Thursday, March 16, 2006

In the Beginning!!

I have not been drinking wines for very long. My first purchase was a bottle of Penfold's "Rawson's Retreat" sometime in 1998 or 1999. My first case purchase was a case of Penfold's1998 Koonunga Hill (Shiraz-Cab) closely followed by a case of Rosemount Split Label (Cab-shiraz?).

As you can see I didn't really plunge in at the expensive end of the market. In fact for a couple of years I couldn't see why you would ever want to pay over about $15 per bottle when there were so many good value-for-money wines around under that price. However, as some of you might be aware - wine is more than a little seductive. Gradually your palate changes and you can taste the difference between a $10 and $20 of wine and you find you prefer the $20 one, and then $30 and so on. This does not mean that you do not like the inexpensive wines - you buy them for every-day drinking and then buy smaller quantities of more expensive wines for special occasions. ....... and so on and so on.

It is funny how some things stick with you. We drank so much Rawson's Retreat that my family now has a nickname for Rawson's Retreat - "Ronnie's". How this came about I am not sure, but I do know for a while we called it Ronny Rawson's. I ended up buying a couple more cases of the Koonunga Hill and still have one or two bottles of the 1998.

I still have the occasional bottle of "Ronnie's" and Koonunga Hill and it is not bad - for a 'guzzler'. This is another term we have picked up somewhere to denote inexpensive but good value-for-money wines. There are plenty of these out there. I may even dedicate an article to the "guzzler".

It has been my great fortune to have a number of family and friends who are also 'into' wine. One of them invited my wife and I to a function at the Queensland Cricketer's Club hosted by Bruce Tyrrell of Tyrrell's Wines. What a great evening with great food and wine! There were many things I took away with me that evening, but the greatest thing I have remembered was something Bruce Tyrrell said. He said that "we would do well to remember that there are really only two types of wines - ones we like and ones we don't like"

Sometimes when I think I am getting too much like a "wine wanker" (a difficult term to really define well) I think back to that brief lesson from one of the 'great's' in Australian wines.

Find wines you enjoy and drink them!! Cheers!


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