• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Fringe 2023: How to Drink Wine Like a Wanker

ByKatherine Coble

Aug 30, 2023
Woman with wine bottles, mouth wide open facing the cameraAnna Thomas

Rating: 5 out of 5.

How to Drink Wine Like a Wanker comes to the Edinburgh Fringe all the way from Australia. Our host and storyteller Anna Thomas guides the audience through her journey from a high-powered corporate executive and wine novice to a self-proclaimed ‘wine wanker’ with a deep passion for the subject. Enhancing her performance is the (optional, additional cost) flight of six South Australian wines which Thomas uses to illustrate the stages of her journey. This unique approach allows Thomas to transcend boundaries: not quite stand-up comedian, but not wine tasting guide either – somewhere in-between. 

The result is delightfully funny, appropriately boozy, and very heartfelt at the same time. As a proud member of the Edinburgh University Wine Society, I will profess to enjoy (and care about) wine more than the average human. As a result, I absolutely loved the opportunity to try wines from smaller wineries in a country halfway around the world. Thomas guides us through these six wines with care and appreciation, while seamlessly integrating her personal story of healing and self-discovery.

This integration means that even those less passionate or knowledgeable about wine will find so much to take from Thomas’ performance. The show becomes an immersive form of storytelling which the wines serve to enhance, but it is fundamentally Thomas’ talent as a performer which carries the show. She is welcoming, charismatic, and immediately makes the audience feel at ease while leading the way through the act. She leaves you feeling as though you’ve been chatting with a close friend rather than watching a stranger perform a script. 

A deeply intimate show with a purposefully limited audience, it’s not all fun and games either. Thomas gets deeply personal with her audience, sharing the immensely traumatic event which set her on a path to rediscovery. Her level of vulnerability is a revelation. It also speaks to her personal talent and strength. 

One of the more unique Fringe shows I’ve seen, How to Drink Wine like a Wanker illustrates so much of the independence and creativity that festivals like the Fringe allow to blossom. In sharing her personal journey, Thomas takes us on a journey of our own, and the result is simply magical.

Image provided by The Advertiser, provided to The Student as press material.

By Katherine Coble

Katherine Coble is the Deputy Editor-in-Chief. She previously worked as the Sport Editor whilst pursuing her masters degree in contemporary history. She loves ice hockey, reading, and people who pay attention to bios.