Don’t be fooled by Tim and his piano: ‘White Wine in the Sun’ is a powerful song known to have many adults in tears by the end, thanks to its thought-provoking lyrics. That’s pretty good for a comedy release.
Minchin wrote ‘White Wine in the Sun’ while living in London with his wife and young daughter, inspired by his anticipation of a visit home to Perth and spending time with his family at Christmas. This track is a poignant reminder that we can all find something special in the Christmas season, with or without its religious ideology.
It takes an exceptional song to be carried purely by voice and piano; Minchin delivers in spades, and perhaps his years of stand-up comedy have given him such a great sense of timing when it comes to delivering his vocal on this track. An alternate version was filmed at the Royal Albert Hall in April 2011, where Tim was joined on stage by the 55-piece Heritage Orchestra. That version showcases his arranging talent and confirms his heavyweight status as a performer.
It is remarkable to follow the trajectory of Minchin’s career, which started in 2001 with his first self-released album, Sit. Years of hard work touring England and Australia saw his fan base grow. In 2009 Minchin was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company to compose music and lyrics for a stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, a runaway success winning over 85 international awards and still playing in theatres worldwide. One of Australia’s most hard-working and prolific artists, Minchin somehow juggles the roles of musician, songwriter, comedian, actor, writer, and director.