeliers of the World program when the World’s 50 Best came to Australia.

Alice sitting down, wearing a black top with a rack of wines behind her. Alice Chugg is the sommelier and restaurant manager at Hobart's beloved, Templo.

01. 1998 Marc Bredif Vouvray
Vouvray, France
This wine takes me back to a very significant point in my career. I was 21 and just turning my focus to wine at Ethos restaurant, in 2012. My best friend was the restaurant manager and I was writing my first ever wine list when we stumbled across this gem. It was the first older wine we had ever tried and it totally blew our minds. So perfectly balanced with that acidity, honey texture and richness! We were women obsessed. I can safely say this is the wine that started my love affair with my favourite grape to this day, chenin blanc.

02. 2010 Jacques Puffeney Cuvee Sacha
Jura, France
Cuvee Sacha was a real eye opener for me. What do you mean wine can be oxidised and be good? Very, very good?! I had never tried anything like it before. Salty and tangy with a lick of vanilla. My first taste of anything from the Jura, which I can happily say is now one of my favourite wine regions. This was also the beginning of my discovery of natural wines, which is what eventually solidified my career in wine. There’s a lot to thank Cuvee Sacha for!

03. 2008 Lake Barrington Alexandra Sparkling
Barrington, Tasmania
Alexandra is my most favourite Tasmanian sparkling wine of all time – and I’ve tried a lot! It really is a sparkling wine that can compete with some of the best Champagnes. It is always a beautifully balanced wine with lots of age before release, rich and creamy. The most memorable vintage for me is the 2008. It was when I discovered how easily you can sell a wine when you really love it. It has had a home on every wine list I have had a hand in over the past 10 years, and I don’t plan on forgetting about it any time soon.

04. NV Laherte Freres Les 7
Champagne, France
This wine changed my whole perception of Champagne! I had never heard of grower Champagne before trying this, let alone a grower Champagne made with solera and seven classified Champagne grape varietals. It opened my eyes as to what Champagne can be and the ridiculous complexity that’s out there! I once drank a bottle of Les 7 on a birthday camping trip at Cockle Creek in the deep south of Tasmania. It was bucketing rain and we ate freshly caught abalone and drank Champagne under a gazebo that was at risk of blowing away any minute. It was one of the most perfect food and wine moments of my life!

05. 2013 Occhipinti SP68 Rosso
Vittoria, Sicily
I shared my first bottle of SP68 Rosso with some friends when Franklin restaurant opened in Hobart in 2014. That intoxicating balance of plush, juicy fruit, salty minerality and delicate chalky tannins. SP68 threw me into Sicilian wines headfirst and I fell in love with them. I’m a complete fan girl of Arianna Occhipinti. I love all her wines and haven’t missed a vintage since.

This article appears in issue #67 of Halliday magazineBecome a member to receive the print publication as well as digital access.