Saturday, December 25, 2010

…sealed off safely in their temperate darkness

“A drink, Miss Martin.”
“I don’t know.”
“Have one.”
“I really shouldn’t.”
“Bust out.”
“Full bodied sherry. A round maderia. Iced muscatel.”
Smith at the bottles. The long necks, the little, the fat. Green, brown, two red and twenty deep dark green. All gently cared for through the cold winter, sealed off safely in their temperate darkness.

A Singular Man. J. P. Donleavy. First published 1963. Atlantic Monthly Press edition 1989.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Keep your wine cellar cool

Uncle Edouard said, be always handsome witty and brave. To police and lawyers and many others too, my dear boy, make no sound that can be used against you. Try never to teach the world a lesson, for they will forget it within a week. Be honest till the temptation comes to tell the truth. Then dear boy it is time, believe me, to say nothing. Keep your wine cellar cool. The bowel clear. The foreskin clean. Use soap perfumed of the fern.

The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B. J. P. Donleavy. First published 1968. Atlantic Monthly Press edition 1988.

American Syrah - Cayuse

How do you decide what American Syrah wines are worthy of your money? For me its a hard decision because Syrah in the US is still finding its feet, its identity, its locale. You could buy numerous wines and still not have a thorough sampling. And would the expense be worth it? Over the last few years I have decided that I will focus on three very different wineries for my American Syrah so that I have a broad spectrum foundation. And then if I find other wines that are appealing I can add them as individual purchases.

Yesterday I received a shipment from one of my three core wineries. Cayuse of Walla, Walla, Washington. These are hard wines to source at wines shops, although that was my first experience with them. Putting your name down on the mailing list is the best way to go. I was accepted quite quickly after I applied sometime in Late 2005. And with the economy in the doldrums, now might be a good time to enquire. Current customer must be cutting back because this years offering was the first time I was successful in getting a pack (three bottles) of Bionic Frog. The Cayuse flagship Syrah. Those bottles won’t arrive until 2011. Yesterday. The two boxes contained packs of 2007 Armada, 2008 En Cerise and Cailloux. And the 2008 Cabernet, Merlot blend Camaspelo.

Why is Cayuse one of my core American Syrahs? Well the simple reason is because these are wines I liked from the first taste. They are single vineyard wines that are truly distinctive. To the point that they can be polarizing. They have a funkiness that can be of putting. To me it resembles Brett, to others its Terroir. But its really a display of character, individuality. Qualities that make these wines easily identifiable. And that is really what wine should be about, identity.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The allforonewine initiative or drink more Aussie wine

All For One Wine is all about Australians discovering incredible local wines, and celebrating the rich diversity and quality that exists in this country.

Ok, so it’s a little bit of self promotion but if Aussie winemakers don’t blow their own trumpet who will? Well Shiraz will.

The allforonewine pledge is to promise “to drink only local wines from Jan 1st, 2011 until Australia Day, January 26th.” That’s not too much of a burden seeing as we drink Aussie wine probably 70% of the time. Shiraz might even get around to doing the other bit of the pledge which is to “encourage people to share and talk about their favourite Australian wines through social media and to discuss the issues facing us as producers and drinkers.”

But you don’t have to wait for me, there is already a lively debate over on eBob about Aussie wines and their future. Of course the eBobers all have their own opinions as to what has happened to Aussie wine over the last few years and what the future holds, as do most winos I talk to. But a little bit of sanity can be found here and here.

.....its bouquet shrinking back into the glass

Announcing in sepulchral tones the year of vintage as he poured the decanted premier grand cru Margaux with its bouquet shrinking back into the glass from the cold.

Liela: Further in the life and destinies of Darcy Dancer, Gentleman. J. P. Donleavy. First published 1983. Atlantic Monthly Press edition 1990.