Corkscrews drawn
May 1, 2003 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Swirl,sip & spit. The LA Times (rr) lambasts our plonk. I thought they only had it in for the French.What a way to treat part of the "coalition".Not happy. Now we've done the food side.Bit harsh I thought.
posted by johnny7 (8 comments total)
I, on the other hand, am a huge fan of your wines. Rosemount Estates' Grenache/Shiraz is the house red chez nous, and their Semillon/Chardonnay is one of my favorite quaffing whites.
posted by padraigin at 10:52 AM on May 1, 2003

A favourite Australian wine of mine is Wyndham Estate's Bin 555 Shiraz from 2001 or 2000... I should keep track of which I perfer... I suspect the 1998 or 1999 vintages would also be quite good... at $14.95CAN they are good deal IMO considering their depth of character.

I must admit I don't drink much wine from California, but I would be skeptical of this if it was done with the parties reversed, or say Ontario wine critics snubbing the Californians, from my limited experience the wine crowd is steeped with bias and favouritism.

I should hold a comparison of these wines myself.
posted by FiveFrozenFish at 12:52 PM on May 1, 2003

Consider also, some of the plonk (2 of the 5) that is produced in California. It's certainly not something to judge the whole state by.

Methinks this is just a move to persuade patriotic wine drinkers to drink more Californian wine, which has probably been losing market share to the Ozzie wine.
posted by FiveFrozenFish at 12:57 PM on May 1, 2003

FFF, I'm the same: it seems difficult here in Toronto to find a good bottle of California wine at anywhere near the price point of a decent Aussie bottle. It's either Gallo/Fetzer, or $30CDN+. BTW, for good Aussies, try anything from Peter Lehmann - they tend to run about $20CDN. A bit more complexity than the usual "Wolf Blass [Insert Color...They're All The Same] Label"
posted by stonerose at 3:54 PM on May 1, 2003

Like padraigin, I frequently serve Aussie wines; it's hard to go wrong with shiraz and shiraz/cab blends, and they're much better value than most Calif brands (assuming you know the better labels, and Rosemount is certainly a goodie). Not a knock on Calif, which produces some great wines (I love Robert Mondavi's, for instance), it just costs a lot more to get a vineyard going there, and that's reflected in the cost of the bottle.
posted by languagehat at 4:53 PM on May 1, 2003

Couldn't read the LAT article (no registration) but the SMH report seemed a little sensitive. The critics did after all recommend some as worth trying - and like padraigin, I can't survive without the terrifically cheap and cheerful Rosemount line. (Usually about NZ$10 here in Wellington, or only $5 to you Merkins).

Face it: Australia can make high-volume cheap swill just as well as anyone else. Class Aussie wines are really good, and as expensive as their counterparts from other countries. (Grange Hermitage - I would love to try some one day). Why is anyone surprised, inside or outside Australia?

There may also be a factor of local taste involved. I remember being offered several Californian wines in the US with an air of expectation, and feeling quite unenthused with them. I think that's because I've learned to like the Australian and New Zealand wines that I mostly drink. I'm sure this effect can run the other way.

and don't you bastards keep buying up all the good New Zealand whites, otherwise we won't be able to afford them here
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:32 PM on May 1, 2003

And that reminds me, padraigin, of my favourite Terry Pratchett quotation: "Quaffing is like drinking, except you spill more."
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:39 PM on May 1, 2003

This reminds me of a report I read in the Sydney Morning Herald when I was in Australia two years ago. It said that French wines were losing out to Australian in the UK. The reason, according to the Freedoms, was that the British just weren't sophisticated enough to enjoy French wine.
posted by Summer at 3:45 AM on May 2, 2003

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