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Copyright © Ric Einstein 2009
Welcome to this week's big Irregular Update which features Chapter One of the 2008 South Australian Tour Diary.
Before I get into this weeks important "stuff" a quick rant is required. Those whingeing, whining, nanny state do gooders in the UK are at it again, or more accurately, still at it. Blame everyone except themselves, deflect the real problem, and ignore something called "personal responsibility" - because these morons don't have the faintest understanding of that concept. In the Timesonline newspaper, there is an article headed "Wine glasses 'dangerously big'." The article goes onto state that stores are being criticised for selling Riedel style wine glasses because they encourage binge drinking. For crying out loud, why does the press publish this unadulterated rubbish? Talk about having zero credibility! Next they will be blaming Rip Van Winkle for the increase in chronic fatigue. Rant over!
Whilst I am handing out wallopings, Get Wines Direct deserves a big one for crossing the line with false advertising. This time, its not just misleading, its blatantly false and they have been caught with their pants down. Read all about it in this Snippet: Get Wines Direct Crosses The Line.
But since I originally penned the draft of this update, another Snippet has been written handing out yet another brick bat. This time it goes to Nathan Waks of Kilikanoon for his latest Media Release. They do they believe this crap describes the pleasant perfume contained in the release, which has been topped with a whiff of flatulence.
The big news last Tuesday was Fosters wine woes. A few significant announcements were made. Trevor O'Hoy, the CEO is going. Wine assets need a huge write-off and the whole box and dice is up for review. A surprise? No way. It was entirely predictable (and I did exactly that in 2005). Read all about what going on in the Snippet: The Southcorp Chickens Come Home to Roost.
Late in May, the Pie King, Red Bigot and I spent a week touring McLaren Vale, the Barossa and Coonawarra doing research for the 2008 Tour Diary. It was an outstanding success, despite some of the tucker not being up to its usual standards. Given the quality of the wines we tried, the few disappointing meals were insignificant in the scheme of things. I can promise you, without any fear of contradiction, this will be the best Tour Diary ever. It will be framed by Two Bookends; the first winery we visited and the last. These Bookend stories are unique. Each one presents the winemakers story in a way that have never been published previously. They provide personal insights into what makes these guys tick and why they do what they do. And both of them are revered winemakers. In some ways there are similarities between the two, but in some ways they are almost complete opposites, which is as it should be with bookends.
Chapter One is a blockbuster; 38 pages worth. It kicks off with the First Bookend Feature write-up. This wineries wines are highly sought after. Their mailing list has been closed for years. The winemaker shies away from publicity and rarely speaks to the wine press, yet he was happy to have a noholds barred interview with me so I could present his personal story. And its a fascinating one. He is a unique individual that marches to the beat of his own drum. He chooses not to listen to the music from other bands that surround him. When you read the story, you will feel like you are next to me when I am asking those hard questions. Such is his honesty and frankness.
We then had a flying visits to Gemtree and Pirramimma where we tried their latest releases. After lunch we met with three boutique winemakers. Two of of these guys are very new on the scene and the third is quickly gaining a reputation for good wine at an incredible price. The visit to the final winery of the day is titled, "Big Tony Round Three – Mr Irrepressible Rises from the Classic McLaren Ashes."
The article “Cronyism” which examined the behaviour of Robert Parker, Jay Miller and The Wine Advocate in relation to certain Australian producers and importers, as expected, generated feedback. There were many good comments and alternate views expressed in the feedback, so if you haven't seen it, take a look.
The News section has been dominated by Fosters wine woes. Recent stories of possible interest include:
Those stories and more can be found here.
This weeks wine quote. "I love waking up in the morning not knowing what I'm gonna do or who I'm gonna meet. Just yesterday I was sleeping under a bridge, and today I'm on the grandest liner in the world drinking champagne with you fine people. I'll have some more please." - Jack Dawson in Titanic (1997)