Meet the A-Team

Welcome to The Humble Tumbler adventures in food and drink. Thanks for visiting! We’re an independent Melbourne based start up, here to teach you everything you ever wanted to know about adventurous eating and drinking. We design, write and host courses, masterclasses and corporate events in Melbourne and beyond. Between us we can teach you about wine,  whisky, spirits and sake – all delivered with loads of gusto, a bit of quirk and a distinct lack of pretension. Small groups, cool venues, delicious food and great booze – are you ready for the adventure?


The Humble Tumbler began life in 2012 as a humble little four-week wine course and textbook written by Clare Burder, aimed at unravelling the mysteries of wine without losing any of the fun. It was a hit (just quietly!). Over time wine masterclasses were added into the mix and Clare started designing & hosting corporate networking events. In 2013 Clare worked alongside Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, RASV, Darebin City Council, Fairfax and Laneway Learning to host events, classes and spread the vino-love around Melbourne.

All of the Humble Tumbler classes and courses are written by the people who teach them. Why is this significant? Well, firstly The Humble Tumbler is non-propriety: This means we’re not associated with a retailer or liquor company, meaning when we design the course it’s not a clandestine sales pitch. So what we choose to pour in the classes is based on authentic belief that it’s the right drink for the job – and, we get a huge kick out of representing the producers who create this wonderful booze. Secondly, the content is current and is geared toward the eternal how-the-hell-do-I-choose-a-drink conundrum. Thirdly, the people who are involved are well-learned, well-travelled, well obsessed with their drink of choice. Booze is their passion and they’re bringing it to you with an enormous side plate of carefully matched cheese. And, they’re pretty cool people too. That always helps.


Why not! No really, back in the old days Clare had a brainwave and picked up her things and moved to Italy for a year working as a nanny. Living in Torino with a wine loving family, Clare was introduced to the wonderful world of Italian wine. Her host father Paolo was committed to serving even the most iconic wines out of tumblers. And that’s that! We use wine glasses in the courses but the concept remains – to keep things simple, humble, fun & delicious!


Wine  & Sake Educator | Wine Producer  | Author | Passionate Cook | Lady on a Mission

Having worked around wine in some way or another since she was 15, she discovered as time went by that the 10pm ‘’I’m-at-the-bottleshop-can-you-tell-me-what-to-buy’’ phone calls from good friends were on the increase. It was time to address the issue head on: The text book for the four-week wine course took 6 months to write – and is designed to inspire an appreciation of wine without getting too serious about it. It covers some of the main grape varieties in Australia, teaches how to taste and talk about wine, introduces the fundamentals of winemaking, wine regions and wine styles, provides some insight on how to buy wine, delves into food and wine matching and cleverly answers all those pesky questions you didn’t even know you had.

In 2015 Clare published her first book – titled ‘Tipsy’ – its a nifty little book which covers wine, beer, whisky, sake, spirits and all sorts of other delicious things. You can read all about that here

As well as being the director (or as she prefers chief quaffer) of The Humble Tumbler Clare also heads up her family’s wine label Eminence Wines – a small batch boutique producer making wine from grapes grown in the family vineyard at Whitlands – which is part of the beautiful King Valley, North East Victoria.

Clare also teaches the sake classes. A relatively new passion, Clare’s descent into sake obsession was astonishingly quick and driven by the discovery that sake is as complex, variable & fascinating as wine, as delicious as wine and more often than not an ideal food match. Clare spent the majority of January 2014 in Japan, completing the Level 1 Sake Course and travelling through the sake regions of Okayama and Osaka.

Clare’s take on wine & sake is to keep it simple: simple and delicious. It’s nice to say if you like or dislike a drink, but it’s even better to be able say why. And when you can say why, it means you’re likely to be more adventurous in what you buy, meaning you get to drink more interesting, more authentic, more thought provoking booze. Which means you’ll be happier….at least until the end of the bottle!

Twitter: @Clare_Burder
Instagram: @Clare_Burder