Friday, April 14, 2006


Spoooooky!! I only spoke about cleanskins in a post for the first time yesterday and I haven't had one to drink for quite a while. Imagine my surprise when I arrived home and sitting on the counter is an already opened cleanskin! It is as if my wife (the leader of the opposition) had been reading my blog - heaven forbid!

The 'old sheila' was preparing a delicious beef and bacon casserole and it required some red wine so she had gone to the cellar (I use the term extremely loosely - at the moment a collection of old cupboards under the house) to select an appropriate wine. Unsure of the wines and their relative values, she took the 'safe' option of selecting a cleanskin. I have no problem with that!

You often hear chefs saying that you should never use a cheap wine in cooking. I disagree totally! It is not how much you pay for the wine but the quality of the wine itself. I believe you should never use a wine in cooking that you would not like to drink and enjoy.

The cleanskin selected cost me around $7 and was probably once a $12-$15 bottle of wine. Occasionally, and not as often as I used to do it, I will buy one or two cleanskins as samplers. I will try to drink them straight away and if any good, go back and buy a dozen. Occasionally you come across some real 'crackers' (ie extremely good value for money)! Other times I have had a glass or two and poured the rest of the bottle down the sink (not often though). I once read on a sign hanging above a bloke's wine rack "Life is too short to drink bad wines" - too true!

Try the occasional cleanskin and if you find one you like buy a dozen. It is always good to be able to pull one out for cooking - even better if it is like the ones in one of yesterday's posts and is worth around $80 retail (ie prior to becoming a cleanskin).

Anyway, for dinner last night, we just polished off the opened bottle with our meal. I really enjoyed the wine - good wine for $7 a bottle? Priceless!!


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