Wednesday, December 17, 2008

For those about to drink, we salute you

This is the very brief, very funny Australian Table Wines monologue by Monty Python:

A lot of people in this country pooh-pooh Australian table wines. This is a pity as many fine Australian wines appeal not only to the Australian palate but also to the cognoscenti of Great Britain.

Black Stump Bordeaux is rightly praised as a peppermint flavoured Burgundy, whilst a good Sydney Syrup can rank with any of the world's best sugary wines.

Château Blue, too, has won many prizes; not least for its taste, and its lingering afterburn.

Old Smokey 1968 has been compared favourably to a Welsh claret, whilst the Australian Wino Society thoroughly recommends a 1970 Coq du Rod Laver, which, believe me, has a kick on it like a mule: eight bottles of this and you're really finished. At the opening of the Sydney Bridge Club, they were fishing them out of the main sewers every half an hour.

Of the sparkling wines, the most famous is Perth Pink. This is a bottle with a message in, and the message is 'beware'. This is not a wine for drinking, this is a wine for laying down and avoiding.

Another good fighting wine is Melbourne Old-and-Yellow, which is particularly heavy and should be used only for hand-to-hand combat.

Quite the reverse is true of Château Chunder, which is an appellation contrôlée, specially grown for those keen on regurgitation; a fine wine which really opens up the sluices at both ends.

Real emetic fans will also go for a Hobart Muddy, and a prize winning Cuivre Reserve Château Bottled Nuit San Wogga Wogga, which has a bouquet like an aborigine's armpit.

I love wine, but I don't normally go for Australian vintages. Now, I've been to wine dinners that featured only the finest of Aussie vines, but after all is said and drunk I tend to drift back to domestic and European treats. Last night, however, we took a chance on an Australian label by virtue of the unusual blend and sale price. Zonte's Footstep has a 2007 Shiraz/Viognier blend that looked intriguing enough to taste. On the nose, it was bold and peppery, and presented a very spicy flavor with a lingering finish. You could really only taste the sweetness of the viognier at the end, understandable since the Shiraz to Viognier ratio was 95% to 5%. Overall a good wine to try with meat, but it didn't pair with the coconut curry seafood dish I had. So I have to say the wine choice was a disappointment for me.

Yet, the evening wasn't a total loss. The wine did resurface memories of this skit and prompted us to add more relevant vintages.

Chateau Russell Crowe Red - grabs you by throat and slaps you silly.

AC/DC Pinot Gris - for those about the drink...FIRE!

Merlot at Work - It comes from the land Down Under, and should go back soon.

They were funnier when we were drunk.

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