Musty Bunches - Tales from the Spit Bucket
By Musty Bunches | 26 February 2001
Capriati: wine that shows great promise when young, hits a dead period for seven years, then comes back better than ever before. Useful for German Rieslings.
Lewinsky: a wine that goes down easily but returns to haunt you later on. Great with cigars. Delicate Aussie Shirazes at 14.9% alcohol, for instance.
Blair: wine that has a great label, and an appealing nose but fails to deliver on the palate. Good for Chilean Sauvignons.
George W: wine so bad it's beyond a joke. '93 Bordeaux, for instance. Or Paul Masson.
Roseanne: wine that's full-bodied and in-yer-face, but gets on your nerves after five minutes. Mondavi and Wolf Blass evidently model their wines on a physical template of the great (or should that be grate) woman.
Diageo: wine that is dry, bitter and intensely closed. Ever more likely to be low alcohol.
Now as we are all aspiring wine buffs, Musty just knows you have your own personal way to describe your fav tipple. So let me know… I am sure the most imaginative term to describe the plums of a good Aussie (wine!) will deserve a prize.
But onto things less frivolous and more fitting of a dedicated wine hack, Uruguayan wine. It's the next big thing according to, er, the Uruguayans. And they should know. Apparently not. Galloping over the hill clutching a pen of justice in one hand and his trousers with the other comes a journalist friend of Musty's, hot from tasting the delights of Tannat.
"I have a weakness for sulphur - it's a mild laxative," explained friend. "The first wine had so much SO2 in it that it made me shit myself. The second wine hurt all the way down the alimentary canal and collected in a V-shaped lump in my kidneys, and the third tasted of dirty washing-up water."
And the fourth, enquired Musty?
"I don't know, I gave up after that," said the recently soiled friend.
The journalist's wife, meanwhile, carried on drinking the wines and finally found one she liked. Alas, on closer inspection, it turned out to be a Pinot Noir from Romania.
Champagne. It's the real thing. At least according to the Champenois. And they should know. The ultra high-margin, high-end luxury product. The most expensive fizzy drink in the world.
Should Musty be the first to tell them that according to her calculations they sold less by value last year in the UK than the energy drink Red Bull?
Why not. The facts speak for themselves. Musty herself is a big fan of the vodka -Red-Bull scenario, but it's years since she ordered a Bolli-Stolli.
Stolichnaya, of course. Big brand. Huge. A giant redwood amongst saplings. Could be the next big thing if it wasn't already. Certainly according to its Russian owners, and they should know. At least when they're not shooting each other.
Been linked with Allied Domecq. People seen them coming out of nightclubs together, whispering and, you know, canoodling, if you get my drift.
Mind you, that Allied Domecq, has been linked with more innocent young drinks brands than JF Kennedy. Just look at that Captain Morgan. And Montana - now there was a scandal.
In fact, Musty was intrigued by the whole Montana affair. Was it just coincidence that Allied lost out by $0.25 a share for the 'giant' of the Kiwi wine world only a matter of weeks after Frosty the Bowman and his merry board members cut a deal that would pay them multi-million pound bonuses over the next three years?
Yes, yes. Must be pure coincidence.
Soot Efrican wine. The next big thing. Especially according to the Jaapies, and they should know. At a monster South African wine tasting in London, Musty was intrigued by two things. One: all the winemakers had enormous hands, and you know what they say…
Two: they all spoke like they were gargling spaghetti. Comprehension was not easy.
Did Musty really have the following conversation with an Afrikaans winemaker?
"Is that a Chardonnay?"
"Then why is it pink?"
'It's something to do with oxidation. You get rid of it by standing it in bright sunlight.'
Hmm, well yes of course…
Oxidised South African Chardonnay - a bit like Seagram when you think about it. Stand the company in the harsh glare of business reality and it'll soon disappear. Still, the bootlegging-to-bust giant clearly hasn't lost its sense of humour. On the company website is an article flagging up the Valentine's Day Sex Tour of the San Francisco zoo. Arranged, for some bizarre reason by the keeper of the Magellanic penguins (whatever the hell they are), the event is described as a "behind the scenes view of animal reproductive behaviour… definitely not appropriate for children."
Still, there's a nice symmetry to this apparently irrelevant piece of animal pornography appearing on Seagram's website. It is, after all, a good chance for the company's employees to watch animals doing to each other what Edgar B Jr has just done to them.
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Musty Bunches - Tales from the Spit Bucket