Comedy Review: Sweeney Preston and Ethan Cavanagh In Pour Taste: A Comedy Wine Tasting Experience, ReWine, MICF 2024

Booze and belly laughs, tipples and titters, goon bags and guffaws...
Two young white men in black pants, white shirts and black bowties, stand in front of large liquor barrels, brandishing glasses of red wine and looking off camera to the right. In Pour Taste: A Comedy Wine Tasting Experience. Sweeney Preston and Ethan Cavanagh.

It feels like a bit of a cheat this show. Don’t get me wrong, Sweeney Preston and Ethan Cavanagh are a hoot – two young men steeped in bonhomie and sharing a gift for the gab, with Cavanagh particularly quick off the mark with the witty riposte.

But the format of the show is almost foolproof. Under the guise of a less than serious attempt at a wine tasting session, the hour and a half is structured around five different wines with the crowd offered decidedly more than a sip of each, before ReWine’s manager Jordy delivers a breakneck description of the wine’s provenance and offers a fruity fun fact to cleanse the palate.

To say that the evening gets more and more jovial as it progresses is an understatement. But Cavanagh and Preston are masters at crowd work – they pick their victims early and gently rib them for the rest of the show. It’s all terribly good fun with some interesting tipples along the way. There’s also a non-alcoholic version, but it would be hard to see the point of that.

Read: Comedy review: Sarah Keyworth, My Eyes Are Up Here, Town Hall, MICF 2024

The only niggle is that Jordy’s descriptions are so fulsome and fast that it’s hard to retain any of the details, especially after the fourth or fifth tasting. Perhaps some printed takeaway tasting notes would help in future?

Tickets: $45-$49

The final three performances of Sweeney Preston and Ethan Cavanagh In Pour Taste: A Comedy Wine Tasting Experience are at ReWine at 6.30pm on 18 and 21 April 2024 and Trades Hall Common Rooms Bar at 3pm on 21 April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF 2024).

Madeleine Swain is ArtsHub’s managing editor. Originally from England where she trained as an actor, she has over 25 years’ experience as a writer, editor and film reviewer in print, television, radio and online. She is also currently Vice Chair of JOY Media.