"You hire entertainers to give speeches. I don't know who chose me to give a speech but just in case you hadn't noticed, I'm not an entertainer. For heaven's sake, Im the guy who chops a woman's finger off with a blunt axe to make a point."
Entertainer or no, Sam Neill's keynote speech to kick off this weeks Pinot 2013 Conference in Wellington New Zealand was riotously funny. For those of you who don't know, Neill is both a Hollywood actor, and also the proprietor of a winery called Two Paddocks in New Zealand's Central Otago wine region.
"I'm sorry. That was pathetic, puerile, unnecessarily flippant, and quite insulting. When I asked the committee what they wanted me to talk about, they said 'we'd like you to set the tone.' We'll I've lowered it already," said Neill.
"I've been lowering the tone all week. Apparently I was quoted in the paper yesterday as saying Pinot Noir is a performance enhancing drug. But that is a misquote. I said Pinot Noir is a performance enhancing substance. And I know from experience that the performance enhancing part is absolutely true" continued Neill.
He then went on to offer a minor treatise on the New Zealand use of the word "bastard" to which I can't do justice, except to say that Neill is, indeed, one funny bastard.