Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
Talking ‘Bottle Shops…
I remember the days when buying alcohol/wine had a real ‘air of occasion'! You only bought wines if you were having a dinner party! Maybe that was before I discovered quite how delightful a good glass of red can be!
Pick n Pay started selling wines in a specially caged marked off designated area and that only during certain opening times! Never on a Sunday might I add. Great convenience with a trolley! Trolley for trolley comparisons became a real catch phrase.
Of course, then there was Macro, aisles and aisles with racks and racks of all sorts of alcohol products! Huge volume, especially for bulk occasions! And no packaging!
The good ol' fashioned Bottle Shops, which every suburb had, have always been there. And they had lines of loiters on a Friday night after pay days especially! Mind you, buying the hooch there had certain benefits... Free ice, free glass hire.
Bottle Shops had strict opening times... nine to five on a weekday, slightly later on a Friday and Saturday, but never opened on a Sunday! And never when the country had an election!
Always with two entrances as well! And never the twain shall meet! Going into a bottle store was reserved for defiantly over 21's and men! Never women!
Who remembers the smell of ‘Bantu Beer'? – this smell to me, reminds me of a Bottle shop! By the way…. The production of Kaffir Beer, also known as Kaffir corn beer in some parts of Africa, was the traditional drink of the Bantu people of South Africa in the 60's, and was often called Bantu Beer. Sorghum is the traditional raw material, made without hops, slights sour in taste, and drunk unfiltered, mainly in rural regions.
A decade into the new millennium and the world of wine-buying is an entirely different beast! Supermarkets are open 24/7, vineyards have fancy tasting rooms, to attract cellar door sales, and the internet means we can order a case or five from the comfort of our computers!
The best way to chill a bottle of white wine is to place it in a container with ice and water. This method takes only about 30 minutes, as opposed to about two hours in a refrigerator.
Round the World with Wine
Australia – Today Australia is the leader of many of its markets; something that has happened comparatively quickly. One in every five bottles sold in the UK is Australian! 85% of these great wines are big brands such as Jacob's Creek, Hardy's, Banrock Station and Lindemans. They are safe, dependable, quaffable and great value, with lots of ripe fruit and easy to understand labels; in short they are accessible.
Producer names to look out for on your bottle shop shelves
d'Arenberg * Geoff Merrill * Grant Burge* Leeuwin Estate *Katnook Estate * Knappstein * Penfolds *Shaw + Smith – Tyrrell's *Yalumba * Wolf Blass *Vasse Felix *
With 63 different registered Geographic Indications across the country (22 in Victoria alone and over 2,000 wineries, there is much more regionally and terroir in Australian winemaking than most consumers realize, from the big bold Barossa, to crisp and elegant Adelaide Hills.
Major grapes – Chardonnay, Semillon, (spelt here without the ‘e'), Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling for whites, Shiraz (aka Syrah) and Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for the reds.