It’s no champagne, or French champagne for Roz White
Business leader, entrepreneur and “locavore”, Roz White is undeniably one of the movers and shakers of the wider Sunshine Coast community.
She wore the badge of Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network outstanding business leader in 2015 and was named regional owner/ entrepreneur leader of the year in 2016 by the Australian Institute of Management.
Such is her talent, innovation and insight that she was recognised by IGA in 2017 when she was inducted into their Hall of Fame – the first independent woman to be awarded the honour. Roz loves giving back to the community by sitting on a range of boards and working with charities such as Montrose Therapy and Respite Services.
Give her a chance and she’ll tell you about her grand vision for the Sunshine Coast and her passion for supporting local primary producers, but what I really wanted to find out in our recent catch-up, was what does a supermarket industry doyen pour into her glass for a Friday afternoon tipple?
Being as busy as she is, it took a while to align our diaries to chat about wine but we managed to catch up at one of her favourite Sunshine Coast restaurants, Hungry Feel, at Buderim.
She tells me that she loves the venue’s “feel” and fare and that “they consistently run a great menu, (owners) Chris and Larissa (White) are fabulous locals and they are passionate about sourcing great local produce”.
When she’s not giving her time to work with community groups, Roz is busily expanding her innovative “locavore” program.
This aptly named project aims to support local farmers, producers and manufacturers of supermarket staples.
According to Roz, a “locavore” is “a person who chooses to consume food that is grown, raised, or produced locally, usually within 200km from home. A ‘locavore’ connects food consumers with the food producers within a small targeted radius developing better food networks, improving local economies and enriching health, environmental, community and social impacts”.
It’s an admirable philosophy and already doing wonders for a COVID-19-ravaged local industry, Roz says that “local products not only keep money in our community, they make it from ‘paddock to plate’ in the shortest possible time frame to ensure the freshest possible product at a great price!
We’re encouraged by Roz and her team to support locals as she urges, “Next time you are in our stores, look out for the local logo as it’s your ‘ticket’ to purchasing a quality, locally produced or grown product.”
There’s little doubt that the project is achieving its goal of building community vibrancy, positively impacting our environment and ensuring the sustainability of our local economy.
Over 25 years, White’s supermarket business has grown from a small corner store to a group of multi-award-winning, market leading stores focusing on supporting people and the community through their unique ‘locavore’ program.
She is a passionate business advocate having held leadership positions including board chair, member of various business groups, mentor and speaker at industry events and active community volunteer. But what about her preferences in wine?
- What’s your vino of choice for a Friday afternoon tipple?
I enjoy a crisp glass of sauvignon blanc such as a Shaw & Smith, Adelaide Hills, or perhaps a Cloudy Bay, Marlborough region NZ.
- Favourite varietal and region?
I have to say I am in love with the Barossa Valley, however, I have a long bucket list of wine regions to explore and discover throughout Australia. I have my sights set on a visit to Tasmania and the Margaret River when we can travel again. Lying within the hills of the Barossa is one of my absolute faves, St Hugo. I loooove a full bodied red so my choosing would be a shiraz or cab sav.
- Which particular wine or style of wine would you rather use for cooking than pour it in a glass?
Ooooh, I may be kinda naughty, I just use the wine I’m drinking for cooking. Is that bad? One for me, one for the dish, bang, connectivity…..unless I’m creating an Asian dish and I would use a shouxing wine – that would never go into my wine glass.
- What is the worst bottle of wine that you’ve ever been gifted?
Wellllll, I may have some bottles of red I have not been inclined to indulge, but I would rather dream about some of the fabulous wines I have enjoyed as gifts. My brother-in-law, Phil, brought over a ‘decades old’ bottle of red to share at Christmas time. We decanted, ready to savour every drop however we could tell instantly it was not good. A bit disappointing but we just laughed and picked up our fave St Hugo instead.
- The best bottle of wine you’ve ever tried and why?
I have a vivid memory of indulging in a magnificent full-bodied red from Argentina at a restaurant in Cancun, Mexico, called Harry’s. I savoured every drop. I may have just been excited to have found a decent wine at the time as some had been a bit ‘hit and miss’ to be honest.
I love a Bobbie Burns, Campbells, Rutherglen and the Jack’s Block, Stanton & Killeen, Rutherglen. They are my enduring faves. Our dear friends used to live in Rutherglen and so of course we had to sample some of their great local wines when we visited. They have moved away from that region now, but we always make sure we share these two favourites when we catch up.
- How would you rate your wine knowledge – novice, knowledgeable, expert or master of wine?
I have a keen interest in the origins of wine and love to learn more about each individual backstory, but I would have to say I am still a bit of a novice when it comes to my level of knowledge. I thoroughly enjoy the whole winery experience though and have discovered some little beauties through these visits.
- Do you have a secret proclivity for a wine or bubbles that is cheap and cheery but you love nonetheless?
Nothing wrong with a $10 bottle of sav blanc sometimes. I quite like an Evans & Tate Sav Blanc.
I cannot do cheap champagne though. It’s no champagne or French champagne for me, nothing in between.