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#62053 - 08/08/04 07:52 PM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
Mara2
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 383
Loc: Canberra Australia

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My partner went to a wine-appreciation course thingy a couple of years ago where the instructor said something rather excellent about wine that I always remember when people are wanking on about expensive varieties: "You're the luckiest person in the world if you like the $5 bottle."

In the past few years we've managed, whether by accident or design, to spend a lot of time in Australia's wine regions. Touring Margaret River in Western Australia was amazing - there are some excellent wineries there, particularly some of the smaller family-based ones where you can only buy their stuff at the cellar door. I am an equal opportunity red/white drinker, and love merlot and sauvignon blanc and particularly nice buttery oaked chardonnays. Yum!

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#62054 - 08/08/04 10:12 PM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
FishDreamer Administrator
Ching Shih


Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 2804
Loc: Windy City USA

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I recently found a book by Jay McInerney (of Bright Lights, Big City fame) and picked it up on a whim. It's a compilation of his wine columns for House & Garden magazine. And yes, it's pretentious and I wish I had his budget, but it's still fairly amusing.

 Quote:
If it's red, French, costs too much, and tastes like the water that's left in the vase after the flowers have died and rotted, it's probably Burgundy.
Edited to add the name of the book in case you're curious: Bacchus & Me: Adventures in the Wine Cellar

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#62055 - 08/08/04 10:48 PM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
kathel
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/28/01
Posts: 110
Loc: new york, ny

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This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I sometimes choose white wine (only white, for some reason) based solely on the goofiness of its name. "Boss Cat" Chardonnay and "Cat's Phee on a Gooseberry Bush" Sauvignon Blanc, both out of New Zealand (I think by the same maker) have become staples in my home since they are not only amusingly named but also quite delicious.

Other than that, I buy a lot of $10-$15 magnum size reds. Yellow Tail Shiraz is my favorite, but only because the store downstairs doesn't sell Vendange Zinfandel, which I'll tell you all right now is the best cheap wine evah.

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#62056 - 08/09/04 12:06 AM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
Mara2
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 383
Loc: Canberra Australia

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Kathel, I've been known to choose wines purely on the shape of the bottle, so don't be too embarrassed. If I can't find any faves, if it has a funky bottle, a cool name and isn't too pricey, it's coming home with me. It's as good a way to try something new as any, I say!
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#62057 - 08/09/04 12:18 AM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
Keckler
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 266
Loc: San Francisco, CA

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 Quote:
"Cat's Phee on a Gooseberry Bush" Sauvignon Blanc, both out of New Zealand (I think by the same maker) have become staples in my home since they are not only amusingly named but also quite delicious.
Oh, my god -- I bought Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush when I lived in England! It was pretty nasty though but since it was back in 1997, maybe it's gotten better. I have to post my story about bringing it to Formal Hall at Cambridge.

One night The Roommate and I were invited by members of the Trinity First & Third to attend a Formal Hall at the college. After asking around, we were alerted to the custom of bringing along wine for the table since our tickets had been paid for by our hosts. Two bottles each seemed to be the agreed upon amount -- a red and a white. Dolled up in our veddy, veddy best, we hiked over to Trinity College after first stopping off at Bottoms Up. I was particular proud of my vintage selections that night as I choose a red I had already had and liked and a white that I knew had to be good because it had such a cute picture of a cat on it. In fact, the name of the wine was "Cat's Paw on a Gooseberry Bush," and there was the cat, sitting in front of a bush. Being a cat lover, I thought it too precious to pass up.

I should have known there was something up when the guys at the College Buttery snickered a bit as they uncorked our bottles -- a service we paid a pound per bottle for as penalty for not buying our wine straight from the Buttery itself -- but I just thought they were being jolly. There were more snickers at the table when we sat with our friends and started our meal, but I still didn't catch on. Finally, in the dim light of Hall, I saw the label clearly for the first time. It didn't say, "Cat's Paw on a Gooseberry Bush," it said "Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush"! And grabbing the bottle from the table and examining it closer still, I saw that it wasn't a cute ickle kitty sitting by a bush. It was a cat spraying the bush with a very evil look on its mean little face! Who in their right mind names a bottle of wine after animal urination on indifferent shrubbery? After I recovered from my embarrassment -- which was lessened when the whole table seemed to think it the most hysterical bottle of wine anyone had brought to Formal Hall -- we discussed that the wine must be a very delicious wine to be able to carry off such a name. It wasn't. Our friend Faisal put it best when he said delicately, "It's a bit rough."

That's me, always the sophisticate.

Of course, now I've learned that "cat's pee" is a common term to describe certain bouquets in white wines.

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#62058 - 08/09/04 12:21 AM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
cat
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/02/00
Posts: 1754
Loc: Northern California

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Keckler, that wine sounds like a bottled limerick.
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#62059 - 08/09/04 12:25 AM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
Keckler
Ching Shih


Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 266
Loc: San Francisco, CA

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There was once some cat pee on a bush
Which turned all the berries to mush
Some proclaimed it divine
And made a fine wine
Then drank it with a bowl of fatoush

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#62060 - 08/09/04 12:46 AM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
kathel
Ching Shih


Registered: 12/28/01
Posts: 110
Loc: new york, ny

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Keckler:
Oh, my god -- I bought Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush when I lived in England! It was pretty nasty though but since it was back in 1997, maybe it's gotten better.
I like it alot but it's entirely plausible that I just have a weird palate; it's absolutely untrained, that's for sure. The wine's now called Cat's "Phee," though, so maybe they give you a better bottle these days. It no longer has a picture on it of a cat urinating -- just a cat sitting down with a very wicked expression on its face.

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#62061 - 08/09/04 01:14 AM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
PrimulaMary
Ching Shih


Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 1061
Loc: London, UK

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 Quote:
Originally posted by kathel:
This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I sometimes choose white wine (only white, for some reason) based solely on the goofiness of its name.
Heh. I picked up a bottle of chardonnary from a local place called The Little Morgue Winery for the exact same reason.

I'm going through an enormous verdelho stage at the moment. We have some great verdelhos from the Hunter Valley and Margaret River regions that are just a joy.

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#62062 - 08/09/04 04:32 AM Re: Wine is Bottled Poetry
Crescent Moon
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 155
Loc: Australia

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I'm even worse! I like interesting names, cool pictures on the labels and pretty/funky looking bottles. And hope like hell the wine is nice!
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